2025 Kentucky Woodgas Meetup - Planning discussion

We made plans for next year already. We’re hoping to make a bigger program out of things and get a little more coordinated with programming etc.
I’ll let others pitch in with info and ideas on the different things that were decided.
But, I got put in charge of making an “event subject matter program”…we are hoping to get people to do some scheduled demos and presentations. maybe get some of our foreigners back with slide shows of their stuff. ??
so get ready to be roped in to making presentations and demonstrations.
Everyone work hard to get something built or studied out if you can. And if you have anything…even unfinished…bring it along. It might even be more educational for people to see unfinished works than the finished products.
Others can add …I need to sleep.

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Thanks Billy for launching this. To recap for those who weren’t there:

  • We had a great time Thursday through Sunday. Lots of food and friends, good discussions and demonstrations. However the event was smaller than anticipated. Our attendance maxxed out around 25-30 on the biggest day (Saturday), and most of the time was around 20. That includes my four daughters…

  • Saturday afternoon I called for some discussion around the next event. We needed to decide a) when, b) where, and c) what to do different, if anything.

    • a) Location. Pretty quickly we all agreed the location was good. It’s central enough to keep most folks happy, we still had several from Indiana attending, although none from further north like Michigan. That may be just attrition in general though. The southern folks were much happier with the shorter drive. Whitley City is nice and small, the campground is on a twisty backroad with very little traffic. Not flat at all like Argos, but that makes it more interesting. The trees were very nice for shade on the tents.

    • b) Date. Wayne has suggested in the past that we switch to every other year. I strongly agree with this idea. What you will lose in momentum you will gain in emphasis, meaning it becomes more special if there are fewer chances to attend. There is also the question of time-of-year. Springtime is always the busiest for most of us. Anything after June will be too hot, in fact the weather was just about too hot this time. So we agreed to try for fall of 2025. We need to check with the facilities on specific available dates. Probably late September or early October would work best. This gives us 18 months to prepare, finish up projects, drum up interest etc. After that, we’ll likely go to a 2 year schedule. So, if you miss one - it’s not coming back around for 2 years. More incentive to come on out, less cost and work for the volunteers doing this.

    • c) Activities/Food. It became obvious very quickly this time that Mary and I had cooked far too much food. This is not an issue, most of it was precooked and frozen, so we were able to take it home and we’ll eat it. But, food is expensive to buy and time-consuming to prepare. So we will refine our meals for the next round, and try to coordinate better with folks bringing dishes. We did agree to take charge of food once again for the event next year. Some ideas on coordination will be forthcoming. As far as activities, everyone agreed it would be nice to have a more structured event, even if just for one of the days like Saturday. We could potentially open it up to more outside attention, just for that day. Billy North was nominated to coordinate and schedule the activities, as he mentioned above. We’ll be sussing out who still has trucks sitting around that might need a refresher. We could even set up a program to donate trucks from older folks to young drivers, like Ron H from Idaho did for Cody.

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The lady from the newspaper was very happy. She and I will get together in the coming weeks and iron out the details. She seems to have the intention of spreading the story of the DOW meetup over 2 or 3 issues of the paper, so people will certainly hear about it

I’ll get dates for the next meetup worked out and make sure there’s no conflict on schedules with anyone else who might be wanting to use the area around that time.

Shelving any of my “dream” plans, I plan on prioritizing getting a wood glass vehicle up and running for myself so that I have a working machine here that I can use as a daily driver to get people REALLY interested instead of just trying to explain it verbally. This was recommended to me by @Chris and I absolutely agree that it would produce more serious interest than just advertising and getting passerbys.

If anyone has a line on one that a member may be looking to pass one on or sell, that would save lot of time on my end. I’m not opposed to building one of course, but a year and a half is not as much time as it sounds and id like to be able to put more effort into connecting with local mechanics and find solutions for a more modern option of donor vehicle.

We have a very robust community of people that love working on and modifying vehicles is interesting ways, and I find it hard to believe that some of them wouldn’t be interested in converting some of their field Frankensteins into wood gas.

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Maybe we can seed a few more informal, one or two day regional gatherings, events like the Northwest group or like the early Michigan events. A plus or minus 3 hours of driving, etc.

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I’ve really been wanting to host a one or two day informal event at my property. Maybe as a sort of SouthEast get-together. Only issue really is facilities, I could maybe ask my church if I could borrow the fellowship hall. That would solve the bathroom and hygiene situation.

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You and me need to get together one of these days. I got a fair sized barn I’m converting into a shop and that’s roughly what I had planned. Hopefully I can set things up to do some educational showings for the local school (I don’t see it being a big problem organizing, it’s negotiation with Insurance that would be the only hurdle)

And it would be nice to have someone to share notes with that’s doing something similar

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I’ve already been invited to do some shows for the next couple months doing education on wood gasification at the local drive meet up that’s held once a year. They hold a car show for a custom built cars for 3 months. They start at the first Friday of each month and then have another one the next year. They’re setting me up a table and I’m scrambling to get information together to do a little show and tell

I went to talk to The economic development and tourism board to set up a few things that I’m working on to try helping the group, and the head of the tourism board was so excited over the pictures and videos that I showed from our Meetup that she’s going to set room aside for me to have a display

If I can have things organized enough that I can have something that I can show them by october, then I can do a functional demonstration.

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Not sure if this is an outside event or not, but even somthing as simple as a sealed metal paint can full of wood chunks with a hole in the lid. Set on a burner of some sort. Allowing you to demonstrate a flare from the escaping gases produced.

I use this example a lot when talking to people. Telling them "well if you ever want to experment at home, an easy way to proofing the concept is…sealed can full of wood w/hole on top set on camp fire "

I agree though, nothing speeks louder than having an actual vehicle Idling away on wood gas.
We had my second sons grad party on sunday and a few folks that heard about the truck wanted to see a demonstration.

Gave them a quick run down, Showed them a startup procedure, then a flare, And then finaly the truck running on wood. Always helps to prove to them that it is actually running on wood…did this by pulling off the rear caps amd letting engine die.

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an example i give generally so people can understand how the general concept works is talking about old wood stoves. a LOT of houses down here use wood and coal stoves for heating still because they dont have central heat.

ill tell them that how they know their wood stove has the vent at the bottom to restrict air flow and that keeps the wood burning longer, that the basic concept isnt far off from that. it requires more explaining beyond that ofc, but using an example they already know from their day to day lives helps a lot.

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Yes! SMART,
Always helps when you can find a way to explain
things in a way that relates with what the audience already Understands.

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Alrighty, got the fairgrounds taken care of. were penciled in for 2025 October 2,3,and 4 with the 5th being cleanup. that puts us at Thursday Friday and Saturday. she is going to check her main schedule in a bit, but she seems confident that we should be in the clear as far as anyone else being scheduled in that area. the blazing bluegrass has theirs in September so it shouldn’t conflict…

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