To effectively manage a charcoal or coal forge, it’s crucial to position the metal as far away from the air inlet as possible while ensuring adequate heating. This placement creates a more reducing environment, minimizing oxidation. However, upon removal from the fire, scale formation is inevitable. Avoid significant bends when the metal cools to prevent potential cracks, which can be exacerbated by hammering it flat immediately after forging. Keeping the anvil face free of scale prevents embedding it into the steel during forging. As forging proficiency increases, less time is spent in the fire, reducing scale formation. Conduct major deformation at higher temperatures and finishing work at lower temperatures to minimize scale and grain growth, resulting in a cleaner piece. Cold working can further refine the piece, removing additional scale and reducing the need for extensive grinding, a technique commonly employed before the advent of machine-powered grinders.

By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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