Any interest in a blacksmith's forge?

I own a portable riveter’s forge that can burn either coal or charcoal, an anvil, a swage block, and various forging tools - hammers, tongs, chisels and such. Experience-wise I’m a seasoned beginner and have a decent amount of experience with teaching people who are new to forging how to start it up without learning bad habits, and I’m definitely wanting to expand my skills and very willing to learn from anyone. You can do tons of stuff with a forge - welding, tempering steel, forming, building tools, roasting marshmallows, etc.

I’m not a member yet, but I could bring it in during the open house on the 14th or the 21st and people could get a feel for it. What do you guys think?



That sounds really really awesome. Have you checked out VHS before?
I’m not sure we have the facilities for it, but that sounds like the kind
of thing we could maybe take to the park a couple blocks away? Like, when
it gets a little warmer, have monthly meetings/workshops/demos or even more
frequently. I’d be stoked to hang around those.

Could be wrong about our ability to host that stuff in the building, you
would be a better judge of that than us, I don’t know what it all looks
like. Just as long as it doesn’t get us evicted, we want to be good tenants
(and neighbors)!


The proper space is definitely something that needs to be considered - I checked out an open house last week, and they mentioned that the loading bay could be a good spot, but I’d definitely want to test that out. It can be a bit loud! When it comes to fire hazards I’d definitely defer to you guys, I can only say that there are definitely proper precautions, and I’ve never had any problems with it or heard about a forge burning a place down. I think that it’s one of those activities where the way that it looks while in use tends to encourage caution :slight_smile: If it doesn’t work in the space I’d be open to something when the weather turns nicer for sure.


I did the tour through the space last week.
This is something I’d like to see.

I thought that the loading bay could be used but I’m not sure how much heat etc the forge would give off.


I spent a summer working on one of these, it looked very similar to yours in-fact. I did mine in California in the forest in the summer, so I was under some crazy fire restrictions and did demos for kids.

It sounds like you have plenty more experience than I do, but here are my recommendations:

  1. Do this in the loading bay with plenty of room (this may require making sure the loading bay is rearranged prior to that day.

  2. Have ample precautionary materials (something to cover, something to douse, something to arrest fire, PPE (eyes, ears, MASKS), and easy exits.

  3. Make sure the loading bay door is open (this seems obvious, but just in case it wasn’t).

  4. Make sure the day is not too cold

  5. Why might you ask? Because you don’t want people over-dressed or being tempted to crowd the operator.

  6. You don’t want people with synthetic clothing nearby… think shrink wrap.

  7. Make sure you have ample time for making your fire, the event, and cool-down. Forges like this can’t be cooled down as quickly as a propane forge can so plan LOTS of time.

  8. Have good practice making a fire with your medium, a bad fire smokes… a lot. A good fire should have no visible smoke. (another mention to masks!!!)

  9. BOD approval? I don’t know if its been removed, but there used to be a ban against open flame; but that might have just been when we were in 45W. Can someone reign in on this for me?

  10. Have fun, this sounds amazing, give me a shout when you are going to do this, I’ve been missing it!


This sounds awesome! I’m interested for sure but won’t be back until April. Count me in. I’d be happy to help re organise the loading bay. I don’t have any experience though so I’ll have to defer to you about whether it is an appropriate location.

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Working in Cali during the summer must’ve meant some pretty stringent rules to keep everyone safe and un-BBQ’d, probably more stringent than the ones that I’ve dealt with in the past. I think that those are all great suggestions and if you have any others just holler - can’t be too careful. I’ll definitely pm you when I’ve set up a time, it’d be great to get some forging done.

I think I’ll come down tomorrow night to take a look at the loading bay just to see how it’s set up. Thanks all for the responses so far - maybe I’ll see some of you there!

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Yeah; that info was added for a point of context, so likely I’m being overly cautious.

One other thing is that as long as Cavalia is going on, there will be a flock of people outside our loading bay door. Depending on how much attention we want to attract, it might be best to wait until that is over…

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would love to see these tools at the space! Very interested. Willing to help out where need to help make this happen!

Our hunt for new space is ongoing with activities such as this in mind. Until then I believe the loading bay could potentially work for us. I’ll review our current lease document to ensure there are no specific restrictions; we may want to clear the activity with the property manager to be on the safe side.

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We’d be fine for this activity from the context of the lease provided it is done safely (obviously), complies with city bylaw for our zoning and is not a nuisance (noise, smell, etc). If it is terribly loud we might want to make sure we do it after business hours or ask the other tenants if it would be bothersome to avoid complaints.

The loading bay is shared among all tenants so of course we’d just have to make sure no other tenants have plans for the bay during the period of us using it and we can’t leave anything in the bay lest it be risk for disposal.


TL;DR; our zoning allows blacksmithing but not casting or making ingots or alloying, etc. - metal can be hot but not liquid :slight_smile:

1715 Cook St is M-2 Zoning

Section 2.2M Allowed uses includes Class B Metal Products Manufacturing (includes smithing) - we have this approval

Section 3.2M Condition approval uses includes Class A Metal Products Manufacturing - we do not have this approval, see definitions below. section 2 definitions, uses:
Metal Products Manufacturing - Class A, which means the use of premises for the
manufacturing of metal ingots, shapes, pigs or powders from ore or scrap, for the alloying,
extruding, casting or rolling of metals, or for the manufacturing of metal structural shapes or
metal castings, but does not include Jewellery Manufacturing;

Metal Products Manufacturing - Class B, which means the use of premises for the
manufacturing of boilers, metal tanks, fabricated structural metal products, non-electrical wire
or wire products, hardware, tools, cutlery, heating equipment or other fabricated metal products,
or for the machining, stamping, pressing, coating, welding or smithing of metal or metal
products, but does not include Electrical Products or Appliances Manufacturing,


The loading bay looks like a fine location. Anyone using the forge could move a few of those pallets out of the way just for safety reasons and move them back when finished up. Are there any portable vises in the space could be used for twisting metal in the loading bay? That’s the only tool that I don’t have, I’ve got a little portable woodworking vise but it’s definitely not beefy enough. If not I’m sure something could be improvised.

Hey all - I’m going to be heading in tonight to see if the forge works, maybe fire it up for a while. If any of you are interested I’ve got a few extra railroad spikes for making spoons with and some good metal stock for other stuff.


Well that was pretty awesome. Thanks for bringing everything down, setting up the forge and letting us try shape some spikes.

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That was amazingly fun! It really gave me an appreciation for how easy (or not so!) they make it look on Forged in Fire. Thanks so much @Spicehammer - I’m absolutely in again for next time!

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This worked out really well, thanks for bringing your gear down!

Now we should all binge-watch Green Beetle’s videos:


I didn’t bang out any metal today but it was very cool to watch this!

A couple of quick video clips posted to youtube.

Metal Blacksmith Forge one

Metal Blacksmith Forge two


Thats was great, thanks.

What were the youtube channels again, that were talked of?


I think that the two that were most discussed were Man at Arms and Green Beetle.

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