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Sugarshack now a Blacksmith Shack


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Hi Everyone,

 

It has been a while since I have posted. I finally renovated an old sugar shack and converted it to a blacksmithy. This is my set up in the works so far. I lined the majority of the floor with the brick I excavated from the site. I think it was originally part of the evaporator, long since deteriotated. The bricks are stamped with "Penentang" from Penetanguishene (the closest town here) and RBC(?). Some of the sheetmetal on the roof was painted with "Imperial Sheet Metal Patented 1924".

 

I got my blower and blacksmith vice for $50.00 from Collingwood. My almost new anvil is from the Czech Republic. The forge is homemade.

 

Anyway, it is about as rustic as things get. My smoke hood needs some work, as it doesn't capture all the smoke. I tested it on the weekend and made some logging tongs. Once all is done, I will finally be able to get out some more blades, which I haven't posted on this site yet. Let me know if you have any tips on the set-up, especially the smoke hood. Currently it feeds into a 6" stove pipe.

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Yes I was a bit concerned about CO build up. Luckily, because it is a sugarshack, there is a central secondary roof with screening. This was built to allow for the water vapour to escape and allows for a lot of ventalation. I leave the door open too.

 

That said, I still need to make a better hood. CO or any other miriad of nasties from coal are not the best things to inhale. Any suggestions on design etc?

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I'm hoping that one of the coal guys will chime in, but in the interests of safety, I'll give it a try. Try lowering the hood. I have also seen a setup where the stack had a slightly smaller diameter pipe inside it on a counterweight and pulley, so you could lower the pipe right down to the fire to scavenge the smoke better.

 

How much more brick do you have? You might think about a side draft chimney on the back of your fire pan.

 

Anyone with more experience have better ideas?

 

Geoff

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Two things will immensely improve the smoke/CO factor: Double the size of your stack, as in double up a pair of 6" pipe sections to make it a 12" pipe, and enclose the intake more. The intake should be down on the table, and the opening needs to be about the same size as the firepot. This will create a smoke-sucking monster of a side-draft hood.

 

Here's mine:

 

hoodshots.jpg

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Very cool shop..thanks for the pictures...and it's very appropriate recycling because sugaring is one of the few occupations that pay even less then bladesmithing.. LOL

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Aarne,

yeah those are nice tongs.... I'm doing my firewood right now and have been thinking I need to make a pair....

I agree with Alan... my forge has a 12 inch "pipe" but mine is a brick chimney with a 12" flue liner.... I think a steel one would work as well ... maybe not as good but should work... I have a "smoke shelf " built into mine .... in your case you would put the smoke shelf in where the hood meets the pipe... The smoke shelf forces the smoke to compress and so heat up a bit.... then it spills into the 12" and has room to expand because of the heat generated by compressing caused by the narrowing of the flue by the shelf.... then the 12" flue inch gives it room to expand and have a good draft.... My smoke shelf has about an 8" opening that is placed right between the hood and the 12" flue pipe.... I'm busy right now but I will get some photos latter and post them .... a masonary chimney is the best but steel will work.... you could also insulate the steel flue which may help it work better.... plus the taller the stack is the better it will draw....

Dick

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I agree with Alan... my forge has a 12 inch "pipe" but mine is a brick chimney with a 12" flue liner.... I think a steel one would work as well ... maybe not as good but should work... I have a "smoke shelf " built into mine .... in your case you would put the smoke shelf in where the hood meets the pipe... The smoke shelf forces the smoke to compress and so heat up a bit.... then it spills into the 12" and has room to expand because of the heat generated by compressing caused by the narrowing of the flue by the shelf.... then the 12" flue inch gives it room to expand and have a good draft....

 

Yeah, my hood is ducted into a 12 x 12 masonry chimney via a 10 x 16 hole at the top rear. Bigger is almost always better when it comes to coal forge chimneys.

 

I'm gonna disagree about the smoke shelf, though. I had it beaten into my head by a fluid engineer that smoke shelves are just an obstacle to flow once you've got the small opening by the fire. Thier original purpose was just to keep water from coming down the chimney into the fireplace, but they have no utility in side-draft forge hoods. Said engineer did the calculations to show that a smoke shelf the size of yours actually reduces efficiency by something like 20%! :blink: I failed differential equations, but I trust this guy's numbers. It's all about laminar flow and decreasing turbulence, the hood itself is the expansion chamber. Of course that goes against 200 years of tradition.

