Jump to content
I Forge Iron

My first coal burn, not as i expected


Recommended Posts

Ok. i finaly found some coal venders in the cincinnati that has reguler store hours.

Divers home/guarden
513-422-5491 (middle town)
$11.45 100 punds

hammersvill coal and feed
937-379-1888 (hamersville
$150 2000 punds
$7.50 100 pounds

i decided to give the hammersvill coal a try... and i thank i might be regreating it. it took 2 hours to drive there. unforitly the road for the most part was a 35mph road so what looked like a short drive... was pritty long. once finaly getting there the place was about as ran down is it gets. the guy basicly lives in the barn he sells stuff from. smells like chicken crap... kinda discusting... but i didnt drive 2 hours for nothen! wheres this coal you sell!
i dont even get escorted to the supply im just told its over there... *stars off into a huge field with very little landmarks* hmm... well after geting the tear weaght of my car i proceaded my hunt for a pile of coal on this guys property.. sucsess! eventuly... the 2 images are of hammersvill coal.. its not nearly what i was hopeing to see. it looks like its LOADED with inpureatys... but i guss you get what you payed for... and im not diveing 4 hours to have a drive on some guys farm... so i loaded up 4 feed sacks and got ~250 punds for $18 not too bad of a deal price wise... and proceeded home to give my first coal burn a go... and this is what i experance, VIDEO HERE a super thick cloud of yellow smoke and coal that oddly likes to clump together. and it also does odd things to metal i put in it... nothing noticeable right off. but the second i quienched a peace i flattend out it turned red! anybody konw anything about this stuff please inform me? is it good? bad? or just meh?




Edited by Danz409
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The coal looks okay to me though that's just looking at a picture. Sticking together as it starts burning is a good thing, it's coking. Thick yellow green smoke and a mighty stench is normal when you're first lighting it up. Check out my reply to your other question regarding lighting a coal fire.

Check out the many various coal fire management threads on this forum for some how tos on using the stuff. Go to the green bar at the bottom of the page and click on "Archive." Enter search terms like "managing a coal fire." you may need to play around with the search terms but you should find lots of info from folk who use coal.

The red is rust, no big thing. With better management of the fire and forging heat it'll be black scale instead. Don't sweat it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You didn't do too bad :) the first time I tried to build a fire I never got the coal to light :(

I couldn't tell what kind of a blower you have - I find that when I'm starting a fire I vary the air flow depending on what's happening with the fire. I've heard that in the old days an apprentice would spend weeks or months just working the fire before they ever got to pound metal.

The first coal I got wasn't ever sticky but I got the next batch from a local club and it was the sticky variety - they both worked equally well, it just took some getting used to...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the blower i was useing i got from a hair dryer from goodwill for $1.50 so not much was lost... who knows i could go down tommarow and it fire right up. if not. its no big deal. there is an old car/AC system blower fan ill slap on, i have one of those 1.5 - 12 adjustable DC power converter from raido shack so i can change my settings. i thank im going to mod my ash dump area tho. i thank im going to put a system that has cable linkage to dump ash when pulled or something along those lines.

Edited by Danz409
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, I had a look at you video and:


  • Its just what coal does when you first put it on a fire. It pumps out LOTS of heavy smoke. Two things, don't breath this and if you surround your fire with green coal and slowly add it it will coke as you push it into your fire and not produce the smoke.

Lighter fluid
  • I think I heard you say you used lighter fluid to light the fire. Don't do that again, very dangerous. Just get a small and bright wood fire going in your pot then add the left over coke from the last session, then surround this with new coal and you will be away. I start mine without air initially just by leaving the ash dump open for an air supply, then the wood is crackling then I start using a little air. Let your fire settle down before you start poking around in it or using it to forge. You want a grapefruit sized ball of glowing coal before you disturb it then it can withstand the impact of being upset.

  • Clumping is good, it allows you to build the classic beehive fire.

  • You were crunching up the "burnt" coal saying it looks like charcoal. That is exactly what it is. When the coal is heated the other bits are burnt off, smoke, leaving the charcoal which is what you actually forge in.

  • You were digging compressed "dust" out of the brake drum. Looks like fines and ash to me that has been wet so it sets into mud. Nothing to worry about, you just handle that with your fire management.

Water to put out
  • Everything looked wet so I would suspect you used water to extinguish your fire. You can do this but make sure you remove your blower or you will wreck one each session :) Many people use water to preserve the charcoal for starting their next fire.

  • Your tuyere may work better if it had a few 1/2" slits in it and not a lot of holes. I find holes clog up and don't let the ash fall through stopping the air supply. Slots are easily cleared with a poker and let the rubbish fall through easily. Also, my tuyere is made out of 3/8" re-bar welded so it produces a series of slots. That thin plate looks like it will burn out rather quickly to me.

Enough rambling, have another go and you will find its easier.

Cheers Edited by rmcpb
Can't spell!!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...