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I Forge Iron

Experimenting with wood


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By the grace of the weather gods it is supposed to be beautiful tomorrow.  15 deg C or more.  Unseasonably warm with no pressing chores or other things to do... 

The forge is coming out for my second go at metal work....

I do have a large stock of Tamarack/Larch cutoffs from a project that have just been sitting for a few years.  Everything is primed to burn.  In the past when we used it for firewood I noticed it burned hot!  So I figure I might as well use it all up and save my limited supply of coal.  

I found using scrap last time did not work as the pieces were too big.  I now plan on cutting things down.  

My research leads to cubes 1" x 1" but that is a lot of time at the saw and unnecessary wear on blades as this wood is hard!

I'm leaning to strips 1.5" wide and breaking them up with a hatchet to semi cube shaped.

Any suggestions?

These are the 2x4 bits that are 2.25"x4.25"...


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My suggestion is to build a raised fire pit and burn the wood in that in any size you like and only transfer the coals over to the forge as you need them.  A Thwap with a shovel will downsize charcoal with no problem.  I built a transfer shovel made from gravel screen that I can scoop up a mass of stuff and shake it leaving the ash and small coals behind and only transfer the "good" coals to the forge..  Separating the forge and coaling fire also made it more pleasant as less heat and smoke and sparks in the forging zone

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I use wood all the time. Wood used has been old hardwood fence palings my son scrounged from his girl friends place (nearly all gone now). I'm starting to use iron bark (what grows on my land), plenty of fallen branches etc to get rid of.

I cut it to length so it will sit down in my forge (dont want "ends" hanging out of the front or top) then split it in to about half inch to inch wide strips. It converts to coals pretty quick, you end up with burning charcoal in the bottom with fresh strips on top. Much wider and your waiting to long for it convert to coals and it all slows down.

Prepare lots of them, takes a bit to keep the beast fed, it burns away reasonably fast. That bucket full of wood usually lasts a couple of short half hour sessions, if I remember to shut off the air when I dont have steel in the fire. :) 




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