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DanTesta

Building for forging

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Hello all,

I am wanting to get into forging and knife building but doing so in my one car attached garage is not possible. I was going to build a shed for my woodworking/forging and was looking for some advise as to whether I need a concrete floor/brick walls for safety reasons or if wood flooring and drywall would work. I am trying to build this as low cost as possible and appreciate any of the advise. 

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The two problems with wood are that unless you plan carefully and build in the right supports, your anvil will not have the firm anchoring it needs to be efficient, and you do have to be more careful with dropping hot objects.  Ideally the anvil should be rigidly attached to bedrock (that's an overstatement, but the more solidly it's supported the more work you can get out of it).  On the plus side, you won't have a problem finding any hot cutoffs, just look for the fire.

The walls can be drywall, as long as it's flame resistant rated and the forge is far enough from it.

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Inside I use a propane gas forge. My solid fuel forge I use under the shade of a tree in my back you 30' from my home...

Also depends on the forge you are planing to use. I have fire rated cement over fire rated insulation cover with fire rated tile, and grout. I still open my garage door, and point the back of my propane forge to the outside of my shed. I also have two fire extinguishers, a bucket of sand, and a burn safety kit, a first aid kit, and burn spray. I always wear my Personal Protection Equiped when working. Including Eye Protection.

My raised wooden floors have the same Fire rated covering. I even got the ceiling fire, and smoke rated with two sheets of fire rated sheet rock. Mine is free stand, away from my house with a hose connect to the water line ready in case of fire. I have the exit thru the garage door, and one in the  back a side door...

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Edited by GBrackett

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George, is your roller door short or are you that tall? The forge seems to be head-height :)?

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Dirt floor is cheapest; bricks over dirt are a step better if you can get them free somewhere,  though it's a lot of labor to clean and lay them  down.

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Your feet will thank you if you keep a dirt/ gravel floor if you intent to spend a lot of time at the forge. 

dry wall will work from what I understand - cement board is better as it will not burn.  Before you get into that, how big is your forge, and how big is the shed? 

I say this because I had the same concerns with putting my Gasser in the garage for winter forgings (my home is cedar so if it catches a flame, its gone) my forge was purposely build low to keep ir light and heat away from my face it sits level with my ASO.    My first runs in the garage were good.  my rafters are 8 feet high - and I noticed that my forge wasn't really throwing a ton of heat up there. I can stand about 2 feet from my forge without feeling a danger to myself.  under a foot, hot hot hot HOT!   I would say as a minimum ensure that your forge is at least 3-4 feet away from any wooden combustible material (saw dust!) liquid fuels remove them from the work space all together! Work as safe as possible.

And I would say, regardless, heat shield what you think you should.  I have yet to put up cement board, but I really don't think I need it at this point as all my runs have not raised the concern for my space.

Ventilate very important. 

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