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In this part of the country we have an invasive foregin import tree called chinese tallow.

I wish some one would decide that the tree and its nuts were just the thing for forge fuel.
The only problem is that it has a lot of water in it so drying for a couple months seems indicated.

I read about a smith in the smokies that used green hickory for fuel back in the thirties though the forties. (One of the Fox fire books maybe?)

I know that willow makes great charcoal but as forge fuel I don't know.

Edited by Charlotte
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wood works pretty well. i have a wood burning forge (it works ok). if you light it with some big chinks of wood and leave it without a blower for 20 or 25 min you can come back with a nice bed of coals. that is the only fuel i have. with a hair dryer i can get bright orange in full daylight. good luck with your forge.


The first fuel I ever used was tree bark from my anvil stump. I burnt the first piece of steel I tried to work. and my tiny little forge is only 6" wide cast iron pot with a hole in the side of it and a home made red brick based refractory

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Willow makes great charcoal for making black powder; not good for smelting ore though (crushes too easily in the smelter). The term "great" *ALWAYS* requires a "for what" after it.

A formula 1 race car is a "great car" for some sorts of racing and a lousy one for others...

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it seems if it burns you can use it to forge. anyone used birch? now that might burn a little hot, with the bark you know.


Just dont go splitting that Burch by hand or you wont have any energy to make ant thing

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Do cherry pits work like corn? They are sold as stove fuel at times around here.

Granted I am building a gasses and not a solid fuel forge, but I can always build another forge later.

Phil

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I remember hearing that one could use corn as fuel for a forge but need lots of it. How much is alot? I am curious because I got to go to the feed store soon anyway and they have big bags of feed corn about 50 pounds for under 10 bucks about 8 to be exact, anyway would that be enough?

One a slightly different note, what about the wood pellets for the pellet burning stoves one finds at TSC?

Trying to avoid using coal atm.

tnraines

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I remember hearing that one could use corn as fuel for a forge but need lots of it. How much is alot? I am curious because I got to go to the feed store soon anyway and they have big bags of feed corn about 50 pounds for under 10 bucks about 8 to be exact, anyway would that be enough?

One a slightly different note, what about the wood pellets for the pellet burning stoves one finds at TSC?

Trying to avoid using coal atm.

tnraines


should say making a medium sized knife.

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In my experiments in my forge, 50 lbs of corn lasted about 6 hours. Your mileage may vary depending on your forge design and air supply, the moisture content of the corn, and your fire management skills. It will probably last you longer because my fire management skills leave something to be desired. Also, be aware that the core of your fire will have a tendency to collapse, so you will need to pay attention to that. Good luck.

Mark

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http://energy.cas.psu.edu/energycontent.html

http://www.rocksandminerals.com/coal.htm

Corn has about 6,970 btu per pound at 15.5% moisture, and bituminous coal has 10,5000 to 15,000 per pound so corn has about half the practical heating value per pound as coal.

I found this intersting too.
Phil

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http://energy.cas.psu.edu/energycontent.html

http://www.rocksandminerals.com/coal.htm

Corn has about 6,970 btu per pound at 15.5% moisture, and bituminous coal has 10,5000 to 15,000 per pound so corn has about half the practical heating value per pound as coal.

I found this intersting too.
Phil


This is intersting.

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From the little that I know about corn forging, it works well enough on smaller stock. What size steel are you trying to heat? What type of forge are you using? air supply?  Also, use the search bar and see the results others have already talked about. There are 128 results listed when searching for "corn".

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Turn the air down, tighten up the spacing on the air grate and give the fire time to build. Corn will stick together like coal coking so it actually makes a decent dome for what's basically a charcoal fire. You just can't light it off and go to work in it. Be gentle and patient it'll work a treat.

 

While I didn't put it in my forge I had to get rid of a couple 100lb sacks of feed corn a few years ago and tossed it in the burn culvert. I have a 24" road culvert leaned up at a little angle to burn garbage. The corn caught and wasn't exciting so I put a blower on it, it didn't take long and I had to back the blower way off the sides of the culvert were in the mid high yellow heat. After that I kind of wished I'd kept it for demos.

 

Hey, gang I didn't say anything about not using pop corn! Do I get an attaboy for showing restraint? I mean seriously the question is a primO straight line and you know me and straight lines.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Has anyone used dried corn in their forges? I live on a grain farm, that means we dont have the stereotypical animals like chickens cows sheep etc. we grow corn and soybeans. Just want to see if its worth taking a few bushels out of the bin to forge with. Any info would be helpful.

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Yeah, I gave a bag of moldy feed corn a try in my coal forge. Side draft works better than bottom blast. The oil makes for a pretty intense flame till it cokes up then it's a fine grain charcoal and very hot.

Treat it like a green coal fire. Start with a small fire and once it's pyrolized into charcoal gradually rake replacement corn in from the sides. This will let you work in the heart while the corn banked around it cooks out the oils and turns to charcoal. 

It has it's own tricks to learn but is excellent forge fuel once you get a handle on it. One word of caution I picked up from others who've used corn is. Only keep what you're using in the fire close to the fire, sealed steel cans kept away is safer. A  couple few hot coals in a bag or barrel of dry coal will smolder a while and flare into a right proper BLAZE eventually. It's a badness thing.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks frosty! Im not going to be using moldy corn but 3 year old corn sitting in the bottom of one of out bins

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If the corn has always been dry, it could be used. If the corn has ever gotten wet, then fungus growth is something you do not want to deal with. Just moving the corn will stir up spores and could really mess with your personal health, and the health of those around you.

 

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This is interesting. I believe I may have heard the corn cobs would work but not the corn kernels. 

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good, it will add to the knowledge here if you share your results, there is a place in solid fuel for data about coals, wood, charcoal

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