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Thread: coal types and where to buy??

  1. #1
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    coal types and where to buy??


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    i was wondering what the diference is between hard coal, soft coal and coke in a a forge? how much air should i be fanning in? and where should i buy? i live in minnesota if you know of a place not a line? does bbq charcoal work? any other info would be great, thanks.

    mitch

  2. #2
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    Soft, Bituminous Coal is what you need. We get our from the beaches.

  3. #3
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    could i just use a bag of kingsford briquettes if i fan them well in a closed forge? i know there is a difference between coal and charcoal but i was still wondering.

  4. #4
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    Most smiths that use solid fuel use high grade soft coal (bitumonus), some use lump charcoal. Others use hard coke, but you need a deeper fire and continous air blast, at least in my experience. Hard coal comes next, and last would be briquette charcoal.
    Last edited by stevomiller; 05-23-2012 at 04:24 PM.

  5. #5
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    where should i buy soft coal? i need a small minimum order.

    i have been told that soft coal (bituminous) is best for forging but when i google search it the minimum orders are in the thousands of metric tons. were do you guys buy? any good places in Minnesota or do i need to order on line?

    thanks, mitch

  6. #6
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    If I remember right, Centaur Forge has a Wisconsin store and sells by the 50 pound sack. Just going from memory, though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitch8 View Post
    i have been told that soft coal (bituminous) is best for forging but when i google search it the minimum orders are in the thousands of metric tons. were do you guys buy? any good places in Minnesota or do i need to order on line?

    thanks, mitch
    Here you go Mitch, you are in the middle of a group of blacksmiths and bladesmiths. http://metalsmith.org/ They have a coal supply in Anoka.
    Keith Johnson
    Great River Forge

  8. #8
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    Thanks Keith!! And I like your work to, that lannys clip in amber stag really has a glow about it!

  9. #9
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    where is this supply in anoka? i dont think im quite ready to join a guild.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitch8 View Post
    where is this supply in anoka? i dont think im quite ready to join a guild.
    Not sure, contact the Guild to find that information or email me and I'll help you with contact information.
    Keith Johnson
    Great River Forge

  11. #11
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    alright, i sent you an email but i forgot to put a subject in so that's me in the inbox not spam.

  12. #12
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    Heck, don't be afraid to join the guild just because you're new to the craft! That's exactly the kind of person any decent guildmember would love to see walk in the door.

    For forging, you do NOT want to use charcoal briquettes. These contain impurities that can be imparted to the steel, and they don't burn nearly as well as lump charcoal.

    If you can look around the yellow pages for coal suppliers, you're interested in metallurgical-grade coal. This is a bituminous coal that's low in sulphur. If the supplier doesn't know what type of coal they have, and some don't, look for clean burning coal in pieces about the size of a quarter. West Virginia coal like Pocahontas Vein is good stuff, but so is Blue Jim and others.

  13. #13
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    thanks vaughnt thats the kind of info im looking for! and are you sure the guild wouldnt mind having a kid in the mix? im only 16 if there is any age restriction. and keith thanks again for the email.

    mitch

  14. #14
    You might try looking at blacksmithing forums,abana.org and iforgeiron.com
    There is a MN chapter of ABANA, (Artist blacksmiths association of North America)

  15. #15
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    Mitch, no guild worth their salt is going to turn you away. They might have some legal restrictions on what you're allowed to do because of insurance purposes, but that's not nearly as big a drawback as you might imagine. Think of a guild meeting like the chance to meet many smiths in one place instead of having to travel all over the county. Once you've made some contacts and they see that you're genuinely interested, they'll open up to you even more and I wouldn't be surprised if you had invites to their personal shops to learn the skills first-hand.

  16. #16
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    I am a longtime member of the Guild of Metalsmiths since about 1985 and I can assure you that you'd be very welcome. There is an excellent forging education program from beginning to advanced. Teaching is what the Guild is all about.
    Last edited by K R Johnson; 05-28-2012 at 11:23 AM.
    Keith Johnson
    Great River Forge

  17. #17
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    Mitch

    I highly recommend joining the Guild. Its a great group of guys that are involved in all facets of metal working. The intro to Blacksmithing classes (3 separate classes held in the late fall/winter) are worth 100 times the cost of joining the Guild. At 16 you will probably need to have a parent attend classes with you.

    Its a great way to get started there are a number of classes where you can make everything from punching tools, hammers, 2 X 72 grinders, forges, treadle hammers and tire hammers (The larger projects aren't held every year). Keith is correct that all skill sets are welcome and the members are more than willing to help someone get started.


    FYI the Coal is sold through the Minnesota School of Horseshoeing in Anoka. Joining the Guild will also get you a discount on coal (IIRC - $5 for a 5 gallon pail)

  18. #18
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    Ithaca, New York, USA
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    where can I get coal in Ithaca, New York?
    Last edited by chemistguy; 01-12-2014 at 11:22 AM.

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