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I was curious if anyone has used smokeless coal for their forge. I have seen it sold at the places I have gotten coal at from petrol stations to the coal merchants. Usually slightly more expensive and often advertised as burning long and/or hotter aswell as being legal in smokefree areas (though no one has been bothered by the occasional hobby use of house coal anyway). 

I'm not entirely sure what smokeless fuel is even made from. Pictures from my coal merchant make it look like something artificial. Possibly a purified coal or maybe a bbq briquette style thing. 

I'm going to experiment with anthracite and wondered if this might be worth a shot too. (I know anthracite isn't often recommended but I want to be good to my neighbours when they try and sunbathe or something and don't want smog wafting over)

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The best smokeless coal is found in a gas forge...;)  Heheh.

Seriously, coke is relatively smokeless - as is anthracite - but both will require an electric blower unless you mix in a little bituminous to help keep it burning.  Some anthracite will work as forge fuel but it tends to clinker and does not swell into a coke button like bituminous does.

It could be that your fuel merchant carries petroleum coke, which seems to work reasonably well by most reports.  I have a couple hundred pounds of pet-fuel coke and the only complaint I have is that it accumulates moisture and tends to pop when heated.  Best to work it in from the sides to drive off the water before throwing on the fire.

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I checked and I think smokeless coal is based on anthracite and somehow processed. 

 

The propane men shall never catch me alive with their refill agreements and bottle rents, I will sooner go to the wonders of oils. 

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Sounds like the propane industry has it locked down pretty tight unfortunately. Over here we don't rent the bottles. You own one and either have it refilled at a petrol station or can exchange it for a new full bottle at most of the big box stores for a little more.  Depending on where you are in the states good smithing coal can be difficult and or expensive to come by. When I lived near Ipswich back in the late 70s early 80s I remember the trucks making coal deliveries to houses.

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I'm going to experiment with anthracite and wondered if this might be worth a shot too. (I know anthracite isn't often recommended but I want to be good to my neighbours when they try and sunbathe or something and don't want smog wafting over)

Often smokeless coal is not smokeless, just a different colour smoke, 

There are many varieties of smokeless coal/fuels, what brand name is the stuff you are thinking of using sold under?

The Monkton Forging coke is becoming no longer available relatively soon, and a lot of UK 'smiths are turning to a coal, semi smokeless (whatever that means) from an open cast pit in South Wales, Ffos-y-fran who supply a welsh dry steam coal, the large nut being most favoured. It is also cheaper than the Monkton forging coke 

 http://www.coalmerchantsfederation.co.uk/products/welsh-dry-steam should give you a local supplier, or Darch Fuels (among others) will palletize and have delivered to you. 

If you don't want to upset the neighbours, use lumpwood charcoal.

Have fun

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Well we got Mixed Ovoid, Supertherm Ovals and Taybrite Ovals.

Is dry steam particularly better than house coal (other than being less smoky which is still a bonus) because I would have to have it delivered.

 

Alas charcoal just doesn't have the economey as someone who doesn't have a forest to make it myself.

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Is dry steam particularly better than house coal (other than being less smoky which is still a bonus) because I would have to have it delivered.

Depends on the user and their opinion, check with other blacksmiths in your area what they use and where they get theirs from 

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  • 1 year later...

Its over a year on but I thought I would come back to say that over time I have had to use smokeless a few times cause I ran out of other sources. 

 

Avoid it if you can. One brand would rapidly disintegrate and all the tiny yellow glowing blobs of coal suddenly fly at you. I think that the binder that kept the nugget together stopped working once it got to a certain temperature. Fine for a house fire, not so much for forges with higher temperatures. Another brand just did not get as hot but thankfully it avoided trying to explode on me like the other brand. 

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