Sign in to follow this  
kyler

Forge lighting question

Recommended Posts

Hi guys I was wondering what the fastest and easiest way to light a coal forge. I use charcoal most of the time but that doesn't always work it wont light the coal. 

 

Thanks,

Kyler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i use kindling get a good fire going and add coal or coke . about the only time it does not work is when i add coal too fast or do not get a good fire going first. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys I was wondering what the fastest and easiest way to light a coal forge. I use charcoal most of the time but that doesn't always work it wont light the coal. 

 

Thanks,

Kyler

please explain that does not make sence, unless ya just toss a match and no air..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please explain that does not make sence, unless ya just toss a match and no air..

steve i mean that the charcoal hardly ever gets hot enough to light the coal ive tried leaving it alone for a while but it burns up without getting very hot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it should work...are you putting air to it?

 

real charcoal or briquettes?

i make my own old south 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kyler: You ARE keeping the air blast to it, YES? Lighting coal with a charcoal fire is one of the easier ways to do it. Just putting coal on a charcoal fire and walking away isn't going to do anything but waste a charcoal fire.

 

I won't go into MY method of lighting coal, it's harder than using a burning charcoal fire. Easy sure but not THAT easy.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see I did not forget to mention air, and he hasnt told us what if any air source he is using...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paper, or maybe pine straw, then charcoal, turn on air. As charcoal catches well, add coal. Important what kind of coal you're using. Much easier with coke or bitumous than anthracite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually put two or three wads of newspaper in and a few sticks or scraps of wood light it and when it is burning fairly decent start putting air to it and adding coal, and keep putting air to it. It has never failed to work yet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coal:

I ball up one piece of newspaper, wrap another around it and then another around  that one. Place it directly over the air source. Take my coke that was left over from the last fire and bank it around the paper. Light the paper on the bottom and place more coke on top. Keep a slow steady blast of air to the fire and add raw coal to the top of that.

 

Charcoal:

I make my own charcoal so I have different size material. Ball up the newspaper as above for the coal. Put a healthy amount of charcoal around the paper and light the bottom edge of the paper. As you are maintaining a slow steady blast of air pile more charcoal on top. 

 

Raw coal:

Start a small fire with kindling or pine cones and add the coal slowly to the top of the fire. Not enough to smother it but enough to get your coal going. 

 

Bottom line is what most others have already said. Keep a constant flow of air going to the fire.

 

What type of coal are you using? 

Anthracite or Bituminus

 

What sized pieces of coal are you using?

If they are large they will not light nearly as quick as small pea sized coal or fines. 

 

There are a lot of factors that can lead to failure to establish a fire. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see I did not forget to mention air, and he hasnt told us what if any air source he is using...

 

Yeah Steve, it's all been covered but I don't think he's checked back in. I have to practice patience and remember I often don't check my comp every day. What kills me is when someone asking questions doesn't respond to requests for details while asking the same questions over and over.

 

I use these guys as exercises in patience for this poor old tree battered brain.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys I was wondering what the fastest and easiest way to light a coal forge.

If I'm at a show the easiest way is to borrow some fire from the neighbors campfire. Otherwise two to three balled up sheets of newspaper, lit and placed in the bootom. Apply air slowly and make sure the paper is burning then add coal or leftover coke if available. On damp days I may have trouble getting paper to burn. At the shop I'll do the newspaper thing or use an old rag that has been used to wipe down utensils seasoned with vegetable oil. Ball the rag up, put in the forge and light with a propane torch and slowly add air.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First for ease of use, make use of good quality Bituminus shop coal, not Anthracite coal.  If crumpled newspaper or charcoal is not starting your coal, could it be the coal?

 

Then there is a "coal chimney".  Basically about 12 to 14 inche lenght of iron pipe or tubing, about 6 or 7 inches in diameter, with 3/4" to 1" holes about 1 to 2 inches from the bottom.  At the bottom of the chimney place crumpled up newspaper, then a layer of charcoal, then fill to top with Bituminus coal.  You can make your own "Ye Oldy" coal chimney with hand forged pipe, and forged handle, or purchase one at the local big box store in the barbeque isle. If this method does not work, then I humbly suggest trying different source of coal.    I realize using a coal chimney might be considered sacrilegious, depending on the situation, but this is a good way to see whether the coal is the problem.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David,Kyler and I get coke from the same place,L brand forge coke,the coke is fine and idk y charcoal isn't workin for him.Kyler,I use homemade charcoal to light my forge;I would think you aren't burnin enough charcoal to start the coke.I get 6 or 7 golf ball size chunks,put some diesel on one piece to help start it,light that piece and put it in the forge and start stacking the other pieces of charcoal around it.Once you get the charcoal burnin good,start adding coke(KEEP THE AIR COMIN!!!)within 10 minutes im ready to forge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clean out the forge of ash & small pieces, then pile of charcoal size of a 1-2 fists, air from a squirrel cage blower full blast, light pile of charcoal with propane torch 1-2 seconds til it glows, then pile around coke.  I haven't timed it, but seems pretty fast 5-10 minutes maybe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

kyler uses a hair dryer for a blower but has only about 20 1/8 in. hole drilled in his brake drum for air could be those get blocked off i have told him personaly to drill bigger holes in it but ah well.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm... I use balled up a sheet of newspaper, some wood kindling, a splash of charcoal lighter fluid, once started add coal/coke and then add air.... Air seems to be really important...Really...

 

Dale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the old tried and true Boy Scout Method a small Teepee of wood ,lil paper and it will make a good fire . add a lil coat to it and add air it will be going good in a very lil time .

 

Sam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fastest & easiest? A propane plumbers torch. When the fuel starts glowing, give it a blast of air and turn off the torch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tear or cut a length of cardboard about 1 1/2"-2" wide and a couple feet long, roll it up and place it over the air grate. then I pile coarse coal around it and let it relax so there are gaps between the coils. I make a volcano shaped hill with an opening at the top. I seal the outside with wet fines to help direct the air and fire up through the pile. I then drop one or two lit wood matches between the center coils and give it real gentle air blast till the cardboard is burning. Then I cover the coil with coarse coal and apply increasing amounts of air so as not to blow it out.

 

That's it, the fastest way I've encountered to light a green coal fire. Cardboard burns much hotter than paper, 1600-1700f. with air blast. The shape acts like a torch directing the heat straight up into the coarse coal. Coarse coal allows the heat ad air to flow through it. Wet fines cap the mound directing heat ad flame through the center allowing the outer coal to coke more readily.

 

That's it. I'm not usually a coal guy but I know the dance and this is my favorite. Not saying other methods aren't good, I just like this one. most methods work well enough but you have to have some understanding about how fire works, if not you have a very basic part of blacksmithing to learn before you can heat iron. a VERY important part of the craft is fire and heat management. Yeah, I mention fire and heat as different things, connected but seriously different, the wrong kind of fire will do damage that flat out ruins the steel completely.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this