Nails in the chunks

I cannot remember who asked the question about nails in scrap wood, but I have run a lot of wood with nails in it. my problem is condensation , I am now trying to fix that, now the secret to nails in the wood is, the grate has to be slotted not , round holes, and a grate with a scraper rolls the nails thru the slots, I will attach some photos I believe Ben Peterson at victory gas works, makes his with slots, ?? I think 3/8 wide??

What type of scraper do you use? Thanks.

David what size slots do you run in your gasifier? Yesterday I tried to flare my tractor and it took a long time for it to make gas and it didnt run quite right. I wondered if the grate was plugged. It has the same size slots as my truck but a lot less vacum. My grate is made of 3/16 stainless steel rodsand are about 3/8" apart.

Hey Ronald, I have experimented with 3/8 -1/2 and 5/8 I do not like 5/8 because it lets bigger char through, so I think 3/8 or 1/2 is best. I have had some runs better than others, what is the size of your chunks? Sometimes too small or fine chips will reduce your vacuum. the photo that I am sending is of one of my older grates, Wayne’s grates are suspended with chains and has a shaker, which is good, but I wanted more control , so I have a stationary grate , I have a 3/4 shaft with a 12 volt slow rpm motor turning the scraper about every 8 to 10 minutes.

Hey Terry, I do not have any new photos, but I am sending two old photos, but my new grate is basically the same, the one photo shows the grate before the slots were cut, in one of my runs, the other was of my original first grate, (sorry it is a view from the bottom) you can barely see the scraper thru the holes. I changed from holes to slots to let the nails fall through. it had an horizontal shaft coming in from the side with a 90 degree gear box, the gear box was a bad idea, it kept seizing up in the heat, so then I ran my shaft up from the bottom it worked great. but I am rebuilding my gasifier, and I am going to run the scraper shaft down from the top this time, I think it will be easier to work on if I ever need to , even though I never had any problem with the other one, I was at the junk yard yesterday and found a bargain , new 12 volt 8 rpm gear motors for 10.00 I am a impulsive buyer LOL, I bought all they had 14, if anyone on drive on wood wants one they can have one at cost if they can pick it up. Spread the bargains LOL not the wealth.

Hi Dave,

I had trouble with nails getting caught in the restriction and the pile up above the grate. Grate scrapping would not have worked. The only way to free those up was to dig out the char or burn it out and then get the nails. Some people run a 4 inch restriction for these smaller engines and those will get clogged. Mine was 6 inch on one truck and it got clogged. If you could process the nails into more like pellets that might work better.

Hi Woody, I suppose, it is good to experiment, with different systems, to see what is best, and what works on one system may? not work on another, there are so many different variables of how to build a gasifier, so what worked in one gasifier may not work in another on if they are not exactly the same, I never had any nails get caught in my grate, after I switched to slots instead of holes, all my wood chunks are made of scrap hardwood flooring and other wood construction scrap, so I avoid nails as much as possible, and have never ran 16 p nails thru my gasifier, only 6 p or less,

Good Morning Dave ,Ron and Woody,

^The nails will make contact with each other before they reach the grate . If the gasifier is heated to the correct temperatures the nails will weld themselves to each other and form a cluster . In short time it will be the size of a base ball and will not pass the grate .

I think I have some pictures of some nail cluster on the site somewhere ?

I would use the wood you have with the nails and before the nail cluster has time to develop run a magnet down through the char from the top and bring them out. Maybe every thousand miles.

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Hi Dave and Wayne,

My gasifier was built very close to Wayne’s and we used his style grate and found exactly what he is talking about, the nails weld together in a pile. The nails cause cold spots in the gas stream and may be part of the reason for inconsistent gas. My char is loose enough that I can get a small magnet down there each day and pull out steel, but the char bed has to be loose to do this. I found the whole experience messy and just didn’t want to mess with it unless I had to in an emergency. Gasifier ran great then all of a sudden she plugged up. Of course I was very inexperienced at operating at the time, so I overreacted.

Hey thank you Wayne & Woody, maybe that is also part of my past problems, ( not hot enough ) my original fire tube was shorter too so maybe it did not have time to fuse together ? I am hoping I can get my gasifier running at the correct temp. to tell you the truth I have been running in the dark, when it comes to the temperature, I have never put a temperature gauge on my gasifier., I know I am going to have to do it soon and a vacuum gauge also.

I was catching up on my reading and read this thread, then a couple of clicks later saw a photo of a nail cluster from Mr.Keith using scrap wood. Them look like some 16p nails, a bunch of them !!