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I’ve been using a circular coal forge with an under attached blower to do my bladesmithing.  I was wondering if anyone had any tips on using coal. 
 

I want to get the most out of it, so tips on burning coal for longer and hotter would be greatly appreciated, as well as any tips on just generally using a coal forge. Maybe there is something simple I could be doing that would change my bladesmithing for the better. 
 

I use the black smithing coal from Centuar Forge primarily. It seems to work really well, but it is the only blacksmithing coal I’ve used. If anyone has any tips on getting better and cheaper coal from somewhere else, I would also really appreciate that as well. 

Thank you for reading!

 

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4 hours ago, Lucas Denton said:

tips on burning coal for longer and hotter

Well, this is kinda an ‘or’ situation. More air flow is ‘hotter’, less is ‘longer’. There are a lot of fire management videos on YouTube that are worth a watch. A couple of photos of you current setup may help; both cold and clean to see the firepot and also one or two in operation.

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as someone who started out as a complete noob, I learned that more is less, when it comes to fuel.

(at least thats how it seems for me when using charcoal)

 

how do I describe this...
imagine the steel is a piece of fish and the charcoal is your..fire.
if you burn only a little amount it will take longer to cook the fish and you have to keep adding more coals to it, so it burns longer yes but is less effective and ultimately uses up more time and money while doing much less work.

having "the right amount" of fuel in relation to the size of the pieces you're working with is something that will greatly benefit you.

I dont know how much info there is on this^ maybe its too basic...
more is less, dont be too shy with trying to save fuel/money.

 

rule of thumb I could say...(w charcoal)

you want your fuel stacked about 2-3 times the size of the stock you're putting in.

maybe.

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Sounds like a rivet forge?  Pics would indeed help.  Leon has a good point about the amount of fuel in the forge, and I know with a rivet forge you can't really pile it on without some modifications.  Coal is also a lot more dense than charcoal, but you do still need a couple of inches of coal below the steel and an inch or more above it.  

 

And as Charles said, more air equals more heat, but also more oxidation unless your fire is deep enough to handle it.

 

Centaur's coal is decent stuff, but almost anywhere else will be cheaper.  I used my superpowers to look at your IP address to find out where you are (perhaps the most important thing to know when giving advice on where to get coal!), and it shows you near Cleveland, TN, is that right?  If so, you need to go join your local blacksmith's guild ASAP.  It's in Chattanooga, and meets on the first Thursday of every month: https://aacblacksmiths.org/event/choo-choo-forge-mtg/, or here https://www.facebook.com/choo.forge/ if you do Facebook (I don't).  They can hook you up with coal, equipment, and skill.  There's also a coalyard in Knoxville that does smithing coal, and a couple in western NC.  If you REALLY want the best price, there's a mine in SW Virginia that will sell you a dump truck full at the tipple, but you have to supply the truck.  Anywhere that sells it by the bag, expect $15-$20 per bag.  By the ton, about half that.

 

That goes for everyone, really.  If you don't absolutely have to go it alone, join your local guild!  your skill level will increase far faster than it could with just watching videos.

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

Sounds like a rivet forge?  Pics would indeed help.  Leon has a good point about the amount of fuel in the forge, and I know with a rivet forge you can't really pile it on without some modifications.  Coal is also a lot more dense than charcoal, but you do still need a couple of inches of coal below the steel and an inch or more above it.  

 

And as Charles said, more air equals more heat, but also more oxidation unless your fire is deep enough to handle it.

 

Centaur's coal is decent stuff, but almost anywhere else will be cheaper.  I used my superpowers to look at your IP address to find out where you are (perhaps the most important thing to know when giving advice on where to get coal!), and it shows you near Cleveland, TN, is that right?  If so, you need to go join your local blacksmith's guild ASAP.  It's in Chattanooga, and meets on the first Thursday of every month: https://aacblacksmiths.org/event/choo-choo-forge-mtg/, or here https://www.facebook.com/choo.forge/ if you do Facebook (I don't).  They can hook you up with coal, equipment, and skill.  There's also a coalyard in Knoxville that does smithing coal, and a couple in western NC.  If you REALLY want the best price, there's a mine in SW Virginia that will sell you a dump truck full at the tipple, but you have to supply the truck.  Anywhere that sells it by the bag, expect $15-$20 per bag.  By the ton, about half that.

 

That goes for everyone, really.  If you don't absolutely have to go it alone, join your local guild!  your skill level will increase far faster than it could with just watching videos.

I had no idea! I will look into this immediately!

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