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I use charcoal made from wood scraps (old lumber, dead trees, construction waste, whatever I can get basically) pretty much any kind of wood will work to start.
You'll find that some is nicer to work with than others, but I'm not too picky.
It doesn't smoke like coal does, but it doesn't burn as long either.

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Chris, welcome to Iforgeiron!
As to your question:
Yes, you can forge with wood. The main problem with wood as a fuel is that , like a campfire, it puts out a lot of radiant heat. It's not so much a problem in winter, but in summer it can make forging an unpleasant experience.

There is another option: to burn the wood down into charcoal.......and then use the charcoal as your forge fuel. There threads and blueprints on IFI that show you how.
I prefer making the charcoal : less radiant heat, less smoke, and a more predictable fuel.

As to finding coal, there are a bunch of Ga. blacksmiths who are members of this site and might be able to help.
There is also a" list of coal suppliers " thread that might be useful.


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I started with charcoal and it works well. (You do know that it's the original blacksmith's fuel, don't you?) I switched to propane because my living circumstances weren't conducive to making my own charcoal, and it gets expensive to buy. I also got tired of wasting time hunting for wood and processing it into charcoal, when I'd rather have spent that time forging.

But yeah, if you don't mind the smoke it's possible to forge in a wood fire and let it convert to charcoal on the fly.

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If you really want to use coal, you could call Buster Grubbs, who lives northeast of Macon, Ga. He is a member of the Ocmulgee Blacksmith Guild and sells coal as a sideline service to the guild members,etc. The last time I was there, he had about 17 tons on his coal pile. He can be contacted at:
Shady Rest Forge
Route19, Box 739
7475 Hammock Rd.
Macon,GA 31217
Hope this helps.

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