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I Forge Iron

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Forgive this if it was already answered somewhere, I looked but could not find it.

The other day I got roughly 60 lbs of coal for free. I was ecstatic, especially becuase it is in pea sized pieces. However, I was pondering whether this would be good smithing coal or not. It came from an old townhouse basement, originally used in a coal furnace. I'm guessing that since it was in the city it is low sulfur and generally clean burning. Does anyone know whether this would be good or not?

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Very generally speaking, Anthracite Coal requires about 800 degrees (F) to ignite, and is hard to keep burning, on an open hearth, like a Forge.

Bituminous Coal lights much easier, and is much less likely to go out while the Forge is "idle" .

Both types will generate plenty of heat.


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Someone dropped off a truck load of hard coal at the balcksmith shopI work at. It didn't work well. True, I could make some heat,but it wasn't right. I Had to clean it up by hand and haul it away myself.

It worked out well in that the blacksmith supply dealer HEATS with nut sized hard coal and WANTED this stuff!! So we did a trade for soft coal. What a difference.

This was some time ago, when I had just FIRST started smithing. I didn't know any better and thought it must be very difficult to smith with coal. Boy, was I wrong!!!

Hey,one thing I liked (love) about the hard coal......no fly ash. It was super clean.

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