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  1. Hi. I am from south Alabama (Brewton Area) and want to start blacksmithing. The first thing I need to do is build a forge. I have not been able to find coal for sale south of Bessemer (which is a pretty long haul for me). I have tried every option I can think of. I even thought about ordering off the internet, but shipping and handling KILLS me! I thought about a gas forge also. I even built a blower torch and a forge body, ordered 24lbs of kast-o-lite (it was not enough to do my forge, and by the looks of it S&H is going to KILL me again). Also, I like the idea of a coal forge more than gas. Does anybody know where I can find coal around my area? Like I said, I have tried EVERY source I can think of, researched for weeks, and called businesses all around. I even called a company from mobile that deals only in coal, but the manager said he couldnt help me with small orders. I actually even walked about 8miles of RR tracks, but to no avail. Is there anyone on this forum that can help me? Or should I just nut up and make the trip to Bessemer?
  2. Good Morning all, I got a bag of blacksmithing coal a few weeks ago and tried it out last night. The good is my forge is out side and not under an overhang. The bad is it is low to the ground, about 2' high. I tried to stay out of the way of all the yellow smoke from the sulfur and green coal but I guess I did not do a good enough job. This morning I feel a shortness of breath but no burning or dryness I have read about. So do I need to go to the doctor where I will, no doubt get a chest x-ray, since they got to pay for the device some how, or should I see how I feel tomorrow?
  3. I got my coal forge from a neighbor farm that was long sense non operational. I've use it a hand full of times the way it sits, burning only coal. The forge does have the word "CLAY" cast into it, but I have never thought much of it. My questions are.... -Should I have the forge lined with refractory clay of some type? -Am I safe to burn coke in this forge without clay? -Where can I get refractory clay/ how can I make it? Thank you!
  4. Well, this is the finished product of my first solid fuel forge. Here are a few pics and am looking for constructive criticism as I am still learning. It seems to work great and I can heat steel very quickly when it's hot. Want to upgrade to a real forge blower, but can't afford yet.
  5. Brake Drum Forge I am relatively new to the Black Smithing community and have been looking for ways to build a simple, cheap (economically) Forge. The design I have decided to use is a Solid Fuel Charcoal Forge. I recently acquired a brake drum and am planning to either sit it or weld it into a sheet of steel, around 3/16 thick. That is what I plan to do and I would like to know what you guys think and if you have any suggestions please don't hold back, just don't be rude. Thanks! Jakob I. Here is a picture of the drum and 2 RR spikes I found.
  6. I am building what will be a stationary, long term forge. Here is my idea on paper and some photos of what I'm using. I would like any advise I can get.
  7. Hello all, I have recently decided to scrap my super cheap forge I rigged from an outdoor fireplace. I'm trying to get a medium sized forge that I will basically only use for forge welding since welding heats are far too difficult to attain in my propane forge. My shop is definitely permanently established so I decided I will make the forge out of bricks and mortar, since I have no access to a welder. Also, I'm trying to keep cost to a minimum since, well, money doesn't grow on trees for the hobby blacksmith. I have a few things I would greatly appreciate if ya'll could help me with them. First of all, what the heck am I supposed to use for a firepot/tuyere assembly? This one has really been stumping me. I don't want to use a brake drum really because it didn't work well for me last time I attempted to use it. Also, it's not quite deep enough for my purposes of wanting to forge weld a lot. Also, finding steel pipe above an inch in diameter that ISN'T galvanized is nearly impossible and I cherish my health so I won't be using that. Please let me know any means of obtaining a solid way of achieving this without the galvanized steel and a welder. Also, if it isn't possible for cheap either then let me know! It's part of the hobby I guess... Secondly, I can't figure out what to use for a blower. I used to use a shop-vac and I felt like I needed to wear earplugs after extended use of it in my shop. It's loud and obnoxious. What means of achieving a strong enough airflow to forge weld do you guys recommend? I also have access to lots of firebricks and refractory cement just to let you know. Thank you guys so much for any help you give. I greatly appreciate the time you take to read and/or reply to this. Also, please ignore any grammatical errors. I've been out of school for a few weeks now and my brain has transformed into summer mode... :P Thanks so much! Ryan
  8. My first knife ever I made this with home made charcol in a home made forge on a rail road track and a 4 lb sledge, all finnish work was done with files and wet stones.
