This page is for people who are considering picking up the age old craft of metal work. I am going to start with the very basics but I am also going to assume you have already aquired a forge of some discription. 

The first step to forging is to build your fire, the methods differ based on the kind of forge you are useing (gas, coal, or charcoal). I will focus on the coal fire because this is the only one that takes any skill to make, all you must do for the other kinds is strike a match and light. For starters coal is unlike most other fuels in that you must heat it to a very high temperature before it will light or hold a flame. Also if you separate the coal peices from each other then the fire will quickly go out. In order to light this tricky material you have to use a sustained fire. So for all of you people out there that think striking a match to a pile of pine straw constitutes a fire, I'm sorry but that just won't cut it here. The easiest way to start a coal fire is with newspaper of all things. However it is what you do to the newspaper that makes it a great material to make a coal fire.

You will need three sheets of newspaper to start with. Take the first on and spread it out no the table. Next rip the others into 4 peices each and then wad those peices up into loose balls. Lay these wads of paper roughly in the middle of the newspaper that is on the table. Reach into your bag of coal and find 12 or 13 small nuggets and drop them in with the paper wads. Grab two or three larger chunks of coal and do the same. Take four nuggets and crush them with a hammer to make coal dust and sprinkle it over the other ingredients. Lastly grab the edges of the large sheet and fold tem over the middle of the mixture. Then roll the extra paper in towad the lump of fuel until the whole thing feels compact. the final result should look something like the cap of a mushroom.