MarcyOHH

How to get coal out of everything...?

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So my boyfriend and I use a coal forge, which is great, but the downfall is that there's black ash from smoke and what not in and on everything. Any ideas on the best way to get it out of clothes, hair, skin? I make my own shampoo so I don't know if that's why it is so hard to get out of my hair. And no this problem will not make me stop forging, but it may make me rethink fuel source.

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I like using lump charcoal. it is easy to make with simple homemade retort i found here:  http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=37313

 

it burns clean and is as plentiful if you have access to wood. I can never find coal except for the kind that spills off trains. I like to gather that and put in retort as well. 

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lots of black tee shirts and a welding cap.  Lava soap or hand cleaner with ground up walnut hull.  Make sure and sort your laundry :P  I keep my hair cut high and tight so I cant help you there.

 

Russell

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Welcome to the "black boogers" brigade! The sulfur smoke is hard to remove from clothing, skin and almost impossible to remove from the inside of one's nasal passages! Hence the long discussions on building chimneys, fire management to produce less smoke and use of alternate fuels. For clothes I use a thorough wash and then hang them out in a brisk wind for a day or two. For the outside of me a long hot shower. For the inside of my nose, hot salsa as a snack to increase "the flow" and lots of blowing the nose. Also exposure tends to link happy memories to the smell that helps endure it----I once had a neighbor who loved when I forged with coal. She had grown up in a time and place where everyone heated with coal and so now in her retirement years the smell brought back memories of her childhood.

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"Fast Orange"  for your hands and arms.  It's a grime remover sold in hardware stores and auto parts stores and other places.  I don't know of anything better, and it smells orangie.

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here is an excerpt from the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association, April 2009 news letter, THE CLINKER BREAKER,
 
Shop Hints Hand Cleaners
Butch Patterson(Starke, FL) writes:
 
This a good blacksmihing tip that I discovered: 
 
I have noticed that many blacksmiths buy expensive soaps to use for removing coal dust from their hands, arms, and the rest of their bodies (let's not go there). Well, I have a simple and cheap solution to the problem.
 
In the 80's I lived in West Virginia and sold truck scales to coal mines and processing plants. Often I would see cases of dish detergent in the storerooms. Eventually my curiosity got the best of me so I asked why they washed so many dishes. Well as you may have guessed by now, the coal miners  showered and washed their hands with it every day. One  miner told me "Joy is the only stuff that will clean the coal out  of your pores".
 
So, forget expensive soaps and buy regular (not concentrated)  Joy. Not just any dish detergent though, Joy has something  in it that releases the coal dust.
 
George

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I haven't done a comparrison between dish soaps, but the hand soap dispenser in our bath has Dawn Dish soap in it. My routine is to start with fast orange first, head to the sink and then finish up with the dawn and hand brush if needed. My side draft made a big diffence in the dust getting all over everything, but I just can't keep my hands out of the coal and then I get it everywhere. An apron helps, but I don't always wear it, and a cap will provide some protection as well. The clothes I forge in most often are now dedicated to just that purpose.

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Dawn for the hands and arms. A Nettie pot with saline solution to rid yourself if the clogged nasal passages. Both work well for me and I use a coal forge a lot of the time.

Peter

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I haven't done a comparrison between dish soaps, but the hand soap dispenser in our bath has Dawn Dish soap in it. My routine is to start with fast orange first, head to the sink and then finish up with the dawn and hand brush if needed.

 

 

Sounds a lot like me. When I did stamped concrete some of the dyes we used were really tough to get out. As mentioned fast orange and then Dawn dish soap was the order of the day. I've found very little the two of those couldn't handle. the few things that stuff didn't work on, you needed industrial solvents to deal with.

 

I still keep a pump container of fast orange ( I like the stuff without the grit personally) and a soap dispenser with dawn in the shower as well as some of those 3m scruggie pads to scrub with it things are really bad.