  9. My second knife ever I made this with home made charcol in a home made forge on a rail road track and a 4 lb sledge, all finnish work was done with files and wet stones. The finnish is bassically toasted on olive oil wile I was heat treating it I quenched it in olive oil then baked it and it's actually a really durable finnish. Sorry for crappy photo quality.
  10. Hello, Need some help in finding smithing coal near Chicago, IL. Any ideas?
  11. I'm a hobby level smith in North Georgia, with a small brake disc forge I made by modifying a lawnmower. It works great, but I have trouble getting coal. The closest blacksmith coal, (pea size anthracite) takes around a 3 hour trip, and is around 20 bucks for a fifty lb sack. Or I can go 25 minutes away and get a 40 lb bag of heating coal (also anthracite) for less than 7 bucks. First thing I learned about lighting coal, is that it's hard as all get out to light heating coal and keep it going. So, I usually end up buying the heating stuff and busting it up with a hammer and a boulder. Grant you, I've learned tricks to get faster, but this sucks. I've played with making charcoal, but it's time intensive, and burns up a lot more quickly (although I love to use it to start the fire). I've made gas burners, (mostly for casting) but had trouble getting past 2200 degrees. What do you do? Does the bigger stuff work for you?
  12. I just recently built a brake rotor forge. Can I use coal in it even if I don't have a clinker breaker? would it be a problem if I don't have one? I attached a picture of my fire pot.
  13. I figured I'd go ahead and show my progress with my forge and let people make suggestions or critiques. I am open to any and all opinions... and don't worry, I don't get XXXX hurt easily. Firstly... just because the title says $0.00 doesn't mean I am insistant on not spending any money to build it, just that I haven't had to yet. I do need to keep it as cheap as I can, but if I end up needing to buy something I will. So far I've put my firepot and piping togethether, cut a hole in the 4' x 8' metal table I had sitting unused out in the shed and have gathered the materials I intend to build my anvil 'stand' (a wood block made from nine 4"x4" square posts bolted and strapped together on end.). I still need to come up with a hood and flue. Thinking of using the inner shell of an old gas oven for the sides and back. Would cut a pass-through hole in the back for long stock. Anyway, here are the pictures. (The 'lid' is an old plow disc. It fits over the brake drum perfectly... 1/4" overhang all around.)
  14. I have a question for all of you experienced blacksmiths, my brother has been experimenting with forging using a firepit and bricks as a makeshift forge. He asked me if i would like to come out and help make a knife with him out of a railroad spike. Long story short i got hooked on blacksmithing. Anyway's we have recently required a nice metal tank and were thinking about making it into a better forge than the fire pit that we have been working out of. We are thinking of cutting the top half of the tank off and using the bottom half as our new forge. My question is to prevent the coal from heating through the metal at its high temps, would lining the sides using wood ash as a refractory be sufficient enough to run a safe forge to make knives in? Or do i need to coat it in something else or nothing at all? Hope that makes sense and thanks!
  15. Im finally done building my shop and wanna put a permanent forge in it but dont wanna spend a ton of money but dont want one that looks like u set it on top of a bar stool and taped it together.I need some ideas and im new to blacksmithing. Any help would be great. thanks
  16. After some failed attempts at trying my hand at Google-fu I've come up with nothing so I'll just ask, sorry if it's a repost.. :lol: Just picked up my first portable forge with a champion blower tonight after playing around with my old brake drum setup and I'd like to try my hand at using coal as a fuel. I've been using Cowboy charcoal along with my own when I get the wood to make it and while searching I noticed that they sell both bags of coal and bags of coke. Knowing that coke is the bi-product of burning the impurities out of coal, is there any advantage to buying straight coke vs buying the same weight in coal and coking it myself? I've never lit a coal fire myself or forged with it so I'm wanting to give it a shot and figured I'd consult a few experts on the matter before making my purchase. Thanks in advance, just in my time lurking here I've learned tons of little tips and tricks that has saved me a lot of headaches not having to figure out on my own!
  17. hello there. just started in blacksmithing and i am trying to order coal for the forge, because i am from Cyprus the price of coal is very expensive here because there is only one supplier in my area with no competition so he sets the price to one euro per kg so i thought it will be a better choice to order online a tone or two tones of coal from Alibaba.com. the supplier asked me some questions which i do not have the knowledge to answer. the questions are: 1. coal fixed carbon content? 2. Sulphur Content? 3. Volatile Matter? 4. Ash Content? 5. Size? and which one is best to get, Calcined Coal ,Coal,Anthracite Coal? can someone help me answer these questions? any help would be appreciated. thanks in advance.
