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Mike Skril

Ventilation - propane forge indoor (-20F outside temperature)

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Hi,

It’s getting pretty chilly in winter up here in Quebec. I’m in the process of building a workshop (16’x24’). There is no question that I need to forge inside in the winter months. Temperature drops to -20 F and working outside is impossible.

Is anybody running a gas forge indoor, in cold climate? How do you vent?

Thank you!

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If you are building I would simply

Include a CO alarm at head height

Wall mount a bathroom exhaust fan near where you intend the forge to be. Just leaving a window cracked or almost any small vent will draw in fresh air with an exhaust fan running.

Mine is indoor but the shop is so big and there is a large exhaust fan.

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7 minutes ago, Vern Wimmer said:

If you are building I would simply

Include a CO alarm at head height

Wall mount a bathroom exhaust fan near where you intend the forge to be. Just leaving a window cracked or almost any small vent will draw in fresh air with an exhaust fan running.

Mine is indoor but the shop is so big and there is a large exhaust fan.

I guess the heat from the forge will make up for the cold air intake....

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I would suggest a small chimney-ish thing.  Like an 8" stovepipe with a little hood above the forge.  Hot air rises, and while you will need enough of a gap in your shop to allow replacement air, the forge itself will keep the shop warm.  You don't need much, just enough to keep from killing yourself with CO poisoning.

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I had this same concern when I was getting ready in the winter months too. 

A few questions would be, what space are you looking to work in? How tall is the structure as this is where the gases will pile up.

CO2 detector is wroth putting up regardless.  Although I suggest above head height.  If you put your alarm at head high, then you've already got your head in the toxic area.  The alarm will go off at unsafe levels of gas, but you may want to mount it at about 7feet if you can.  That way there is about another foot of space between you and and gases when the alarms goes off.  You're just minimizing your exposure.  Try not to mount the detector right above the forge as it will go off.  Most of the detectors I looked at had directions of keep the detector way from the heat source, but you do what it in your general work area. 

poking a hole in the roof is the best idea to get the build up out.  Although I found that while working during the winter with my 7 foot garage door half way open, and a fan pointing up in the rafters pushing the gas out, everything seemed to be fine.  As long as you have some way of pushing or pulling the building gas out above your head height.  However, this is not a long term solution for working as safe as possible.  Alan's probably got the best idea.

 

Edited by Daniel W

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5 hours ago, Daniel W said:

I had this same concern when I was getting ready in the winter months too. 

A few questions would be, what space are you looking to work in? How tall is the structure as this is where the gases will pile up.

 

Just a small garage, 16'x24' x8' .

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OK, that's relatively about the space of my garage.  I do have a much higher peak to my roof than you do.  It's about 12 feet. My rafters are at 8 feet and its all open. 

From what I found out after asking a bunch of questions with a maintenance worker I work with who has experience with all things, the gas is lighter than air and rises. Therefore, it's collecting above you like a little cloud that continues to grow down into your working area.  So you have to in some way push or draw that air out if you don't have something like Alan said set up. The CO2 should, naturally flow out of the shop if you have a hole in your roof.  If you don't like mine, then you have to push that air out.  I use a small shop fan pointed up in my rafters to push the air around where as it builds, it begins to flow out of my open door, window, and mainly garage door. 

During the winter, I had my garage door opened about half way, and because my opening was at 8 feet, I believe the gas was pushed out enough that the levels were safe enough to work.  My detector did not go off all winter while I worked this way.  In my mind's eye, as I think about building an actual forge space, I see a building with an off set roof like the old factories that would be totally vented allowing all the gases and hot air to rise naturally leaving the structure. 

The best thing to think of is if in doubt ventilate, you can't play with CO2, it can knock you down too quick. 

 

 

 

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