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      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  
Daniel Macina

Health issues with coal vs propane.

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Ok I would like to build a coal forge but am concerned about having serious health issues with coal in the long run. Is coal really more dangerous (With proper ventilation.) then say propane or welding fumes? I have two barn doors that open the width of the barn on one side and a normal door on the other. I am also planning on rigging some kind of hood the vent the smoke out the doors. I know coal smoke CAN be dangerous but I also know propane can kill you just as easily. Have you guys that run a coal forge had serious health issues because of it?

 

I just don't want to die a early death because I decided to use coal. Lol. 

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Here's a link to an old video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpeyhC-UIFg

This fellow retired in his 90's after over 70 years forging blades with coal. I don't think many of us will be nearly as good with our hands at that age assuming we can work at all. Assuming we can even walk or talk or use the bathroom without help.

Still worried about an early death? Use proper ventilation and have a decent chimney. Plenty of info on how to do it.

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What Al said.  The doors mean nothing, if you go with coal you need a good chimney with a well-designed hood.  My setup, which is visible several places around here, is a brick and block chimney lined in 12" flue tile with a modified "supersucker" type side draft hood.  Throw a piece of lit newspaper in the hood as preheat just before lighting the coal and you'll never smell coal smoke in the shop.  Overhead hoods are not nearly as good without a booster fan.

If you go with propane you don't need any of that since you have barn doors.  Although it can be nice to have a vent hood for propane as well, it's not required in a mostly open shop.

So: propane is cheaper and less hassle, but coal won't kill you via carbon monoxide poisoning without your knowledge.  

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If you go with propane, do get a CO detector. They are a cheap investment in your health.

 

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i just saw a guy some were that escapes me right now who ended up in the hospital from a badly designed hood over his solid fuel forge prolly wouldn't be a bad idea to get the detector ether way you go

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Thanks guys! I keep flip - flopping on whether or not I'm going to build it or not. We'll see……

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