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I Forge Iron

Burning Coal/Coke, the right way


Roy Honcho Gregory

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Depends a lot on your set up, size and shape of your firepot, type of blower quality of fuel, ...

Far better to attend a meeting or two of a local smithing group and get some hands on training!

If you are near central NM, SWABA will be having their December meeting Jan 14th in the Albuquerque area. (Delayed by the snowstorm in Dec...) And our conference in February in Las Cruces NM!

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The short answer is to build a fire, add air, heat metal, and be happy.

The long answer, Thomas covered already.

Clinkers are the junk that is in the fuel that does not burn. The more junk, or the more fuel you use, the bigger the clinker. Let the fire idle for half a minute, hook out the clinker, scrape the fire back together and add a bit more fuel and air and get on with forging.

If you want to see clinker, take a double handfull of sand and dirt and throw it into your forge. You WILL get a clicker you can be proud of.

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If you want to see clinker, take a double handfull of sand and dirt and throw it into your forge. You WILL get a clicker you can be proud of.


That will be a serious dragon dropping Glenn!

Check out youtube on lighting a forge. Smoke is my biggest problem, and can arise from trying to feed too much too fast and then not enough till my fire is dying, then adding too much again!

When you seem to not get much heat, say after an hour or two of feeding the fire clean fuel, reduce or stop your air blast, wait for the fire to darken (say 30-60 seconds, we are not letting it go out here) and poke around with your rake or poker to pull anything that is not burning fuel out, regardless of its color or temperature.

You can also shove the whole fire out and start over, which sometimes is easier. Shovel all the burning fuel from the top of your pot off to the side, you may need to add some fresh and get it burning to be able to do this, then clean the entire pot out to a different pile or metal pail. Put the reserved fire back into the pot and give it a little air and add fuel.

After the pail of stuff is cooled to a safe cold temperature, sort the contents.

Visiting a hammer-in or open forge is more helpful than reading about it, as Thomas said.

Phil
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