 

Same guy also proved mathematically that the usual little stovepipe cap atop a metal flue cuts efficiency by close to 40% unless it sits two diameters or more above the top of the stack. I solved a smoky forge with that bit of ionformation plus his suggestion for the industrial variety of low-loss stack cap. All this is a a section of pipe about 20% larger in diameter than your main stack telescoped over the top by one diameter and held there by little standoff brackets. Completely open on top, which should be three to four diameters higher than the top of the smaller pipe. Since rain rarely falls straight down, the idea is that such rain as enters the top of the larger pipe will just run down the inside walls and drip out the open space at the bottom without ever getting into the main stack. A bonus feature is that the annular space between the "cap" and the stack acts as a venturi system when it warms up, actually increaing the velocity of the flue gasses. Plus it looks cool when the smoke is really rolling, sorta like a steam locomotive stack. :lol:

 

So what's on top of my own chimney now? A 14" turbine ventilator. They work even better than the low-loss cap, provided your flue gasses don't get so hot they melt the Teflon bearings in the turbine. Mine did. :o No biggie, the turbine cap is still a more efficient stack cap than the little pointed ones even when not rotating. I melted the bearings one windy day when the coal stove was really roaring. When the wind blows it vastly increases the suction in the chimney (they are attic ventilators, after all :rolleyes: ). Even with all the draft into the stove closed, since it's an old, non-airtight model it got so hot the cast iron top of the stove warped a bit and the bearing in the turbine cap 20 flue feet away melted. :ph34r: I put a new cap on it and resolved not to work on really windy days in the winter, but the new cap had steel bearings and started squeaking after a few doses of coal smoke. :unsure: By order of the wife (bedroom is about 25 feet from the forge chimney), therefore, I wired it solid, and it's been fine ever since. B)

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Thanks for the information and compliments! Recyling and reuse has been a big part of this project. Most of the materials I have been able to scavenge from the property. The hood cover is part of an old Lakewood wood insert cover.

 

Alan, your side-draft hood looks great! Is it made out of stain-less? Doubling up the stack makes a lot of sense. Would you suggest going 12" diameter all the way to the top?

 

Geoff and Dick, I do have some left over brick, unfortunately they are the broken pieces. If brick were used, would a special mortar be required to withstand the heat? Take some photos of your set-up when you get the chance.

 

Aarne

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Alan, your side-draft hood looks great! Is it made out of stain-less? Doubling up the stack makes a lot of sense. Would you suggest going 12" diameter all the way to the top?

 

 

No, it's not stainless, it was just new in those pictures, taken about 5 years ago. It's a dark rusty reddish-black at the moment :D And yep, 12" all the way up. Any restriction is, well, a restriction. ;)

 

I got the 11-gauge plate (about 3/32" or 2mm) from the local scrapyard, cut it out with a reciprocating saw (had to sit on the sheets atop sawhorses while cutting, fun!) and welded 'em up with an old crappy stick welder. A welding-instructor friend of mine saw the result and said "You know, for an archaeologist you're a really bad weldor." :rolleyes: I don't care, it stuck together and works well. It has no bottom, it just sits on the table.

 

A quick edit: If you want to use brick for the smoke chamber part of the hood, plain mortar will work fine. It won't get that hot.

Edited by Alan Longmire
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That's what happens when you get math involved..... LOL.... I was going by the 200 years of tradition and Ben Franklin.... ha ha ha

I would go with Alan's suggestion then of skipping the smoke shelf... But the masonary will outlast all of us .... I did use round flue so the flow is better than a square chimney.... maybe that is why mine still works good even with the smoke shelf.... I really had no idea of what I was doing ...

and the higher the stack the harder it will draw also.....

Dick

here is a few shots of what mine looks like.... the fire box was fire brick for a fire place and the outside was concret bricks...

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Looks great, Dick! And 200 years of tradition is hard to get over, especially when it still works, after all. ;)

 

Yours is far more aesthetic than mine, even if mine does have radar-evading stealth technology built into the geometry. :lol:

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  • 4 weeks later...

i have a quik question for the fellows that have been giving their input to this topic.... i'm planning on using a side draft forge in my shop how would that change the hood arrangement? or would it?

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Pete, I can't see that it would make that much difference. Just keep the hood opening as close to the fire as you can, and smaller than the chimney behind it, and it'll draw.

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Pete,

I think an advantage of a side draft is that it can be used to heat many different size shapes.... I agree with Alan ... get the hood as close to the fire as the work allows... but if you have something odd shaped to heat you can move the hood accordingly .... you can even remove the hood totaly for that job.... it may be smoky in the shop for that job but much of the smoke will still go up the stack and you can open the doors of the shop while you are working on that one and put the hood back when you are finished.... I have had big pieces that I've had to move my hood some to get the work into the proper place for heating.... so I would advise you make your hood movable & removable...

I hung mine with some bailing wire... the KISS method...biggrin.gif

Dick

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  • 9 years later...
8 hours ago, Bill Baker said:

Hey Dick Sexstone, do you remember me? Peter's Valley...

Bill, Dick hasn't been seen around here for almost 10 years, sorry.

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