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I Forge Iron

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I have seen too may smiths in person and on youtube mess around with wadding paper, and getting it placed in the fire pot, then set chucks of coke on and around it. I was instructed that way as well. It works, but I never liked it myself.

I decided quite some time agao that I wasn't going to mess around with any of that and to jump start into forging. I have the waxed fire starters (saw dust compressed with wax) which measure about one inch x one inch and maybe 5/16" thick. Only need one. I light that off and set it in the fire pot atop a scoop of green coal. A few dried twigs and I have a small fire. The coke is shoveled into fire pot, but not enough to smother the fire. A blast of air sets things into overdrive. I place coke atop of the fire when it is buring strong and line the O.D. of the fire pot with green coal.

I am on my way and never look back. The down-side of this is that you have to buy a box of fire starters, but then again if you use the propane torch or newspaper, you'd have to buy that as well.

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A whole lot of getting started depends on the quality of your coal. I have run into some that nearly needed a nuclear blast to get started. With decent coal I can fire up in no time with a handful of shavings from the wood lathe and a few small scraps of pine cutoff split down to tinder size.

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When I make a fire, I start with tinder, you can use dry grass, cottonballs, etc. then look for pencil lead thickness sticks, then pencil thickness, then finger size or bigger. arrange it in a chimney with the sticks looking like a tic-tac toe board. tinder at the center, ready to burn the smallest twigs

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