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I Forge Iron

My trip to the Coal yard


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Heya Folks ,
Here is something you other coal burners might want to keep an ear on. Went into Louisville , KY. this morning to pick up some smithing coal from Cumberland Elkhorn. I've been going there for 13 yrs. getting my coal and have pretty much struck up a good first name relationship with them.
Coal has been going up in price as you all may know but as I was talking to the feller there he was'nt for sure how much longer they were going to be receiving it. He said they had another purchase order for it but no idea when it would be there. I know the last time they did was back in October.
I asked why so and he said a big reason was it seems that alot of it is being shipped overseas in particular China and another was it just wasn't cost effective for the Mines anymore.

Figure I better get me a Gasser and set up a Charcoal kiln.

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I just bought some coal in ne NC and that looks like that supplier will dry up soon. My daughter lives in Louisville. Wave when you see her. :blink:

Hopefully the coal won't disappear but I'll entertain home made charcoal and even gas if need be.Like always we have to change with the times. Just a little though. If we all changed with the times there would be no blacksmiths.

Mark<><

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It may not go away, but it may become too expensive for us to use. All it takes is legislation to drive prices up through the roof. It could be the EPA mandating scrubbers for ALL coal burning, or some other new law to protect the environment in an attempt to push us off "dirty coal" that will kill the supply for us. For a lot of people we are evil for burning coal, and contributing to global warming.

There are groups that want to see $5+ per gallon gasoline in order to drive us to electric cars. I would use an electric IF they had enough range. My commute is 206 miles every day. But until they get to where I can use one I will be using fossil fuels. A supervisor I worked for had one of the EV-1 electrics. His commute was around 40-50 miles a day, and it cost him $10 a month to keep it charged. That is far less than the $250-$300 a month my 98 Saturn SW2 burns in fuel. He did not want to give the car back to Chevrolet, but they collected all of them, and then crushed them.

As for China. They are the reason steel, and cement prices have gone up too. It is a double edged sword here. The companies make more selling to them, but our costs here at home have doubled, or tripled making us less competitive. In the early 90's we were getting concrete for $50 a yard, it is close to $190 now. We get $70-$150 a ton for scrap now which is good for us selling, but when we go to buy, it is more expensive. I remember getting 65 cents a pound for copper scrap, a couple of years ago we were getting almost $4 a pound. Our cost for new copper is over $10 a pound now. Have you priced any copper water pipe lately?

This rant could go on for days, but the point I want to make is that something may not always be available at a price that is affordable. It all depends on how we as a nation govern ourselves, or what we allow to happen in the capitol.

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Sounds like you guys are having a rough time of it! In the UK, coal production is slowly coming back into life as a result of the prices climbing, but much of the coal is coming from spoil heaps and tips via washing to produce coal for the power stations. I dare say there's plenty left in the ground, but the costs are too great to extract it, and they environmentalists create a good argument to leave it there! From what I understand, the floods in Australia and potential issues in Indonesia has resulted in China looking elsewhere for coal which means that 'normal' supplies will experience disruption while Australia gets back on its feet and new mines come online.

We're kinda lucky here in the UK; you're (generally) never too far from a supplier of 'smithing coke, and good quality anthracite is available in almost every town.

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I would use an electric IF they had enough range. My commute is 206 miles every day. But until they get to where I can use one I will be using fossil fuels.


Obviously this is an aside to an aside, but have you looked at the Chevy Volt? It runs on electricity until it runs out, then it seamlessly switches over to gas. Then you plug it in and do it all over again.
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Obviously this is an aside to an aside, but have you looked at the Chevy Volt? It runs on electricity until it runs out, then it seamlessly switches over to gas. Then you plug it in and do it all over again.


It gets down to cost for me. My 98 Saturn SW2 cost me $2,500 April of 07 with 98,000 miles on the clock. On Chevy's website the Volt starts at $32,780. Almost 4 years later my SW2 has 273,000 and counting at a rate of 1,000 miles a week. So far all it has needed in big repairs is a radiator (split one plastic tank) $88, battery $57 84 month, one set of front brake pads (just did this month)$70 ceramics, and three sets of tires $150-$350 a set. The $350's are Pirellis with an 85K treadwear warranty. I have yet to pull the sparkplugs, and I really need to get around to changing the original serpentine belt before summer hits. If it quit tomorrow I can but another one for around $2,000 or less. With a newer car the initial cost is too high for me (I have always let someone else take hit in depreciation on a vehicle), the insurance is higher, as well as the registration costs. Even at $300 a month in gasoline, that is $3,600 a year. 10 years of fuel for the cost of a new Volt. Lower insurance premiums, and low initial cost come with good used cars. I have never owned a new vehicle, and probably won't in the future.

Now if a Tesla Roadster wasn't $129,000--- that does have a 246 mile range-if you can keep your foot out of the accelerator. B)
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