RaginEskimo
New member and newbie to forging here. I have been fighting with my coal a lot. I can’t seem to keep the heat off the bottom of my forge so I end up having to sink my metal at an angle. I have a brake drum forge that’s kind of hobbled together until I can afford something better. No matter what I do it just sits on the bottom and won’t come up to where I can lay the metal horizontally. I have looked and looked and researched but can’t find anything on it. I would greatly appreciate any advice! Thank you!
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jmccustomknives
Sounds like you have a deep brake drum.  If the design is good the heart of the fire should be an inch or so over the air supply and be four or so inches high.  You can either build up the inside with clay (it'd be tempererary) to bring the fire up or get a shallower brake drum.  My first forge was made from a late 60's Ford truck drum.  It was about 3" deep and perfect.  

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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mtforge
If you are using anthracite coal that's what I found it does. What coal do you have and where are you getting it from. I use soft bituminous coal.
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anvil
Or you can cut an opening in the front and back that you can lay your work thru, and your work will be parallel with the forge. There should be a lip about 2"-3" high from the top of your grate.

Or any combination of the above.
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RaginEskimo
Thank you all for your advice. I will try and build up the bottom of my drum. It is pretty deep. I’m not sure exactly what kind of coal it is. It was given to me by a coworker. Thank you again for taking time to answer!
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Oof, unknown coal is sketchy.
If it's hard, and doesn't smoke up or clump up much when you burn it, then it's probably anthracite.
If it breaks apart cleanly, and has a bit of shine to it, it clumps up, causes some smoke, but burns hot, then it is probably bitimuous. However, not all bitimuous is the same. I got some for dirt cheap (it was free) and it doesn't clump up (coke up) at all, turns to ash, burns with big huge yellow flames, catches everything on fire, smokes alot, and is generally useless escept that it starts easily. If you can find a place that sells "smithing" coal, use them.
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