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I CAN NOT GET MY COAL FORGE TO STAY LIT!

SOMBODY HELP!

Edited by nathan doss
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Referencing the other thread, just a shallow layer of coal might be the problem.

 

If your coal is any good, a deep fire should remain for a long time. It might go out over a long lunch break, but I've never had a coal fire go out on its own while working.

 

Really bad coal is a possibility, so deepen it up and see if that helps any.

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sounds like I need to deepen my forge.

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3 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

What's your air source?  Firepot design?  

It's a hand powered blower, the fire pot is a 9 by 6 by 3 bread pan 

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12 hours ago, nathan doss said:

It's a hand powered blower, the fire pot is a 9 by 6 by 3 bread pan 

 

How are you getting the air into the fire?  The bread pan is a fine size, it just needs to be set in a larger table of dirt/clay/brick/whatever so you can really pile on the coal.  My commercial firepot is 8x10x4, set in a steel table.  In use, there's maybe 4-6" of coal mounded up over it.  The steel goes in the top couple of inches.

 

Your blast can come in from the bottom or low on the side.  It just needs to be high volume and low in the pot.  My hand-crank blower is connected to the firepot with 3" flex duct.

 

How are you set up?

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4 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

How are you set up?

 

16589373939753021043559365680632.jpg

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Gotcha.  You need to set the pan into a table so you can pile the coal high, and that slot in the pipe needs to be like 1/2" wide or you'll never get enough air in there to sustain a hot fire.

 

Here's mine:

 

Empty:

 

coal forge firepot.jpg

 

and with optimal coal piled on.

 

coal forge optimal coal.jpg

 

You should have about a five gallon bucketful of coal up there.  You may be able to run yours with charcoal, but it still needs more depth.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

You should have about a five gallon bucketful of coal up there.

What kind of coal do you use? And how did you get it?

Edited by nathan doss
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That's Blue Gem metallurgical bituminous.  I live in coal country, but I still have to drive an hour to pick it up.  I usually get half a ton at a time, lasts me a year or so depending on how much I'm forging.  

 

You, sir, need to hook up with these guys: https://nmaba.clubexpress.com/

They are in Albuquerque and would love to get you up and running.  They'll have contacts for local coal, classes, tools, and so on.  Looks like the next meeting is Saturday August 6. Go!

 

I can't emphasis enough how important it is to hook up with your local smith's guild.  We're everywhere, we just don't advertise.  Some guilds don't do blades, some emphasize them, but all will welcome you and I promise, the time it takes off your learning curve is amazing.  You'll learn more working one hour under professional supervision than you can in a year of YouTube or reading us here. It's that important.  If you can take a class, that will set you years ahead.  Too bad Frank Turley up in Santa Fe died.  He was a master, and taught like one.  I'm sure there's more, you're in art central.  If you don't mind the drive, of course.

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I just saw that you have Rob Gunter as a member, up in Los Alamos.  He is another master, and he still teaches!  This is like trying to teach yourself oil painting when Rembrant lives two hours up the road and offers classes...

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Are you fixed on using coal?  I've worked in coal a couple of times, which tells you I know just enough to know that I don't know anything, but I've got 30 years of working in gas.  There are a ton of resources here about gas forges, so you might consider going that route.

 

Geoff

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"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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5 hours ago, Geoff Keyes said:

Are you fixed on using coal? 

I am pretty fixed. there seems to be to much that can go wrong with gas forges. also I think it's cheaper and less hassle. but please correct me if I'm wrong. 

thank you so much for all the replies everybody! :D

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8 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Gotcha.  You need to set the pan into a table so you can pile the coal high, and that slot in the pipe needs to be like 1/2" wide or you'll never get enough air in there to sustain a hot fire.

how did you get your coal forge?

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Forges are where you find them.  Check out this and this.  BTW, a leaf blower is about 100 times more air than you need

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"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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9 hours ago, nathan doss said:

how did you get your coal forge?

 

Bought a firepot from Centaur Forge, found an antique hand crank blower, built the rest.  

 

As for coal versus propane, they both have their advantages and disadvantages, but coal is rough on the neighbors, and getting more expensive all the time. It's dirty, it takes a good 20 minutes after lighting until it's ready to forge, and another 20 to put out safely when you're done.  But it's hotter (not always good!) and can handle spot heats and large odd shapes.

Propane is clean, if you design your forge right you can be working within 5 minutes of lighting it, and when you're done just turn it off and walk away.  It can be loud, and you are a little limited in the size of things you can get in the forge (no broadaxes, but swords are fine). It's easy to get, and safer than you'd think.

 

Go to that meeting next saturday. It'll help you immensely. 

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On 7/27/2022 at 1:39 PM, nathan doss said:

What kind of coal do you use

A salient question.  If you are using anthracite coal instead of bituminous it is often a problem to keep the coal lit, particularly with a small hand cranked blower like you have, since that type of coal needs a fairly constant airflow to keep lit.

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3 hours ago, Dan Hertzson said:

since that type of coal needs a fairly constant airflow to keep lit.

I have noticed that^_^ 

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On 7/28/2022 at 5:24 AM, Alan Longmire said:

and safer than you'd think.

I wish my Dad would realize that:lol:

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