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Setting Up Your Shop

Any craft requires a good work space. It does not need to be elaborate but, there are some basic needs that need to be met.


If you are starting from scratch you should lay out your shop based on the space you have available. You do not need a large amount of space to get started, a car port will do. What ever size space you start with make sure yo can easily move around. Having to work over and around crowded equipment is a dangerous nuisance.

When laying out your shop pay attention to how you arrange your equipment. Minimize extra work by making sure you do not have to go out of your way to reach any thing you need. Your forge, anvil, and vise should be close together to minimize heat loss. Your slack tank should be near by so you do not have to carry hot metal across your shop. Grinder and drill press should be close to your work bench.


The most important considerations in setting up a shop is adequate ventilation. With out sufficient air flow you will have some serious and potentially deadly problems. Forges use vast amounts of air, and produce large amounts of carbon monoxide(CO). Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and highly toxic. In an inclosed area it can quickly reach fatal levels.


The right lighting is important. The forge area should be dim (but not dark) to allow for proper judgment of metal color. The rest of the shop should be brightly lit so you can see what you are doing, especially any areas where power tools like grinders are used. The best lighting is natural background light, but this is not always available. The next best thing is overhead fluorescent light. Any lighting that allows you to see clearly with out eyestrain is acceptable.

Data Loom Design, Inc. Copyright© 2010 Updated: 4/10/2016