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I Forge Iron

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I bought some coal from a guy last night for $25, it filled up my little truck bed to the rim (approximately 25 cu. ft.). The best I can tell, it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 lbs.? I know I could hardly move the 96 gallon trash bins after filling them, so they definitely felt at least 500 lbs to me.

I have a 50 lb. bag of blacksmithing coal that I bought online and this coal "feels" and looks similar, but I'm not sure if it's really Bituminous or not, if seems to be fairly soft. It seems to have a lot of fines, but so did the bag I bought online. The fines aren't as bad as they look in the picture, since everything on top was the last thing out of my truck after sweeping the fines up. The coal appears to be really clean, there wasn't any trash in it and it was stored in a big wooden bin.

Other than being an experienced blacksmith and forging with it, is there any general way of figuring out what type of coal it is? I'm hoping I didn't waste my time and gas moving all of this last night, but he did also give me a bucket full of old RR spikes (maybe 20 or so) and a 6' long piece of 3/8" rebar, so really to me that alone was worth the 30 mile drive.


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OK thanks.

I've already sifted the fines out of the bag I bought online with my makeshift sifter. I placed anything under 1/4" in a metal bucket and then wetted it with water to use around my fire. That may have been a mistake, but I convinced myself to do so after reading about other people doing similar on here and figured since the air holes in my tuyere cover are 1/4", that it would help prevent fines from dropping through.....again, that may have been a wasted effort?

I can't wait to attend the Fiddler's Grove forge class next Tuesday.....being a clueless newbie gets old at times, but at least I usually learn from my mistakes :)

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