Charcoal or propane

Steve Why does propane heat the shop more, is the propane foge that much bigger? I've only worked with coal when coal was pretty much free.

--

73
Hank WD5JFR
"Steve Smith" < snipped-for-privacy@alum.mit.edu> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There is a larger, constantly on flame. It isn't that the forge is bigger, but you're heating a larger volume, all the time.
A coal forge is great when you want heat in a specific place or shape, just build the fire to suit. A propane forge is often better if you need an even heat over a large area (twists, tools). You can do both with either, but having both is convenient.
Steve
Henry Kolesnik wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ummm, I would have said that BTUs was BTUs. I think the difference is in how you use them. A well insulated and efficiently managed gas forge should blow off way less heat than an open coal forge.

Even heating such as when heat treating a longer blade can be a real pain in the butt with a gas forge. Depends on the design. As a rule of thumb, if you want the same temp all around, you would want it larger in diameter as the length of the work goes up. Not sure of the ratio but I'd say about 50% of the length in diameter. I've never used coal myself but I've seen some examples of arranging a charcoal forge for heat treating and it was simplicity itself if you're treating long thin stuff. Just make the coal bed the length of the work and stick the work in a pipe and lay it on the coal. You could do that with a camp fire.
GA

bigger?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't agree. A coal forge allows you to build just the right sized fire; a gas forge has to be large enough for whatever you want to put it it. This means that a gas forge is larger and loses more heat. It also stays on all the time. If you kept the blower working on the coal, it would put out a lot more btu's than a hand crank forge.
So I think a gas forge does put out more btu's (stays hotter on average) and is a larger fire, with more heat.
Steve
Greyangel wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Alright - I can see your point. Can't argue the logic there ;-) Like I said, I've never used coal. Seems like you would loose a lot of heat with the open setup but so long as you built the fire with efficiency in mind you could keep it relatively small... I am stuck with a given volume of heat with the gas but I can manage the efficiency of that too. Kind of depends on the job at hand and I've never worked it indoors. Still, you can build the forge to the type of work you plan to do. I've got a simple design that is cheap and easy to build (has its drawbacks too...) and I built two of them at the same time. One is quite small and the other is a bigger general use unit. All they are is a heat canister. I build them to be desposable. The torch is the important part and is applied where and how I need it. I'm not an advocate of any particular method. I just know what works for me.
GA

in
should
in
if
as
50%
some
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here I thought you were going to come out with the next level in super efficient gas forges to show me the error of my ways...
I've used coal, but I really prefer gas.
Steve
Greyangel wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There are some real good posts so far. Another thing or two: If you go with charcoal, you could use a hand cranked blower and therefore have an easily portable setup. If you go with propane, then you have to fight that battle or "naturally aspirated" or (blower) forced draft. The forced draft, of course, requires some sort of a blower. And some say that you can't weld well with a naturally aspirated propane forge. By the same token however, some say it's pretty hard to forge weld with charcoal, too. I know several guys who make their own charcoal and a few who use it exclusively. It works for them. I only use it when I have to. I prefer coal, for reasons already mentioned, but I have a propane forge that gets a fair amount of use, too. In summary, don't overthink this. Go get a fire going one way or the other. Nothing is forever. Sooner or later you get another source going.
Pete Stanaitis ------------------
Jacob Hawes wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete immediately goes for the important part, heating iron and beating on it.
Steve
spaco wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As you would with a naturally aspirated burner. On the other hand you can run a blower on battery power.

Crap. all you need is enough BTUs for your forge volume and an Oxygen lean atmosphere. A good naturally aspirated burner will do both if forge and burner are well designed (and matched). If you make your own burners then results will vary according to how well you did. I eventually gave up on making my own and bought a T-Rex and won't use anything else as long as they are available - though I have a home built I could use to add more heat if needed.

It's all in managing your atmosphere. You can do that with charcoal too.

Amen to that! Work out the bugs as you go and have fun. Problems and solutions are a matched set. Life would be boring without them.
GA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.