Return to Alabama

Some time last September, my gasifier developed a leak around the firetube, letting air from the firetube housing into the area below the grate. To avoid doing any more damage, I’ve not been driving it until I had time to fix things. Now with Argos less than 3 months away, it’s time to focus on getting it back on the road.

Wayne offered to help repair the gasifier if I brought it down to Alabama. At the same time, I realized that our original plan to reship the books from Wayne to me would cost more than just driving down there myself.

So we’re trying to kill two birds with one stone. I’ve driven the truck down on gasoline, and we’re about to sign and ship about 300 copies of Wayne’s new book, and repair the gasifier.

I’ll post the updates right here!

Arrived late last night. Wayne was gracious enough to wait up for me. The combination of an old truck, dark rainy night and a long freeway drive made the trip longer than anticipated. But now that I’m here, well rested and fed, we’re about to sign some books!

(Right now I only have the camera in my computer, we’ll get some pics with Wayne’s camera later on)

Thanks Chris for putting down those miles for us, on dino fuel no less!

It is cold, wet and rainy in Alabama so Chris and I are doing in side jobs right now but will be feeding cattle in a little while and also trips into town.

Hi Wayne, A repeat of a couple of years ago ?? Mike

Hi Wayne and Chris,
Must be a real satisfying feeling sitting with all those book in front of you.I would like to thank for your hard work and for teaching us about the wonderful
world of woodgas.

Just thougth I’d say thanks.


Where’s the bucket of charcoal for the thumbprint? If you don’t do my book that way, I’ll have to get it at Argos…):

I thank Wayne is holding my book now. Lets hear it for " The Godfather of Wood Gas" Thank You Wayne and Chris.

The folks at the post office helping unload the truck didn’t have a clue!

During processing the packages and seeing all the DRIVE ON WOOD labeling we were ask if we manufacture wooden wheels.

ahhhh yeah, that’s it… wooden wheels… lol… love the pics

99% of the people that I tell of this stouf have no idea of what I am talking about.
But they pick up on the excitmemt and the sencerity of my story.
They want to have that HOPE in their lives. If I can heat my home
on the trash; then i would be better off.

Everyone is trying to make their life work.

If you have somthing that will make my life easier then I will
pay you well to share it with me.

Three things that you need; food to eat, shelter from the storms and heat
to keep you from freezing to death.

The most abundent fuel that I have avalable to me is tumbleweeds
It grinds up so fine that I must "pellitiseI it to flow though a gasifier.

Now there is much minerales in the weeds. and it cloggs up system quickly.
So a conventional gasifier gets clogged up quickly.

So I have made a top lite up draft gasifier to cook off the tars and nastys.
Then, I run the good charcoal in my gen; clean and dry.

Just 'cause you don’t have a forest to harvest, does not mean that you
cannot use this stuff.
It is doable for anywon willing to chop the weeds on your fenceline.

The home power unit is where the real value is.
Just keep my “Baby Love” warm…

I don’t care how many miles you get per pound of wood,.
I just want to keep my home warm, and my Baby healthy.

Much more work needs to be done on “trash fuels”

How do you deal with the clinkers
That is what will make it doable for the massise.

If you cannot solve this problem, Then it is only for the elleit .

I put this out there to Shake up your Minds.And to figure out
how to make this work for everyone…

But, of course it is just a thought daucie rose.

“If you cannot solve this problem, then it is only for the elite” referencing using non wood fuels and the mineral deposits/clinkers they deposit.

I do not think those of use driving on wood would consider ourselves “elite”. I think it is a matter of using the materials and natural resources that are available to us wherever it is that we may reside on this planet. Many of us live in areas where trees are everywhere. For us using wood is not elite but practical. You reference that where you live there are no trees but plenty of prarie grass and tumbleweeds. Perhaps you are barking up the wrong tree with gasification. Mother earth seems to have made it so areas such as where you describe are often some of the windier areas. Perhaps you ought to be harnessing wind power instead of gasification. I live in the woods so a windmill for me would be absolutely useless. For you not so. Folks in Iceland harness geothermal energy from underground. The point is, that just because one energy source may not be optimal for you does not mean it is not optimal for me and vice versa. We should not degrade the technology becasue it may not happen to work equally well under all circumstances. Burning wood has worked well for me and I am most definitely not elite (nor do I wish to be). That is my two cents from here. Best regards.

