Mikes venture into the dark side

Hi Michael , when you say you still have 2lbs left what does that mean in height above the nozzle ? its easier if you think of the fire tube from the top of the nozzle to where you normally fill it up too , in that case would you think you are half way down the tube ? , my guess is that,s the limit to the run time , just try topping it up again and running again and see if it does the same amount of run time , many factors affect run time including the size of the charcoal itself .my 55 gallon drum starts to run out when its less than half way down i then have to give it a shake to collapse the build up of charcoal on the sides , but because you are driving around over bumps and such you wont be having that problem maybe its the charcoal that.s too large .
Koen recommends about the size of a thumb nail on his small tubes i think , strange why its not overly hot on top though ,thats normally the sign of it running out of fuel .


Thanks for the Info Mike. I guess if I convert to charcoal, instead of a 6" column, I better plan on an old hot water heater or something that size. That would mean I would need a Zero Turn mower so I could put it on the back, we all saw what happened to Don Mannse, when he put too heavy a charcoal gasifier on the back of a regular lawn tractor— my Zero Turn when mowing on a side hill, the front wheels turn with the hill and when I pull on one lever and push on the other to get it to head back uphill, both rear tires start to spin and to the bottom of the hill I go. The extra weight on the back might help that. Keep us posted. I guess I could mount a big gasifier on the front of a regular tractor. TomC


Yes it is rather shocking to see the difference in amount of charcoal burn from driving around or ideling to actual cutting grass where the throttle is wide open

The estimate of 2 lbs left was to 1’ above the nozzles

The centrifuge caught about 1/2 cup of very fine char/soot which tells me I really need a filter and that is probably why the motor was acting up.

Sigh… so will clean the system including a carburetor tear down, add a filter before the next run

Fun stuff


Checked compression 120 psi, good spark, opened the carburetor and cleaned every thing with brakecleen. Didn’t find any obstructions .

Checked fuel filter, drained fuel tank and used a air powered educator to vacuum the bottom, few bits removed.

Put it all back together and finished mowing using gasoline (gasp!)
The grass was approaching 5” tall so I knew charcoal would have been a struggle

So in about a week I will get after it again on charcoal this time with a filter after the centrifuge.


Hi Michael , please excuse my ignorance , its hard having been brought up in lbs, shilling’s and pence and then being forced to convert to metric you said the charcoal was 1’ above the nozzle is that 1 inch ? if so then that is the problem you need at least 6 to12 inches above the nozzles .
if on the other hand you mean 1 ft then that should have been fine .


Yes I can feel your pain on the various standards
I have found that at about 1 ft or 1/3 meter or 33 cm the tempretures really rises.

I am costantly grabbing a handful of metric wrenches where I usually only need 1 or 2 inch std based on my eyeball estimate of a nut size.


Dave and Mike I admit I am a member of your group. I know NOTHING about shilling’s and pence etc. and my knowledge of metrics is very limited. When some one mention millimeters, or centimeter, I have NO visual picture in my mind to understand what they have said. I have gotten where if they say 1/2 meter or so many meters, a picture comes in my mind of a yardstick. This last rebuild that I did EVERYTHING was suppose to be built to proper dimensions according to Imbert formulas. Those were all from Europe so were metric. I spent a couple of weeks trying to calculate some of the dimensions because the one formula dealt with Meters, Liters, Centimeters both linear and cubic. As it turned out, one of the constants that was given in the formula was metric for velocity, and the constant was incorrect. It took a private conversation with one of our European members who immediately after seeing the constant, “That number is WAY to fast! It must be wrong”. When I read that number nothing like 20 mph, or 88 ft/sec jumped into my mind so I had no idea how fast it was.
Mr. Wayne sometimes deals in his own dimension system. I went to the first Argos meet just to meet him. Before his book he and Mike LaRossa, who I talked a lot with, put out a series of photos of Mr. Waynes build-- many that ended up in DOW book. One thing that was NOT stated in the photos was the diameter of the nozzle holes in the fire tube. ( being an Imbert man, that is a critical dimension for a gasifier). So when I met him I right away asked, “what is the dimension of the nozzle holes?” He looked down at his hand for a couple of seconds, then stuck up his hand with one finger protruding and said, “about that big around”. WHAT??? Imberts say 9mm or 14mm something pretty specific. Since my last rebuild, I understand Mr. Waynes system much better. TomC


But 9/16 and 14mm are interchangeable…

9/16 = 14mm… And one inch is 25.4, so 13mm is just a little loose on a 1/2" bolt…

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I just grab a hand full of tools and if one fits I use it. I have found on old rusty bolts and nuts sometimes a metric fits better on the standard sizes and vise versa.


Good morning All,
Inch (imperial) to metric (SI = System International) in lengths/diameters, volumes, pressures, velocities and temperatures are easy convertible. Paper charts. Electronic converters.

