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I Forge Iron

What do we use coal dust for?

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Well the title says it all. When looking for coal i have run across lump coal, nut coal, rice coal, and coal dust all in 40# bags. I can not for the life of me figure out what the dust would be used for. I know small bits can be used for punch "lube" and a few other things, but 40# bag of it? My dad tells me that when he worked at a cement plant they used coal dust in a "spray" to fire their kilns, but that would require tons of dust that they made on site. The only other thing i could even think of would be a coal fired furnace in the home. 

Anywho, just wondering.

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Coal fines work well in a forge. They will create the same type of enviroment as anything else.

I could get it for free at the mine or for a six-pack to the driver, he would load me up.

Here's how to use it

I use a 5 gallon bucket to hold the fines. Mix well with water until it is like a good mortar mix/slurry.

That's it. 

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Bituminous coal fines work well. I've never tried any micro anthracite.  When I use it, I store it in a bucket of water and get a scoopful and let it drain and add it to a going fire. Usually along the sides like you would green coal anyway. Sure teaches you to leave some breeze for the next fire!

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Thanks for the ideas there. I was wondering what to do with the stuff in the bottom of my bucket.

Will dirt hurt any? After i cleaned out the old coal chute here i came out with 3 big piles of i guess fines, dust and some dirt. I did come away with enough usable coal that has lasted all summer to. 

I would like to add that i went back to the website i saw this on and all they sold was anthracite. It was a home heating place that is local. 

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Anthracite isn't bad after you get used to it. If it's cheap enough I'd give it a go. I'd go with the rice or nut size though.    I'd like to give the dust a try. It might turn out to work great but I'm just guessing and am aggravatingly optimistic sometimes. I have a suspicion it may burn hotter than the nut size chunks. 




Edited by pnut
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