New Guy from Yukon Canada

Hello Everyone!

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Byron Gagne, I’ve been reading here for a while and finally pulled the trigger and got a lifetime membership. Im brand new to woodgas. But really want to build myself a woodgas truck in the worst way, a quick search of the internet and the rest was history. Yep the books in the mail.

A little about myself. By all means I’m not a mechanic, computer geek, engineer, or scientist, more of a jack of all traded master of none. I trap north on the Yukon Northwest Territory border. By trade I used to fix appliances, and recently we just moved off grid, building myself a little piece of heaven on 15 acres of land. With my sawmill, rebuilt 1981 skid steer, and lots of love from my wife and 5 yr old daughtor.

Recently I took a shop hand job where a good friend runs a mechanic business. Just so I could learn how to weld and fab. They have plasma cutters, drill press, and welders of all shapes and sizes. The yard is full of steel! The other reason I started there was to get better deals on equipment hoe’s and dump trucks for dirt work on my property.

This summer I built a shop 26x46 out of 8x8 timber. My wife and I basically did the shop all by ourselves. We scrounged up windows, bay door, man door all pretty much for free. Our plan is to live in the shop and save $, to build the house. Where totally off grid, heat, bake cook, and domestic hot water is all rigged through our wood cook stove. Currently working on building a thermal electric generator then we will also be producing electricity on the stove to power our electronics, and leds.

Woodgas is the next big move for me, complimenting my whole system, a truck build and possibly one for the shop generator, would be a real slick set up.

But first on to the research on the forums further keep my head up for material and a truck, and once Wayne’s book arrives study that back to back!
Nice to meet you all,
Byron Gagne

Howdy Byron,
There’s lots of good people here, don’t be shy about asking questions.
Colder climate does present challenges… but it’s do-able.
Sounds like ya got it going on up there, Wood won’t be a problem :slight_smile:

I’m in NE Ontario (Kirkland Lake)
Presently building this Dakota

Trying to put into practice what I learned from last winter… Money and materials have been scarce, some cut backs are necessary on this build, it’s not optimal for the climate.
But I’ll make it work.
Again, Welcome to the site, Look forward to seeing your progress.
HWWT (have wood will travel)

Good morning Byron and welcome aboard sir,

I don’t think anyone needs to be an expert at anything to build and drive a wood gas vehicle . However the jack of all trades title you possess will help in this field more than any degree. Also wood burning vehicles with the maintenance and fuel procurement requirements fits well with only a small portion of the population. According to your bio it will fit you like a glove .


What I learned in life is not what you know, but to know where to get the info! The Internet had made this possible for anybody to find anything they need. Driveonwood site is a great ex ample of this, I thank you Mr. Keith, Chris, and all the others who contribute here for plow ing the way, pioneering and reviving wood gas technology!

Totally green in this field put read posts daily to try and pick up any useful tidbit.

First load of the season for the mill 3.5 cord hauled in yesterday, Got to wait for freeze up to unload to wet and ill just turn up my wood lot!

Again thanks I think $200 for a membership is to cheap :wink: in retrospect !

Welcome aboad the Good LifeShip DOW ByronG.
Is your avatar picture revesed? Or, is thst a RH drive snowcat?
Steve Unruh

It’s a 200 hp sport jet river boat, we were out moose hunting. We had taken my float boat and were 60 miles down stream when my daughter burned herself on the stove. A good friend came in with his jet boat and she got to drive on the way out. We were very lucky the burn was on her lower arm and know is alot better and wont even leave a mark. But it was bad enough to get out of the bush.

Another project after the truck would be a woodgas powered river boat I couldn’t help but float by the log jams loaded as big as a house and think about how handy it would be to roll up and cut a boat load and continue huntin. Jet boats or pigs on gasoline!

Sorry cant figure out how to turn the pics !

Hey thanks for the explains. Looking now, I do not know why I mistook the lifejacket for a hooded cold weather outer safety vest!
Cloud scraping mountains with lots of sky and surface water - looks like home down here in wet western Washington state. Your “summer”. My 9-10 months of the rest of the year.
Wood powered boats there is an excellant BC published picture book about the 1850’s to early 1900’s mountains and inland rivers steam-stern wheelers used BC, Alaska and the Yukon. Some really terrific, terrifying up and down river running they did with those for frieght and people before rail took over. Updated to wood gasified would be actually doable following the Sweed/Finn 1940’s Balitc sea fishing boats power pattern.
Jet boats? Big block inboards? Well with the BIG gasifier system and then woodfuel barge needed for these fuel hogs old steam boat speeds and capabilitys is what you be back down to anyhow.
Couple of topic threads here on that already.