  18. Hey guys, now I finally installed the smoke flue I ordered. It is not yet 100% finished, cause it needs to be stabilized, the hole in the roof has to be made tight and the flue needs a roof. But it already does its job great! Thank you again for your good advise! Here are a few pics of the installation: If you want to built a similar installation and need some advise feel free to ask! - Daniel
  19. Hey Folks, today I got two bags from a company called "PPS Stade" located in the near of Hamburg Germany. One bag bituminous coal from Sweden and one bag blacksmith coke. Of course I inspected the coal and the coke by taking one glass of each and look through it. The coal is very clean and has no "stuff" in it. But the one glass of coke contained three stones, one white one (I think quartz) with black dots and one looking like flint stone and one that looks kind of like basalt. Of course the stones originally appeared black from the dust but I felt that they are different from the coke and washed them. My question now is whether that is normal and acceptable or whether I will have to raise a complaint against the coal supplier where I bought the stuff? I mean I actually paid money for stones that will have no heating function but clock up my forge... Here are some pictures: Thak you for your advise in anticipation! - Daniel
  20. Hello, all, I'm a new blacksmith, and since I'm probably wasting a lot of energy using poor form with the hammer, I get tired out quickly. After 15 or 30 minutes of forging, I'm tired. As a result, I probably spend more time starting a fire than actually using the fire. So my question is, what is the best way to put the coke/coal fire out, in order to save as much fuel as possible, and to be safest, etc.? Should I dump a bunch of water on it? Will it go out if I spread out the "duck's nest" center of the fire, so the coke is all spread apart and mixed in with the raw coal? Should I try to smother it by covering it with something big and metallic that will deprive it of oxygen and chill the fire by soaking up/conducting away its heat? If it matters, I'm using a tire/wheel forge that I made myself. And it's kind of tricky to separate the "firebox" part from the "pile of coal" that surrounds it, if that makes any sense (I'll try to take and post a pic later if that helps). Thanks for any advice.
  21. Hey Guys, I've been lurking here for awhile and finally decided to sign up after I bought a forge this weekend. While I have built a few in the past years, I couldn't pass up this offer, and wanted to share it with you guys. This is the Forge, it is a Champion Blower and Forge from Livingston PA patented in 1902. The forge and blower are both in great shape. I payed $200 for it, granted I could have built 3 more forges for the same cost, But like I said I couldn't pass up this piece of history. Please let me know what you guys think and if you have any insight of the history of this types of forges I would love to hear what you guys have to say about it. Thanks, Sakadt
  22. I new in the smithing world and am looking for a coal supplier somewhere in south central British Columbia. Does anyone have any hints? Any help would be great as for my luck so far has been nil.
  23. Does anyone know of a coal or coke source in West Texas specifically Lubbock? I have looked high and low, checked the yellow pages, talked to the local farriers and farm supply stores and can not find anything. I am beginning to think I will either have to use charcoal, corn, or have it shipped in.
  24. I'm looking at building a forge for a combination of general purpose work and for tempering long items such as swords. I've decided on using an electric blower for the air supply, and already know to use radial/centrifugal type blowers. I've done a bit of searching and have come across information stating to use a blower with a flow rate of about 150-400 cfm, and suitable for anywhere from 1.5 to 6 inches of static pressure. My first question is: Is this information accurate? To design the forge for general purpose work, would it be easiest to design a forge with long firepot with multiple tuyere "branches" going to separate grates in the bottom of the firepot, or perhaps make one long grate with an air gate just underneath that could slide out to adjust the amount and size of the air blast? Perhaps there are better ideas than this that I couldn't find? With the multiple branches, an air gate on each branch could control the size of the blast, but I'm afraid of uneven heating causing problems for hardening. The final problem is how much air flow will all this require. Going from what was stated before, for a typical forge an average of 250 cfm could be a basic reference point. With 4 tuyere "branches" or the equivalent thereof, the needed cfm would be more around 1000. Does this sound correct, and if there is any information I missed or anyone has a better idea please let me know!
  25. greetings everbody im going to be making a trip to the scrap yard this summer here in MN and im going to look for somethings to make a new forge anyone got any ideas as to what i should look for for the firepot, the table and the tool holders. if anyone could give me some pictures to give me an idea it would be greatly apreiciated. :D
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