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   I use a very, very dirty coal. however, i can get it for $10.00 per 100#. So, brake drum forge does not work, clinker clogs the grate in minutes. so, without further adieu, the Trough style 55 side blast with chimney. Thoughts? ideas? suggestions? also, for updates about the building of this, check my blog in the blogs area, Toolception; Claw to peen. Thanks! click on the image to zoom in. thumbnail is quite small

 

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If your coal is small in size (1/2" down to fines), you might try presoaking it in water. I also use a very hot, but dirty coal, and building a fire with wet coal tends to increase my work time until the clinkers eventually clog the tuyere.

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with this, all the clinker will just slide to the bottom and into a box underneath rather than clogging the air flow which will be 1/3 of the way off the bottom.

hopefully

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A side-blast forge is generally a very good thing, but your design is missing a few things.  Namely, a side blast forge needs a bottom to it that isn't too far below where the air comes in.  Most use ash or bricks to make a small depression a few inches deep so that the heart of the fire (that neutral zone) is where you can slide a long piece of stock straight through.  Clinker still forms and still clogs up the fire, however.

 

With half of a 55-gallon drum, you'd have to fill 90% of it with dirt/ash/bricks/ect to get the floor up to a decent level where you could do work easily.  That's a lot of unnecessary ballast for no gain.

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That's why there are doors on the ends. I can slide it in on top of a bed of coals. It will be solid coal in the trough practically.

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Solid coal?  Why?  After the first firing, anything you have below the fire will be coated with ash that you'll have to clear away.  There's a reason side-draft forges aren't that deep.

 

Or, are you trying to set fire to all of that coal below the tuyere?  

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I would wonder if you moved the tuyere up higher into the fire pot and in the surrounding area build a false bottom thourly drill holled so it looked like swiss cheese. the false bottom being level with the top of the air inlet, allowing the clinker to melt down and seep into the real bottom without blocking your air flow?

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I don't usually burn solid fuel but clinkery coal is what's available here. I have a couple thoughts for you. First being you don't really know enough about burning coal. Doors aren't commonly found on coal forges, I can think of a couple exceptions but I just pile fire brick if I need an enclosed furnace using coal or charcoal. Rare but . . . As a new guy it's always pretty tempting to try building the PERFECT equipment, tool, etc. It's common to have dreams of what we want before we know what we actually need. My advice is go with a basic coal forge and forget the fancy stuff till you get some  miles on you.

 

Being dirty coal I think I'd build a longish side blast, trench forge from something clinker isn't going to stick to easily. Rammed clay would be my first try. I'd make it long so I could withdraw the air blast as the fire clinkers up. In practice long makes it easier to rake clinker out and that's what you're going to have to do, non-stop fire management. You'll be raking clinker out almost constantly. sucks but that's the real solution to your problem. That being the case make the forge easy to clean, hence a longish "V" trench forge.

 

Me being me I'd see about cleaning the coal. Clinker is mineral inclusions in the coal that gets melted and sticks together in the fire. Some you can just wash out with a hose, if you're lucky it's water soluble, say clay and will wash out as muddy water. A long riffle board similar to a gold sluice might work a treat.

 

If it's a silicate you'll only get the loose particles but you'll need to break the coal up to loosen the dirt and maybe a riffle board will do it but you'll need faster water and the dirt will stay in the sluice while the clean coal will wash out the bottom. A hydrometer like set up would work but that's more technically difficult, think a stream of water raising from below that floats the coal out while the crud sinks. These are a PITA, you don't even see them in small scale gold extraction operations beyond upwelling water through fabric in the bottom of a riffle board.

 

The mineral inclusions will be denser than coal and can be separated because of the different specific gravities. Possible but a lot of hassle. Were it me and I couldn't learn to manage a fire inn a workable fashion I'd use charcoal or gas. I hope that's  less confusing than it sounds.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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