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I Forge Iron

Newbee : I've got an anvil!!


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I have an anvil. My brother gave me a #81 paragon anvil from
Sweden. From what I have read this seems to be a nice anvil. Just a little
small. So I'm on my mission of gathering tools and bulding a forge.
I have also recently joined the local group of blacksmiths in this area. They
seem nice and hopefully I will gather information from them. I have several
old car brake drums around so I guess economically I 'll make a forege from one of them.
I do have one question about coal. It is not that easy to locate hear. How
much heat can I generate from lump charcoal.
Looking forward to having some fun.

Edited by paragon53
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Lee, the first thousand years of the iron age nothing but charcoal was used to forge and smelt with and charcoal is still one of the most popular fuels to use as you can make it most anywhere while good coal is a limited resource. (Put me on a south sea island with nothing but coral and palm trees and I'll make coconut husk charcoal and forge away!)

So you can forge weld with charcoal---how much hotter do you need?

Now you may want to design your forge to optimize it for charcoal as you generally want a deeper but less spread out fire and less air to blow it with. Look at some of the "washtub forge" made with clay and a washtub by the neo-tribal folks for some ideas.

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I've been forging with lump charcoal for about a year with great success--I can get 20 pound sacks from a local grocery store (NEVER use the brick-ettes). There are a multitude of internet resources to find out how to make a "washtub" forge for charcoal forging and also the ingredients for a "home made" castable refractory type cement/lining. You will have to break up the lump charcoal into small pieces for it to work well--I use my hammer and anvil and just give the lumps a small smack and they bust up pretty easy. Size of lumps should be around 3/4-1" size.

Also, welcome--I'm new here too.

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