What is an estimate of cost to build this woodgas burner and what is the best type of vehicle to put it on?
Welcome to the site, Wayne!
Both of your questions have multiple variables that go into the equation to get your answer. As far as cost goes, how much you spend depends on how many parts you buy, vs what you have/find. I did not track my expenses as i built, i wish now i would have. It seemed to my that while the actual WK gasifier and and associated “big stuff” (filter and exchanger) did not cast me much, (except for buying my cooling rails new). it is the little stuff that adds up. (Red rtv, choke cables, welding rod, pvc, little pipe fittings, valves, rubber couplings, etc)
As Far as your second question goes, what would the purpose of your gasified vehicle be? Just driving around, or are you going to haul heavy stuff and pull trailers? One popular answer here for your “which vehicle” question, is what do you have? '92 '95/'96 dodge dakota’s are a popular choice for those who just want to drive here and there. For work, Wayne Keith drives a V10 ram. (Every day, I might add). Members here have gasified tractors, a cadillac, trucks of many make and models.
A third question that should be asked for clarity’s sake is which way of making woodgas are you interested in? Do you want to burn charcoal, or do you want to burn unprepared (except for chunking and drying) wood? Do you have an abundance of wood? What i wrote above applies to making woodgas with a Wayne Keith Gasifier. If you want to burn raw wood in a system good enough for daily use, the Kieth gasifier is the way to go. $50 gets you the book and 6 months of subscription to the premium side of this site. (Informational gold mine) $200 gets you lifetime membership. Both of those options are a really, really good deal. Great people here too.
Hope that helps, and may you have a blessed day,
I appreciate the information but unfortunately you didn’t answer the question of how much it would cost. I understand there are variables but I at least need a ballpark figure. Does it cost 2 to 3 hundred dollars for materials or 2 to 3 thousand? I need some idea of what it cost before I invest in the book & membership.
Welcome to the site Wayne.
I am real new to this site myself and other than a passing interest over the years am fairly new to the whole idea of woodgas also.
I feel to give these folks a half a chance to give you any kind of guestimation on a price that you need to take a look at what you have at your disposal. A simple example for you would be a 55 gallon drum. I can buy one with a removable lid right now for $55 or I can take one that I have, cut out the top and make a removable lid myself to save money. That’s how it’s going to work throughout your entire build…see where I’m going with this?
I’m lucky that I work on an 80,000 acre ranch with many old shops, homesteads and junk piles that are slowly going back into the earth, so everything is free if I take the time to find it. The next person may not have that and have to buy more of what they need.
What I did was start out making a Simple Fire gasifier that burns charcoal. Rather than digging around for all of the parts, I ran to town and bought a few of the fittings and a valve, some red RTV and an el cheapo mattress pump. I scrounged around for a grease drum, a bucket, some old hoses and a bunch of hose clamps. Realistically, I’m probably into it for $50.
Hopefully I’m wrong, but I feel without way more info on your part, you may have a rough time getting an accurate answer.
I do think as you read through the site more you will recognize parts and pieces that you might have on hand and then be able to give yourself an Idea of the remaining parts needed.
I hope that helps a little. Have a great day.
Good morning Mr. Corley and welcome to the DOW.
I can’t answer you question of what the gasifier will cost you but I can give some expectation of what it cost me to build.
I expect to spend $500 - $800 on materials . Much of this material will come from a junk yard.
This gasifier is not a simple gasifier , it is complicated . It takes me 240 hours to build the gasifier and covert the truck .
Here is a link that might guide you toward a vehicle.
What it will cost you for driving will depend on your availability of wood. This figure will be different for everyone on the site.
Welcome Wayne, one other thing that I had to buy is some tools. I had given them away to my son so he could start up his shop business.
You need a good welder, grinder, and all the other tools to fabricate the gasifier. Do you know how to weld? Have you ever worked with metals, like cutting metals. I hadn’t welded in years had to get my welding skills back up to par. These are some of the other things to consider. Hope this helps.
