Doug Ayen (blackanvil) wrote,
Doug Ayen

Thoughts on shop layout

Well, last night I didn't get much done in the workshop. Now I feel really lame. Basically, my current setup has the forge in the middle, and two workspace areas with benches or a table, and a row of machine tools along one wall. The goal of the current organizational push is to move the forge and other hot-work tools to one end of the shop, consolidate the workspace areas, and organize the power tools so that they're handy, not bumping into one another, and better lit. I'll probably also cordon off a corner and make it into a finishing area, so that I can spray varnish and not end up with defects in the finish.

The workshop is about 30' by 50', which is a nice size. As I do both metalworking and woodworking in the shop (I'm a knifemaker, we get to fool with all sorts of materials), I'd like to keep the hot work and flying sparks away from any piles of wood shavings and solvents, which is kinda hard to do with the current hodge-podge of stuff.

The first things I need to do is to remove the junk, mostly left over from the previous owners -- I've got a pile or two of shutters, a bunch of old storm windows, and some assorted cruft that is just taking up room. Next, I think I'll move the hot-work stuff over to that end of the shop, which includes the propane forge, both anvils, the power hammer, a couple of vices (at least one post vice, maybe two, and a machinists vice), a heat-treat oven, tooling for the forge, tooling for the power hammer, and some assorted tools to keep around that area. As I also have a crucible furnace, I'll be putting that in this area, an setting up a bench for prepping the casting molds. I'll also be installing a first aid kit customized for the hot work area. Oh, and I'll be putting a stock rack in, too, so that my metal stock isn't all over the place. I'm planning on putting in a 2' wide work bench around the walls around here, and will probably put a bench grinder on that bench, as well as a bench plate and some other tooling.

The middle section of the shop will be dedicated to the machine tools. I'd like to eventually make the floor in this section concrete or something so that there won't be as much dust and the footing is more secure. The hot-work area will remain gravel, as concrete tends to explode if you drop hot, or worse yet, molten metal on it. Tools in this section will be organized such that the metalworking tools will be closer to the hot work area, and the woodworking tools closer to the benchwork area. Some of the tools I have now that I'll be setting up here are the 2x72" belt grinders (3 of them), cut-off saw, drill press, disk sander, bandsaw, wood lathe, buffers, and storage for the hand-held power tools. This is right in front of the doors to the workshop, so it will be much better lit during the day than the other section of the shop.

The last section is going to be the cold-working area. Hand tool storage, benches and tables, material storage, wood storage, leatherworking stuff, finishing supplies, that sort of thing. If I get ambitious, maybe a ventilation fan and a wood stove. In short, everything I need to assemble the knives and other projects once I've forged them out and machined them to fit and look nice.

It's a bit of a project, but I'm looking forward to getting it completed. I'll also need to run more power out to the workshop, as I'm currently running everything on 20 amps of 110.
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