Wood Gas Blog at MEN

New post on the MEN woodgas blog… check it out, leave comments etc.

Nice article Chris. You tell it like it is! Can’t wait to read part 2!

Very good. It’s great, but It’s work. No “free rides”

Good write Chris …

Good writing Chris ,

You sugar coated nothing. When driving on gasoline one pays . When driving on wood one has to work . The amount of work will depend on each person’s ability to acquire and process the wood.

Thanks guys.

I hope that by making it sound challenging yet rewarding (which it is!) we will attract more of the hardworking DIYers… the something for nothing crowd can move right along. Plus I wanted to answer a half-dozen popular questions before they even asked (warm up time, fuel mileage, what happens when stopped, etc).

I want to keep the word woodgas hovering on the “fresh content” list. Any ideas you guys have for posts I’m all ears.

Periodic maintenance requirements ChrisKy.
Remenber most people only poorly do common engine oil changes.
And furnace service is done at best once a year by someone else getting down dirty.
An actual used gasifer system “Baby” past regular demanding fuel feedings needs moistures diaper drainings, and ashes wipe dumpings. Then the soot cleaning “baths”.
Might as well let them have the full gooey story of becoming “sixteen and” woodgas using “pregnant” and then beholding responsible.
This is the Big difference jumping up to using hunredwieghts of woodfuels a week versus an OoohRah! flare or a three to 20 minute engine unloaded run on 1/100th that amount of wood. Moistures. Ashes. And soots.

Good analogy Steve lol…Running a gasifier is a lot like taking care of a kid…
Guess you could say the getting pregnant part is the start of and the on going process of the build.
Then the actual birth would be the first firing up …
Then after that you constantly got to feed it ,change those nasty diapers(condensate,tar,char,hay filter, ect…)
One thing is for sure baby’s cant take care of themselves and gasifiers sure can’t either …

Good job Chris.

Are you going to mention the 25 — 75% in part 2 ?

Part 2 is live. http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-transportation/wood-gas-driver-part-2-zbcz1401.aspx

Peter, good idea there. The 75% is worthy of a whole post itself. Goes along with what Steve was saying.

I intend to keep doing these, because it seems to generate a fair bit of traffic. No reason why woodgas shouldn’t be on the front page of MEN all the time.

Chris, Very good stuff. I finally caught up with it. I’m glad you finally took that drive to Wayne’s. I thought I was going to have to send you money to get that Geo there. Looking forward to next music session. BTW, I finally was able to watch the MEN video from Kansas the other day from 3 years ago. My neighbor uptown got high speed … Still dialup here in the trees in the valley … Regards, Mike

Chris, great article, as always. I do have a broken picture (labeled “Wayne”) at the very bottom though. Confirmed on 2 computers, and different browsers.

Brian, I’ve emailed them about that. Not sure why but some of their images are linked to motherearthnews.stg, and that service seems to be down this weekend. Lots of broken pictures around the site, not just that one.

Oddly enough the same photo with .com substituted works fine. http://www.motherearthnews.com/sitecore/shell/Controls/~/media/E9C4168685524292A9AA13212D34993E.JPG

They also messed up a fair bit of other stuff in the post… it’s frustrating not having edit access.

Chris, You said, “I intend to keep doing these, because it seems to generate a fair bit of traffic. No reason why woodgas shouldn’t be on the front page of MEN all the time.” I think that there is one very good reason that we shouldn’t be on the front page anywhere. About half the people I talk to about what I’m doing are upset that I don’t have to buy gas and they do. Many people out there are into the welfare mentality and want it all handed to them and if they can’t have it they don’t want anyone else to have it.I could care less except they will raise hell and we will not be flying under the radar anymore. In the late 60’s I flew hang gliders along with a few other diehards. The people selling things, hang gliders, harnesses etc. decided to publicize what we were doing so they could make more money. Many people were injured and killed and the FAA stepped in. The same thing happened with ultralights. Publicity may sell a few more subscriptions but it will hurt us all in the end. You are also putting yourself at great risk. Just the legal costs for defending yourself from the family of a blinded experimenter will ruin your good times. You should think about your need to write everything you know.


That point has come up before, and to some extent I agree. We don’t want to be “front page news”. Mainstream media looks for all the downsides and is pretty good at making us look like backwoods idiots.

That said, Mother Earth’s website is hardly national news. It’s a very targeted audience that is quite receptive to gasification. Many of us here first heard about wood gas from their 1980’s experiments. They’ve been quite supportive of gasification over the years, rightly so.

By the way, we are not held responsible for anything anyone does, whether they post about it on here or not. Just like you can’t blame a cooking show if you set your kitchen on fire. Whatever happens is your own fault. Everyone should read the disclaimers on the Terms of Service page, and on the first page of the book. It’s hard to imagine someone would litigate a website for something they built themselves, but it could happen and we try to be prepared.

“You should think about your need to write everything you know”

I’m glad Wayne didn’t take this approach.

Hi Chris, This was many years in the making. I can say we don’t always agree with each other or get along all the time but please keep it up !! I hope you are finding it worth your time and energy. I’ve been running a business the last couple of decades and now starting to go through all that old age crap so it is really up to you, the next generation, to keep the ball rolling as best as possible. Like the price of propane has quadrupled here, gasoline could do the same any old time. Ask Wayne when he was headed east on his coast to coast trip years ago about the gasoline lines at over 4 bucks a gallon in the Carolinas. I didn’t do woodgas because of the price of gasoline. I did it because we invaded 2 countries across the globe and then Katrina hit and there were 3000 bodies floating in the bayous and flooded streets when those National Guard folks “should” have been deployed there to rescue the innocent. I pay their salaries … It’s a matter of concience so let the chips fall where they may. Bring up the numbers as best you can and I hope you sell thousands of more books and memberships to keep the ball rolling. It’s not a matter of if, but when, when the crap will hit the fan. I can’t afford to buy propane at the current price so I hope spring comes soon. I’m stuck with passive solar and electric at my office right now. I went through 3 months of propane in a single month there this year but won’t pay the inflated price. I might make a small stove for my office and burn a few wood chunks :o). Keep it simple … Mike

I agree Chris,
Your target market are the doers. Had you and Wayne had not expended the energy you have, we all wouldn’t have these helpful resources available to us. Thank you. Please keep it up.
I am tired of being a puppet to the oil companies every time I roll into a gas station. I have since realized that my everyday life depended on the outside world for my existence, food, heat, etc. I send hours everyday to learn how to remedy that. My visit to New Mexico was a real eye opener for me. It was there I found people who left 6 figure jobs to simplify and be independent. Everything one reads about in MEN and Backwoods Home. We need resources like this to show us there is a different way. For this I am grateful.

Well done Chris. Great job of portraying the enjoyment, and wood requirements. “Driving it” is the best part. “Operating it” is a bit complicated, and at times frustrating, but can also be enjoyed by a person who likes to “Learn”.

Mike L: You could try the “Candles and Stacked Terracota Pots Heater” method to help give some nice radiant heat. I haven’t tried it myself but I have heard from people I know that it gets pretty warm near it. Just make sure they are stable and don’t fall over.

I’m assuming you’re joking, right?