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I Forge Iron

Fire pot dimensions for coal forge


DHarris

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Of course much depends on how much clinker is being produced.  With the best coal I've used I could forge for 6-8 hours and have a couple of tablespoons of ashy clinker.  With poor coal I had to pull out a glassy hunk every 15 minutes or so.  This of course was for regular forging.  When billet welding; the flux and extra fuel consumed and scale generated could produce stalactites from the tuyere grate... 

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It also depends on the material of the firepot. A dirt- or sand-filled side-blast forge will see some amount of that fill becoming clinker as well, in addition to the noncombustible material in the coal itself.

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Run a strong magnet through the charcoal after it comes out of the retort? Sweeping old pallets would take care of the worst of the dirt.  Pressure washing would be overkill but maybe not.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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You are missing the rest of what makes a dirty fire. Thats the fly ash, fines, small bits of clinker, scale etc. That big clinker is only a small part of it. 

And you are right. A difference is that with a bottom draft all the "stuff" falls straight down. With a side blast, It falls down below the air inlet. Both solve this problem differently. With a bottom draft with a "clinker ball" and handle, I constantly flip that handle and the ash etc are gone. And thats what you cant do with a grate. With a side blast eventually you are going to have to break down your fire and shovel it clean. 

I shouldnt of said fire control. Maybe I meant thermodynamics.  Where the air goes because of a triangular ball. The air goes up the sloped sides and no air goes straight up. This makes an envelope around the heart of the fire,radiating in, and no hotspot anywhere. With a sideblast, the air comes out 1" dia and hits the coke. And this is the hot spot. With fire control, you can control the size, but it will always be hottest right where it comes out. 

This has been good for me. I've been thinking of a side blast these last few months. This and one other thread have given me good info on side blast. Its a bottom blast for me. What can i say.  ;)  The air envelope idea and getting rid of fly ash, not sweeping it into a corner waiting for the ash bunnies to....  :)

 

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If my fire clinkers up enough to be a problem I slit the mound just above the clinker with a shovel, lift it enough to hook the clinker out and let the fire back down. A couple swats with the shovel and some air and it's rolling along.

I don't burn coal often and what I can collect is clinkery,  I can't find the seam with the world class smithing coal so I collected what I could get to. 

The ease of cleaning the clinker is another reason I prefer a duck's nest and a few fire bricks rather than a fire pot. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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