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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:03 PM   #19
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 463

Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Mr. Ross, gas is indeed very easy to use, making damascus with gas is easier than baking a chocolate cake, but the big thing I don't like about it is that although it is great for welding, it is in my opinion less good for welding and , again for me, close to useless for heat treating.

With coke & charcoal you can control the heat in any part of the blade, so you can bring the edge of a blade to critical, and leave the back relatively soft. Effectively you can apply heat to a piece of work wherever you need it, and at whatever level you need, but with the gas forges I've used this is simply not possible, you get a fast, even, overall heat, no real control at all.

I've never used bellows, even in Jawa I've used electric blowers. A cheap electric blower is a worn out vacuum cleaner on blow cycle. Tending the fire is what makes coke & charcoal so manageable, its talking to you the whole time.

Full agreement, I have a Lively forge with the hand crank blower. One of the things I have heard others do but have not tried it as I am more of a hobbyist/deletant is using coal etc, to carburize low carbon material via carbon migration to say make something like wrought iron hardenable. Did not mention that as it is a bit controversial some say yeah and other nay. Many of the smiths I know that started out with fire, grumble a lot about the gas forge but won't go back.
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