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Gas forge over coke/coal forge

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New to blacksmithing and wanted to know the effectiveness differences between a gas propian forge and coal or coke forge I will be forging indoors so which will be best for that I know forging indoors is very dangerous I've taken all the procausions for it to be safe as possible

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You said in the chat that you had two large doors that would give ventilation. Doors or the size of the door does not ventilate, Movement of air in and out of the room is ventilation. This means the bad air is removed and replaced by good air on a continuous basis.

 

Coal and coke fumes, smoke, etc can be effectively removed by a chimney. The usual recommended size is 10 or 12 inch in diameter for many forges. Build the chimney to suit your forge, building, and location. 

 

A gas or propane forge can benefit from a chimney also. The gas forge puts out more exhaust volume and many do not bother with a chimney. This puts the fumes in the room and can create carbon monoxide. You must ventilate the room to get rid of the exhaust from the forge.  Open doors will not work, you have to have air movement, and lots of it.   

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Without knowing specifics it's hard to say which is safer. When you say you've taken all precautions, do you even know what's necessary? Which fuel produced CO? Which direction does CO go, up or down?

 

On a practical forging note, there are some considerable differences. A gas forge heats everything that goes in it whle a solid fuel forge only heats what's in the fire and you can adjust the dimensional size of the fire.

 

Solid fuel requires a lot more skill to manage the fire while a gasser is pretty much turn it on or off, adjust with the regulator.

 

Gasser goes right out when you throw the valve but the forge stays hot for hours, somethings many hours. Solid fuel takes time to go out but there isn't a lot of radiated heat. This can make them more dangerous because it's easy to forget there may still be a fire burning under there.

 

It's easy to find propane, it's everywhere. Coal on the other hand can be really hard to find but you can MAKE charcoal. Solid fuel is a lot quieter.

 

To briefly mention a fraction of the differences.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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My shop is 3,690 Sqft (square feet) and is open air 2 stories tall and plus some due to the roof designs. The precautions I've already taken I have 3 giant warehouse fans to move air around and bring fresh air in and bad air out I have 2 fire Extinguishers within 15 feet of me at all times. I have a 10" chimney in there also already thought that would be a must have. The chimney also has fans in it to push air out from my experience so far burning wood an charcoal under it, it takes all the smoke right out the pipe. If I'm not mistaken all heat gases rise so the CO gases and carbon monoxide gases will rise and be taken out by those three fans I mentioned earlier. From what you've just read what do you think and also do I need to take more precautions. Side note from which is safer which is overall cheaper at a size where you can forge knives swords art tools large items thick items etc (pretty big)

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Sorry I got a little snarky in my last reply, I must've been more tired than I realized. No excuse. CO is alittle lighter than air so it raises even cold but it mixes easily so it's always going to be there. CO2 isn't particularly toxic but it needs to go too. heck, all the combustion products need to go, even the water vapor isn't good for machinery let alone sulfur or nitrous oxide. sounds like you have a great place to work. I have a big fat happy smile when I think of having 1,200 sq/ft of shop space.

 

Without actually taking a look I can't say how efficiently your fans remove fumes/smoke, etc. Stirring it isn't a good thing you want to get it out. If it won't scare folk into calling the fire dept you can do a simple smoke test. light a couple charcoal briquettes or build a small fire and cover it with leaves. for a shop your size, maybe a bucket wouldn't be too much but start with less. Once you have a good smoke source it's easy to see how efficient your fans are at removing it.

 

Sometimes it's easier to just move the forging station to a place where it clears fast.

 

Put your fire extinguishers at or on the way to an exit. too many folk put them right next to or even BEHIND the  potential fire hazard. I can't count how many folk hang extinguishers behind the kitchen range. <sigh> You want it on the escape route for two good reasons. If it's a BAD fire, sometimes you only have seconds to make a break and having an extinguisher close but on the way OUT you may be able to take advantage of that oh so short window of opportunity to kill the fire without trapping yourself. the second reason is folk tend to want to fight a fire too long and if the extinguisher is on the way to the door they're a lot less likely to run towards the fire instead of away.

 

Fortunately blacksmithing isn't generally a high fire hazard craft but it has it's moments. Slow smoulders are probably the most common and are nuisances or wait till your're in bed to burn the shop down so  not so dangerous to people. UNLESS your shop and home are attached. Smoke alarms are a must in that case. The instance when blacksmithing or more likely bladesmithing can be... interesting for fire is oil quenching. Bright red steel and flammable oil have a predictable conclusion. No? there's been a pretty darned complete thread lately about oil quenching. Lots of guys chimed in with lots of good methods of controlling the flash and whoosh.

 

I think I covered the salient points about solid fuel versus gas in the other post. Solid fuel fires are much easier to make small for localized heat while gas forges heat everything in them or even close to the door. Peining rivets in a gas forge can be a PITA as everything is hot but it's a little easier to heat treat as everything gets close to the same temp so only a little moving will even it up nicely. It's in plain view too so that's a plus.

 

Solid fuel forges have been used to refine, forge, heat treat, etc. for a couple few thousand years, it's a matter of practice and tuning your methods.

 

Either fire is good, no reason NOT to have both available even if one is your favored forge.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks lucky. I think I shall do a gas forge than at least for starts I may go to a coal forge later on. I think I'm set almost I have to clean up my shop and get things organized once more and then I should have any problems at least I don't think.

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