Coal vs. Charcoal

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
forge".
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?
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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.
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I agree with Ernie. It will burn quickly but if you are not going to forge all the time it may be better than trying to find coal.
Bob
On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 20:36:39 GMT, Ernie Leimkuhler

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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

Anybody ever try those compressed wood stove pellets? They look like they might char down quickly & then burn nice & hot.
OTOH, it might be my dumb idea for the day.
- ken
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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!
Dan Crowther Gobae - The Smith http://www.oakandacorn.com

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and hardwood charcoal has the added benefit that when you get hungry at a demo you can just sling some brats over the fire!
-Willam the Tinker
wrote:

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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".
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How does a fellow make hardwood charcoal properly, and what kind of wood is best to use? Thanks guys, Eric

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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.
--
Cats, Coffee, Chocolate...vices to live by

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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!
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Tim Wescott wrote:

Kingsford is good for coal kindling, but it doesn't really have the heat/mass that coal has. I'm stuck with gas, EPA Regs.
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