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I have been wanting to try and make my own steel for a while. I have done quite a bit of research and I have no idea what I'm doing. As it stands now, my plan is to build a big 'ol tube out of bricks (fire or otherwise) and cover it in clay-rich mud. Let it dry for a day. Burn a small fire in it for a day. Then the next day load it with coal and have a big fire. Here is where my first question comes in. Would it be possible to use house coal instead of charcoal? J get it for free from a guy who converted his house over to natural gas instead of coal. Anyways it gets hot and it's free. So do you have to your charcoal or will house coal work. Next question is do you need to use iron or I know you can get on eBay but would it be easier to use dill spirals from my local machine shop? Or would it just burn and become garbage? Then after loading in fuel and something ferrous into the furnace and blowing in there with a shop vac. Periodically tapping for slag and peaking in there to see if it's white hot I will bust the thing up and hopefully pull out a bloom! Any answers to my questions, as well as any additional info, Is greatly appreciated. I have no idea how long to burn, how often to tap the slag, how much coal and iron to add. Every lite bit helps. -thanks (P.S. sorry for writing a novel. But it's a lot to go over)