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Dawn might be a bit hard on the hair, lol. Try baby oil to devolve some of the soot, then shampoo. Ad corn meal to your soap (I keep a cheese shaker by the sink) as coal smoke make my throat raw, and produces much more clinker I use soft wood charcoal (scrap construction lumber) for most my blacksmithing, but still use propane on the shoeing rig. (Might change that soon) as TP clothes, it's like detroite engine oil, good luck. If you have to get it out, soke in paint thiner and then launder with tide and mean green. Do not dry untitled your sure it came out

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For many years handwash paste contained wood to help scrub off the dirt,
then some added tiny plastic particle or changed to only plastic as abrasive.
Thats when I decided to make my own from sawdust and liquid soap.

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here's a little trick i learned from my mother, get some sugar on your hands and some of that dish soap, it's essentially the same as some other suggestions here but i figured it's worth a mention, just make sure to wash all the sugar off when you're done, else you'll end up with really sticky hands

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I am fond of Solopol EF from Stackhausen. Cleans coal grease and even Moly disulfide grease off and does not dry out the hands.

With a good hood on the forge I get only a slight coal smoke odor on my clothes.

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Automotive hand cleaner in the shop, then Dawn liquid dish detergent in the house.  Works like a dream.

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I prefer to go for a nice long swim in the ocean  :D . It helps me relax after a long day and that salt water and sand really scrubs you up good. Season/region permitting of course.

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good thing both of ya'll forge,that way "the pot won't be calling the kettle black". i just wash them and hope for the best, shampoo helps clean the arms, etc. but some times the hands just have to wear it off. ether way a forging day IS a good day!

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a good layer of coal dust will help your body filter out all the germs and bacteria as well as all the city pollution :D


Key is to get coal dust on everything so ya don't notice it anymore.

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Dawn with borax added. I throw in enough borax to create an abrasive. This works great for hands and arms.

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My first bag of coal. I got it from a farrier supply store and was trying to do the old guy a favor and get rid of a bag that looked like he had for more than a decade. Top wired shut couple holes in the side. Not at all the pristine looking bags he had sitting there on pallets. He still charged me full price for it. So I thank him and throw it in the back of my Wife's suv and head home. I wound up getting busy and forgot to unload it for nearly a week. A couple of store trips later and no doubt being bounced around in there for a couple hundred miles. I grab the corner of the bag and go to pull it out and the whole bag failed. Left me with this pile of coal mostly dust and sub 1/4" pieces sitting on my Wife's beige carpet. I cleaned it up best I could, tried to vacuum it to no avail. So today still got a nice large stain that looks like an old camp fire ring in the back of her rig. Daily daggers shoot from her unhappy eyes. It will likely be a while before she equates the smell of burning coal with any fond memories.

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Always carry a LARGE trash bag (or several) in the vehicle. They come in handy as a container for many things, such as anything dirty, think anvils, oil drums, bags of coal, etc.  Also good for shelters during cold weather when stranded, and many survival uses.

 

You may have to have the carpet professionally cleaned, and a good dinner out, in order to please the wife.

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My first bag of coal. I got it from a farrier supply store and was trying to do the old guy a favor and get rid of a bag that looked like he had for more than a decade. Top wired shut couple holes in the side. Not at all the pristine looking bags he had sitting there on pallets. He still charged me full price for it. So I thank him and throw it in the back of my Wife's suv and head home. I wound up getting busy and forgot to unload it for nearly a week. A couple of store trips later and no doubt being bounced around in there for a couple hundred miles. I grab the corner of the bag and go to pull it out and the whole bag failed. Left me with this pile of coal mostly dust and sub 1/4" pieces sitting on my Wife's beige carpet. I cleaned it up best I could, tried to vacuum it to no avail. So today still got a nice large stain that looks like an old camp fire ring in the back of her rig. Daily daggers shoot from her unhappy eyes. It will likely be a while before she equates the smell of burning coal with any fond memories.


You could just get your wife forging like Nick did with me, then you won't have any more angry stares. Instead she will be angry that you ran out of coal and she will have to wait to smith again.

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