Making charcoal

Youre describing the way to make wooden tar, im not sure its the right word for it in english. Cook pine in a container with an outlet in the bottom of the container usually a long pipe so it can condense. It was used in many ways here in Sweden, for mosquito-repellant, roof-sealing and for the wooden skiis. And it burns like diesel.

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Pine tar resin is great for horse hoof repair as well and makes a beautiful wood stain. The Finns used it as a stain on their variant of the Mosin Nagant rifles. Used to have a 1944 Tikka made Mosin rifle that had an amazing finish.

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The drum burner works well behind an ATV.

55 gal drums are cheap and ubiquitous.
No holes, no welding, no modification of any kind means you are up and producing as soon as you get it home.
No holes means the drum itself lasts longer.
The angle is not critical, there is no special technique to master.
Operating with no visible smoke is entirely possible.
Oxygen starving the charcoal instead of water quenching it is very convenient for gasification.
Having tried a lot of fussy and expensive methods to get useful quantities of engine grade charcoal, I’m convinced this method has a lot of potential.
Chuck from Sandy, Oregon

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The economies of scale apply to charcoal burning; it is about the same amount of work to make 120 gallons of charcoal using the larger burner as it is to make 40 gallons in a 55gal drum.
All you are doing is throwing a few pieces of wood in the burner every 10-15 minutes.
Mostly it’s about the interruptions to whatever else you are doing.
It takes a few seconds more to feed the bigger burner. There is an optimal scale for a one man operation I suppose. Without machinery, I’d say you could make 500 gallons in a day if you had three burners, without working too hard.
You could probably cut a few cord of firewood at the same time.
Assuming you had the brush to burn, replacing 50 gallons of gasoline in an easy day isn’t bad.
Chuck from Sandy, Oregon

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Letting the fire do the work of reducing the wood raises the convenience factor.
Long pieces get progressively shorter without sawing or grinding.
Oversize pieces can be thrown in to be charred through successive batches.
Because of the huge quantity of surplus heat, once you have a hot bed of coals, these burners will char very wet wood (which will smoke).
Never underestimate the importance of convenience when advancing new techniques. :wink:

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I often make charcoal this way In an old oil tank just lying
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i might have found a way you might like build a pit build a fire then take the front end loader and cover it scoop soil around the edges but i think it would make lots of charcoal and get rid of brush fairly quick i tried a tin can and broken pressure cooker i was afraid it wouldnt go out and melt the aluminum pressure cooker since the lid was messed up but i was looking at my backhoe and thought i might be able to do that to get a nice stockpile i would love to get my mower to run on charcoal but its a twin engine setup and i dunno if i can make a mini and run both or make 2 mini separate its allready a pita to mow with it keeping 3 engines running isnt fun its a homemade mower like a pull behind but mowing is a chore without it

I don’t know anything about your mower but getting an engine to run on charcoal is fairly easy. I made something based on Koen van Looken’s Thailand gasifier. Some school in Thailand - #21 by k_vanlooken Mine ran the first time. I couldn’t believe it. One time I tried grinding up the charcoal. Don’t do do that, it just plugged the filter. just keep it in chunks about the size of a thumb. This charcoal was made in the coffee can tlud.



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delete entry. wrong thread

What filter are you running? Bag type?

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my mower is a homemade pull behind i got tired of push mowing it so i took an old riding mower deck and mounted two push mower engines in the place of the belt pulleys then a hitch to pull behind the cub cadet the problem i have is one engine sips fuel the other drinks it so keeping both going and the cub cadet is a chore but it beats push mowing its a racket noise wise so i wear ear protection lol but im only mowing a drive and a small area if i can get it going on charcoal i could mow more areas to help get rid of that nasty thorn bush called multiflora rose its vicious with hook type thorns some call them saw briars

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Hi Ryan , isn’t the cub cadet a ride on mower anyway ? they are here in Australia , or do you not have a deck for it , i would love to see some photo’s of it set up .
On your fire pit idea , why bother pushing soil around the fire ? once you start pushing soil into the fire it will bake it into hard lumps that will get mixed into your charcoal fuel , if your having a open burn then just lay some tin sheets on the ground and build fire on top and as they burn down to charcoal use a shovel to fill a 55 gall drum up , Trigaux has the best idea if its simple easy contained fire then just use a open drum of as large a size u can find and burn baby burn while warming and cooking and afterwards just shovel them coals into the drum too cool down .

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I wear ear protection too. Makes me think you are using old flat head Briggs stuff like me. :o) Sure wish I could see your rig.

Not sure I would recommend this, but I drilled a bunch of holes in a plastic pipe and then pulled 4 socks over the holes. Like I sacrificed two pair. :crazy_face: The pipe goes through the white plastic bucket lid that you see, then a vacuum cleaner hose takes the gas to the engine. Soooo janky, but it works. I’m laughing. You can too.
I didn’t know about Joni’s chip filled filters at the time or I would have done it that way.

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I cannot do it. Sacrificing holy items just doesn’t sound right.

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I started out with a sock filter on my generator. Now I am using swimming pool filters they work very well and are washable. The sock filter for me would plug up after about 4 hrs of running. I can run it on the pool filters for a couple days without washing, but I tend to wash it once a day . Keep in mind this is on woodgas that has already been through a hay filter and a set of cooling rails. this is just a final filter to take out the little bit of soot that makes it there. Still I think as long as the gas was not hot they would work on a char gasifier quite well.

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What does your pool filter look like, Jacob?

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Is it one of those mesh screen filters or the foam filters?

This is a picture of the five I have connected together for the generator. they are made out of this very fine mesh with some foam in them as well.
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Thanks, Jacob.
I will test with sawdust like Joni, see how this works.
I have half a barrel with leca balls, and it seems clean quite well, and easy to wash out.

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if you saved those disposable mask that everyone handed out you could make a bucket filter lol
but a shop vac filter or diesel truck air filter would work
im useing a tractor oil bath filter but i cant get my onan to run right on gas i think maybe the carb is flat wore out i dunno its been a fickle thing im hesitant to try and fool with running on charcoal with it running poor on gas

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