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I have heard the term "chambered fire" related to forge welding and I have a rough idea what that means.

But I need a little more detail, (actually as much detail as possible.)
Can anyone fill me in or point me to some good description on the internet.



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I have not heard the term myself. However, I am willing to guess that it has to to with making a dome of burning coke, and poking a hole in the center to form a "chamber" to place your metal in so it can be observed while heating and shielded from oxygen.

It is not necessary to do it this way, but it makes things easier for me at least. The coal I have now refuses to coke so I have to do as best I can.

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I've heard it called a "cave fire" or a "closed fire"---with the "all coke broken up and without a cave" fire being called an open fire.

Now before you get a ton of folks typing their little fingers off---have you read a basic blacksmithing book? If you live in America your *free* local public library should be able to ILL you any of the great beginner's books.

Save you and us a ton of time and you're not even tied to a computer to read it! (my first smithing book has big black finger prints in it from where I would consult it out at the forge.)

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Hi All,

Everyone seems to be hitting the mark describing the bee hive fire. I saw a demo last weekend when we had a flying visit from Steve Christensen from L.A. come up for the day to our heritage forge in the Barossa Valley. Steve built up the fire and mounded the coke about a foot high from the hearth. Once the fire was on temp and burning well he poured water around the sides and back of the fire and over the top. After pulling the black coke from the front of the fire , our work was put into the fire to take a heat. For the four hours of forging, we went through 50% of the coke we normally use and the work came out very clean during forging. All through the afternoon Steve had us pour water on the fire wherever there was gas or flame breaking through. This had the effect of creating a mantle of cold coke over the fire and seemed to hold in the heat, therefore getting the work up to temp a lot quicker.
Now I have seen this done before on coal fires to reduce the coking of your outside coal. I never thought to use the same principal on a coke fire. I have had three forge days since then at home and used the same method and getting very good results in reduction of time to forge heat, and reduced coke use. Let's face it, coke isn't as cheap as it used to be, at least not here in Australia. Anyway, give it a try guys, but watch out for the steam on your bare arms. I am going to make a traditional water shower can up with an extended spout for this procedure.

Happy Forging

Rob Kenning
Artist Blacksmiths Association South Australia.

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I have noticed what people call things are regional. Snake Doctor = Dragon Fly Stoker coal according to some refers to size, to others, it means a type of coal that won't coke so as to allow easier or automatic feeding. My Grandfar called the "beehive" a blacksmith's fire and everything else was just a fire.

We should put together a list of blacksmith synonyms.

Is there another word for synonymous?

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