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ok im thinking about switching from coal to charcoal mainly because i that its a cleaner fire from what i have read couple of questions
can you use the same air blast as coal?
is it easyer to weld with than coal?
and any other pointers
never have used it just wondering

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I use charcoal (natural hardwood, not briquettes) in my brake drum forge. I get the air from a $5 oscilating fan from Wal-mart and that gets it plenty hot. You will go through quite a volume of charcoal relative to coal.

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I use home made charcoal from 2X4s ect.
Gets plenty hot enough to weld but gives off a lot of cinders that like to fload around the shop.
I need to add a hand full of charcoal every heat or sooner
Too much air will blow some of the charcoal out of the fire especially the fines.
Fines dont coke up like coal.
I dont have a very deep fire pot so I need to add burning charcoal inder the stock as well as add above the stock.

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When I switch my forge from coal to charcoal I place a couple of fire bricks next to the firepot to make a narrow deeper fire. It does use a lighter blast.

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You'll do better with something that insulates. A charcoal fire won't use as much fuel if the fire pot is well insulated. If you use firebricks then you can reshape the pot to suit the work better.

ron

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Charcoal is cleaner than coal but so is coke. Converting coal to coke is just like converting wood to charcoal, you burn off the impurities. If you're not making you own charcoal then it will be cleaner. It will take more charcoal that coal/coke because there just isn't as much energy stored in charcoal as in coal/coke. You might want to look into purchasing coke rather than raw coal.

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