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Actually, I think that's another pro with using corn. I've never burned a piece in a corn fire. I can't say the same when using coal.

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 Very good thread.....learned a bunch and saved me from asking a bunch of dumb questions. I've been burning some corn for a future Co. Fair demo, I just was having a bit of trouble.           Thanks               Life is Good             Dave

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I'm going to go get another bag of dried corn this weekend. I'll post some pics and results when I get around to using it. Might take a minute though. I still have about 15-20 lbs. of charcoal left at the moment. Update to be posted soon.

Pnut

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 Check out the IBA (Indiana Blacksmith Association) website, you should find a few vids of us burning corn @ the fair......          Dave

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I've used it before. I just thought I'd post some pics when I get around to doing it again. I like it except you have to keep an eye on the fireball or it'll burn away and leave you with a hollow cave. I'm surprised more people don't use it. I see people posting all the time that they can't source coal and charcoal is too much of a hassle to make. Corn seems a lot like bituminous to me. It behaves about the same and I think everyone in the US can get feed corn.  I'll be sure to check out your videos by the way.

Pnut

 

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Not only is feed corn available probably everywhere in the US if you talk to the feed store about moldy corn you could end up with sacks for hauling it off. You can't feed moldy corn so feed stores dispose of it. I experimented with corn in my forge when it'd gone moldy in the barn. First sack I burned in the burn barrel and added the output from a shop vac when I couldn't get it going. With the blower on it I had to keep a close eye on it to prevent it burning through the barrel. Then's when I tried moldy feed corn in the forge.

When I say moldy, it wasn't a sack of blue fuzz it was a little dusty with spots starting to show. Folk who own live stock tend to look at the feed every time they feed. Nothing got past Deb.

Frosty The Lucky.

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That's right. Feeding moldy corn or  moldy pellets can make animals sick. We got hold of some feed from a place we used to buy from and started seeing runny poo. I didn't realize the correlation until someone else who had bought from the same place figured out it was moldy. Normally, it's not hard to see. But I had to really look at it. I changed feed stores because I wasn't crazy about that one anyway. I haven't had that problem since, but I always check first. But it's interesting to know that you can use corn as fuel. Is plentiful for sure

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Don't you smell the feed when you open the bag? It's been sealed since being bagged and moldy smells off once you know what good feed smells like. I love the smell of a fresh sack of feed, soon as I pulled the string and opened it I stuck my face in and breathed it in. UNLESS it smelled of ANY mold!! Our feed store took back any moldy feed: mixed, single grains, pellet, hay, even straw. If they got many complaints they'd call everybody who'd bought from that shipment and recall it or at least warn you. Long time feed and seed in Palmer, a lot of people were bummed when they retired and the kids didn't want to run it, the building is a gym now. 

We didn't feed alfalfa to the goats either, it has too much calcium in it and can cause Urinary Calculi. A splash of apple cider vinegar in their water helps prevent U.C. and once they get used to it vinegar is a good way to get them to drink strange water till they adjust. IIRC a scant 1/4 C in 3 gl. of water was about max and don't forget their apple cider vinegar or they'll complain and snort in disgust at you. :angry:

I sure miss our goats. <wistful sigh>

Frosty The Lucky.

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That's just it. This stuff was hard to spot. It didn't smell off and the three of us in the same circles had the same problem. It took real close inspection. Then we all changed and everything was good. I love my feed store. They'll take back anything also. I got a sack of rabbit feed once that none of them would touch and I knew it looked different. Took it back and the ole boy smelled it and said it was hog feed. (It was labeled rabbit) No wonder they wouldn't eat it! My goats get coastal hay. I don't know how anyone can afford alfalfa hay anyway

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Remember, charcoal and “coked” corn are the same thing. Less air and a dealer fire for a bottom blast, side blast forges still need relitivly light air but do not need a deeper fire or for that mater much more fuel than will suport a 6” hot spot. Generally one will find that side blast forge is much more fuel effecent than a bottom blast for burning charcoal.  

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 In my limited experience with corn is getting it to "coke" as fast as it burns......and in my rivet forge, I could not get enough heat to melt mild steel. I could forge with corn, but welding not in the cards for me at this time....any suggestions more than welcome.       Thanks            Dave

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Corn, just like propane, doesn't burn hot enough to "melt" steel. Yet one can forge weld with propane by turning up the pressure (burning more fuel quickly) and insulating the heated area.

 

I haven't tried this yet, but I think the key to forge welding with corn is to build a large "oven" with coked corn. Pile on a huge amount of corn on a hot fire and allow it to coke. Poke a hole in front and back. Keep adding fuel from the back while pushing the air to it. Try to preserve the coke dome as you work the iron.

 

Another thought I had is to use insulating fire brick to build the "oven" with, again with openings in front and back.

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While fiddling with my phone Mr. David Thomas posted the exact thing I was going to say. The only thing I'd add is spend a few minutes getting a good amount of corn "coked" before you start. Coke more than you think you'll need and then coke up some more. The only problem I've had is the inside of the cave burning up and not having enough corn coked and ready to go. Make sure you're not cooling the fire with too much air also. It's a fine line between enough to get to welding heat and too much air that you're cooling the fire.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Pnut

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 I used corn again yesterday at a festival. It sure draws a crowd..... I finally figured out a bit, but still a ways to go. I did get a piece of 3/16"mild to melt, and forged some things.....more experience needed....                        Life is good                       Dave 

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Dave: A good bit of fun with the audience when forging with corn is to toss a little pop corn on the fire. Keep it on YOUR side of the fire so nobody watching gets burned by a kernel that gets good distance.

I hate to take the counter but if you can't melt steel with either propane or corn/charcoal you aren't doing it right. That would be a Naturally Aspirated propane burner, you can easily get 3,200f with a gun burner and a neutral fire.

Frosty The Lucky.

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 Yeah, I was ask several times about popcorn....I have some Indian popcorn I grew awhile back. May have ta get some out. My good buddy posted a few vids on the Indiana Blacksmith Association facebook page, if ya wanna check me out with the corn.        Dave

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