What I learned at Argos 2014

I thought I would start a thread about things you learn from actually watching a startup or being in a truck driving down the road.
Probably the most important thing I learned this past weekend is if you see Wayne turn and run, you should probably follow him.
We were watching a startup when the flame suddenly went from coming out of the pipe to being sucked back into the tube. Wayne turned and ran like hell and we all just watched him leave not knowing what he was very aware of.
The second thing concerns bridging. Chris’ gasifier had a bridge going and asked Doug Drost and myself if we would like to see what it looks like. So we both check it out and Chris says to poke the bridge to collapse it and when I did it belched out a big cloud of gas which ignited and gave Doug one hell of a hair trim. Eyebrows, facial hair and forehead hair burned up instantly. Luckily he wasn’t burned but burnt hair was an awakening.
Please post your thoughts on things that you noticed that maybe the site doesn’t convey as well as personal experience might.

Takeaway there is use your head, but not as a hopper lid! :slight_smile: Poor Doug will never trust me again.

The biggest thing I learned in person might be that we’ve got a great bunch of folks ready to work together… for example several times over the weekend things needed to load and unload from trucks and trailers. I’ve never seen work happen so fast! Everyone pitched in to get things done, with a smile and a helping hand. (BTW Mike Briere has an unquenchable smile and the best attitude I’ve ever seen.)

Another thing I noticed, the DOer’s get all the attention and respect. No “armchair experts” need apply. It was plain to see by the miles driven and the experiences shared, we’re all about results - as it should be. Also loved to see them loading up wood to go home - these are not garage queens or weekend warriors. As Bill Schiller noted, there was not a clean pair of jeans in the bunch.

I noticed a lot of common characteristics.
I think the wood gas do’ers contain an always optimistic foresight. Whether it be trying something new as in the type of vehicle, instruments or Gary finishing his build one day and driving 700 miles the next. I burned up my blower and had a few people standing there brainstorming to get it up and running again (Al Michael,Terry, to name a few). Hungry, I went in to eat. When I returned outside, there was Mike L. all set up with another way for my unit to flare again.
This was the first time I met any one of you. I felt comfortable with everyone I met. Almost as though I knew everyone for years. A sense of old fashion community or fellowship.
There’s unique set of common values that is shared. Trust, selflessness, encouraging, optimistic, personable- to start the list

I learned not to bring unfinished projects you will not have time to work on them to bring notepad and pencil because of all the information that you will come in contact with you will not and can not remember take lots of pictures because when you get back home no one will believe what you are trying to tell them .They are going to think you are off your meds,
I hope all of the new faces that were there will start a project start small look on the forum page learn how to make char then how to build a simple fire unit .Start small learn how it works ask questions that is how we grow there is a lot of information on this web site and a lot of people willing to help …DAN

Twas fun … Back to tick land in a few minutes … It’s hot and sweaty here. Robin drew a lot of pictures … I added arrows to show flow routes … I wonder if he is back in the field today too … Doug’s fried ginger eyebrows are a badge of honor … Note my hopper lids dual as a shield … Been there done that (one time but it was looking through a nozzle during a puff) … LMAO … You ALL, Thanks for making the trip !!! Mike L

I know I only learned about 10% of what was there, and available. I want to go back in time, but the DeLorean is busted! I also learned we have some extremely talented builders that could be assembled into a factory team in no time.

By the way, I’ve been asking co workers at work to judge how I trimmed my eyelashes. Then when I told them how, I said that I an explosively good time !

It was a fast weekend, trying to absorb all the things you hear. Trying to remember faces and make sure you dont miss out on a single demonstration. For me it was a LBL (learn baby learn). It was also like seeing the wizard of Oz and getting some courage. As a result I have laid down 150 mi so far this week on wood, and without a stall or a rolling stop (yee-ha). It has been said already but what a fine bunch gasifists to learn from and enjoy company.

Wow !! Where did the week go ? This time last week I was in Indiana !

Mike B ,

I have heard the saying the quick and the dead . In our case not that extreme but maybe the quick and the hairless or the quick and the tare baby.

Learned a lot of faces to go with names. Wish I could have spent hours with each.

HWDT ( had wood , did travel )

turned 366,000 on the volvo odometer as we neared home yesterday morning.
exhausted but mellowed out with the vision of a growing nation of wood gasifiers. inevitable, just a matter of time and willpower.
we loved being there among the group every second. even started to grow fond of the midnight trains barreling through.
we stopped on the way home to visit Gary Gilmore in PA for a few hours to see him and his cutting edge projects. kind of rounded out the whole weekend perfectly. everywhere i turned i met the kindest, smartest people i could ever hope to run into anywhere. certain little tidbits i gleaned about the rocket stove mass heater from Larry were worth their weight in gold.
thanks Mike L. for bearing with me as i plumbed the depth of your knowledge and gasifier. i really think that it has a place in the homestead around here, even after i manage to gain enough confidence to tackle building a wk gasifier. just the “mounted on a trailer” approach is perfect for adapting to the needs of the family fleet of sedans and wagons.
i don’t know how soon i’ll be geared up to appear in my own gasified vehicle, but Cyndi says she wants a wood-powered RV for the next trip…

Ditto BIll’s post and then some…

I learned this can be done… I can do this, and it doesn’t matter how plain or fancy I want to get - Wayne’s principles work… And work well. Very cool.
I learned that when I do this, I will not be alone - there is a like-minded neighborhood to provide encouragement, bounce ideas off of, and share the joy of success with.
I learned that it takes a while to wear off the soot off or my hands - but it does not taste to bad on sandwiches.
I learned that there are lot of guys interested in woodgas with grey beards.
I learned that the time seemed to short together. I was just beginning to catch on and we had to part. I wish it was a longer gathering.

I am busy searching for the right truck and already have begun to gather the makin’s for my mobile refinery.

I hope to be traveling to Argos next year on free fuel.


What a gang !!! The highlight of my trip home was when I hit the Illinois line and I stopped at the first liquor store as they don’t sell on Sunday in Indiana … I did drive past 20 churches or so full of people … As I pulled into the store parking lot over the sidewalk as there was no entrance on the side street and parked with gasifier smoking a very nice black fella was asking me what I was smoking in the hopper. I explained to him that I had driven there on wood chunks. He was snapping with his Ipad or whatever. In a few more minutes there were 3 more (black) guys his age along with their ladies and around 8 kids so I had to give the course on woodgas … Best vibes I’ve had in years. Then I walked through the metal door into the building with no windows and bought my jug of vodka from some white gal and stoked up and hit the road again … What a grin … We may have to set up an award for the first black woodgas driver in the USA … I don’t know of any yet … Mike
Hard to believe it’s been a week … At least Sue and I went fishing yesterday … The lakes here are dead this year so it’s creek fishing for now …