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Whiskeysup

Charcoal size

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Very new to blacksmithing and am almost finished building my first forge. Was planning on using coal but I have an almost unlimited free supply of charcoal from work. Two questions on whether this would be practical: the size- is it too small(see pic) and it is soaked in bourbon( yes, its what I do for a legal living). Could it be used to stretch coal use or could it be used by itself? Thanks.

 

 

20181115_072111.jpg

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It is fairly small; but there are ways that will probably work to use it.  A deep bed---between walls of adobe or firebrick forming a slot forge with a GENTLE air source distributed along it.  You will be placing your steel deep in the "slot" but leave a thick layer underneath. (Experiment with your set up to see if 1/3 or 1/2 or 1/? is the best place to set it.)

You will need to dry it out and perhaps let rain "wash" it thoroughly.  You know they used to forge with peat or with buffalo dung so it can be done.

You have the advantage of a large free source and so can build a forge that might be a bit wasteful of it.

I remember watching sword forging in Toledo Spain where the forge was piled several feet deep in coal fines and no sign of the fire appeared at the surface; but the smith would thrust the workpiece deep in it and bring it out nicely hot and with no scaling too! (Fabrica de Espadas Zamorano back in the 1980's)

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