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I Forge Iron

Side blast for charcoal. Why?


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I ran a bottom blast charcoal forge for years before switching to coal. Works just fine, though after a few hours the bottom blast does tend to blow the little bits of burning charcoal out of the forge. Building a forge with brake drum, pipe, scrap metal and a squirrel cage blower, a bottom blast was the clearest path to a working forge. If all I had was wood, clay and leather for a bellows, a side blast might make more sense.

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Yes you get slag in a charcoal fire, just not near as much as coal.

I use charcoal exclusively (side blast rotary hand blower) and never get slag. The only slaggy stuff comes from the occasional melting of the ant-bed we lined the fire pot with, where it contacts the tuyere pipe. I usually just chip it off at the end of each session so it's clean for the next start. I didn't think charcoal would be capable of creating slag. Not like coal anyway.
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