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Question about coal...

ripjack13

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Is it possible to stabilize coal? And could it be turned to make a pen or even a bottle stopper?
Or would I burn up? Lol
 

Sprung

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I have no idea about stabilizing coal, but if you've got some, send it my way and I'd be willing to give it a try for you. Wouldn't mind having a piece or two to try and turn myself too if it can be stabilized.
 

gman2431

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Depends on the coal I would imagine. Some stuff is super dense well at least the anthracite I have is. Maybe do some charcoal for the grill? Seems that would take some resin and I dont think it would light on fire during curing.
 

rocky1

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Not any around me here in Florida. Where I was at in ND there was lots of it! Had you yelled a few days ago, I could have had a chunk or two sent your way easily, have a buddy up there that just retired last weekend that would've been easy to get a chunk shipped out of.

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Might be able to find you a chunk or two. As might some of the other members in Tennessee, Kentucky, possibly Ohio...

I do know several folks still working in the mine, could possibly get some if you can't find it elsewhere, but it would take finding phone numbers/media accounts and getting hold of a few folks.

As for it's working properties, as Cody pointed out, quality of the coal might be an issue. I do know however, that there was someone in Beulah, ND carving it. Did awesome work too!! I had a piece or two of his somewhere, but I have no clue where they might be, (crazy X-girlfriend might have made off with them), and I gave several of his pieces as gifts over the years. Don't have a clue if he was stabilizing, but I know he was sealing it, so it didn't rub off.

Basically an assumption on my part, but I do believe it would stabilize. While it is dense, it is a somewhat porous material even in it's denser forms. Wyoming coal is excellent quality, probably a little denser stuff. Most of the stuff mined around central ND is iffy on quality. It varies from location to location in the coal seam, and is frequently blended when burned in the power plants there. Not unusual to see them haul coal in from Wyoming to blend with some of it.
 

Tony

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Not any around me here in Florida. Where I was at in ND there was lots of it! Had you yelled a few days ago, I could have had a chunk or two sent your way easily, have a buddy up there that just retired last weekend that would've been easy to get a chunk shipped out of.

@David Van Asperen
@wyowoodwrker
@BarnickCustomCalls

Might be able to find you a chunk or two. As might some of the other members in Tennessee, Kentucky, possibly Ohio...

I do know several folks still working in the mine, could possibly get some if you can't find it elsewhere, but it would take finding phone numbers/media accounts and getting hold of a few folks.

As for it's working properties, as Cody pointed out, quality of the coal might be an issue. I do know however, that there was someone in Beulah, ND carving it. Did awesome work too!! I had a piece or two of his somewhere, but I have no clue where they might be, (crazy X-girlfriend might have made off with them), and I gave several of his pieces as gifts over the years. Don't have a clue if he was stabilizing, but I know he was sealing it, so it didn't rub off.

Basically an assumption on my part, but I do believe it would stabilize. While it is dense, it is a somewhat porous material even in it's denser forms. Wyoming coal is excellent quality, probably a little denser stuff. Most of the stuff mined around central ND is iffy on quality. It varies from location to location in the coal seam, and is frequently blended when burned in the power plants there. Not unusual to see them haul coal in from Wyoming to blend with some of it.

Sorry Rocky, I forget you're in Florida now. Good knowledge though!
 

rocky1

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Yep... Forgot Allan, he's right outside the mine there at Coalstrip as well.
 

ripjack13

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I looked on usps page, and doesn't look like it's a resfricted item. So that's good.
So, it can be shipped. I'll tell my buddy to send me a piece or two. I have a piece, but I want some from his town, where he has a sentimental value to the piece.

@Sprung I'll let ya know when I get it.

Also, it's not going to catch fire after stabilization and bein in the oven to cure? I don't need a house fire happening.....
 

Sprung

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Also, it's not going to catch fire after stabilization and bein in the oven to cure? I don't need a house fire happening.....

A Google search says that the auto ignition temp of coal is somewhere over 700 F. I'll dry it at 220F and, after stabilizing, cure it at about 190F. Highest temp it's likely to see on my end is about 230F.

But, I am planning to park the toaster oven outside, in the driveway, and away from the vehicles, shop, and house just to be on the safe side.
 

