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Old 08-13-2019, 05:54 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Default Gotta question about coal

So I have a gas forge and a coal forge, and even with all the start up and smoke, I like the coal one better. I really like wood charcoal but it burns too fast and gets too expensive so I use blacksmith coal that I buy from our local guild. It's a long drive but I can't find anywhere else to get it.

A friend of mine has a railroad tracks in his backyard and it's on a big curve. He gets lots of coal spilled over on the ground out there and gave me a bucket of it. I'd like to use it, but it looks different to me and I'm wondering if you fellow blacksmiths might be able to tell me if it'll work for forging. I'd just try it myself but I won't be able to try it for about a week or so and I'm a little excited to find out, as the place I go to buy my coal now is a far drive, and I don't get out that way often.

The coal on the left is the stuff I buy from the Guild and is more "sparkly" or at least covered in more "sparkly" dust. It's also dirtier to handle. The stuff on the right is the spillover coal and is dull in color and clean to handle. It's possible that the sparkly dust washes off revealing the dull color but I haven't tried that yet. Looking at the picture, they look the same but the stuff on the left is much glossier or more sparkly then the other stuff.

What do you think?
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Last edited by Scratch; 08-13-2019 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:37 PM
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I dont know anything about coal but I think you are whining, bitching, crying about coal that is going to be free to you! If you are that worried about it, dont accept it and goes pay your money for the other coal! Looking a gift horse in the mouth is the saying!
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by astronut View Post
I dont know anything about coal but I think you are whining, bitching, crying about coal that is going to be free to you! If you are that worried about it, dont accept it and goes pay your money for the other coal! Looking a gift horse in the mouth is the saying!
You need a reality check.

one way of learning about coal is when someone asks a question like he did. I would also like to know.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:18 PM
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The spilled coal is probably anthricite from the powder river basin. It will work but it will be hard to light, hard to keep going, and make a lot more clinker. So start the fire with charcoal then switch to the free stuff. An electric blower will be helpful to keep a constant air blast just cut it way back when not heating. It won't be Pocahontas#3 but it will work. It might turn out to be decent stuff you won't know until you try it.

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Old 08-13-2019, 09:07 PM
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Thanks guys. Well most of you guys....
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astronut View Post
I dont know anything about coal but I think you are whining, bitching, crying about coal that is going to be free to you! If you are that worried about it, dont accept it and goes pay your money for the other coal! Looking a gift horse in the mouth is the saying!
Whoa...........back off a little there sparky...

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Originally Posted by Dr Dean View Post
...The spilled coal is probably anthricite from the powder river basin. It will work but it will be hard to light, hard to keep going, and make a lot more clinker...
I don't think there's any anthracite coming out of the Powder River Basin. As far as I know it's all bituminous or sub-bituminous; both of which are excellent for blacksmithing.

Quote:
...It might turn out to be decent stuff you won't know until you try it...
Yup, just fire some up and see what happens...
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:56 AM
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Sorry, I didnt mean to be so rash as my response sounded. I would not pass up the free coal. I would try it and see what it did.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch View Post

The coal on the left is the stuff I buy from the Guild and is more "sparkly" or at least covered in more "sparkly" dust. It's also dirtier to handle. The stuff on the right is the spillover coal and is dull in color and clean to handle. It's possible that the sparkly dust washes off revealing the dull color but I haven't tried that yet. Looking at the picture, they look the same but the stuff on the left is much glossier or more sparkly then the other stuff.

What do you think?
Bituminous coal is what you want. It is soft and cokes well, and burns with a greasy yellow flame til the oily stuff is burnt off, then glues together in a mass. Because of the bitumen you get filthy hands from it.

Sub bituminous coal is common power plant and home heating coal and does not coke. We have 93 billion tons of it in our province. If you want to forge with it you need a deep fire to consume all the oxygen as it allows air to pass through the fire easily.
Your coal looks to be sub bitumenous.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:17 AM
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Hey, isn't that the stuff the progressives will not allow you to burn here, but will sell it to every other third world country.

O'nigger made the coal burning power plants drill holes in their boilers, so they could never again be used to burn the most efficient power generating fuel source for the last 200 years?

I thought so.

RED
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:10 PM
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Kieth you are absolutely correct, damn I hate it when a brain fart makes a public appearance. The information about using anthracite coal is still right though, it needs air to keep burning. I have a chunk of coal that came from the Coutou mine and it is not shiny and is definitely soft, my Mom picked it up during a mine tour with Dad.
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