Hi guys, thanks for the comments!
The idea for a small (and I did mean very
small) foundry/forge was just an afterthought -- just because of the unused chimney, not necessary for the shop. The main thing is to have some small machines to work with near the house
Andrew, the land near the house is on a steep grade, so it would take a lot of earth moving to get a big enough level space where I'd want a shop, and honestly I don't have the time or funds to do much building right now. The benches and concrete for the floor for this space are the limit of what I can spare at the moment.
I definitely agree that what you want is always in the other shop in situations like this, but I just have to put up with it. It's better than not working at all this winter.
Mechman seems like a reasonable idea but a forge/foundry in the larger shop would be difficult/expensive because it's presently just a raised wooden floor shed on piers, and no existing chimney. And insulating that building would be a major project -- especially with all that's presently in it.
I do have a furnace outdoors there, but with the amount of snow we get, it just isn't possible to use in winter. And it still doesn't solve the long distance at night problem.
I think the micro shop will be the most do-able option, this year, at least.
I should have mentioned -- the little cement block shop does have additional space outside that is covered by lean-to roof additions. Poured a slab under one side last week as well -- that could serve as a foundry location for a bigger setup, though no chimney there. But it is open at the sides and the roof is metal -- I could put in a stovepipe chimney fairly easily.
That is if I can get various outgrown kid bikes and other non-necessary storage junk out of there. Time for a secret dump run. Seems like every time I build a space for myself to work in, it fills up with odball storage items as soon as I turn my back! Well, my fault, too
I keep thinking Everything can be used for something else. But I'm starting to feel more ruthless about getting rid of stuff these days.
The other side addition houses my Lister diesel type generator -- and it is plumbed to supply heat to the block house section already via the radiator. So if I run the generator I can get heat from just that as well. But I already have grid power to the shop, so the generator isn't necessary. Still, it's fun to run.
I have to get pictures today for you guys so you can see what I'm talking about here.....