Steve Unruh

You sound like a pretty interesting guy and are already in the midst of doing a ot of the same activities/projects I am planning to do in the future. Welcome to the site and I look forward to hearing about your woodgas and other adventures.


Welcome Bryon, this is a great community.

Howdy Byron,
I gave it a spin.
What part of the Yukon are you in?

Welcome Byron, another hardy soul to live up there, but we wish you the best on your homestead. With a sawmill and shop already in place, and a fab shop at work, you are poised for an additional adventure in wood gas. Life is good! keep us posted.

Hi Byron, welcome aboard. For the smaller engines don’t forget to look into the charcoal world. As someone who needs heat you can make charcoal in a container in your stove and burn it in a simple unit that is pretty immune to the cold. Good place to start…
Best regards, David Baillie

Thanks for the warm welcomes!

Terry thanks for turning that pic, currently my whole life is off my iPhone my computer isn’t up.

Hi David, I assume you mean gasifiers that or big enough to run gen sets and so on? I will look into that further! Great point.

Sorry Terry forgot to mention to yah I’m 20 mins outside Whitehorse

Another welcome from another brother from a different mother in WA state!
Glad the pine beattles left you something to mill. It sounds like you’re living in the right place, working at the right place, have the right family situation, and found the right website to expand your horizons… in the right direction!
Woodgas is the natural progression in combustion of biomass. It’s embarrassing to realize how suppressed the technology really is in North America! We should be decades further ahead by now… sorry, that’s the yank in me going on a rant.
We are all here to expand and share our know how, I am very grateful for Wayne’s and Chris’ generosity. With their time, intellect and talent to bring us this thing we call drivingonwood. Not to mention all the others!!! You’ll meet the rest soon enough :slight_smile:
I’ve been offline for a while due to an old truck with an old engine. And thankfully a job that takes all the nice months and gives up the rainy months. I’m working on the truck now and building up the wood supply. Looking forward to more pics of your habitat, family and progress!
Cheers, Tim J

How’s it goin?
How about an update.
Has the snow left ya yet?

It’s been a busy winter!!!

On the woodgas front?
I’m still working on getting a truck from a good friend. Duelly, ford, 4x4, flat deck, around 1980’s. He won’t let me buy it I have to work it off lol. This may ill help him around the shop!

Slowly been collecting materials, I just got my scavengers permit for the whitehorse landfill ! This should help cross a few items off the list.
The snow is gone!

As for the new property I got our solar system set up, wife’s happy!!! Running lights washing machine, and laptop don’t need much else.
Working on building my solar hot water system next, and greenhouse extension,

I built a cabin this winter, check out the pics. Going to be a rental, yah for passive income.

Trapping season was cut short due to snow conditions, I didn’t think I would ever stop a swt skandic but I did 6-7 ft of snow no base, spent 17 days building trail, and turned around and went home. That same trail should have taken only 2-4 days max to build, but hay it’s all part of the adventure :wink: so I was unable to start a trapline journal:(

Not much else going on laying low as money is tight, alot to do that doesn’t cost money. Bonus about having your own sawmill. There’s always sawdust that needs to fly.

My build has been but on the back burner, but everytime I fill up I think about my build. I read through the forums when I can. I will start a thread when I start my build. Ill post the truck when I get it home;)

Thanks for checking in,

Nice work on the cabin, excellent dovetail joints!

The bottom pic? Are those arches?
Yuppers that’s some nasty snow that a machine like that Skandic won’t go through!
Here’s a link to let southern folks in on what it is.
Look forward to seeing you’re Ford build.

There trusses for the cabin. Built A frame truss out of 8x8 wanted to stick with the theme of big wood for this build. As the timbers or 8x13 for the walls. The roof trusses will be exposed I wanted it to look very majestic, as should any cabin should be:). I took the picture using the panarama setting as the trusses wouldn’t fit in the frame that’s why they look so wonky

I can’t wait to start my build, I pick up Waynes book and flip through it every know and then just at the moment I got to cross a couple other projects off the list, put hopefully by the end of May I got the old ford in the yard.

Yup them sure look like arches to me.
Its amazing what a camera can do.
Nice work Byron