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Hey,
I`ve found a coal supplier and Am buying a ton of coal. I was wantin to see coal bins. I want to build a wood container type thing. I want to keep it off the ground(the coal) I sorta wanna make a sled or trailer type thing so I can move it if needed when i get my new shop done. Could you post pictures? And How big it is. And also how big would a bin need to be to hold a ton of coal?

Thanks,Chris

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I would say about four 55 gallon drums would hold a ton, depending on how tight it's packed in them. Five for sure. I don't know the measurements for a ton cubic-ly speaking, but I would use drums with lids on them. They would keep it dry and clean. As long as the coal is dry to begin with. Easily moved with a heavy dolly wherever you would need them. Or just roll them with a little help, as long as the lids are secure. When you get a new shop, then build a new bin to hold it all there. I'm sure other more experienced smiths will chime in from their experiences.

Just my .02 worth.

-aaron

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One question as regards size of bin is - what type of coal? Soft (bituminous) or hard (anthracite)?

Each has a specific density which means 1 ton will take up a different volume of space depebding on the type of coal purchased....

On the average - soft coal is 52 lbs per cubic foot
hard coal is 69 lbs per cubic foot

so a ton of each will weigh 2000 lbs, but soft coal will take up 38.5 cuft and hard coal will take up 30 cuft. Cubic space is calculated as length x width x height. For the hard coal, 30 cuft could be a container 5'x6'x1' tall, 3'x4'x2.5', or 2.5'x3'x4' tall...

My old coal bin is in the gallery was 15'x6'x3.5' tall, or 315 cuft. As it was soft coal, that was about 8 tons. Considering I loaded all the coal in 33 gal plastic garbage cans, slid them up a board into my truck and then dumped in the bin..... burning it in the forge was a LOT more fun!

The new bin will be 10'x4'x2.5' (about 2.5 tons) and will be supplied by rail. (Live steam railroad next door, move from truck to hoppers, move by rail, empty, and return for another load.... MUCH EASIER!)

Hope this helps....

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Yes, five 55gal drums will be plenty. May I suggest that if you are putting in a drum to use the large plastic drums. The metal ones will rust on the inside unless linesd with a plastice drum liner and flakes of rust will be in your coal.(experence speaking) I just store mine outside in a 3 sided "pen" that I draped black poly in before unloading the coal. I get leaves and the occation pine cone in my coal but shoot, that's how the stuff was started out, right? :)I have found that crushing your coal into small pieces, (at least pea size and the smaller the better), then wetting it good, it will coke better and more dense. I believe it to burn hotter also but that may be my imagination.;) I have been told this is the way it is done at the Francis Whitaker shop in Colorado.

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A standard pallet with sidewalls 4 feet tall will hold a ton of coal. Otherwise it is 5 each 55 gallon drums. Take the advice of plastic bag liners to the inside of the steel drums (don't ask, just do it). It can be several smaller bags if one large one is not available.

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A standard pallet with sidewalls 4 feet tall will hold a ton of coal. Otherwise it is 5 each 55 gallon drums. Take the advice of plastic bag liners to the inside of the steel drums (don't ask, just do it). It can be several smaller bags if one large one is not available.


Alright Thanks Glenn. I`ll use a standard pallet and put 4 walls. Should I put a Plywood lid or maybe a plastic tarp On top ?so a Bunch of water don`t get in the coal then on the bottom of the pallet and it rots.
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Alright Thanks Glenn. I`ll use a standard pallet and put 4 walls. Should I put a Plywood lid or maybe a plastic tarp On top ?so a Bunch of water don`t get in the coal then on the bottom of the pallet and it rots.


So Chris where did you find it? And how are you getting it to your house? Also will it be guarded at night, or could someone with a "quiet" pickup sneak up and take some? Just questions that come to mind. :)

Or, you could always store it here at my house, I would even build a coal bin to keep it in...
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Hammerkid, I store my coal under a wheelborrow.

The good stuff is in 55 gallon drums (5 drums per ton) and next to the dog's house with a piece of tin as a cover. Dog keeps a watch over the good coal (grin).

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Glenn, I really try not to hoard coal but even hoarding coal I would think the BLACKSMITH god's would frown on me less for that then hoarding ANVILS! The metal drum I used was not tight and here in East Texas it can get REAL humid! hence the rust on the inside. I have 2 large plastic drums and the 3sided pen. The 'good' stuff is in the drums and the Oklahoma stuff is in the pen. It's decent coal, just makes a BIG clinker!

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Mills, the Oklahoma stuff I have came form up close to Kansas. Not sure just exactly where and the guy I got it from went up there for 1 ton and came home with 3.5 tons....on an 18' flatbed trailer! He used it once then built a gasser. I have since purchased a large portion of it at different times. The clinker looks like glass and will be 4-5" in dia. and 1/2" thick. But you can get every bit of it out in one piece with a hooked rod just by letting the fire "rest" for about 5 mins. Chuncks from as big as your fist to fines. ( I didn't mean any disrespect to my Okey friends;) )

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I just finished my bin. It's sitting outside waiting to be filled tomorrow. Due to the amount of the yard we are devoting to gardening, I didn't want an open pile. I have been using a trash can or two, but now I have a 2x2x4' inside shipping box, plus some for a slanted lid which should hold around 1/2 ton. Any extra will go in buckets/trash cans until it's burned. I forged 16 edge reinforcements to keep it from falling apart after years of rain and weight, and a pair of strap hinges to hold on the lid. The shipping box was picked up for free after an auction, otherwise I would have made it bigger. Quality coal isn't getting any cheaper.

I'll try to get pictures.

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  • 12 years later...

Welcome aboard Sweetolive, glad to have you. If you put your general location in the header you'll have a chance to hook up with members living within visiting distance. Much advice is location specific and there are about 150 countries around the planet represented here. Things I can buy within 20 minutes is virtually unaccessable to 99% of the planet. Hmmm?

You also might want to give us a nick name or something to address you or we'll have to make something up. Just signing your posts is usually plenty, you don't need to change your login. And NO, we aren't going to look at your profile to see if you listed a name or location. 

Drums are good for coal/coke, etc. storage but if you're thinking of making one into a hopper with a gate so you can pull a handle and have coke pour into a bucket then stop it, I'm thinking you have more of a project than a guy who doesn't have the tools or knowledge to cut a drum without tools is going to be up for. 

The drums I use have lids and ring clamps so I can just shovel what I want out and the drum can live outside and keep the fuel dry. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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