Cost to build a Keith Gasifier?

What is the materials costs (more or less, I am sure it will double in a month or two) to do a wood gas unit for a mid 90’s dodge?

I have the welding tools and skills but time is always in short supply. Is there anyone doing this commercially from the Keith gasifier plans?

Planning on getting started after recovering from the ole prostate surgery :frowning:


I think the most common answer would be “it depends”.

If you’re good at scrounging and bargaining you can cut a lot of cost, some stuff youll want new like the cooling rail pipes. Bobmac uses chain link fence posts for his cooling rails, some guys use exhaust tubing, either mild steel or Stainless for longevity.

Do you have a scrapyard local to you that’s open to the public for buying metals? That helps a lot because many places will set oil drums aside to sell back.


Welcome to the DOW, RandallC.W.

Steve Unruh


Thanks Cody, I like the exhaust tubing idea and there must be a scrapyard somewher e nearby I imagine.

We have a construction company and it looks ike maybe old water heaters might work? Not sure about durability but we used to rip them lengthwise and use them for watering troughs. :slight_smile:

I am a welder (barnyard good with gas, stick, wirefeed) but my cousin is a master welder.

Maybe another good question would be what do think the time investment is?

Thank you Steve!

I have been fascinated with the idea since my inlaws in Spain talked about having one during the Spanish civil war on their car :slight_smile:


Good. Good.
The #1 ingredient: desire, willpower, wiliness to get down and dirty.
Hurrah! The #2 ingredient: you know this technology is for real.

Shhhh. I asked your question of the top tool bar Search Magnifying Glass tool.
I got 'em fooled here thinking that I have a photographic memory.


Hello Randall and welcome to the DOW

Below is a post from Chris that may help answer your question .


Welcome Randall. Material prices may go up as you suggested but most of it is scrounged; what folks here call obtainium. What we are finding is increasing unavailability of things like gauges and monitoring equipment. I would suggest your first move would be to look in the book at the kinds of instruments Wayne suggests and then find them.


It depends, but usually quite a bit. What I might suggest is read the book, get a handle on what you are doing. Since you are probably in a bit of hurry because of fuel prices, you might look at charcoal gasifiers. The issue is they are simpler, and some of the components will be the same. But the biggie is all gasifiers like consistently sized fuel, and you won’t have to worry about building a chunker as another project before you even start. That will buy you some time to scrounge up stuff you need and save you some money in the meantime.

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You didn’t mention what your main goal for Driving on Wood is Randall. Daily driver, hobby, work truck. I highly recommend you read through Marcus’s WK build. He is a highly skilled fabricator and even with a lot of suggestions from long time WK builders it was still a challenging build for him. A great deal to be learned there. As Sean suggested, you may want to start out with some kind of charcoal fueled unit on a smaller lighter vehicle. Look at Eddie Ramos and Don Mannes builds. You can also find their videos on You Tube.


Wayne says 250-300 hours total build time, he can do it faster since its muscle memory now :rofl: took me about 300 taking my time. Cost is reflective of how nice you want it to be, I already spent more money on my next build in parts then I did to build my first one and that was just opting for nice led gauges to make the interior of the truck look nice and tidy. first build was about 500$ this one will be I think about 700$ since I have to buy the firetube new. That’s scrap barrels and water heaters and whatnot (obtanium) no fancy stainless, and this build will take longer because I want it to look nicer. More paint prep time will be invested in this one then the last, and more blowers for faster startup times


Welcom too dow randall C / Cost for laber is estomated about 300 hours time / times welders pay an hour. I built two wayne gasifiers, both work fine, The dodge dakota 93 too 96 worked best for weight too HP ratio and have port fuel injection, that seems to be benificial.I have a 99 dakota v8 318 that seems too work as well, that i am gathering material for a new WK gasifier build, BE CAREFUL as gasifier building can be addictive.


And as the most recent building, then running. and then talking about it, Marcus:
what is your time & costs estimate to make up your axle shear drum chunker??

Building is one thing
Learning to operate is another multiple of hour’s commitment.
But feeding the Beast is a whole 'nother level of commitment adding onto existing daily/weekly chores.
Steve Unruh


Great response thank you for sharing it!

Thank you! I will do that and see what I can come up with.

I built my last burn tube from 100 pound propane tank steel with no cooling parts added.and put 1-1/2 ceramic blanket inside it, it dident seem too make any tar signs, no sticky throtle plates. Though i had an extra good size wk heat exchanger , preeheater. my first burn tube and asembley , counting hopper was a bit on the heavy side, i used 1/8 inch thick fire tube cooling stuff, it was useing what i had handy-though it was up over 300 pounds not counting hay filter and all the drain tanks, Ya stainless outer hopper could be had probley under 100 bucks, i want too make sure i am done resizeing everything too suit before going SS. Then i will buy a sheet of ss tin at salvage yard scraps size i need, Roll it the size hopper i want and weld a wheel rim edge too the ss top plate for a door seal seat.


'I am a prepper and off grid guy at heart having grown up that way ( and during the day I run the largest real estate company in the state and a construction company from my desk :frowning: ).

I don’t like the idea of being stranded because there is no gasoline and I can’t get to my spot or kids house to help. I hate the thoughts of being stranded by our screw ups in government and their poor energy choices.

We have a charity in Nepal and I think this tech could be useful there as well if I can figure it out here for running a generator etc. (

Also I think that these vehicles would hold their value, especially in what I suspect is coming. Biden today said there would be national food shortages and there are a number of the biggest commodity companies with margin calls facing BK also out today.

I don’t want cash it’s going down about 20% A YEAR in buying power. I prefer things of value, durable goods etc.

I live in Utah but have a sawmill in Oregon ( small one) where my daughter lives. So if I were there I would likely have no issues getting fuel.

So for that reason it seems that having a truck that could pull my trailer even across country would not be a bad idea.

I lived in Spain with my wife and her parents had one on one of their cars from the Civil War there and it was fascinating to me 30 years ago. I turn 59 tomorrow and this seems like fun :slight_smile:

We’ll see!


I am a prepper as well Randall. Suddenly that is not looking so foolish to a lot of people. I’m 74 so that alone adds a level of restriction but I’m still taking names and kicking ass. My focus is on maximum self sufficiency. I am less concerned about things political than I am geological. I would have real concerns about heading west from Utah on that basis unless I was getting west of the Cascades. On the basis of being able to pull a trailer you are going to have to build a WK rather than any simpler Charcoal based system. Keep in mind the rapidly collapsing supply chain. Mig and Tig both depend on shielding gas. If that runs out and you don’t have an alternative supply of flux core then you won’t be building anything. I mainly stick weld on most things and I am a professional welder, but some materials used in building a gasifier are just too thin and believe me, I have a supply of the smallest coated rods available. Just to hot. I believe time is of the essence. I think that something a lot of DOW guys and DOW hopefuls fail to understand is that when the SHTF and some people don’t have fuel, that driving down the road will require someone actually riding shotgun.


Seems like I saw a gasifier that ran on wood pellets?

I agree with that completely. Hate to see it come to that and it could be dangerous to travel. I am ex military and at 59 way better armed today than I was then but that may not be enough. If its really ugly a convoy would be needed but I digress.

My daughter is in Burns Oregon, Son in Salt Lake, and we hav been looking at getaway places in MO or TN (warmer and cost effective).

I like projects and at this time seem to have more money than time after building a business for 20 years but I am working on that as well.

A bit out of practice but was best at gas welding for the thin stuff having done autobody in the past. I have a nice hobart with a spoolgun for aluminum and thought I might take my chances here and see.

Biden said there “would be” food shortages… I guess its starting.