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what type of coal?????? anthracite or bituminous coal?????

coal bituminous coal anthracite coal

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#1 Trip

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:53 AM

so, I just got my new forge built, but now after just 3 day's of forging, I am out of coal!!!!!!!!! GRRR if it's not one thing its another!! LOL

I found a place that sells coal just down the road, but it is anthracite coal, and from what I read most blacksmiths like bituminous coal.

I have NO idea what type of coal I have been using. I got it from a friend, who gets it from an old school boiler room. All I know about it is, that when lit, it smokes like CRAZY but after a good flame is created there isn't as much smoke, and it takes a little while to form coke. Also it doesn't "cave" like regular blacksmith coal. Got any idea of what I have been using?

The closest place that sells bituminous coal is over a 2 and a half hours drive one way!!!!! and I can only afford a few bags right now, but later on I would like to buy a ton or 2.
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#2 ThomasPowers

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:30 PM

Best smithing coal is metallurgical grade bituminous.

To buy decent coal I have a over 2 hour trip myself; but the seller usually brings a load to our conference or I can get some off another smith making the trip. (our conference is a 2 hour trip the other way; but I;m already making it to go to the conference. I also pick up a bag or two of Sewell Seam when I drive 1500 miles to Quad-State just to punish myself with memories of how good the coal is near to where you are at!)
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#3 jmccustomknives

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:07 PM

There are several grades of coal, of which anthracite is the highest grade there is. Metelurgical bitumous coal is tested for things like sulpher content that can weaken steel. Anthracite has the highest btu's of coal and is the cleanest burning. There's a resturant locally that uses it in there pizza oven, really, I was just as surprised. Anthracite is also the most expensive. That isn't saying that there might be a high sulpher content, but give it a go you might like it.

#4 ThomasPowers

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:22 PM

BEST for what? Anthracite is one of the worst for coking and not nearly as good for forging as a good Bituminous I'd rate it under using plain coke for smithing.

Best is meaningless unless you give the criteria it was graded against

Of course folks have smithed with peat before which is pretty much off the bottom of the coal scale being even below lignite. You use what you have; but personally I'd use charcoal before I'd use anthracite.
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#5 Trip

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:42 PM

How can I tell the difference between Bituminous and Anthracite coal, when I look at it?

I found a place just down the road that sells anthracite coal........ that is if they are still open, I tried to call them and i got a messaged that said their phone was disconnected, so I call the camber of commerce to see if that was true and THEIR phone was disconnected!!!!!! that's not a good sign
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#6 Timothy Miller

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:54 PM

I have worked with both soft and hard coals. It really depends on the quality of the coal. Anthracite of high quality will work well it is basically pure carbon. Buy a sack and try it out. If it works for you use it. I had some very good hard coal that as good as any Bituminous coal I ever used. It was some old stuff I found in a barn I was sad when I ran out. It burned super hot with a blue flame and almost no smoke .

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."  Henry Ford


#7 Trip

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:21 PM

I have worked with both soft and hard coals. It really depends on the quality of the coal. Anthracite of high quality will work well it is basically pure carbon. Buy a sack and try it out. If it works for you use it. I had some very good hard coal that as good as any Bituminous coal I ever used. It was some old stuff I found in a barn I was sad when I ran out. It burned super hot with a blue flame and almost no smoke .


I think I will try out a bag of it...... that is if that place is still open!!!! I have used actual blacksmith coal before, and I liked how it formed a "cave". Will Anthracite coal do that??

Thanks
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#8 Timothy Miller

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:27 PM

No it wont form a cave that was the one down side I adjusted my method and hardly missed it.

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."  Henry Ford


#9 Marksnagel

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:42 AM

I have used both. I have also mixed the two with good results but much rather have bituminous. I had a friend stop by yesterday from West Virginia and brought me @ 100lbs of really nice bituminous. :D

The easter bunny has a beard and is in his late 50's. According to him coal is just laying around waiting to be picked up. KY is not far from WV. The land of milk and coal?

