New type of retort. Aka a WA. Smoker

I thought it would educational to see the retort in action from down below.

I want to thank all the members for your constructive criticism it helped me a lot to sort out some of the design flaws so I could correct them. The heavier chain for one, making the grate heavyweight, and the dropping the charcoal in water, this gives a larger yield. Using a cone shape on top for feeding the retort more wood as it is in operation cooking the wood down and making it a no smoke operation. Thank you all, and Yehovah for the inspiration to build this retort. You are all Awsome.
Bob

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Cleaning out the charcoal from the afternoon fire pit lunch with the grandchildren.


Here is a picture looking into the retort when the burn was finished, shook the grate and the rest went into the water bath below.

About the same yield as the last batch, but this one was more fun with the open fire and cooking over it. This worked great just put the left over wood into the retort with hot charcoal on top and let it cook the big brands down. In a half hour it was done and bagged up.

Here is the ash slurry and left over and charcoal in it that I scrapped out. When taking out the charcoal it came out pretty clean. The last little bit of charcoal I took out of the slurry by hand. The rest into the garden. I don’t think I used 5 gallons of water. So even in winter when the outside water is shut off I can still do this operation.
Now I have 2 half full bags of charcoal. Weight 45 pounds each. Wet charcoal is heavy. The water will slowly drain out, but I am planning on using it wet anyways.
Bob

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I am trying to keep my charcoal no more than 20% moisture according to the recommendation of our on staff chemist. (Kristijan)

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Yes this is good 20% is easy even where I live here in the Northwest USA.
It is so wonderful and great we have so many people in our DOW membership that have a Master Craftsmen degrees in different fields. They are doers and showers to prove all the theories and the mathematical formulas that makes it work. Showing soild proof with their builds.
If you will just listen to their advice and constructive criticism you will succeed in your projects. I have proof of it and am showing here with this retort. I am still amazed of how fast this thing works. There is nothing in it right now and it has been hours after the fire has been out. Still to hot to touch on the inside but warm on the outer barrel surface. It is a cooker. I am wondering if I would fully insulate the retort inside the outer barrel if it would be even more efficient.
Bob

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Good job Bob. Hat of…
Pirolized charcoal absorbs en enormus amount of water, be patient, it takes a long time to dry. 1 teaspoon of char has the same surface of a basketball court, it´s LARGE!!! very LARGE.
Greetings and a big embrace “latin style”.
Abner

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Thank you, brother Abner. We continue our prayers for you and the people in your land. May Yehovah Almighty God bring peace and truth to you all. For His Name Sake to you may He Bless you in His Words Name Yeshua.
Greets and a big embrace back to you. “latin style”.
Bob

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It has been a while for this project. I have learned through the years if you get stuck on something and I mean really stuck. Put it down and go work on something else. To day I figure it out on how to make this rocket stove retort work better.


I had a 5" pipe drop it into the center of the retort and the brake drum with a little grinding on the opening it will fit in snug, will just have to cut out the drum hole bigger for the 5" to go through. I ran the retort with out any insulation around it. So there was a lot of lost heat but it still made up to 530°f .

At the fire end it drafted great. The fire would make almost to the long pipe end above it is the drop down grate that holds the raw dry wood in side the retort. The hot heat can rise up but lacks oxygen to burn the wood. The heat exit the 5" pipe.



It did not take long for the temp. to get up to cooking wood. Now this was a no wood in the retort run. With no insulation, I just wanted to check the temps.


The insulation will go between the out side barrel and the heavy duty water pipe retort.


The wood will feed in just like a rocket stove. But I may build a more vertical feed shoot so you will not have to keep feeding in wood.

Even as the fire was at the end of the burn. I was reading 530°f on top and inside the long pipe off scale any thing above 600°f .

Look at all the charcoal from the supply fire. It is not hard wood but mix with hard wood it burn great in and gasifier.

Add water and it is ready to go into my high banker to be washed clean and bagged after a little sun drying. I used just a quarter of a bag of soft wood chunks and the longer sticks. This was about 2 hour run.
Now to finish the retort up and start making some high quality hard cherry wood charcoal.
Bob

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Okay I did a lot of grinding to make the brake drum fit nicely and cut the center hole larger for the pipe to just come up flush.


Filled it with all the pieces of wood that I did not run through the chunker.

All cherry wood. Now this first run will be with out any insulation between the retort and the outer barrel. I just want to see how long it takes to make charcoal this way.

I am not even going to put any insulation on top. If it takes to long then I will insulate the side and top when using it.
The way I was going to do it was put pallet wood down into the barrel and light it up. But it would leave a lot of nails and ash to clean up in the yard. Also it would be more of a open fire or burning barrel look that is a bad thing durning the fire restrection season. I would have to stand out there cooking hotdogs all the time when retorting the wood.
We will see how it goes later today when I start the retort up and make a two hour run.
I have about two 55 gallon barrels of charcoal to wash through my highbank washer. It washes about 7 to 8 gallons a minute.
Bob

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First run with cherry wood load in retort.

Two Hours Later…


I did put Rockwool Insulation on top about 1 1/2 hours into the burn, just to much heat going up.

Even with the fire being just coals now it is still hot at the top of the retort.

I will keep my eyes on it for a few more hours and see what the temps. Are doing in the top.

The fire dept. Never showed up with the smoke I was making.
But I was ready.
Bob

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The gases excaping the top vent would not stay lit but the flame was yellow.



Okay now that it is dark all the way back into the firetube of the rocket stove I see glowing charcoal under where the cherry wood is sitting in the retort.

This means it is burning and working it’s way up into the wood in the retort. Hummm… looks like I will need to think of a way to seal up the top while running this retort. I have ceramic wool that would work. I will try it on the next run.
Bob

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A little more thinking on this retort on the firetube part of the rocket stove I am going the build a plug to cap off the pipe when shuting this retort down. No air in and the fire should go out. After pulling all the charcoal bed out and what was down below the cherry wood into the water. I have more charcoal to clean. I’ll check the retort tomorrow I put a lid over the opening hopefully it will sniff the fire out.
Bob

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This morning I went to the retort it was still warm. Oh, oh. Checked my sealed lid on the opening and it had slipped down and did not seal. Closed it tight this time, hope I have some charcoal left. If not well I just happen to have about 100 cords of more cherry wood some of it is 20 years old to turn into charchoal.
Bob

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First, is that part of an old disk blade with the brake drum on top? or is that whole assembly from a brake drum?

Second, just put a pan of boiling water on top because you can see a big pan a long way off. Throw a stone in it. Then if the dog, a raccoon, or monkey runs off with the hotdogs, you can say you are making stone soup, and then when the fire dept shows up ask them if they came to add something to the pot. :rofl:

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That is right. The pipe is water line piping the middle is a big truck brack drum hub.
I don’t have to worry about some one stealing this thing.
Bob

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I thought so… I was secretly hoping it was like semi drum brake dust guard that I could use as a blade. It is all good, you made me think of something else.

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