Homestead simple fire gasifier

This is the project I’ve been mentioning for the past couple weeks. It is intended to be built with a few easily bought or scrounged parts. Designed as a no-weld so it’s intended end users, being my associates on a couple homesteading sites, could put it together and have power if the grid went down. I said if, but really meant when. Not sure if it would be worth a lot of build data to experienced wood gasers. If anybody wants details I will comply. I have pictures of every little boring process. I have already put some question pictures on the Things that make me go huh thread. I’ll redo them here. The preliminary pictures are just the rough build as it stands. Still need to work on some fit and finish.


The black pipe is the charcoal hopper. The silver duct is the filter. The only two parts that didn’t come from Menards were the bilge blower and the Harbor Freight ammo box. The bilge blower is to provide 12 volt suction but there is also a duct fan below the filter media in the silver duct so the bilge blower is not absolutely necessary.

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I like the thought of a “one shopping cart” build. Sounds like sort of a fun way to standardize a simplefire. I will say that I think your filter looks overkill to me. You could probably get away with cramming some filter media into the ammo box, or at most using some 4" pvc with a sock filter inside before the pump. I bet a section of furnace filter would work pretty well, if you just flicked the dust off each time you filled the hopper. I know you like making things complicated, but its called a Simple fire for a reason :grinning:

Have you tested this unit yet? What sort of an engine is it going to run?

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I pretty much agree about the filter Carl. I had the duct and duct fan already and I don’t really know how much filter media is required so I figure go big or go home. Actually there is a pre-filter in the ammo box. 1609788900335
That’s a plastic container of some sort with the end cut out, a piece of window screen taped over it and stuffed full of steel wool. I’m going to test it on a 420cc preditor off my saw mill.

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Tom i don’t think steel wool will be much good as it will quickly rust away and small partials will get sucked into your engine , you would be better off going with stainless steel pot scrubbers , or just use some open cell foam and or lambs wool .
I read how you like to challenge yourself and over complicate systems and that’s fine , just make sure that your system is 100% air tight and your good to go , any problems will flaring or engine not starting or running poorly then air leaks will be first on the list .
all the best
Dave

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Thanks Dave . I know you are right. I sprayed the steel wool with WD 40 before I put it in. I do have stainless scrubbies in my foam crete gun but they are not something I see in the stores I frequent. The ones I have in the gun I ordered on-line. I was planning on running this thing which is why I used the steel wool. Now I don’t like how it looks so I’m going to do some simple modifications. I’m not real clear on why wool is better than cotton or any other fabric. Also I know a lot of people use foam. I just don’t see how you get any volume of air through it.

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This is the filter assembly. Most of it isn’t filter media. There is the end cap clean out, the section where the gas exits. The duct fan, a cut up yoghert container with a screen it to hold back the filter media which is just shredded mulch. I don’t like how it looks coming out of the Ammo box. I’m going to change that to a four inch elbow before the transition to the six inch duct. Learned my lesson about air leaks. Every seam is siliconed and either duct taped or sprayed with flex seal.

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Hey TomH
Sheep’s wool is about the actual fibers, how they are made. Tubes with overlapping shingle type outers.
Wad up and put a double handful of 100% loose woven sheep’s wool fabric into a bucket of water. Plunge it until no more bubbles.
Do the same with a loose woven cotton towel.
Now just edge hang them up to drip out and become pass through permeable again.
The sheep wool will gravity drain out.
Cotton wicks up.
Do a spot drying test with the wife’s hair drier.

Do not just trust me. Don’t just believe me. Prove me.
Then do a still wet burn test with a torch.

S.U.

Tom , you said u want to make it simple for all the local homesteaders , so please lose the inline ducted fan ,do not use it at all its not needed in your system i can see only problems with air leaks , if it was me i would not even have a bilge blower fan in line ,i would come straight out of your gasifier into your filter tube filled with some old woolen socks or a jumper/blanket cut down to fit your 6 inch tube not overly packed take the open cell foam cut into a 6 inch round made to plug fit the tube and then seal the filter cannister lid with a outlet for a 1 inch sump pipe there i would use a mattress pump to start it once you have gas then onto engine .

Just another way it could be done not trying to be smart just want to see you succeed first time with a smile
Dave

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I’ll have to see if I have some wool around Steve. I mostly dress in polar fleece made from shredded up milk jugs. I never liked the feel of wool on my skin. Pretty sure I have some wool socks that were gifted and I never wore. I’ll replace the steel wool with those.

I’m taking your your suggestions under advisement Dave. Koen also mentioned that much less suction was needed for a system like this as well… Both the Duct fan and the bilge blower are 130 CFM. That type bilge blower worked fine on my other charcoal unit. Don’t see a problem with air leaks from the duct fan. It has a cord that comes out of it with a grommet. I buried that in silicone. It’s already put together so I’m going to test it as it sits and if I have a problem I’ll pull it out. Can’t see how it adds any complexity. I don’t understand about the mattress pump. Isn’t it pulling outside air into the system? I’m not discounting these suggestions. You guys have been running these for a long time now and have certainly done all the trial and error. Only tools used on this build was a 41/2 in angle grinder, a drill motor, a measuring tape and a pair of right cut tin snips.
Had other things needed doing today so I didn’t get at it. Tomorrow I have to contort myself under the dash and pull apart the blower fan on my wifes Nissan Rogue… Mice have got that bound with carpet insulation again. That is a horrible, half day job. Hope to run the first test on the gasifier this week end. Still have to make a flange to bolt to the carb before I can run an engine anyway.

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Hi tom , this is the type of mattress fan i am talking about , they come on 240/110 or 12 volt dc , all you would do is place the pipe that normally fits onto your carb on the top where it sucks .

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Thanks Dave. I like the looks of that. I wonder if we gave one of those around here somewhere. I know we have a blow up mattress for horrible idea that someone may want to visit and spend the night. Anyway thanks. I’m going to get a few of those to have on hand. I now have to decide whether to make an even simpler Simple Fire or the down draft charcoal unit that’s discussed in a different thread.

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Tom you have already made a fantastic looking updraft unit i seem to remember , if that ran as well as you had hoped it would , then while idea’s are flowing now might be the right time to have a crack at the downdraft , i am trying my best to get all the items i need to have another go at a downdraft ,so it will be good to have a few builders all seeing what they can come up with , just have to find the time as well in the next week or two .
Dave

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I can hardly wait to see someone’s simple downdraft gasifier. The big unknown for me is how critical the distances will be for different loads:

  1. The distance between nozzle and grate.
  2. The distance between nozzles, if using double flutes.
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OK Dave. If you insist. I’m kind of with Bruce though. I’m a copier, not an innovator.
Monkey see, monkey do.

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I used Gary Gilmore’s simple fire with Koen’s vertical nozzle.
I would love to build one of Koen’s
Vertical pipe char gassers. So simple! And with proper forethought no welding.
Like most of you I just don’t have the time or money.
Just broke drivers side front axle on my truck today. Going to cost hundreds to have it fixed!
Got to love life off grid. Where its a 4 wheeling adventure just to go to town!!! Ah well if it’s not one thing it will be something else!!

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What kind of front axle do your have. If it’s from a one ton or some 3/4 ton trucks it will pull right out of the tube with out taking the cover off the pig. If it’s from most half tons you will have to take the cover off and pull a C clip to release the shaft but I wouldn’t pay anybody a hundred dollars an hour to do it. I look it up on You-tube. Not as hard as you might think. Anything I can do, anybody can do. If you have the money to spend and you have to pull the cover, pull the differential and put a locker in there. Double your traction.

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