So I've got a few things I need to harden, and a few things I need to get
hot and beat on. I'm eyeing some surplus brake drums and thinking "quick
My question is, if I just want to fire it up occasionally and do casual
work, do I need to go out and get some real coal or can I just go to the
local Costco and load up on Kingsford charcoal? Will this work? How will
it compare to coal/coke?
Also, how large of an area can I expect to get hot?
begin 666 Tim Wescott.vcf
Compressed charcoal briquets are terrible for smithing.
Too much sawdust in them.
Hardwood charcoal does work.
You will burn through it quickly, but it burns very clean.
You have to keep the air blast up to keep it going.
Real charcoal is great.Store-bought charcoal brickettes are usable,more
or less.If you intend to use your forge regularly,then i'd definitely
suggest real charcoal.It does burn quickly,but burns hotter and
cleaner,is a chinch to make and leaves no "clinkers".
"Tim Wescott" wrote in
I mostly use propane, but have been expermenting with charcoal. I have
built a charcoal maker which produces as much charcoal in a weekend as I
could use in a week. The wood is scrap from construction sites this fits
in with my budget.
Although charcoal burns up quicker it produces a lot of heat, it is
cleaner than coal/coke, does not stink, has no sulfur, and is for the
most part free.
I built the charcoal maker from similar to this one ->
After using some of briquettes in a pinch, I was really appalled at
the amount of clink left over from them. After seeing that type of
crap residue I don't cook with them either!
Gobae - The Smith
There was quite recently a post about doing this with 55 gallon drums as
the reactor, and doing an efficient job by using the gas coming off the
drum to help cook the charcoal (wasting less wood). Deja or google for
it to find the details.
There are a lot of ways to make charcoal....depending on where you do it
at.Basically your trying to cook wood,..cooking off every thing but the
carbon in it.I started cooking wood down to charcoal in a 1 gallon empty
paint can over a camp stove(not recommended,unless you have a lot of
time to waste).Now days,i've switched to the old fashioned
method,building a fire ,and when the wood is well and truly on
fire,smothering it slowly,letting the smoke vent somewhat.There's a
million ways,depending on your location and available equipment and a
google search will help inspire your creativity.Just remember,..it will
produce gobs and gobs of smoke. As i learn
more,i have come to see advantages using softwood,like pine,instead of
hardwood.It cooks down easier,..and burns super hot (but faster).Most
any wood can be made into usable charcoal,...just be sure NOT to use
lumber thats been chemicaly treated,because it can release nasty
poisonous fumes.Good luck!