WNC Goater

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About WNC Goater

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    Western NC
  1. My 2 cents... Harbor Freight is not your friend. That's all. Okay, with the possible exception of consumables like grinding/cutting discs, welding gloves, etc. MAYBE a hammer. But NO to any power tools. Get something name brand.
  2. Okay, so cooking down soft bituminous blacksmithing coal produces coke. Cooking down hard anthracite coal (which isn't typically used for blacksmithing) produces the "industrial coke" which burns and behaves differently. I assume it burns hotter, (?) and using THAT would necessitate a thicker or beefed up firepot & forge components. Is this correct? If so, it all makes sense now.
  3. But these are 24" x 24" "portable" forges. So I would not guess these to be industrial equipment. Again though, there is a difference between coke and the coke that forms from burning coal in a forge? link removed
  4. Curiously looking at Centaur forge site. They have "Coal" forges and "Coke" forges. My question is, why would there be a difference? I'm new to forging with coal but my understanding is as you tend your fire, the coal converts to coke and the coke is actually what produces the "fireball" in the fire pot where we do the actual heating of the metal. I've just recently found a source for coal and in using it I have experienced that transformation from coal to coke (and clinker too). So what would be the necessity of a "coke" forge vs. a "coal" forge? Here's quotes from their site; The coke forge- "The Heavy Duty Firebowl is cast an extra 1/4" thicker than the Centaur Vulcan or Mini firebowls to hold up to the higher heat when you burn coke." The coal forge- "The Centaur Vulcan Firepot is the most popular choice for blacksmithing, made to use with blacksmith Coal. You can burn Coke in this firepot occationally, but if you burn Coke regularly, the bowl will crack sooner." So perhaps there is the answer to my question but still, is the coal not converting to coke and is that not what we are actually producing our forging heat with?
  5. Yes I believe it can be downsized (or upsized) depending on need, just as John McPherson said ^above^. Just depends on what you need. FWIW, and certainly not the most efficient way of producing charcoal, I just built a fire in my firepit and shoveled coals into a bucket of water and then dumped on some 1/4" wire mesh to spread and dry. In no time I had a couple of 5 gallon buckets full. And there is the rub, what do you want it for? A forge can burn through a five gallon bucket of charcoal fairly quickly, like in a couple of hours of continuous forging. So I guess it just depends on volume need.
  6. I plugged a Walmart pool inflator into a sewing machine foot pedal to power my forge. Step on the pedal, motor blows to power the tuyere. Step off when hammering the hot steel. Those little motors are handy too. Years ago I built a small lathe with two little pillow block bearings for turning cork fishing rod handles. Worked great. Could also use one to build a makeshift forge fan.
  7. I've bought from this place before and gotten good service. http://www.hightemptools.com/index.html
  8. That you did! Congratulations in a great deal!
  9. LOL! Well that would help in one instance. It's that pesky hot scale that makes you do "the dance" though!
  10. ...or that firepot.
  11. In the SE USA probably our most famous "collections" of gates, if you will, are in the Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA areas. As mentioned above, many are associated with cemeteries, churches, plantations, universities, and historic homes. https://www.pinterest.com/debbiecalcutt/charleston-gates/?lp=true There is even a line of silver jewelry called Southern Gates that is inspired by the historic wrought iron work in the Charleston area.
  12. And that's about all that needs to be said about that. Trust me on this one.
  13. It works great. The air tank could just be lined with clay and a "V" trench built but I get more depth with the bricks as you can see they extend a bit higher than the sides of the tank, which would be the limit of clay. I'm learning each time better how to manage the fire, keeping a fireball localized and conserving charcoal. I pile charcoal around and to the sides slowly pushing that into the hot spot as needed. Still it's a hungry little devil and you can burn a 5 gallon bucket of charcoal in just a couple hours. I'd like to try it with coal. As Frosty noted, I could have just let it be a side blast instead of having the long pipe across the bottom. Didn't know that at the time I originally built this. It WAS inspired by the Whitlox and thus, the long pipe at the bottom. Removing that long pipe and replacing with a 1" side blast would give me about 2" more depth. As it is I'll leave it but if I ever do it again, I'll consider that usable extra depth. This was mostly an experiment that actually works surprisingly well.
  14. I hesitate to call this a "build". As you can see it's just some parts cobbled together. Half an old air tank, a pipe tuyere in the bottom. Then some sand and kitty litter with firebrick from Tractor supply laid on top. Old vacuum cleaner hose fits into the end of the pipe and a WalMart air mattress inflator supplies air at the other end. I hook that to an old sewing machine pedal. Step on it and it blows. Step off & it stops while you're pounding the steel. I've used it with charcoal. It can be used with wood scraps as well, just easier to tend the fire with charcoal. It will get hot enough to melt the steel. It's all atop an old drill press base and table. The Maxwell House can has a 25# bag of bird shot in it just to stabilize in case I bump into it but it's pretty stable without. Note I have bolts installed to block air holes. Those can be removed if I want a long fire. Maybe $20 excluding the air mattress inflator. Most of it was junk I had around.
  15. Oh my, it scares me watching that aluminum bubble and boil like that. One "pop" and molten metal is spattered all over. Scary stuff.