Daucie, Where are you located ?? The first gasifier I built ran on crushed tumbleweeds in 1977 in southeast Arizona. I made a huge rake and would rake them off a long fence line I had on the property I lived on. Then I would stomp the pile into dust. I had dust piles on some of the adjoining abandoned properties. I had a 30 gallon updraft gasifier and ran a 144 cubic inch 6 cylinder in a van on that. I could drive 1-1/2 miles on a filling. The store / gas station I worked at was 2 miles away and I usually could coast in as it was flat. I have been back there since with my current truck in 2009 and was able to find all kinds of wood along the right of way fence lines that they have the prisoners cut up and then I would cut those branches into chunks and drove quite a bit on that wood. I’m looking forward to my next trip that way. Next planned trip for me is to Argos, IN … Mike

Wayne & Chris, Are you shipping those 4th class book rate ?? Might save big $$$ if they still have that … I used to work as a mail clerk in 1975-76 for a magazine called the Humanist … I would presort the mail and take the bags right to the airport and drive right up to the plane and help load the sacks. All done in a 1965 Ford Falcon sedan. Before I Moved to Arizona I bought that Falcon for $25 and stripped it for parts for my 61 Econoline … Then I got $40 from the junk guy … I did the whole thing right on one of the main streets in Buffalo, NY … I really liked going to the airport … That would be unheard of now … Mike

Hi Mike,

The books are shipping via Media Mail in the US. It’s cheap enough and the Post office estimates 2-8 days for delivery.

Everything’s in the mail now, so now attention turns to the gasifier. (If you just bought a book this afternoon, it will ship when I get back to Kentucky.)

Chris, Good luck on the crack repair. I hope it isn’t as muddy as when I was there a few years ago same time of year. Wayne and I just watched it rain and got things stuck in mud. Tally was around 5 feet tall. It has snowed non-stop here since yesterday afternoon. It is actually lake effect from Lake Michigan over 100 miles east of here. I had to hook the chain to Sue’s car just to get it on the road today. My parking area has about 3" of solid ice on it under the new snow. Mike

Hi Guys Thanks in advance for the book can not wait to see whats in it and still on my scavenge hunt for my parts. Starting the welding this week end I hope!!
Thanks for all the help too!!

Hello, Mike L;
I live in bakersfield Ca. They say it has the worst air quality in the nation.
When I was a child, we had Oak trees everywhere.
In 1952 they damed up the Kern river and all the trees died off.
Now we have tumbleweeds as far as the eye can see.

But even the weeds are a good and powerful fuel ounce refined properlly.
You say you have burnned them before; then you know how much energy
they have available. They are just a PITA to deal with and deserve to be burned.

This is the first time I have heard of anyone who has faced the resources that
I must deal with. THANK YOU for that info. Now I am encouraged to continue.

I still have to stomp them down as you did; but with my pellet mill, they flow
through a gasifier quite well. Just have to clean out the clinkers often.

I can’t move to a forrest because my baby just won’t get very far away from
her great great grandbabies. I don’t blame her, I love them too.

When I am in my shop, I feel as energetic as I always am…
But when I look into a mirror I see an old man stareing back at me.
Thank God I don’t have to do that often…

That one little comment you just made has encouraged me so much,
You cannot anticipate where inspiration will come from.
And you cannot comprehind how much your silly words help
another person.

     I thank you very much.    Daucie

Hey Chris I’d like to see that dual throttle setup on your carbonated engine (if you are still have it) while you are in Alabama hope to get by there

Daucie, I know about that old guy looking back in the mirror. I’m lucky to be 58. I think I’m back on the sunny side of 2 weeks of pneumonia. It hasn’t been fun. I was inspired by when I lit off a huge pile of tumbleweeds at night and they burned perfectly blue. I started collecting water tanks and stuff from the town dump. I used a single water tank on the rear of the van and fed the gas to a radiator I made out of 3" stove pipe on the roof and had a drum up front for the dust to settle in and also some pink fiberglass and then fed it through a side window to the engine. The engine was in the middle of the van and right behind me so I could just shove the hose right on the carb inlet while driving. I have no pictures of the setup and there is only one person left alive that has a vague recollection of it. Some of the local farm boys helped me to build it. I had no torches or welding equipment. They worked for Spreckle Sugar corporation and took care of the natural gas run irrigation pumps etc etc etc and would flood the fields … I would trade “goods” from Tucson for their welding skills. I would have spots marked where I needed holes cut etc etc etc and had things ready. They enjoyed the “goods”. Last time I was in Bakersfield was in October of 1977. I blew a tire near Barstow and bought a replacement in Bakersfield. Wayne has tested all kinds of stuff in his systems. I’m amazed you can pelletize the tumbleweeds as they turn to dust when crushed except for the needles and seeds of course. Are you adding anything to the mix or maybe pressing wet ?? What size pellets ?? Take a look at Francois Pal’s centerfeed gasifier. A modified version of that may be the cat’s meow for the tumbleweeds. Biggest problem is keeping a good layer of glowing char in place to process the distilates. Maybe we should start a new topic to discuss tumbleweeds but it would probably slide to the back of the list in short order. I wish I could transport myself like in star trek to Alabama right now for a few days. It’s all snow and ice here right now … Mike