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charcoal and a couple of "shed" questions

 
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dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 3:41 pm    Post subject: charcoal and a couple of "shed" questions  Reply with quote    

ok i will give my current problem as an example of the real issue:

am i correct in thinking oak and chestnut burn hottest?

are there any other high temp metallurgical grade charcoals?

where do i source enough for a couple of half pound melts in a salamander?
at a guess it will need about a couple of bucket fulls per melt to warm up the planned furnace and another to melt the silver. so if i go that route i spose a 25kg load would be about right

im beginning to wonder if a gas powered burner pot (or my two blowlamps and a few refractory tiles) might be easier as i am a bit wary of good gasses in an urban area although looking outside im a bit wary of building a back yard silver foundry within feet of a shed full of flammable stuff even if i can pretend it is a bbq with the deft employment of a few sausages at relevant moments

the easiest option is to work from "industrially"cast lumps or bar but that sort of misses the point if making stuff in traditional ways and working from a hand cast bar will give a different result to using a modern section bar.

perhaps i should be looking to rent some time in a suitable premises with facilities for making stuff very hot and bashing stuff with a hammer as well as trimming very small stone and nice metal things to fine tolerances?

most of the things i need to do are either ,dangerous, hot,smelly,noisy,dusty,filthy in a polluting sort of manner or just rather odd even when working at a small scale. i have done many odd things in the house or yard but it isn't ideal or sensible.

some aspects of my assorted and connected "hobbies" are a H and S nightmare on numerous grounds:lol: this makes the idea of sharing premises or even using commercial premises for those things a bit daunting. i know a few makers and artists who all need premises and recon we can find suitable local premises but some of my stuff needs a couple of sheds and an outside yard in a safe(ish) place where making a bit of "a mess" is not too bad in the greater scheme of things and no one to bother about sparks, sudden surprises, fumes,dangerous equipment and materials or grinding and hammering .

so what seems like a sensible option apart from move to a third world scrapyard?

ps i have considered mercury guilding might look nice under enamel and stones and that a plasma torch might be fun to play with as well as needing more sensible stuff like a blown air, charcoal fuelled, kilo sized foundry option and a smithy hearth and kit able to deal with biggish hammer sized stuff and stuff for working small silver, gold, mokumi gani,etc ie at the least a oxy /fuel torch big enough to partially melt a bracelet sized lump and stuff for a very hot small flame for detail work.
most of the above either needs a huge HandS assessment or a dark ages attitude or a mix of the two, ummmm ?

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4288
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hmm.
Isolated on-farm industrial unit? If there was a decent sized yard you could quarantine your exciting stuff away from your sensible co-tenants.
Land prices / rental may be stupidly high. Local Estates might have something suitable? But anything advertised on open market will be .

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4734
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not sure about charcoal comparisons, but I've always heard that black locust burns hot enough that folks need to be careful not to accidentally melt inferior wood stove components....

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re charcoal the locust wood stuff seems ideal if it can compromise iron based metals (1200 to 1350 C for most sorts)
as fas as i know it isn't a common tree this side of the pond

one morning we managed to melt a steel oil drum burner with oak and chestnut wood that had charred up nicely overnight

re keeping my "exciting" stuff under control and avoiding it getting in the way of "normal" stuff maybe pushing different edges of "exciting" in different places could be the easiest way to sneak a few small but "dubious" operations under the radar.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4734
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just make sure your videotape and say that it's all for youtube if you get caught.

I can only imagine that's how Colin Furze gets away with his shenanigans

Pilsbury



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

https://youtu.be/hHD10DjxM1g
this guy makes a mini metal foundry that mascarades as a plant pot holder in this video, I suspect you would be interested in about 80% of his videos if you haven't seen them before.
The king of random is his channel on you tube

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4288
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Slim wrote:
Just make sure your videotape and say that it's all for youtube if you get caught.

I can only imagine that's how Colin Furze gets away with his shenanigans


He must bribe the neighbours with excellent whisky

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14824
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In theory, charcoal is charcoal is charcoal, at least chemically. There will be variations in density and particle size that may affect burn temperature, but I'd've thought these are things you can change artificially.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4734
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hairyloon wrote:
In theory, charcoal is charcoal is charcoal, at least chemically. There will be variations in density and particle size that may affect burn temperature, but I'd've thought these are things you can change artificially.


I agree, but at the same time, an equivalent volume of pyrolized balsa wood isn't going to do the same thing as pyrolized oak wood. right?

Over here we compare firewood in BTUs per cord, which is a volume measurement.

I guess 1 lb charcoal should be the same regardless, but how much charcoal can you fit in your mini backyard forge?

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14824
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Slim wrote:
I guess 1 lb charcoal should be the same regardless, but how much charcoal can you fit in your mini backyard forge?

If need be, you could put your balsa charcoal in some kind of press and compact it, and as for the back yard forge, you just need to decide how hot you'll want to get it and build it big enough to take enough charcoal...

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8910

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 17 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As far as charcoal is concerned, it is the size of the lumps that are more important. You should be able to get 'blacksmiths charcoal' from your local artisan charcoal maker Dpack. If you can't find one try www.ncfed.ord.uk and there should be a link on there for Coppice Products. We sell to artisan blacksmiths, but as we are the other end of the country, it doesn't make sense to send it up to you.

It is surprising what you can get away with if you have a sensible risk assessment. Not sure a furnace next to a flammable store would get through even that though.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 17 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ta for the link and hints

if i understand correctly for the size melt i want i plan to do a refractory firebox about large bucket size should be right, one fill to heat the kiln and salamander and a second fill to do the melt

the more i look at it a gas/air heat source and a melting pot might be the best way forward

more research needed.

Pilsbury



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 17 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The guy in my video link went on to modify his charcoal system into a propane one, he did a video of the conversion as well

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8910

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 17 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It is painful to say it, but gas is far more controllable than charcoal. On the other hand, for some purposes like iron work, charcoal is better as the carbon can be incorporated into the iron to make a good steel edge.

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