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Charcoal manerisms

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I am going to built a second firepot for my forge tommorow, for larger projects, but I need to know something: Can you just pile charcoal onto a plate, apply a small amount with air, and keep the fire in that area like you can with coal? If not, how can I manage a small fire to heat things like the middle sections of long iron bars etc.?

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Working the middle of a long bar in charcoal I use a long "trench " Put the bar in the fire crosswise and you can rake new charcoal in as needed. Hardwood burns fast , softwood burns super fast. Build your fire deep like atleast 4"-6" pile plenty of charcoal in to the fire pot , back from the fire . As the charcoal in the " fireball " burns away rake more charcoal in.

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