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My family owns 15 aces of land, and it is covered with woods. Would wood be a good fuel for a forge since it can break down and form coals, and would it heat up just as fast or faster than other fuels such as coal or gas?

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Posted (edited)

I use Kingsford briquettes, not an ideal choice but they work. If you have access to Royal oak lump charcoal  I've heard that its really good stuff.

Also, I would recommend a coal forge to start out with, If you use lump charcoal or briquettes, its cheaper than propane, But there are pros and cons to each. If your using coal, it's much easier to burn your metal, it also takes up more room than propane, But I think propane costs more, and it costs way more to make a gas forge than it does a coal forge.

Edited by Conner Michaux

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Forging with wood is essentially forging with charcoal. It's helpful to build a ground fire and collect the hot coals from that fire and transfer them to the forge/fire pot rather than putting unburned wood directly in the forge. The moisture in the wood, even seasoned wood contains moisture, will spit and pop like crazy when you shoot the air to it. Charcoal forges work better with a side blast configuration than bottom blast and require very gentle air flow. A bottom blast coal forge will lift burning charcoal and ash like a volcano and makes a huge mess in your work area. Having said all that, wood is fine. Gentle, side blast air on already burning wood embers will do anything you can do in a smithy. You can forge and weld using wood as fuel. If you're interested in going that rout, do some reading on solid fuel forge design and be prepared to follow age old, proven designs. You wont have to spend any money unless you chose to. If you live on fifteen acres of partially timbered land then everything you need to build a side blast wood burner is already there. Do some reading and post some pictures if you move forward!

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5 minutes ago, MichaelP said:

Forging with wood is essentially forging with charcoal. It's helpful to build a ground fire and collect the hot coals from that fire and transfer them to the forge/fire pot rather than putting unburned wood directly in the forge. The moisture in the wood, even seasoned wood contains moisture, will spit and pop like crazy when you shoot the air to it. Charcoal forges work better with a side blast configuration than bottom blast and require very gentle air flow. A bottom blast coal forge will lift burning charcoal and ash like a volcano and makes a huge mess in your work area. Having said all that, wood is fine. Gentle, side blast air on already burning wood embers will do anything you can do in a smithy. You can forge and weld using wood as fuel. If you're interested in going that rout, do some reading on solid fuel forge design and be prepared to follow age old, proven designs. You wont have to spend any money unless you chose to. If you live on fifteen acres of partially timbered land then everything you need to build a side blast wood burner is already there. Do some reading and post some pictures if you move forward!

Thank you. This was ALOT of help to me.

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Posted (edited)

The price of coal / propane varies depending on regions.  Best to cheak with your local coal yard about pricing if you happen to have a coal yard around you.  The pros and cons of using one or the other will depend on the type of work you want to do.  

I'm a coal guy, but because of local regulations and the space where I work, I had to build a propane forge.   I couldnt build a space to use coal, but I could fit a gas forge into my garage without having to remodel. 

Edited by Daniel W

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