Its present restricted sphere. Improved facilities. Case-hardening and tempering. The addition of machine tools to its equipment. The proper location of the forge shop. Its special construction. Transportation of stock and material. Coal and bar stock storage. Foreman's office. Portable scale. Forge fires. The down-draft system. Construction of forges. The blower. Blast pipes. Arrangement of blast apparatus. Steam hammers. Drop presses. Special heating furnaces. Annealing and case-hardening furnace. Detailed description. Cutting-off machine. Power hack saws. The cold saw. Heavy shear. Heavy turret lathe. The forge lathe. Work benches. Steam supply. Compressed air. Electric motor drive. Jib crane. Overhead trolleys. Pneumatic hoists. Bar stock storage rack. Shop rack for bar stock. The wash room. The water-closets. The lockers. Compactness of the design.

It is undoubtedly true that since the very general introduction of turret lathes, forming lathes, and the large variety of similar machines now in use in almost every machine shop making any pretense to modern equipment and up-to-date methods of doing work, the forge shop has lost considerable of its importance as one of the indispensable departments upon which the machinist of former times very largely depended for much of his material for the better classes of work. The introduction of steel castings, malleable iron castings, and other similar materials, superseding in many cases the old-time forgings, has also been an important factor in the same direction, and has decreased the cost of materials of complicated form, and at the same time provided the machinist with materials which have admirably answered the purpose as to strength, and lessened the amount of machining necessary for their practical use.

And yet, while the forge shop may have decreased in the matter of importance in the making of forgings, there will always remain the demand of the machine shop for a certain amount of strictly machine forgings of iron and steel which cannot be met by any other material. Many great and important advances have been made in forging by use of improved hammers, by dies in connection with them, and by the process of drop forging, yet there is a large demand for forgings requiring the services of the skilled machine forger with his expertness in hand forging, as well as his technical knowledge of handling steel of various qualities, his expert knowledge of how to produce forgings of complicated and intricate forms, and the thousand and one conditions and requirements demanded in successfully bringing out such work, correct in form and structure, and within a reasonable cost.

In the matter of case-hardening and tempering the forge shop department has increased materially, as there has never been a time in the past when hardened and ground steel work has been as much used in the better qualities of machine construction as at present; and case-hardening has reached such an extent that it is rare to find nuts, cap screws, and the like on any well-constructed machine that are not protected from injury by this valuable process.

While the actual forging work of the forge shop has decreased its scope, it has in a general way much increased in volume, since it is now customary to add to its equipment several machine tools, such as cutting-off machines, forge lathes, heavy turret lathes, cold saws, power hack saws, and other similar machines for roughing out work, which in many instances can be much more economically done by these methods than by confining the operations to forging under the hammer. In this case the appropriate machines for these purposes are included in the equipment of the forge shop and located as will be presently described, and as shown on the plan in Fig. 123.

The foundry floor, the engine foundation, and many of the foundations for machines in the machine shop, should be kept as free from jar, and from shocks sufficiently strong to disturb the ground by vibrations, as possible. For this reason the forge shop is placed as far from these buildings as may be convenient; therefore, in the rear corner of the plant, and opposite the rear end of the machine shop. The spur track from the railroad, which supplies shipping facilities and brings to the plant the raw materials necessary for its use, runs across the rear end of the group of buildings, in the rear of the machine shop and storehouse. It continues in a curve around the rear corner and up the side to the foundry gate, rising, as it goes to a height sufficient for conveniently dumping coal, coke, molding sand, etc., into the storage sheds located along that side, the first of which is shown at the left of the forge shop in Fig. 123. The curve of the railroad track cuts off somewhat of this rear corner of the building space and therefore the forge shop is located far enough from the rear line to accommodate it, and the space so left is utilized for a one-story building containing a space for the forge coal, another for bar stock storage, and the wash room and water-closets.

The forge shop is, like the other buildings of the plant, built of brick, with steel roof construction, the roof trusses being supported in the center by steel columns. It is lighted, not only from the side windows, but from those in the monitor roof, the sashes of which are hung on pivots and controlled by cords reaching nearly to the floor, by which they may be operated when necessary for ventilation. The general plan of the forge shop is clearly shown in Fig. 123, which also shows the contiguous buildings and their positions in reference to the forge shop, as well as the location of the railroad track, and the tram car tracks connecting this department with the railroad tracks in the rear and the other departments toward the front of the plant.

General Plan of Forge Shop, showing Proper Arrangement of the Machine Tools, etc.

Fig. 123. General Plan of Forge Shop, showing Proper Arrangement of the Machine Tools, etc.