THE EQUIPMENT 25
streaks. It should readily break into small pieces when given a blow with a hammer. It should always be thoroughly soaked with water before it is put on the fire. This helps to keep the fire confined to a center, and also causes the coal to coke better.
The Fire.—To build a fire all the clinkers should be cleaned out down to the tuyere. Some shavings are then placed over the tuyere and lighted. After they are well burned a little coke is placed on, and the fire is then given a little blast. Wet coal should be placed at the sides of the fire, letting it come to the top in a mound shape. The fire should be kept open at the top and front with the poker and not allowed to break out at the sides. The blast is kept fairly low, and when the coal is well coked the blast is shut off, and the fire is then in good shape for heating. There should always be some extra coke on the forge. As the center of the fire burns out it may be replenished with the extra coke, especially when welding. Wet coal must never be put on top of the fire. As the center burns out and the fire spreads the coal is put on the sides; at the same time it is tamped down with the end of a shovel, moving the well-burned sides toward the center, thereby filling the burned-out center with fresh coke.
The secret of doing good forging lies in keeping a good fire, built in the proper shape to suit the