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Mark II Offline OP
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In the past I have used Brownell's wood charcoal with their bone for case hardening/coloring. I have enough bone, but as usual with Brownell's with Pete running things useful things are out of stock. Has anyone used another product that works equally well and is available? Thanks for your time, Mark

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Mark II,
You may find wood charcoal ( not pressed) in chunks at your local feed and seed store.
Mike

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Mark II,
You may find wood charcoal ( not pressed briquettes) in chunks at your local feed and seed store.
Mike

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mc Offline
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You can soak charcoal briquettes and crush them and dry them some people don't use bone charcoal at all but your mileage may vary good luck

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I have no idea, but as I read this, I think about the lump charcoal that one can purchase for grills such as the green egg. Not sure if a specific species of wood charcoal is preferred, but I know some of the lump charcoal is oak, some mixed hardwoods and some is probably hickory and perhaps some mesquite.


Cameron Hughes
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The species isn't critical. Having the size of the chunks small enough to ensure it packs tightly to minimize air pockets. I've done 5 or 6 actions and know what mix I want, just need the right wood charcoal to not be starting from scratch.

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The chunks found in the lump charcoal sound as though they'd be too large to work properly. However, most of the bags I've used, when finishing off a bag, there is a fair amount of fine particles and dust that has settled at the bottom of the bag. There must be a semi efficient way to crush the larger chunks into acceptable sizes, but I guess that would qualify as "starting from scratch."


Cameron Hughes
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Cameron,
Try putting the smaller lumps in a cloth bag and work it over, lightly, with a hammer. The large lumps should "give up" the outside layer but the inside might not be brittle enough. It is worth a try.
Mike

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I've used bbq hardwood charcoal, many times for this, but only on a fun hobby level.

If the colors aren't what you are used to, I am going to say more grays and maybe black splotches. Maybe, possibly there is residual unburned wood in the charcoal, especially if it smokes some when lit for grilling. I have done the quick hardware cloth sift of the broken up charcoal, then load it up in a big old cast iron pot and heat it for a little bit in a fire pit, with a cover on. I don't think it should be burned in open air, down to ash, just heated and only if needed.

Only thoughts, hope you can work around the supply problem.

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Charcoal is already cooked that's how you get charcoal .you cook bone in a container over a heat source with a small hole till it stops smoking .i have a book by a South African gunsmith that explains producing the material and how to do a proper case color and it has worked for me.

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