New type of retort. Aka a WA. Smoker

Stealth is what this new retort is about. The burn band started June 1. So open fires are out. My double barrow retort just gets to hot, it is okay in the winter months but is not going to fly in the summer months. I need it to be insulated and want it to function like a continuous feed but have a hopper on it. I also want it to empty from the bottom with a augur when cooled.
I have look at a lot of different types that the members and others have built.
I am going to try to incorporate some of the different ideas into this one.
Also this unit when not in use as a retort will be able to become a charcoal gasifier. Duel purpose.
I am using the heavy duty piping I used to build a rocket stove about 3 years ago and parts of my first attempt at building a gasifier.










Packed dirt around it to insulated the bottom.


More to come.
Bob

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I’m guessing this will be a TLUD (Top Lit Up Draft)? I dont see a cylinder with a row of holes around it. Looks like its close to your house. maybe can double as a BBQ? Looking forward to seeing how this comes together.

Rindert

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Yes it will be a TLUD. You are only look at the bottom part, the upper section has not been added yet. Yup That’s the idea for it to look like a BBQ smoker. A smoker making smoke okay, a open fire making smoke not okay.
Bob

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It looks like an interesting project. I can’t wait to see it completed. The only thing I see as a potential problem, if I am following what you are doing, is the length of the horizontal pipe seems like it is too long to reach the elbow when it is running.

I made something similar, but much more crappy looking. I added a 6 inch diameter chimney 28 inch tall. To allow more air in to burn the exhaust I put 3 small stones under the chimney. It really roared then! And no smoke. And most of the system was red hot. It wasn’t actually out of control but I had to use a 6 foot stick to knock the chimney off when I thought it was time to stop the burn. Made about 3 gallons of charcoal in 15-20 minutes. I didn’t time it. I live in Colorado so everything is dry as dust most of the time. So that was probably a factor.

Rindert

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Planning on using a augur for charcoal removal. The charcoal will be cooled in the horizontal pipe and lower section. Only 2" or smaller pieces of charcoal will be allowed to fall into the lower part. That’s the plan.
Bob

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In my thinking, TLUD is strictly a batch kiln and incompatible with “continuous feed” or “hopper.” I like the idea of auguring out the char between batches. I look forward to more details. Very interesting!

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I think I would have to see a drawing. What I am having a hard time grasping is how you are going to keep all the oxygen out and cool it down enough to not self-ignite. With my 55 gallon barrel setup, it takes about a day with no oxygen in it to cool down and not re-ignite with increased air… If there was a small leak, it starts popping back to life immediately.

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Been thinking. If I was doing this I think I’d just use a round nosed shovel to remove char from the bottom. An augur might actually be a better way, but to me, at this time, it seems costly and inconvenient.
I would put the char, still hot, in a 55 gallon barrel with a tight fitting lid, and store it that way. This will keep your new charcoal from absorbing moisture, and reduce the fire hazard of stored fuel.

Rindert

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The augur will be the last thing I will build for this retort. It is designed so I can use a shove or hoe to remove the char.
Bob

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Just the way it is now, it looks like an elbow or rocket stove. Perfect, if you have to explain things to the fire marshal. :grin:
Rindert

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More pictures and a sketch that I just did, from what is in my head. I have been thinking about this retort in my head for a long time. It easier to make revisions in my head then on paper. Haha, and there’s no wasted paper or carbon print on the environment.










Stay tune for more to come.
Bob

7 Likes

You are right about a TLUD operation, but I want to do both but not at the same time. I Might have not made myself clear on this. I have lots of little branches always falling out of the trees and cherry branches to small for a wood gasifier, but just right to make charcoal. I also have cherry wood to large to put through my chunker. Cherry wood has to many knots in to slit well, so throw it into the TLUD.
Bob

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Cool, if that works for you. I save up sketchs and use them to light fires. I don’t seem to be able to think as well without pencil and paper in front of me.
Nice sketch, by the way, I’m a little jealous. :frog:
Rindert

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Yes a 55 gallon barrel with a lid works well. The lid must not be too tight. An airtight barrel with hot charcoal inside will create a vacuum when cooling and collapse.

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I just use regular barrow cut one end out leaving a 2" edge on top, and punch some holes around the bottom. The top barrow I cut both ends out pretty close to the edge. Now I have 2 top lids for sealing my bottom barrow off. Just place some heavy rocks on it, it not air tight but it puts the fire out.
Bob

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That’s just a matter of how fast you remove the char/add wood fuel. .

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Bob, do you have a water drain in the very bottom? This is outside right?

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In the bottom it has two opening that are just ground sealed only, and the metal box is not sealed completely, water should drain out.
Bob

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That drawing is much better then I expected. :slight_smile:

I am going to sound a little bit negative, don’t take it the wrong way. Just suggestions. I wish I had a nice chunk of pipe to work with. :slight_smile:

I suspect the chain for the trapdoor is going to get hung up, and it is going to interfere with the flow of the material through the system.

I don’t think your airflow is going to work that well either. The more I think about it, you have like a closed Kon Tiki, which would work good without a top since you keep having to add material to it, but the fire marshall might be after you, and taking the top off while it is running is probably going to have a flame that shoots up. For batch mode, you are most likely going to want the air from bottom to top, or top to bottom.

I am a bit bias. I am very partial to my 55 gallon drum smoker. err charcoal maker because it dramatically reduces the risk of fire. The fire marshall guy was okay with it. It doesn’t create consistent charcoal, because of airflow through it and I start with inconsistent pieces, but it will dramatically reduce the size of the brush pile, and you can sift off the ash, then run your system during the rainier season or after a rain as an open top kon tiki type of system.

Someone did have a huge kon tiki type of system with a trapdoor on the bottom.

Honestly, I might try a closed retort and use the pipe you have as a rocket stove to heat it up. I’m not sure a rocket stove gets around the open flame restrictions though.

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