Managing the fire?

Does anyone have any real info on this? .. A page that illustrates stuff
maybe? .. as i cant find a blacksmith around where i live and especialy
not one still using coal/coke/charcoal for the fire i cant realy find any
info on the subject .. and everywhere i find something "coal is turned
into coke and the fire has to be managed carefully" why thank you .. now
how do i manage the fire in the right way? .. this no one seems to have
thought of putting up on the web? :> .. atleast that i cant find :>
(its the coal/coke things im most after as i cant afford to burn
truckloads of charcoal :P )
Reply to
Tomas Wilhelmsson
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on the subject .. and everywhere i find something "coal is
now how do i manage the fire in the right way? ..
Assuming you have a coal forge, you want use damp, soft (bituminous) coal, not hard (anthracite) coal. If you don't have a sprinkler can, make one, you'll need it. Start by filling the fire pot with several pieces of wadded up paper, followed by some wood scraps (2" x 4" lumber work great), followed by a thin covering of damp, green coal. (After the initial fire, you will use coke in this step).
Mound a good bit of coal around your firepot, keep it damp, you'll use it later.
Light the paper and turn the air blast on low if you have a blower, crank the blower slowly if by hand, or pump the billows lightly. When the fire spreads to the wood, you'll need a bit more air. As the coal catches fire it will smoke like hell! Add more coal, more air, and make more smoke. The coal should be flaming now. Add more coal until you have a mound of flaming, smoking coal in your firepot.
Turn off the air, quit cranking, stop pumping the billows - it's lit.
As the impurities are burned out of the coal in your firepot, coke is formed (the coal "cokes up"). Coke burns hotter than coal, but it burns to ash. As a consequence, you must constantly tend the fire by maintaining a supply of burning coke, coal in the process of forming coke around the coke, and green coal around the coal in the process of coking. This is done by constantly moving the green coal from around your firepot to the edge of the firepot, then to the fire. Use your air blast to maintain your fire as the work requires.
Managing a coal fire is an art unto itself. I've purposely left out the tricky stuff and I've failed to mention the dreaded clinker, but this'll get you started.
Please see and for much better descriptions of the process.
Reply to
Tom Stovall
Tom Stovall wrote: (clip) Turn off the air, quit cranking, stop pumping the billows - it's lit. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^ Tom's description sounds like it ought to help, but I would like to add one little thing. In order to picture the process, you have to know that the damp coal, as it heats up and catches fire, forms a crust--the chunks stick together. This is going to form an "igloo," with hot burning coal on the inside, with air flowing through it, and damp coal on the outside, waiting its turn to get to the inside.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Some good suggestion to which I can add nothing but you might want to try posting on alt.crafts.blacksmith as it is a much better newsgroup to ask these sorts of questions. Ken
Reply to
Ken Vale
Sorry I forgot the "ing" on the end rec.crafts.blacksmithing, and yes it exists as I was reading a post on it today (not all servers carry all groups). If you still can't find it on your server look it up on Google. Ken
Reply to
Ken Vale
It really helps to work with someone, even to just watch someone else. Where are you? Have you tried looking for a local group through ABANA?:
formatting link
Steve Smith
Tomas Wilhelmss>Does anyone have any real info on this? .. A page that illustrates stuff
Reply to
Steve Smith
If you don't have that newsgroup then you may have to use one of the web based access points for the access to that NG. I do have access to it myself on my newsgroup server.
-- Bob May Losing weight is easy! If you ever want to lose weight, eat and drink less. Works every time it is tried!
Reply to
Bob May
In a pinch, you could also subscribe to theforge (one word) via
http:// snipped-for-privacy@qth.net/listinfo/theforge
Reply to
John Husvar

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