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DFogg

just finished a new shop, I need advice

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After 3 years of hard work I'm finally almost ready to move into my new shop, I was wondering if any of you smiths and makers have any advice on setting up my new shop, machine placement, safety concerns, layout effientcy? Any comment would be welcome. I'm enclosing a pic of the new shop, I build it by myself(thats why its taken 3 years) without any help from the bank....beside what bank would give a loan to a fulltime knifemaker? lol Any suggestions would be appreciated thanks Bill

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Beautiful shop Bill!

 

One of the best things I discovered about shop layout is to physically separate the different operations in the knifemaking shop.

 

The most important to separate are the grinders and dust making equipment from the clean room. It is amazing how much contamination and problems come from trying to do finish work in a dirty environment.

 

The forge shop needs to be isolated because of the fire hazard.

 

I make the clean room the most comfortable, well lit work space with benches of various heights and organized so that every tool is only a few steps away. I have only chip making equipment in this room, but if you work with flex shaft grinders then have a great dust collection system.

 

I can see great work coming out of this building. Good for you.

 

Don

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Thanks for the advice Don, I know you have been around shops for many years and I know your advice is sound, my "clean room" will be a 12 by24 loft that is well lit and comfortable, I agree that it is difficult to do finish work in a dirty enviornment. Thanks for the encouragement Don, it is much appreciated.   Bill

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Great shop Bill,

You near the beach?  I see some pretty white sand around your shop  [dunno]

 

I don't see enough light pouring out of your windows. Can't ever have too much light and a lot of different types of lighting.  I use halogens at my grinding station, flourescents for general lighting and a combo incandescent/flouro movable fixture right over my final finish area so I can angle it to get the perfect light on the piece.

 

Like Mr Fogg said, I have a couple of benches at different height because I like pieces at different heights when I doing those tasks.

 

Beautiful place.

 

Will

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Bill, you have earned my undying envy!  Could you tell us about the interior layout (maybe post a floor plan)?  How have you dealt with the obvious hot fire/wooden building problems, and ventilation?

 

Cheers,

 

David.

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Will   Thanks for your comments, first of all I only wished I lived near the beach, actually I have a 45 acre pond across the road so the area tends to be sandy. You mentioned the halogen lights, I've just recently discovered these and they work great, long bulb life and great light but they do tend to get hot, I'm not a fan of floresence they buzz too much, also there are more windows in the shop,  the photo shows the back end of the shop where I will do forging and heat treating so I purposely left it dark, the front and loft are very well lit, I like to work with natural light if possible. Thanks again Will

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David   thanks for your interest in the shop, first of all let me say that I did'nt intend to build a shop this large.....geez it looked smaller on the blueprints,anyway it is 24 feet square with a 12 by 24 loft, the downstairs is divided into 12by12 rooms , one for the grinders and milling machine,drill press etc., one for forging ,heat-treating , anvils , one that is strictly workbenches and the other for etching or any chemical work, with everything in12by12 modules nothing is that far away no matter what you are working on, the upstairs is my clean room, its well lit and very comfortable.At th rear of the shop I have two large doors that open up, when the forge is fired I can open them up no matter what the weather is( I live in western NH in the mountains so it gets cold here) because the forge room will be seperated I'll have no problem with heat accumulation or ventilation. I will over time get some interior photos posted, most of the ones I have now were taken during constuction. I hope you will continue to follow this topic, I've had a good time and some great resposes from posting it     Bill

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There's the old rule much beloved of kitchen designers; arrange in triangles. That is, in a kitchen, the most used points are sink, hob/oven, and refridgerator.  You should be able to walk directly from one to the other, without having to walk around anything.  The main work surface should form one side of the triangle.  The clearest application of this to the shop is the forging area, a triangle formed by forge, anvil, and quench tank, with a tool rack at one side of the triangle.  I'm not sure how this would apply in other parts of the shop, but it's worth taking into account as a quick rule of thumb.

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Bill, awesome space, great size, congratulations!

 

Tomorrow the stakes go in the ground here for my first purpose-built shop. Yours is an immediate and much-needed inspiration. Gonna be a long project but very over-due.

 

I planned to document the event from start to finish, I'll post here as it goe, if folks are interested.

 

Again, nice shop.

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Bill,

 

Its been a while since I have been to J. Fisk shop, but, he did a lot of reseach , and traveled to a lot of shops before he buit his shop. He encorporated hanging plastic cold storage flap doors to enter in and out of his grinder room, I think? I may need to be corrected but, I think it was for easy access ,to helps localize the grinding dust and maintain the air conditioned temperature.

 

In my shop I have a lot of cabinets with doors, to keep dust out of the storage area. I just got some used dentist cabinets with sliding drawers. I am contemplateing rearranging my already crowded shop, so don't complain about the extra space, I could sure use some now.

 

timothy

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Tim   The hanging plastic flap dividers are a great idea I've seen something like that in a welding shop, from what I was told they do cut down on dust and they are the easiest way in and out of a room without hanging a door, also the dentist's cabinets are a great idea, we have a salvage business nearby so I will be looking for some kind of cabinets to keep the dust out, thanks for the advice Tim

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R.H.     Congrats on your new shop, your right it may take awhile but its well worth it. I can remember working in a corner of an unheated garage trying to grind with gloves with the fingers cut off so that I could hold the steel, I've come a long way, it was a lot of work but its finally almost done. Hope you will post some pix on this site I'd be interested   Bill

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