Mark
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#10 Trip

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:00 AM

I have used both. I have also mixed the two with good results but much rather have bituminous. I had a friend stop by yesterday from West Virginia and brought me @ 100lbs of really nice bituminous. :D

The easter bunny has a beard and is in his late 50's. According to him coal is just laying around waiting to be picked up. KY is not far from WV. The land of milk and coal?

Mark


Sounds like you have a good friend, to bring you coal. LOL yeah, on my Google status message I put "I wish Santa would bring me some coal" LOL

I think I have found a good source of coal!!!!! I put an add on Craigs List saying that I was looking for coal, and a few minutes ago a gentleman called and said that he sells lump coal for $0.10 a pound. Is that a good deal, or no???
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#11 Marksnagel

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:51 PM

If it is good coal then I would jump on it like a bum on a balogna sandwich. $5 for 50 lbs? Oh yea!

If you can, get a bag and check it out. Lump coal you will have to break it up first into pea to grape sized pieces. But it breaks up easy. Wear safety glasses. Good luck.
His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of a mans work. -- Paul the apostle.

#12 Trip

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:34 PM

Well I just got done trying it out, it is the WIERDEST coal I have EVER seen, I have NOOOOO idea what it is. It is really shiney, dark DARK black, not much dust, it will coke & will "cave" up.

All I do know is that I got 500LBs for $50, and it burns double barrel HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The first metal I heated was a piece of 1/2" square, and it took NO time at all to get it to a forging heat!!!!!

SO far so good!!!!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!!!
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#13 pkrankow

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:47 PM

You got a deal, and you got the goods.

Ask what the particulars are of the source of the coal next time.

Phil
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#14 Trip

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:23 PM

You got a deal, and you got the goods.

Ask what the particulars are of the source of the coal next time.

Phil


I asked him what type of coal it is, and he just said, "western Kentucky Lump Coal".????

Just a few minutes ago, an old man called me, and is giving me 1,000 pounds of Bituminous coal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That will give me 1,500 pounds!!!

Question, how long will 1,500 pounds of coal last me???
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#15 Timothy Miller

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:33 PM

I burn about 30 to 50 lbs a day in an 8 hour shift.

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#16 pkrankow

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:38 PM

I burn about 30 to 50 lbs a day in an 8 hour shift.

What is that 5-10 gallons?
Phil
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#17 Timothy Miller

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:20 AM

Not sure my coal comes in a 50 lb bag. A normal day seems to be about 2/3 of a sack if I am really going at it I will just about burn up a full bag.

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."  Henry Ford


#18 matto

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:40 AM

you have to know that anthracite is the best, it has the lowest ash and mosture levels and the highest carbon content of the four coals ( lignite aka brown coal aka boiler coal, very high ash and moisture content low carbon great for heating. sub-bituminous little less ash and moisture content than lignite. bituminous is soft coal has very little ash and mosture content with good btus and great coking ability aka blacksmiths coal aka metelugical coal. anthracite highest carbon lowest ash and moisture content. almost straight coke so you have to use it as using coke in the fire not so much as using coal. it's coke abitity is not that good beause it is as close to coke as you can get with out being coke.) as far as my knowlege goes anthracite is not mined much any more but there are a few mine starting up again, it is usually cost more.

mod note : people refer to bituminous coal as soft coal and anthracite as hard coal

#19 SReynolds

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:38 AM

I have used both and they each have a purpose. The hard coal burns hot enough and gives off nary little smoke, no fly ash and hardly a clinker. It will not coke and therefor you have a tough time to shape the fire. It is nearly impossible to start. I really work at that. A large wood fire is my only hope.

The soft stuff is very dirty. Lots of smoke and loads of fly ash. Makes a real mess.However, i can shape the fire to my needs as it cokes very well and lights easily. You just have to deal with the mess and manage the fire as it spreads easily and take care to feed only fresh coke in or you'll have all this smoke and flame from the green coal.

Somebody, already likely, mentioned this........
"Don't have such an open mind that your brains spill out"

#20 Trip

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

Hey yall,
Thanks for the input!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I made a video yesterday about the coal, hoping it would give yall a better idea of what in the world it is.

Thanks,
Trip
Part time blacksmith,
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