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Makin' some charcoal

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  1. #1
    WhiteSquirrel started this thread.
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    Makin' some charcoal

    Hey all!

    Had to restock my charcoal supply...So I figured, why not make a quick video while doing it!

    Also hammered together a quick molten metal skimmer (tested it out today, works just like I wanted). Thinking my next quick smithing project will be a few sets of tongs for my furnace.

    My stockpile of scrap rebar I is starting to dwindle...I might have to do more stuff with my railroad spikes. Which leads me to a conversation I was having with my brother in law: when you guys fashion tools/tongs with rebar, do you keep the rebar rifling or remove? I personally prefer removing the rifling on the grip sections, whereas he keeps it on for added grip.




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    Enjoyed your video. As far as the rebar, I am usually to lazy to mess with the ribbing.

    I noticed your large barrel already had the lid removed. For those trying to remove a sealed lid, please fill it with water before using a torch or cutting wheel. A friend of mine used a torch to remove a sealed lid and it exploded into his face, disfiguring him for life. Some of the sealed containers were used to store gas and oil.
    Give back more to this world than we take.

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  5. #3
    WhiteSquirrel started this thread.
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    That's a good point. I grab coolant drums from work - if I don't know what was in it, I don't touch it. I use sawzalls as well : takes longer, but no sparks and less heat.

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    Nice Video !
    Thanks for the information on how to make Charcoal.
    I have sorta known, but thought it was put into a sealed container & a small fire set in it with a tiny amount if air let in to keep it burning. Big enough to heat & set the flammable vapours off from the wood, but not enough to actually burn the charcoal.
    From info i got from a book I read as a kid. Banco, by Henri Charrière.

    The drum setup is quite ingenious. The videos quite entertaining.

    The smaller setup in the woodstove ( has that had the end cut out & a smaller door put in it? )
    Is similar to what i have planned for a gallon can full of plastic covered Brass Copper wire end plugs. I figure it will vaporise the rubber/plastic while leaving the Brass uncorroded & sellable.

    A plan i have for a plain cubic (?) Woodstove i have is to tip it up on its end, weld a plate over the chimney hole, then redo the chimney out the top again, so its taller than wider. & Put a grate in the bottom for coal use too.

    Nice shed & anvil.

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  9. #5
    WhiteSquirrel started this thread.
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    Wish I could remember who to give props to for the barrel setup: I've been using it for years, and can't remember the source!

    The method you mentioned works (directly flaming the wood with limited air). That method just requires close attention as you have to completely seal the container once the flames have reached the bottom of the stoked wood. The antique way of making charcoal was digging a big pit, loading the wood, covering it with dirt leaving one chimney hole at the top and some air feed holes at the bottom. Tried it once...Missed my window, 70% of the batch was ruined! This way requires 0 attention and has worked for me every time so far.

    The smaller setup has a plate welded at the bottom and a regular stove cap at the crimped end. I found with two stove caps, top and bottom, too much air entered and I was getting very brittle and low quality charcoal.

    What size of chimney does that cubic stove have, and what size are you planning on going to? Sounds like it'll be a fun project!

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    Yep, that antique method of making charcoal was exactly what he described, circa 1948 Venezuela.

    The stove idea i had was to turn a old woodstove onto its end to make it taller & use less floorspace.
    Googled & found this image.


    I like utalizing height when i can.
    The container for the Brass electrical clips is just a gallon metal oil tin, as long as the fumes can get out & it dosnt pressurise it should be OK. Its just to reclaim the Brass.

    I did pyrolise a freon bottle full of plastic coated wire once & condensed the fumes & the liquid was a very flammable, more than petrol, clearish liquid. I'm quite sure i could run a petrol engine on it but also wonder what it damage it could do to rubber seals etc.
    It didnt do any damage to the small plastic soft drink bottle i stored it in, though the level dropped over a while as if it had evaporated out thru the plastic. It had water 8n there to see if the water would pull anything out of the reclaimed solvent.
    That experiment had to be stopped a bit early. The neighbour complained about "The sulphur smell".
    'What Sulphur smell? Its not that bad' i thought. Then i remembered that Sulphur dioxide kills your sense of smell.... LoL, cooled everything down & went back outside later and.. yep, it did smell a bit..

    Figured out that if i had a better water cooled condensor & passed the the exit fumes thru a solution of Bicarbonate of Soda, it would neutralize the smell completely.

    Theres some good info on the internet about pyrolising plastic into fuel. A dedicated website somewhere.
    They get petrol out of most plastics & Diesel out of a certain common white plastic.
    https://www.bfsnz.biz/pyrolysis-PI A photo of a small setup. I cant find the website i remember reading.
    Last edited by eesakiwi; 06-04-2020 at 09:35 AM.

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  13. #7
    WhiteSquirrel started this thread.
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    That's pretty cool, going to read up on that - looks like another fun project!

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