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coal or charcoal....


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#1 Sabre

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:44 AM

well latley i have wonderd...... whatrs better? i mean everyone has there own oppinion but what i really want to know it whitch burns hotter?

Does coal burn slower and last longer than charcoal?

because i will have to sped $129 for 3 50 pound bags of coal because they have a limit of $100 at the place... the cost per bag is $41.99....

as for charcoal i buy it in 18 pound bags for $14....
so i can get 198 pounds of charcoal for the same price as 150 pounds of coal!

this ones all up to you folks so you decide....:o

#2 JohnW

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 10:26 AM

No, coal burns quite a bit hotter than charcoal. Maybe somebody can give us some numbers here, but coal burns like white hot and charcoal is like yellow hot.

The size of the fire is also usually different with coal and charcoal. Of course you can make the fire any size you want, but I believe it's easier to use coal to heat a small part of your piece so that you can work like 4" with back up heat on either side. When using charcoal, it's easy to heat a long length, like a whole bowie knife (or half) or something.
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#3 Lefty

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:05 AM

I like coal because there is no ash getting blown out of the fire pot like you would get with charcoal. And it's a lot cheaper here also.

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Forge it thick and grind it thin.

#4 easilyconfused

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:55 AM

There are a few things to consider such as the quality of each product. You can burn metal in a charcoal fire just fine, using soft or hard wood but hardwood being the hotter with a smaller amount of charcoal. Since you use more charcoal so for the prices and amounts you quoted, you may be better going with the coal depending on it's quality. You also need to consider the area you're in too. Charcoal is more acceptable it seems since people will think you're just having a bonfire, that is if your area allows backyard fire pits. It also depends on what you want. Charcoal is more historically correct for most periods but coal is hotter and faster for production work imo. Ultimately, the choice is up to you but I would go with good coal if I was paying for charcoal. Luckily, i get it for free and i keep the farmyard clean at the same time.

#5 S.Willis

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 01:56 PM

I am with others. Go with coal. You can get a lot more finished products out of 50# of coal than you can 50# of charcoal.
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#6 Finnr

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 03:34 PM

Coal.
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#7 Frosty

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:19 PM

Practice and be proficient with them all. They all have their pluses and minuses to consider so you might as well find out first hand. Soon enough you'll find your favorite, however you'll be able to use anything which is by far and a way better for you.

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#8 civilwarblacksmith

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:29 PM

Coal is the better way to go if you are in a situation to use it such a rural area. I live in a townhouse developement so I have to use either charcoal, coke, or gas.

You will burn more charcoal to do the same project that you would with coal, meaning that to do the same job is costing you more.

The amount that you are paying for coal seems alot to me. Something you might think about is join a local blacksmith guild if you have one in your area. The guild I'm with buys a bulk load (this year was 26 ton) and we sell it to our members at $7 a 50lb bag.

Here is some guilds in your area. I don't know how close you are to them.

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

KOOTENAY BLACKSMITH'S ASSOCIATION
Pres: Chris Waters
Chinook Country Forge
Site 113, Box 12, RR 3
Sundre, AB
CANADA T0M 1X0
(403) 638-3529
[email protected]

Ed: Jesse Ellingson
Box 775
Nelson, BC
CANADA V1L 5R4
[email protected]




VANCOUVER ISLAND BLACKSMITH'S ASSOCIATION
VIBA Office:
VIBA
1040 Marwood Avenue
Victoria, BC
CANADA V9C-3C4

Pres: Charlie Dowdeswell
#53-2911 Sooke Lake Rd.
Victoria, BC
CANADA V8B 4R5
(250) 478-2460
[email protected]

Ed: Dennis Gillett
1212 Garden Gate Drive
Brentwood Bay, BC
CANADA V8M 2H6
(250) 544-4816
dgille[email protected]

Vancouver Island Blacksmith's Association (VIBA)

Reb

www.civilwarblacksmith.com
www.bgcmonline.org


#9 NeatGuy

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 08:00 PM

You can also buy coal from "Roberts bank" at about $120/ton (that price may not be current) the only problem is you have to buy a minimum of 10 tons. Contact Gerrard at the Kwantlen college farrier school he may be able to help you.

#10 son_of_bluegrass

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 08:12 PM

Coal and charcoal have nearly the same BTU value per pound (my pocket reference lists 24.74 million BTU/ton for coal and 25 million BTU/ton for charcoal). However charcoal is much less dense so you will be feeding the fire more often and use a greater volume of charcoal. They both have an upper limit of around 4000 degrees F which is much hotter than anything you would normally need. Coal puts out more smoke when is cokes off (charcoal is already "coked"). Charcoal needs much less air to get hot and really works better with side blast and good insulation.

I use coal for 3 reasons. 1 I can make it myself so cost is time invested, 2 my current set up won't adequetly vent the coal smoke without a fan and 3 goo coal can be a real bear to find 'round these parts.

ron

#11 Sabre

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:18 PM

hey son of bluegrass dont you mean you use charcoal not coal?

and i think that i will try coal as soon as i get back from calafornia on the
19th of july...

thats where i am now.

thanks and i will keep in touch!

sabre.:P

#12 Finnr

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:13 AM

Hint: Start your first coal fire with a bit of your charcoal. It will get you going a bit faster.
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#13 Sabre

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:53 AM

good idea fin

#14 ThomasPowers

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 03:46 PM

What S.O.B said! If you measure by volume you go through more charcoal than coal. If you measure by weight it should be about the same save that charcoal keeps burning more when the blower is off.

As for historicity, the switch from charcoal to cole took place in the high middle ages according to Gies and Gies in "Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel" though charcoal continued and continues to be used through today due to ease of use and availability, (try to mine coal on a coral island--but you can make coconut husk charcoal.)

As for heat, in a properly built and blown charcoal forge you can easily reach welding heat, traditionally made japanese swords are welded up using softwood charcoal to this day; or even melt steel as the wootz makers did 1000 years ago. Now if you use charcoal in a forged optimized for coal, or vice versa you may get the feeling that the fuel in the wrong forge is "weaker".
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#15 son_of_bluegrass

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:43 PM

Yes I meant charcoal.

ron

#16 Sabre

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:12 PM

ithought so




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