I'm very new to blacksmithing (first post too), and have had good success with wood in the <10 times I've gotten the "forge" going.
I use a camp fire in the back yard, I've tried side blast, and also have a couple pipes I've drilled one is 3/8" holes the other 1/4". Then this connects to an electric blower fan we already had.
I tend to use short chunks of scrap lumber or pallets but really just use whatever is laying around.
I can consistently get the metal to forging temperatures, but only in a small area, and I am continually poking the coals around, to maintain a nice bed of coals above and below the metal where I want to heat it. So far, getting enough heat in the right place is more challenging than hammering the metal into the correct shape.
New guy introduction - mid 30's family man from western Colorado, mechanical engineer, some experience in fabrication and machining, 1888 Fisher 60 lb anvil, minimal blacksmithing specific tools.