charcoal burning temps.

I am preparing to build a "charcoal heat treating pit" in order to heat treat 1060-1095 carbon steel. Does anyone here know the approximate burning temperature of a sitting charcoal fire? Is this enough to get the steel to the appropriate temps for quenching? Or is forced air blowing a necessity? I know it needs to be in the neighborhood of 1500 F or thereabouts depending on the steel.

I'm curious as to the fire temp of the non forced air fire to determine about how much air will need to be used to increase the temperature. Also, when preparing the fire, how do those here determine when the fire is hot enough to place the steel in the fire to prepare it for quenching?

You'll need forced air of some sort or another. Either via an electric blower (even a hair-dryer will work), or a bellows.
Depends on the quality of the charcoal.
In most cases you will need some assistance from forced air.
Only the highest quality charcoal will work without, but its almost impossible to get.
A variable speed hair dryer could be taped to a length of pipe connected to your tuyere for your blower. And there are lots of ideas for simple forges on the internet so you shouldn't have too much trouble getting started.
Depends highly on the shape and size of the charcoal, how the air can flow in, insulation etc. In principle, a free burning charcoal fire can reach 800-1000C. But if the charcoal doesn't get enough oxygen, it can cool down. At any rate, it helps if the charcoal can draw air from below, and if the charcoal is large enough in size.

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