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Hello all... I have been working on revamping my shop to make it run more efficiently.  I have a few dilemmas with cold temperatures and winter on the way.  I will try to address my needs and requests for advice.  

I live in northern Michigan just a mile from Lake Michigan.  We can have brutal winters and mild winters.  It have been said that where we live is the second most difficult place in the world to predict the weather.

My current shop is 19' x 20'.  It was originally a carriage house in the 1800's.  It was added on to in 1940 to make it a garage.  It is drywalled and insulated with a new cement floor 2 years ago.  It has an entry door on the west and two 8' solid wood and windowed doors that lift to open. It has a hip roof.  I am currently trying to figure out the best place for a forging area.  I have a wood burning franklin stove that chimney pipes through a metal panel where there was a window.  If all goes well, I will be adding to the front of the garage in the spring/summer of 2019.  But for now I want to be able to keep working through the winter.  I have a number of 8' corrugated panels from a local barn I can use, and I also have a good amount of red brick that can be used as a fire barrier. 

With that said, here are my thoughts, concerns and needs for advice.

I have a three burner propane forge.  I also have all of the materials to build a 42" inside dimension Heat Treating oven that I was planning on using for tempering swords big and small.  

For clarity, please answer using the Dilemma Number.

Dilemma #1 Propane verses Electric Heat Treating oven.   The oven will reach 2300 F.  Do you think it can be used as a forge as well as a heat treating oven?

Dilemma #2 Pertains to the answers from #1.  If I create a forging area for propane... then I will need to vent with some type of overhead hood which is possible in this set up but I have a low ceiling.  I would have to tie into the chimney pipe of the franklin wood burning stove and have some sore of exhaust fan on the forge side.  If I am able to use the Electric oven to forge, then this may eliminate the need for the hood ventilation.  Problem is... I will need 220 in the shop to run the Oven.  Which is doable... but more long term/when I build on.  Suggestions are welcome.    

I am trying to go as cost effective as possible for short term.  Both Propane and Electric will have it's challenges and it's delays.  Any inside, experience or advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

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Trying to use the oven as a forge will kill it, the steel, and possibly you.  It will die because they are not designed to be opened and closed a lot.  The extra fresh air will fry the elements faster than normal.  The steel will suffer because an electric furnace is the most oxidizing atmosphere to heat in.  This will result in severe scale and decarburization.  You will suffer from frustation while waiting ages for the steel to heat back up, since electric takes so long to heat.

In other words, I'd rig a hood for the propane.  You probably won't even need a fan, it will be hot enough to induce a good draft if you put a good vertical run outside.

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Dilemma #1 alan answered.

Dilemma #2 sounds like you need an induction forge. But on the other hand I dont use a vent on my propane forge. I just make sure I have a window or door cracked open and a cabon monoxide detector at head level and about knee level. The window or door can be a pain in Michigan winters but the forge should keep you warm and if not you have Franklin.

Gotta love michigan!!!

 

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I have very low cielings in my shop, not wanting to take any chances, i put my forge on an old die cart.  I wheel it a few feet outside the overhead door and setup my anvil just inside.  Between the heat of the forge and the work, i never have a problem keeping warm, regardless of what weather our lovely state has to offer.

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14 hours ago, Patrick B. P. said:

northern Michigan

What part of northern Michigan? I'm about half way up the lower peninsula and about 6 miles from Lake Michigan. 

 

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Man if I lived in Manistee I would be broke between me at Dublin general store buying jerky and my wife at little river casino.:lol:

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