In energy, force and power is where it gets tricky and easily deceiving.
And SI/metric has only gotten more confusing over the course of my lifetime. They changed. They “refined”. They fell into a name-change honoring system.
Huge, huge differences between watts, kilowatts of heat, versus mechanical work/power, versus electrical power.
Why I will continue to torture this site with my BTU’s, horsepower’s, and only kilowatts for electricity.
Or even the older SI standards of calories/Kcals, Centigrade, Ph, and electrical kilowatts.
At least then you know for sure what form I am talking about.
Joules will be left in my wife’s jewelry box.

And then easy-thinkers cannot simple-math short-cut from one form to another with no accounting for transition energy losses.

Simple. You loose upwards or 10% practically converting from on form of energy to another. Stored to movement. Potential to kinetic. Chemical to mechanical to electrical. Etc.
Mind your steps, loss’s!! -10% -10% -10% sucks off fast.
Complexity will bleed you dry to impractical in real usages.


Not at all, not at all.
If only we could agree on 100 degrees/rev and 100 s/min everything would be in perfect order :smile:


Ha! Ha! Fahrenheit is better because the common use steps are smaller/finer.
“C” you are forced into 00.0.

Ha! Ha! Inch fractions made easy. Take a circle or a length of string. Fold them over in half. 1/2th!
Fold that again. 1/4ers!
Fold that again. 1/8ths.
Fractions, like gauges are even divisions of a whole. Simple. Know the whole as the basis.
Goes on to infinity. Advanced thinking relevant.

Now your 100 degree circle would always have to be expressed as 00.00, or even 00.000. to get the resolution of current usage.
With a base 60/90 for 360. With degrees, minutes and seconds.

I do admit that using the current Kings digits as a basis is too squishy.
And changing base division value in the middle of the stream is too complex.
Ha! Why we Americans threw out that nonsense with the British expulsion.

And remember it was the self-declared unify all Europe Emperor Napoleon the conquer/war-maker who later dictate made-easy distance measures.
Yeah. We behind the ball still using Roman/old English feet, yards and miles.
Ya’ got me there.


Hi Michael , can you remind me then how high above the nozzles was the charcoal when the mower started to play up , height in inches please :grin:
Sorry just trying to get my head around why it should stop running and yet was not hot on the top

one system vs the other;
The challenge question is, why does a day have 24 hrs, an hour has 60 minutes, a minute has 60 seconds a circle has 360º… ? Why oh why not in a metric system with decimals ?

There is a reason for that, who can tell me that little smart secret ?


The charcoal was 14” above the nozzles. I believe it died because of a bridge or blockage in the nozzles, it was working hard at the time so just stalled.

Now my favorite dimension history is the US std rail gauge of 5’ 6” which is based on the width of 2 horses ass from Roman times.


A little difference in real measurement as you all are talking about.
Ever since I was a little boy, I remember listening to my grandpa when someone asked how many kids he had. With a serious face until after he said it, his answer was, “Five and a half dozen children.” The person listening to him him would drop their jaw. They would think about it and figure it out. The number of children he had was 11.


Apparently we can credit the Babylonians for dividing a circle into degrees, and the 60 seconds in a minute. They founded astronomy, and I think there was some religious reason for a base of 60.


some logic does apply, besides religion…

60 can be divided into equal parts by 5,4,3,2
100 can’t… :grin:


KVL’s divisions means by physical means. Not later created “paper-math”.
Physical divisions as in like actual round pie equal dividing.
Easy to cut across in equal halves.
Cut those halves again into equal quarters. Those quarters cleaved across again into equal eights.
Or even eyeball those first halves twice across into near equal sixths.
Those sixths halved again into twelfths.
Depending on those needed to serve up.

Ha! But a round pie, or coin into physically equal tenths?
That requires precision measurements, calculation and precision cut/dividing tools.

Actual eating pie/round bread ask first; who will Not want. And who will want a second portion and stick with your easy quarters, eights, sixths, and twelfths.

Ha! Ha! Actual coinage chisel divided and then spent out as one-bit, two-bits, three-bits, four-bits. (eighths of the coin, I believe)


I built and installed a 3” dia by 10” long filter that has a 1” PVC PIPE WITH LOTS OF 1/4” holes and wrapped with 3 layers of 1/2” fiberglass furnace filter material

Fired the mower and commenced, about 10 min later noted smoke/fire at the bottom seal. Air leak allowed the charcoal to consume the truck inner tube gasket. OK I will follow others and so resealed the bottom plate with high temp silicone glue to hold a 5/8” x 1/4” stove rope.

Fired again and mowed for 20 min which burned 2/3rds of the charcoal and the top tempreture gauge was at 220 degrees F.

SWE1/4 acre mowed!

Also with all of the practice I have the cold start time down to about 5 minutes.