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this is a question for anyone out there with experience with corn forges. have you found corn to be easier or harder to work with than charcoal? is it more efficient? does it reach the same heats? how high up in the pile is the "hot spot"? and anything else anyone can think of.

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ok so i tried out using corn yesterday to make a pair of tongs... i deffinently like corn a whole lot better than charcoal... i would deffinently suggest corn to all the new people out there. that being said... using a fuel that properly clumped showed me that i def need a new forge that actually works properly. but all in all.... GO CORN!! lol :p

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Did you just use corn grain with no other treatment? Did it flame up a lot? And it clumps?

Info please :)

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yes just whole corn, no treatment, i just bought a bag of normal corn... it usually comes in bags for hog feed or for puting in deer feeders (the only problem with deer feeder corn is that sometimes it has additives for attracting or increasing size of deer, essentially deer steroids) it flames up nicely, although it is quite a tall flame, a whole lot taller than charcoal, although i don't know how it compares to coal seeing as i have never used coal. it clumps very well and looks works exactly how i have always heard coal described as working. although when i used it, the hot spot was rather low in the fire (although that could be from my horrible forge) based from what i saw i would suggest a wide rellatively shallow firepot (like an oxygen tank top) to any1 who wants to give it a try. It put 1/2in round stock up to yellow in about 15-30 seconds and it makes an excelent beehive. the only problem i had with it were trouble heating certain portions of the stock(although that was from bad forge design) so all in all i think that corn is a whole lot better option than charcoal for anyone who is willing to give it a try, on that note i would like someone wo is experieced in coal to give it a try ond give us all a side by side comparison.

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i went through a 50ibs bag in about 4 hours, but from the way it was burning if you had a hand crank blower that didn't constantly push air and you had a shallower forge made for coal (the hot spot is only about 3-4in up) so you didn't have to pile it up so high and you know how to handle a clumping fuel, i think you could easily make it last 10 straight hours( just a rough estimate from someone who knows nothing about coal, wich it seems to work like)

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Whow, compared to coal that is a lot. I would go through about a 10 litre bucket of coal in half a day, probably less, unless I was doing a lot of welding.

Still, its worth a look as corn is easy to get, no-one would object to a forge that smells like popcorn and its a renewable resource. Besides it would be fun to try.

Cheers

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Okay - using corn is new to me (but then I am a newby).

So - do you use whole corn cobs with husk and all, or do you shuck the corn and burn the cobs:confused:

Or - do you just burn corn kernals:confused:

And, do you build a little wood fire first to then throw on the corn cobs:confused:

And, do the cobs need to be completley dry first:confused:

I would like to try this at some stage in my portable forge just for the heck of it!

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They are using corn kernals. For those out side the US> The american farmer is going crazy producing corn to ferment to ethanol. Corn is cheap and readily available.

We are talking chicken feed/hog feed/cattle feed/ corn here. AKA Maize to linguistically sophisticated.

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it's no joke, and i am not pulling your leg. you are not using anything but the kernals, just go to a feed store and buy a 50ibs of whole kernal corn, they'll know what you"re talking about. and to start it i just started a very small carcoal fire in the forge, it burns easily enough that you could just light it with a little torch, but my way was quicker :p

Edited by junker

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Anybody ever try cherry pits? They are sometimes sold as stove fuel around here.
Phil


why don't you give it a try and keep us informed... if they sell it as fuel it'll probably be cheeper for you than for us if that's the case. heck there's only one way i could get that many chery pits and something tells me my stomach wouldn't thank me lol :p

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Corn can eb bought a lot cheaper if you get a barrel and go to a feed mill. Around $3.50 a bushel now for 12 percent moisture corn. A bushel is 55 lbs. I bought a sad excusse of a corn burner to heat my house. ith the small fire pot it would still put out 40,000 BTU though. The pot was only about 2 1/2 in deep 6 in long and 3 in wide.

I knew a guy that burnt ear corn in an old early morning cook stove one winter and got it hot enough to burn the grates out of it.

Drifter

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Cherry pits are $5 for 30#. They cost less by the ton. They are a waste product from the cherry orchards in Michigan. I bought a bag, but don't have a solid fuel forge. Expect it to be a quite a while before I give an opinion.

Phil

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I can buy smithing coal here in NM for $12 per 55 pound sack. $10 for 60# of cherry pits doesn't seem like much of a bargain!

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Interesting... corn and cherry pis are carbon neutral, I think, but the so is charcoal... hmmm interesting...

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I tried forging with corn today, but I didn't have much luck with it. First I started with a peice of 1/4x2 leaf spring, I had a lot of trouble getting it up to forging temps. After that I tried forging with some 1/2 inch round stock. I was able to get that to orange in about 1 minute of so. On problem that I was having was that the corn underneath the stock would burn up to fast that it would hollow out, and the leave the stock with nothing under it. I think that there is a lot of potential in corn forging, but I believe that I would need to do some experimenting on the ideal forge design, and the amount of air flow. I did find, though, that the corn clumped up very well, almost like coal.
Here is a picture of the fire.

~hogan

16865.attach

Edited by Hogan Baker

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Tried forging with corn tonight for the first time. I used approximately 12 pounds of corn in an hour and a half. So buying bagged deer corn at retail which is $6 for 50 lbs, I used about about $1 of fuel per hour. This was in my brake drum forge powered by a $5 oscilating fan from Wal-mart. It quite rapidly heated the stock I was working with. I was not as efficient with the fuel as I could have been. I've only forged with charcoal, so managing the fire took some learning. As noted, the underside of the fire will burn up leaving a "cavern". That takes a bit of getting used to.

Mark

19657.attach

19658.attach

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I can buy smithing coal here in NM for $12 per 55 pound sack. $10 for 60# of cherry pits doesn't seem like much of a bargain!


I sure do hope I am wrong Thomas but we may see a day when the green meanies succeed in putting out our fires because coal is of course so very evil. Did you know that for every pound of pocahontas burned five baby harp seals drop dead?
Alternate solid fuels may prove to be the thing that keeps the forge fires burning. My wife may be making an awful lot of cherry pies real soon...

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if you can get some corn with a higher moisture content it should burn more efficient and just as hot todays market price is about 3.45/bushel or 56lbs then you have to get by the burnt popcorn smell

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While the smell is less pleasant than wood smoke, I found it much easier to wash out of my hair. For some reason, when I burn hardwood my hair absorbs the smoke and it takes me three days of scrubbing to get the smoke smell out. Yes, buying unbagged corn would certainly be cheaper, but this is a bag I had laying around that hand't found its way into my deer feeder due to record rainfall. My farmer's coop is only 3 minutes from the house, so it's really convenient to buy bagged.

Mark

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I've heard of this, I think its been covered here a coupla years back?
Think I'll give it a try, after all having popcorn flying around my head would be better than charcoal fleas!

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Dan, I was amazed about the seals dropping dead. And where did this info come from? How do you tell why they dropped dead? They may be overpopulated because of some laws preventing the harvesting of seals. I know nothing about seals and even less about harp seals. For some reason this sounds very much related to global warming hype. But then I'm not that much concerned about saving whales either. So, no doubt I AM an insensitive clod. I think it would be great if corn was better than charcoal, or coal but it will really surprise me if that turns out to be the case. I am guessing that corn burning will not smell like popcorn but like burnt popcorn. But I admit to being cynical and doubtful about some things. :-) Anvillain

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