Hey Guys, I got started building a homemade forge a couple years back, stopped when I lost a close family member, and I've just gotten fired up again. I'm operating on a shoestring at the moment so I haven't ordered any coal and I've just been running my forge on charcoal. I believe its the walmart store brand. I've been experimenting with making railroad spike knives and have made several so far. The tools I have a at hand are simple. Beyond my forge I have a simple wheel grinder, and a belt polisher. I've been tuning my forge a bit and have recently started being able to consistently get a good yellow heat. But I'm still having a problem with pitting in the metal. I thought I'd read a couple years back that store bought charcoal had chemicals in it that might do this and that I should make my own if i wanted to use charcoal. Could this be the problem? Could I be making a mistake when hammering/shaping the metal? I did a rough spike knife last night and I'll post is here so that you can see what the problem is. I've tried sanding the pitting out but it tends to be deep enough that unless I'm willing to take off alot of metal it still shows thru. Thanks in advance for any responses.