Monday, November 2, 2009

Forge Room

Continuing a welcoming introduction I’ll present an overview of my workspace starting with the forge room.

The building is approximately 40’x40’ and located about 100 feet from my home - real handy! Located on the north edge of town just a few hundred feet from the Neosho River and just a bit higher than it’s flood plain. To the east, south and west is residential property.

The studio has three first floor rooms and a porch. There is a loft area upstairs. Each space is organized into several dedicated “work stations.”

The forge room is the northwest quarter of the space. When I can’t have the whole studio open due to summer heat or winter cold I can close the doors to the forge
area and leave the heat or AC working in the rest of the studio.

In the NW corner of the forge room is a stationary coal forge with a 3’x3’ apron around the firepot. An electric Champion blower is attached to one side (the motor is
outdoors on the porch so I don’t have to hear that noise) and a Champion hand crank blower on the other side. I can flip a switch and run the big blower and close a blast gate on the hand crank side or slide open the blast gate and turn a hand wheel valve and shut off the electric blower side. I feel this gives me the best of both worlds -
the hands-off advantage of electricity or the hands-onfine control of the hand crank.

Beside the coal forge is my four-burner, loose brick gas forge hooked to a 100 pound propane tank outdoors on the porch by a quick connect coupler. It is on wheels and I can choose between using one, two or four burners. Above it is a large hood and exhaust fan. A two-burner forge and a three-burner, both portable with 20 pound tanks are on the north porch along with the coal supply.

In the NE corner is a 50 lb late model Little Giant power hammer. On the east wall is a work bench. I hang the power hammer dies on a pegboard above it. A carbon monoxide monitor is plugged in there.

To the left of the power hammer is a stationary 40 gallon quench tub, a cone anvil, a large swage block on a low stand both of which get moved front and center only when I need them.

To the right of the workbench is a small swage block on a tall stand. On the wall above this is a large paper pad, charcoal & chalk holders and slate chalk board.
This is where I sketch conceptual drawings as I work.

In the SE corner is a fire extinguisher small rolling work table and the flypress. On the wall is my “sketches in iron” display where I store small test pieces - a library
of “visual solutions.”

On the south wall is a shop built Hossfeld-type bender, a 6” pedestal grinder, a Smithing-Magician, and a tall industrial fan.

In the SW corner is my inline treadle hammer and alphanumeric stamps and touchmarks and other associated tools.

On the west wall next to the coal forge is a 4’ work table made from 15” channel mounted on a scraped lathe base.

In the center of the room is a 5” post vise on a large stump, a 4” post vise on a 14” stump, a 120 lb Peter Wright anvil mounted on a concrete-filled beer keg and a 250 lb
Trenton anvil mounted on a large stump.

The next installment is the Layout Room.

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