When planning the Workshop, which was built in 2007, we considered including a blacksmith forge as part of the building. However, because of the added expense required for such a facility, the forge was put on hold. Then, late in 2010, Jean Barrett gave new hope for a forge at The Clearing when she donated her late husband, David Nevalainen’s, blacksmith equipment, tools and materials to The Clearing. David had a forge north of Baileys Harbor and had taught blacksmithing classes there for The Clearing.
The forge building will be located east of the Workshop, just off the north side of the cul-de-sac. In addition to easy access to parking and to the Workshop, this location allows the entire footprint of the building to fall within the boundaries of the building zone specified by The Clearing’s conservation easement with the Door County Land Trust, which was put into place in 2006.
Building Design & Layout
To the extent possible, the forge building will be built with reclaimed lumber—hand-hewn beams and posts, siding, framing members—from old barns. These materials have been donated to The Clearing by Roger Kuhns. Stovewood construction and “classic” Door County stonework will likely be incorporated into the building.
Preliminary plans for the interior include a main shop area containing four workstations, each with its own forge and its own set of tools, a work/layout table, floor tools (power hammer, drill press, torch, etc.) an area for storing the metal stock, a shop sink, a small classroom and a bathroom. Sliding barn doors will open onto a covered front porch.
Other Forge Activities
In addition to blacksmithing, the forge building will also be used for other metalworking classes, including welding and metal sculpture.
We hope to break ground for the building in 2014. Members of the Building Committee have visited blacksmith operations in eastern Wisconsin to get advice and suggestions from working blacksmiths on building design and layout. During the building process, we plan to offer classes and/or volunteer opportunities in post and beam construction, stovewood wall construction, stone masonry and straw bale construction.
What Is It Going To Cost?
Through various fund raising efforts, including Pass the Hat, The Clearing hopes to raise $200,000 for the forge building, equipment and tools.
Can you help?
To make a tax deductible contribution to the Forge Fund, please contact Mike Schneider or make a donation online.