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I Forge Iron

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As decent coke looks to become scarce in the near future, does anyone know if any of the surviving collieries in the UK produce decent coal for smithing?

I was particularly interested in any free mines (or whatever it is called where free miners dig) in the Forest, as that is about as low carbon footprint as fossil fuel can get, though what very very little literature I've been able to scour from the internet suggests that the seams in the Forest produce pretty poor coal for our purposes.

Any body?

*Forest of Dean

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I'm shamefully lacking in technical knowledge about this sort of thing but I think Welsh dry steam coal from Ffos-y-fran is meant to be ok for forging. I tried some a while ago & if you look back in this UK section threads you'll find some discussions on it.

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The  coal Joel mentions is good to work with, but if you are used to coke, then you will have to modify your fire management technique somewhat. It is good to fireweld with, and creates less clinker than the coke. It is also a lot cheaper to purchase.


There are rumoured to be a couple of other private sources, but are usually difficult to find, and you need to order in multi ton quantities or collect yourself.


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/18/2018 at 11:34 AM, Joel OF said:

I didn't notice before you're in the Forest of Dean. That can only be an hour from from F-Y-F, no? My local steam train line (Romney Marsh in Kent) uses F-Y-F coal, you must be able to get it easier than they can.

For your own safety, please never suggest that someone who is not in the forest of dean is in the forest of dean.

Likewise, please never suggest that someone who is, isn't.

For the record, I am not, nor ever have been in the forest of dean.

Anyway, it happens that a change of circumstance will see me back on the propane for the forseeable future.


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