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I Forge Iron

solid fuel experiments in a brake drum forge


pkrankow

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Coal
pro
The best I have found,
dense with energy
easy to get larger materials HOT

con
stinky
smoky if poor fire management skills are all you have

Charcoal
pro
several thousand years of history can't be wrong.
easiest to light
easy to get material HOT
gentle air blast is all you need

con
brake drum forges are not well suited to its use
deep fire and gentle air blast required
light material so a large volume is used

Corn
pro
acts like coal how is expands, sticks together and cokes
easy to manage
relatively pleasant smell (like burnt popcorn)
easily heats small items to high temperatures, including welding (although I am lousy at welding)

con
1/2 the energy density as coal or charcoal # for #
difficult to heat large items because of the lower energy density

Cherry pits
pro
burns hot
easy to light

con
will not mass as it cokes instead remains in small, cherry pit sized pieces that are easily blown out of the fire pot even with a deep fire
requires a very gentle air blast
even with a deep fire, cherry pits do not heat metal in a brake drum forge.


So what other "alternative" fuels have you used with what kind of success?

Phil

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