David Van Asperen

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No coal in my area but I believe I have a few chunks in a barrel from a guy who used to burn coal. What size I am willing to ship it for the cost of shipping if anyone is interested and I have the right size
Dave
 

rocky1

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If you read the article I linked above, coal was shyed away from as a home heating fuel for many many years because it is difficult to light. The more dense it is, the more difficult to light it, from what is was saying. Most of what we saw in ND was lignite, the article was pointing to Anthracite as being more dense and more easily carved. The anthracite is more common up there in your neck of the woods Marc.

Ex-brother-in-law used to heat his house with the lignite, he was supervisor in the coal yard at the power plant, it was free. But, as best I recall he used a propane torch to light the coal stove. Or, built a wood fire and got a good hot bed of coals going before tossing a chunk of coal in on top of it. In the power plants, I believe it's crushed and then ground to a fine dust and essentially shot into the boiler more or less as a liquid would be. Same principle as dumping sawdust over and open flame, or grain dust blowing up an elevator. In dust form, it's extremely combustible; in chunks pretty stable.
 
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Mike1950

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A Google search says that the auto ignition temp of coal is somewhere over 700 F. I'll dry it at 220F and, after stabilizing, cure it at about 190F. Highest temp it's likely to see on my end is about 230F.

But, I am planning to park the toaster oven outside, in the driveway, and away from the vehicles, shop, and house just to be on the safe side.

If you read the article I linked above, coal was shyed away from as a home heating fuel for many many years because it is difficult to light. The more dense it is, the more difficult to light it, from what is was saying. Most of what we saw in ND was lignite, the article was pointing to Anthracite as being more dense and more easily carved. The anthracite is more common up there in your neck of the woods Marc.

Ex-brother-in-law used to heat his house with the lignite, he was supervisor in the coal yard at the power plant, it was free. But, as best I recall he used a propane torch to light the coal stove. Or, built a wood fire and got a good hot bed of coals going before tossing a chunk of coal in on top of it. In the power plants, I believe it's crushed and then ground to a fine dust and essentially shot into the boiler more or less as a liquid would be. Same principle as dumping sawdust over and open flame, or grain dust blowing up an elevator. In dust form, it's extremely combustible; in chunks pretty stable.

In 1957 parents bought house my mother lives in now. Has a full basement and at that time almost the whole basement was consumed by convection furnace fueled by sawdust and the sawdust bin. Large truck would back on lawn and dump in bin door. Now my job at ripe ol age of 7 was to keep hopper full. an auger fed from hopper to furnace. Now most of this was green softwood sawdust and when it was really cold furnace using convection- heat rises principle does not work worth a damn. I also had to clean the ash out. Now in 1959 dad converted it to coal. Now I was the coal shoveler. Damn dirty stuff and coal burning much hotter heated house better.Damn it was dirty stuff. and lucky me no ash. But coal makes clinkers. Had a 5' long clinker claw that you grabbed the clinkers- I remember it was so damned hot that you did not look at it straight on. Clinkers-sorta metallic looking abstract globs came out red hot. Of course at 9 I had all the safety gear available- Ha.. It would be child abuse now but was just a chore - part of staying warm. Converted to nat. gas in 61. when we started fire in fall dad used dry western cedar - burnt hot and fast to start coal going- do not remember much about it other then starting it required considerable cussing....
 

ripjack13

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Interesting...so trying to find any pens made fom coal, it seems from the less than 5 I saw, it needs to be crushed up and then cast...
 

Sprung

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Interesting...so trying to find any pens made fom coal, it seems from the less than 5 I saw, it needs to be crushed up and then cast...

I don't have the means to cast yet, but I'm still willing to try stabilizing a few so we can see what happens and how it might turn as whole pieces.
 

rocky1

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Yeah, the clinkers build up inside the boilers on the power plant. High tech cleaning process there as well!! They give the guys 12 gauge pump shotguns, most of them use the Remington 870 because it's reasonably priced, easy to find parts for, and pretty much indestructible. They shut the boiler down, send the guys in with a case of high brass 6s and let them shoot the slag off the boiler tubes. Have had guys tell me they'd shoot those guns until they were so hot they wouldn't cycle, and they'd have to slam the stock into the floor to eject the empty cases. And, when they got done and they cooled off, they went right back to working!! I own several shotguns, most of them are pumps, and the majority of them are 870s, figure if they can stand up to that abuse, nothing I throw at them will ever cause a problem!
 

ripjack13

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I wonder if it will drill without cracking and chipping after stabilization. I tried drilling a piece that I have, it just chipped and crumbled.
 
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