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Will
Hi, Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Will and if you have questions
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contribute projects or ideas you can contact me Will

About Coal for Blacksmithing, what types there are and how to get it

We live in a "modern" world and coal is somthing from the past. Used to be a time when it heated many many homes. Nowadays we have better options for heat.

But, with the big resurgence of blacksmithing coal is now more in demand for the little guy. And it can be a challenge to get it in small amount.

Here I have some advice for you on the different kins of coal and where you can very easily get some. And I also give you an alternative to coal that works just as well.

Will has a youtube channel with over 1000 videos on projects you can make including dozens of blacksmithing videos. Check it out right here

About coal selection:

There are variables when it comes to coal. Just like there are variables with everything else. Some of the things you might consider are the type of forge you have, the type of forging you want to do, the amount of money you want to spend among other things. But a good rule of thumb is that you can get a bituminous coal that is metallurgical grade. You can't go wrong with it. You get a hot fire and low smoke, low sulphur.

How much coal do you need?

Bit of a tricky question! This of course depends on how much forging you will be doing. If you are doing an afternoon of forging then 20 pounds of hardwood lump charcoal should be plenty and 5 pounds of coal should do.

How hot the coals burn:

The hardwood lump charcoal burns the coolest but it is more than adequate for most forging. I have used it many times to make knives and swords. Bituminous coal is the next coal, it is a softer coal and it burns hotter than the lump charcoal. Anthracite coal is a hard coal and it burns the hottest.

Which should you use?

For amateur blacksmithing it doesn't matter much. Use whatever you can get. It is when you want to do some really good forging that you need to think about the coal. For example: Need to worry abou the carbon content of a sword you are making? Or the impurities that it will pick up? Then you might want to consider a coal that is metallurgy grade.

Or is time a factor for you? Got a lot of forging to do and need to efficiently get through it? Then you might want the hottest fire which is given with anthracite.

My recommendation

If you are getting into blacksmithing you should try all kinds of coals. Get a feel for them and how they burn, how much smoke they give off and all the other aspects. Blacksmithing is a hands on trade so get your hands on it and experiment/observe.

If you are just tinkering around with blacksmithing it doesn't matter a whole lot what you use and I recommend you pick up a bag of Hardwood Lump Charcoal. I use it all the time and like it a lot. It is available at home improvement stores (only during grilling season) and also available year round on amazon.com:

Here is some on amazon:

Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal - 20 pound bag

This 20 pound bag will last you a few hours of forging. Depending on how you use it.

Want to start out with a small amount of coal so you can get a sense for it. Depending on your forge and what you are doing you should be able to get a day of forging out of a 16 pound box of it. This stuff has free shipping. It is bituminous coal which means it is the softer coal and easy to light. But very hot.

16 pound box of bituminous coal for forging

 

Here is a 25 pound box if you want more coal!!!

25 pounds of coal

 

 

 

Blacksmithing and Heating Coal 25lbs

25lbs of high BTU Stove Coal. 1.5" to 2.5" nugget size. Coal can be used in model railroading, stoves, forges and foundrys as well as landscaping. Comes shipped in a 12"x12"x6" box.

 

 

Hardwood Lump Charcoal fire

Here is the forge with a Hardwood Lump Charcoal fire.

 

bituminous coal

This is bituminous coal. And it is perfect for blacksmithing. These small nugget sized shapes are easy to handle and burn well.

 

firepot with Bituminous coal

Here is the firepot with Bituminous coal burning. It makes a beautiful fire. Very hot and easy to maintain.

 

bituminous coal on ebay.

I bought the bituminous coal on ebay. And I got 19 pounds of it stuffed in a shipping box to the max! Yes, maximum coal in that box.

 

Bituminous Metallurgical coal on ebay

 

 

Anthracite Coal

Anthracite Coal - I bought this on ebay also. I got 15 pounds of it. It is harder and the nuggets are more defined.

 

make your own lump charcoal from wood

I also have a tutorial on how to make your own lump charcoal from wood. Check that tutorial out right here: How to make hardwood lump charcoal for forging

 


 

Blacksmithing for Beginners -

This book will get you blacksmithing fast and easy. It is an introductory guide to blacksmithing for people who have little or no experience with the craft. It explains with 50 pictures and illustrations what a forge is, what the tools are, the parts of an anvil, and how it all works. It also shows you the things you will need to get started and where you can get them - and even how to make your own simple forge if you need one.It is a complete introduction to blacksmithing that includes a series of tutorials with pictures showing you step-by-step how to perform basic blacksmithing techniques like pointing and bending. Written in an easy to understand style this book explains to you why the blacksmith heats steel and why the changing color of the steel when heated is important. You will gain an understanding of what blacksmithing is and what the basic techniques and fundamentals are. And this will give you a solid groundwork for moving forward into creating a wide array of objects, tools, and items. This book will give you the confidence and knowledge you need to start hammering hot steel into shape.