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Irondragon, I’ve been using 30 weight and I’ve noticed a leak on all of them, but a couple of the blowers are a little loud maybe I should do the same? I hadn’t thought about adding stp or using gear oil, and I already have all those on hand too, so maybe I should follow your lead and start putting something thicker in them. Thank you for the tip! 

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I’ll definitely change the way I’m oiling thank y’all for the advice! 
 

 Here a little bit ago I had added more coal on the fire to burn down to coke and I heard a couple small booms, then I had flames shoot back up the tube and out the blower? What was that all about? I haven’t seen that before. 9B666B68-9037-4812-A6E0-26FF4C91F7AE.thumb.jpeg.b6a3093f96dfc28a20af9c5e3968a17e.jpeg

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Probably a little bit of coal gas and/or carbon monoxide accumulating below the tuyere.  You need to keep some kind of air moving upwards through the firepot, even if you just open or crack open the ash dump.  Those explosions can sometimes get rather violent!  Be careful.

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Thank you arkie, I didn’t know that, I guess I’ve just been lucky till now! Maybe on the next forge build I’ll make one of those gravity ash dumps instead of the slide one, that way it blows out the bottom…. I hope!

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Well I’ve been firing up every day for a few hours in the evenings and every time I added fresh coal I cracked open the ash gate until the coal burned down to coke and I haven’t had any more trouble. 

on another note My home made liner seems to be holding up nice, no major cracks and it’s keeping the forge pan pretty insulated,

also there was one night we got a heavy rain for hours and I forgot to put the forge up in the shop, I was afraid the liner was gonna get wet and melt to mud but I was surprised it was hard as concrete the rain didn’t seem to affect it at all. 

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Just before you shut down, take a little time and make some coke. Meaning when it turns to coke, take it out of your fire. Fill in that hole with coal and make some more coke. When you have enough, use this coke to start your new fire the next day. Then just use this coke, no green coal. It will start with a little newspaper wadded up like a mushroom. Have enough coke to cover the newspaper and bring the coal up to the coke. Wet the coal around the perimeter. 

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How much water you need depends a lot on your fuel.  I've used coal that has ranged from fines being stored in a bucket of water to Sewell Seam coal using a hand crank blower that I didn't use any water with at all.  So experiment!

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I haven’t used my water stick yet yet, I just made one because I saw one in Lorelei sims book lol. Not sure what kinda coal I’m using it’s mostly fine but there are some big blocks of it, but even the big blocks shader like glass when you hit them. This coal came from one of the stigler coal mines south of me, I store in wore out army crates. 265A1F2D-CA8D-4AA8-A1C2-3917758F31A7.thumb.jpeg.07b56e57664db024863f0d0c05787219.jpegE4069D0F-8C2B-418C-A625-AAE05192B092.thumb.jpeg.fea0bc100a57564f096a5fa028d213d5.jpegBC32D0FC-083F-46F1-97B3-1EF9C416E0F0.thumb.jpeg.e26e3c79287832f8c07d6660ce845b7e.jpegE40A52E1-E3FC-4AD5-8883-DD0FAC978859.thumb.jpeg.cab19e8eca4b169ad3b816f9d79446b6.jpeg

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This is where connecting up with the local smiths can help as they probably have a lot more experience with the coal to be found in OK.

When I lit my first forge in 1981 in OKC I made and used charcoal to fuel it as I couldn't find coal back then.

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Lol, I know most everyone in Adair county and they just isn’t many smiths to be met here, maybe a handful of hobby smiths and there’s that Brian brazeal guy who lives south of me but he’s always traveling and teaching, I’ve only got to talk with him once when he brought a mower to my shop for repair,

that all being said,

one of the reasons I’m building this little pancake forge is so I have a light weight one to take to meetings, so I can talk to other smiths, 

Irondragon told me about a big meet that’s gonna be held in gentry Arkansas in September, the northwest Arkansas blacksmiths will be there and another group called the four states iron munchers, I plan on going to that meeting and hopefully learning a lot!  
   When I’m there I’ll ask if anyone is using coal from the same mine as my coal came from. 

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Concerning water, Water is max importance. water is used a little at a time as needed to control the size of your fire. Keep your green coal wet at all times. Experiment. 

On your water can, put 3-4 holes on each side about a third of the way down from the top. Use these holes to control your fire.

Newspaper hands down. I make a mushroom out of 4-5 sheets of newspaper. Lets see if i can explain how to make a mushroom out of newspaper. stack your newspaper so it makes a circle on the perimeter. grab the newspaper off the center a couple of inches and start folding it in. this is the top of your mushroom. Keep doing this until the outside edges are under the mushroom and look like the stem. Twist the stem to tighten it up. Light the stem and place it over your air inlet stem down. Cover with coke, and bring your wet green coal up to the outer edge of the newspaper. The wet coal directs the air straight up, burns the paper and is all you need to light your coke. 

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Well a simple browser search on Brent Bailey Blacksmith turned this up: [commercial link removed]

Well it was  a link to his website so you could tell what kinds of stuff he excels at.  Guess you can do the search and find it for yourself.

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Thomas, thanks for the link,

Ive never heard of him before, I thought the name sounded like some new country music star lol, I guess I should have looked him up lol. 
 

it looks like he’s definitely got a nice business goin on, and snazzy website too! 
He makes some really nice looking stuff!

DHarris, are you gonna bring your setup and be doing any forging at that conference? 

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Thank you anvil! 
 
and thank you irondragon, 

I’ll try both yalls ways!
So far I’ve just been using a map torch. Except for trying Frostys cardboard trick. 

Irondragon, what kind of coal are you using in that picture? And where did it come from if you don’t mind my asking? 
 
mine came  from the stigler mine south of me, but yours looks different so I was curious. 

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