My first Simple-fire

Hey everyone,

I am looking to build my first Simple-fire to run a generator and trying to keep things simple. Can some experienced folk tell me where to buy the supplies:

Metal can, latches, Tig welding cup (and what size to use), metal flex hose, thermometers, etc…


I’m not what you’d call experienced, but with 5 gallon steel buckets with lids almost impossible to find here in New Zealand due to everything now being made in plastic, I purchased a large stainless steel stockpot (70 litre) with lid at a warehouse sale as the basis for my Simple-fire. Mine cost $NZ30.00 delivered which was well under half price.

As to the other items of kit I’m still looking around myself so I can’t really offer any help with that.

It seems that a 16 gallon drum is a “nice” size for building a Simple-fire style charcoal gasifer for engines from 1 to 18 HP. I used to think these drums were easy to obtain, but am not so sure now. Even if you can get them, they are of the thinnest metal required for the material contained. Usually grease. I am in trying to get a drum manufacture in PA to make me some of these 16 gallon drums in heavier gauge material. Hopefully 18 gauge. they may cost in the $75 range. Is there any interest out there for these drums?
Gary in PA

$NZ75.00 was the new list price of the 70 litre s/s stockpot I was able to buy on sale for $NZ30.00.

By the sound of it Gary steel drums are not of the quality they once were :disappointed:

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Hi Anne, Can you remember the old style aluminum cans? Very thick, but over the years they found out how to make them thinner and thinner. BUT, on to more important things. Your SS stock pot will work very well for a charcoal gasifier. Somehow, you will need to install an air tight gasket on the lid and then have some means of holding the lid down using some spring pressure. This will allow the lid to “lift” should the charcoal gas somehow “explode” in the gasifier. In the business, this is called a “puffer lid”. IE it allows the pressure to “puff” out and not damage the reactor.
If you are going with a side mounted nozzle, the wicker base upon which the reactor sits in this picture will not do. It will end up burning. Better to have a non combustible base for the charcoal reactor to sit on. (personal experience here)
You are almost there. An air inlet nozzle, a gas outlet, a cyclone, a small filter and hook it to the engine. Figure some way to put some exhaust gas back into your air inlet nozzle. I believe you are looking at a two stroke with oil injection. This exhaust will be excellent for recyling back into the gasifer since it is loaded with hydrocarbons.
Have fun and let us know how you are doing.
Gary in Pa

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Oh no Gary, - I sat the stockpot on the wicker basket just so I could take its picture after I unpacked it. :grinning:
The stockpot will be mounted on a proper support frame which will be built after I take the wicker basket off. As to how I plan to set it all up you’ve very nicely outlined my approach to the job for me, - so thanks for that . :smiley:

The hydrocarbons in two stroke exhaust was something I was curious about and I was going to ask for advice, but now you’ve saved me having to ask the question.



A supplier for a wide range of flexible reinforced hose types here in New Zealand has a really good scheme where by you can place an order for a 6 inch length of every type of hose that they carry. As I live out in the rural countryside, I don’t own a car and I’m not allowed to drive for medical reasons this kind of supplier is worth their weight in gold. I’m going to place my sample order later this week which will enable me to plan out what exactly what I’m going to need.