Everything posted by traditionalblacksmith
Thanks for the replies. When I first started using anthracite I was disappointed to find that it did not form coke because everyone had been telling me that you need to let the coal coke over first. It does not from coke, but does not need to; anthracite is already almost pure carbon and burns hot and clean.
Since bituminous coal is not readily available in my area, I have been using anthracite coal as my main fuel as my primary fuel (charcoal as a secondary) since beginning blacksmithing. I am now sharing some things I've learned so that those who try burning anthracite will not have to go through as much trial and error as I have. Pros of anthracite: Anthracite burns almost as cleanly as coke. Anthracite coal has a very low volatile content and gives of little to no smoke. Fresh anthracite can be added directly on top of the existing fire without any fear. Anthracite is excellent for those with neighbors around since there will be almost no smoke to complain about. Cons of anthracite: Anthracite coal is very hard and dense and does not ignite easily. To overcome this problem, begin lighting the forge with charcoal, then slowly add your anthracite coal. The heat from the burning charcoal will light the anthracite and once it is going, it will burn at well above a welding heat. Anthracite must receive a strong air blast. An electric blower is recommended here but it is possible to use a hand-cranked blower. Lastly, anthracite leaves behind a fair amount of clinker. Clinker must be removed about every two hours. I hope this information helps.
Connor Bachmann here, and I'm back with a new account. I lost my old one, unfortunately So, I've been away at college since August and christmas break starts tomorrow meaning, I get to go home for a month. During that time I will begin building my new shop entirely out of natural materials, using old construction techniques. Also, I'm going to forge some farm tools and maybe try planting a garden over the summer