I had a revelation last night.

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9 hours ago, Frosty said:

Jennifer: I learned to use whatever was at hand for fuel and understand . . .Poison fuel(?) where welding is concerned. What about the new coal could've told you to go back to the old coal before you decided it wasn't working?

The coal comes from a reputable source..  It's works very well in an open fire or a more shallow fire where the dust gets blown out of the firepot.. 

The dust to chunk was about a 50/50 mix and even wet thoroughly the coke wouldn't stick together to form larger pieces so once it started to burn it would just turn back into dust as the coke was stuck only loosely.. 

The problem with welding of the hammer is for starters I like a closed fire for nearly everything I do.. I want ample reserve coke ready for each heat.. 

This coal I tried would simply choke out the fire and become smaller and smaller as the dust would accumulate in the firepot.. Again it works very well on smaller or open fires but with a 2X2x5" piece of wrought iron and a smallish fire choked back it simply would not let enough air through to keep the fire the proper size..  

Because now I am constantly trying to push the skill set or trouble shoot problem areas I had removed the trial coal on the last hammer build from the fire pot before using the old stuff.. and used the old stuff but started the straight cut hardie and a few smaller projects where the  trial coal worked well..  The thing is I had 30lbs of trial coal on the forge bed and didn't want to transport it to a bag to clear the hearth, so I burned as much of it as I could prepping the wrought iron and started to supplant the new trial stuff with the older original ton.. Once this new trial coal got used up the old stuff worked flawlessly just the way I like..   Nice closed fire with plenty of air flow through the coke to get a nice slow blast and it would be yellow hot.. 

The trial coal even with crazy hand crank speed and clinker breaking and fluffing the fire and poking holes into the dust as soon as the work piece went back into the fire it would just compact as the dust would settle back in and start choking again..  The turning of the piece to get an even welding heat just exasperated the problem.. 

Not a problem with the old stuff.. 

If I had screened the trial coal  or again used a shallow open fire it would have worked great.. I've used the coal on numerous occasions at the NEB meets but on much smaller projects with shallow open fires.. 

I bought a full ton of great smithing coal from Aubuchon hardware few years back and have burned through most of it so have started to look for a new coal source..  

I often wonder why just when one finds a good source next thing you know the source purchases from somewhere else and the coal is crap.. 

If Aubuchon had the same brand Pennsylvania Coal I'd order another ton tomorrow.. 

With that said I will go tomorrow to get another sample from another smith and see how it pans out.. 


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7 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

I often wonder why just when one finds a good source next thing you know the source purchases from somewhere else and the

You should live here at the back end of a the low bid supply chain. It wasn't that many years ago we couldn't get things shipped to us because THEY thought we weren't in America or on the same continent. Now we're not part of the contiguous united states. You should see the permitting and fees I'd have to go through to buy a truck load and haul it up through Canada myself. Can't even do that since the accident I had to relinquish my CDL.

Oh sure I can look out the window in front of me and see a major coal bearing mountain range but environentalist movements across the country say mining is a BAD thing no No NO! I can collect up to a ton a year by hand IF I can find the right seam. 

Propane is much easier and so much cheaper than shipping it up 100 lbs. with fingers crossed at a time you know.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Sorry for the craziness up your way if people can make things complicated they will find a way to make it complicated for others.. :(    I have owned propane forges, and for production work they are the bomb..  but I just can't seem to give up a coal forge for just plain and simple  wonderfulness.. 

If I can ever get a shop up.. I am going to have a coal storage bin..  Or maybe not. sometimes the reality of what I'd like to take place and what is the reality are 2 totally different things.. 

Last year we talked a little about positive personalities and happiness and the ability to joke and take ones self less serious..  Certain things just crawl under my skin and turns into a bot fly and thankfully this critter has helped me to get back into blacksmtihing but I am certainly at a cross roads as to what and where to head to next..   

It's always a pleasure Frosty  PS I started the Guillotine tool design process based on your insight.. Thanks there also.. 

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I've learned that perfect is for machines. People like handmade items because they aren't perfect, they are unique. "Mistakes" make your work human, and leave a little of your imperfect side for people to connect with.

I was making a bottle opener today and couldn't seem to get the loop quite symmetrical. Rather than frying the steel I figured it was good enough for today. After using it a few times, the recipient of this bottle opener will be happy just to find it again for the next bottle, and won't care a wit about symmetry as long as it works. 

I'm happy right where I am in my learning process; I have lots of new things to try and explore.

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17 hours ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

Finished up the rose

Excellent!. Sometimes dealing with sheet, or light gage is a real challenge.


Nice job

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