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Laynne

First coal fire

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My daughter told me the building she works in has some coal in the basement, was I interested. I got a sample to try.

Most of what I got went through a quarter inch screen, pretty fine. I started the fire with charcoal and started adding coal. I was expecting anthracite but to my surprise I get a thick cloud of gray smoke going up the stack just like in JLPs video. It took a while to get get to forging temp. I figured this is because of the coking process and will be quicker with coke to start with next fire.

When wetting the fines, can they be formed say in an old ice cube tray for later use? Is it better to make a putty consistency as it will be used? Last question, there is about 200 gallons of this stuff is it worth the trouble? Oh, it's free.

Thanks in advance,

Laynne

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Thanks, I'll give it a shot. I think it is mostly the sweepings from the bottom of the bin. I will know more when I clean out the fire bowl. Little bit of a learning curve having only used charcoal. That nasty smoke should run some of the wasps and carpenter bees out of the shed.

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Depends on your access to good coal too.  The heating coal I was "gifted with" was high sulfur, I didn't use it as I was getting good coal easily; until I had to make a large trench forge in the back yard to boxfold some 3/8" plate into a firebox for the Santa Maria replica that was in downtown Columbus OH floating in the river.  That was going to use a lot of coal and as I wasn't being paid for it I decided to finally get rid of the heating coal---filled the alleyway wall to wall with smoke for an entire block when starting out.

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I am going to go ahead and get it but I think I will use it in the driveway. It is some vile stuff. I had to tear my fire bowl apart and turn all of the bricks 180 from the fire they were so coated with clinker.

Thanks for the input.

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