One other way is to check out the charcoal gasifier, like the Simple Fire. Get your feet wet first, or start small and work your way up to the WK. Some members have done it this way. Some of our members have built other types of wood gasifers or charcoal gasifiers.
Welcome to the DOW Wayne Corley
For any of us to give you anything realistic for costs you would have to describe yourself, your situation, your capabilities, your desires.
Take Mr Wayne’s description as towards the low side of possibly.
Take say, as much as $10,000 and one whole year of all of your non-working free time as a high side estimate.
Why so damn high!?
If you do not currently heat with wood you will have to learn to source wood, cut, transport, dry-store and prep wood: and all of the equipment needed to do this. Heat with bulk wood already? Take your seasonal wood use and double that need to be able to drive say 10-15,000. miles annually.
Do not currently metals weld, cut and fabricate? Well that would be another thousand or so to set up for and a couple of hundred hours learning time. Call around and price out welding shop rates for a couple of hundred of hours of Fabricating working.
Do you; have you, done all of your own tune-up work? Have you done all of your own repairs right down to ignition distributor R&R’s, carburetors, throttlebodys and FI sensors replacements? Tools and learning curve to all of these. 'Nother thousand in the tools w/electronic diag tools needed. 'Nother few hundreds of hours in learning curve (you WILL need books here, or a lot of on-line paid for advice) on this too.
Then the learning curve of all of the problems, difficulties in as-needed live refining down and supplying/using your own made motor fuel. Tars, ashes, soots, air leaks, clogs and so forth. All that has been done for you by others s-o-m-e-w-h-e-r-e-e-l-s-e when buying pump grade pre-refined motor fuels.
The good news is even if you do not currently do/know any of these things by the time you are done you will and then be capable to using/doing then in every facet of your life.
The bad news?
Anyone deluding themselves that from zero state up capabilities they will be saving fuel use money is crazy nuts.
You woodgas 'cause you can. And ain’t no one can stop you.
tree-farmer for fuels Steve unruh
I bought the book, and read through the members section builds. I now have a very good idea of what I might spend building a gasifier. I have seen the challenges involved in these various projects, and I will undoubtedly spend less than those before me because I got to learn from their efforts. I now have a good idea where problems can start, what to do, and what not to do. Stuff that works, stuff that doesn’t. I suspect those reading through the builds 2-3 years from now will spend even less than I will end up spending just because of that much more info being available to them.
Theses gasifiers aren’t something you want to do as trial and error, big cost increases and labour expenditures result from doing things twice. In a nut shell, with gasifiers, knowledge and understanding is as good as dollar bills. The gasifier build in my head benefits from the efforts here by Jan Ola O, Don Mannes, Wayne Keith, Carl Z, Ben Peterson, and others. Each of these guys helped me design and refine my ideas through their builds, (and books per Wayne K, and Ben P)
I suggest getting HWWT, and the woodgas builders bible, you will learn a lot, and then save a lot.
Well said @Strawman. Read, read, and then read some more!
These builds by everyone is pure gold and without them posting on here showing what works and what doesn’t, I for darned sure wouldn’t have lifted a finger to try any of this. (though I haven’t gotten real far yet on my little build LOL)
The $50 that I spent was not only for a book that explains things with a little more detail and let me see the entire site, but also to possibly help keep the lights on for this site. I don’t imagine that it’s free…
My approach is very different. I read, build, read, build. I learn by building. Of course this method introduces mistakes. Mistakes when identified, for me, solidifies learning. The advantage I use is this site. By me posting pictures of what I built, opens me up to input from others. Hands on experience allows comprehension. If I didn’t do it this way, I would have never got past the point of reading worried about making sure it’s perfect.
I tend to agree with you, Bill.
On the stand you get a pretty good grip on what it takes to score goals in hockey. First time with skates on, trying to stand upright, your focus may be slightly changed