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#31 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2015 - 06:02 AM

Any tips on running coal in a forge?
My son was recently given a forge and we went thru two bags of "good" (bagged) charcoal goofing around, but the heat wasn't what I was expecting. No way it would've melted steel. It took a long time to get it cherry and it wasn't brilliant cherry
I think it was to much or to little air, but we only had the one evening of good off time.
The guy who owned it before side commented that he like to run coal in it... I didnt know enough to pin him down as to why.
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#32 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2015 - 06:38 AM

I know a fellow who uses waste oil/ squirrel cage blower to fire his forge...and it gets the needed temp quickly. Nice pieces trowel!

That I would be interested in as I can get waste oil easier than coal. Got the squirrel cage fans!


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#33 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2015 - 06:45 AM

There is a reason the bloomery forges and furnaces moved away from Car coal to coal, the bags of the pressed sawdust types will never rais the temp to heat steel, hardwood of old growth burned in pits and sprayed with water is the best. The fruit wood and other tight grained wood makes the best and low in ash.

 

Coking coal was the best, no longer available in most states but you are in luck, PA still retains the best type of coal to coke over, Slate Bituminous coal. I coked over almost pure Oil Anthracite coal in my small coke retort, it was mined from south west PA near the base of the Appalachian Mountain ranges. This type I could forge weld with, low in impurities and ash boron and silica flux could be brushed on high carbon steel. Sometimes the silica/mag alloyed steel could be smelted in the Cupola to burn out the alloys, fluxed with raw iron ore, limestone and boron or mag/copper and/or high Mag/iron (engine blocks) and casted into billions to be chucked into the Bloomery forge (converted coal forge) and worked back into high carbon steel for forging.

 

My 5 1/2 bore cupola was rendered useless when coke prices skyrocketed in early 2000 so I built the little 4 inch bore with lower wind belt and upcomer risers to compensate for the higher melting temps and faster shots from the very hard low ash state anthracite coal. Slag bridging between the tuyeres was a pain and the addition of a slag tap helped extending the runs to a half hour, 16 shots depending on the metal being casted and if it was raw or clean recast and fluxed.

 

The same rule of thumb is to be applied with coal forges, I adapted two commercial pan type forges for my favorite type of general forging coal, slate Anthracite coal. Regardless of what the brand and type, the bagged types from hardwear stores are high in impurities hence it being so cheap per ton, good enough for general hobby forging and coal heating stoves. The tuyere should be of the rolling block type with low fire pot unless the softer Bituminous coal is used the a deeper firepot is needed. The homebuilt one lined firepot with 25/75 % mixed ratio fireclay / silica sand from a semi truck brake drum had a removable firepot ring for different applications, forging and types of coal. Slagging will bridge the tuyere so a ''poker'' is used to keep the tuyere clear. Sparks emitting from the fire pot usually means the coal is of low grade with the impurities being burn off and a sure sign of slag build up. I found a lined fire pot reacts differently to different grades of coal as opposed to the unlined. With no metal to react against the coal tended to burn out the carbon more.


Edited by trowel, May 17, 2015 - 06:47 AM.

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#34 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2015 - 06:47 AM

Any tips on running coal in a forge?
My son was recently given a forge and we went thru two bags of "good" (bagged) charcoal goofing around, but the heat wasn't what I was expecting. No way it would've melted steel. It took a long time to get it cherry and it wasn't brilliant cherry
I think it was to much or to little air, but we only had the one evening of good off time.
The guy who owned it before side commented that he like to run coal in it... I didnt know enough to pin him down as to why.

Above post.



#35 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2015 - 06:56 AM

I hate to cut this off so quick, but I must prep for work. In leaving I encourage you all to continue to investigate forging, for garden tractors and as a week end hobby making cool stuff.

 

I will try to guild and advise when I can.


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