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Author Topic: Making charcoal.  (Read 2305 times)

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Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2021, 08:01:11 PM »
Also makes for A good part of a Charlie Daniels song. Devil went down to GA. What’s the Devil doing to our Hickory stumps 🤬
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Don P

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2021, 08:53:04 PM »
Charcoal, in and of itself really has no flavor, it is just the carbon. "Brands", incompletely charcoaled wood has flavor, or adding wood in some form or another to the coals adds the wood smoke flavor. One forester here puts on demonstrations usually a couple of times a year demonstrating making charcoal out of ailanthus,"tree of heaven... stink tree". Once it is charcoaled it is just another lump charcoal with no off flavor, and it uses a non native nuisance.

I know the binder in some briquettes is clay.

I've set up a double screen before with chicken wire on top, what rolls off of it has the brands picked out and thrown back in the barrel and the rest is larger sized grilling lump. the screen under that is around 3/8" diamond mesh. What rolls off of it is foundry charcoal for aluminum melting. What falls out the bottom is ash and biochar for the garden.

A friend made a 55 gallon drum barrel retort. It layed on its side supported by rebar on blocks with a block surround for the fire pit. Out of the 2" bung which was on the bottom he elbowed it back around and under the barrel and drilled holes so the flaring gasses would help heat the barrel. Worked great till creosote plugged the holes and the expanding gasses had no way out of the barrel. The lid went an impressive distance!
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2021, 11:16:57 PM »
Kerry corporation seems to have done quite well for itself extracting the flavor alone as "liquid smoke" then selling the post pyrolysis char waste product to briquette manufacturers. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2021, 06:27:17 AM »
Now a story .Henry Ford of model A fame didn't waste anything .Some parts of the model T and A were made of hardwood cut from Michigan forests that of course Henry owned .Oh my what to do with the mountains of saw dusts ? So whoever did it they figured out how to made briquettes and thus was born Kingsford . Henry gave it to his brother in law if I have the story correct . 

Offline Don P

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2021, 07:48:59 AM »
If I remember the story right he ordered parts shipped on specifically designed pallets that became things like the battery box, dash, and floorboards. The unused wood was also part of the feedstock for the charcoal plant.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2021, 09:43:28 AM »
We swung by Henry Fords mill with Jeff on the atv trip to the U.P.  I don't remember if this was for making charcoal.



 
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Homemade Bandmill

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2021, 01:17:20 PM »
Briliant.
Isaiah 63:10

Offline Don P

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2021, 07:07:53 PM »
Made me curious for more details;
Kingsford (charcoal) - Wikipedia
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2021, 08:31:11 PM »
If you ever get a chance make a stop at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn Mich. Plan to spend the day because it takes that long .How could any one person ever accumulate that much wealth ? While you are there look  because my name is on at least  four  engines that were the last ever produced .One is a Ford 460 V8 .

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2021, 06:36:40 PM »
~Ron

Offline Beau Woodworks

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2021, 10:17:54 AM »
Anyone make their own charcoal? I'm thinking about building a retort to cook some hardwood scraps from the firewood processor. I have a lot of dry pine slabs to get rid of, and I think it would be cool to make use of them for something useful.
Yes, we make charcoal as a sideline. Made up a small batch retort which has proved excellent. Retorts are so efficient you may find you do not need much of your pine to convert the hardwoods into charcoal. 

Offline Don P

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2021, 04:35:47 PM »
You know that's gonna take a picture  ;D
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Beau Woodworks

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2021, 04:42:12 PM »
You know that's gonna take a picture  ;D
Did try but yet to work on how to download a picture onto here. Maybe too new to be allowed? 

Offline Don P

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2021, 05:18:11 PM »
Here's a link to a video tutorial on posting photos here;
Updated Photo Posting Tutorial in Technical Support Topics (forestryforum.com)

It takes a few minutes the first time but it is second nature now. The plus side is the forum has just about every photo going back to the beginning. It has proven to be well worth the effort. When you look back to an old topic about making or fixing something, all the pictures are still there. That is so rare and so often frustrating when I think I've found info while searching the web, the text is there and the pics are gone.

If you're doing it as a sideline, I'd like to see the support setup for the operation if you don't mind... just how are you handling, sifting sorting, and bagging the mess.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Beau Woodworks

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2021, 05:39:39 PM »
 

 

 Thanks for the link. 

One of the retort and one of my very simple grading set up. I have lots more pictures but they are still on another computer that won't speak to the internet without crashing haha

Offline Don P

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2021, 06:13:12 PM »
All I've done so far is sifting through screens. I've seen tilted screen cylinders for cleaning root crops that would make quick work of that. It could continue to a section with very coarse screen so the really big stuff goes out the end to be crushed or reburned.

Is the retort an indirect fire under a sealed but vented box of wood sitting on top of the firebox or is everything ablaze in a single container and then snuffed, or ??? ? I guess describe a setup and burn. What I've done so far is better than a bonfire but caveman crude.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Beau Woodworks

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2021, 01:38:56 AM »
All I've done so far is sifting through screens. I've seen tilted screen cylinders for cleaning root crops that would make quick work of that. It could continue to a section with very coarse screen so the really big stuff goes out the end to be crushed or reburned.

Is the retort an indirect fire under a sealed but vented box of wood sitting on top of the firebox or is everything ablaze in a single container and then snuffed, or ??? ? I guess describe a setup and burn. What I've done so far is better than a bonfire but caveman crude.
It's a retort so the fire and the charge are separated. I have a barrel set up on a frame inside there. I use waste wood to burn under the frame and the barrel gets slowly cooked. It has a unique way of diverting the gases from the charcoal into the fire which I can't divulge at this stage :-X. I run the firebox at 450c-500C that's 843F-932F I think. 
I load one large garden trug of dry waste wood into the firebox. Load in the barrel and the gas system and close it up. It now has an automated air control unlike in the picture so you light it and walk away. It takes 4 -5 hours to convert the wood. When done you take out the barrel and reload with about half a trug of fuel and another barrel of wood. For the charcoal, I use smaller diameter wood that is less desirable with our log customers and would have been wasted before and get 100% conversion rate. Got a great little machine for chopping it all up like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVK0OMGILyE&t=32s&ab_channel=REMETCNCTECHNOLOGY
The grader is basic but works well as it's good not to over agitate the charcoal as this will break it up more. I just shake the charcoal down into a builders bucket with a line drawn on it at the right amount. Then pour the measured bucket into the bags. I only do it as a hobby so the extra time spend screening the charcoal by hand doesn't really matter to me and it's cheap!
Hope that all makes sense

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2021, 04:28:46 AM »
Nice.  What happens with the fines?
Isaiah 63:10

Offline Don P

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2021, 07:36:50 AM »
Mike, do some googling on biochar and soil building.  Terra preta (spelling?) is the amazonian soil type they are usually talking about/trying to create but it is common to have high charcoal content in soils in places worldwide, the black earth of the prairies is generations of grass fired charcoal. From the little bit I've played with I have noticed charcoal fines are light and mobile, heading for the creek. If that becomes common practice we need a better understanding of downstream effects of that. If nothing else it does help soil tilth.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Beau Woodworks

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Re: Making charcoal.
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2021, 09:18:50 AM »
Nice.  What happens with the fines?
We live on a farm so just chuck them in with the compost. I have experimented with it on the veg beds but cant honestly say I noticed the difference but it wasn't very scientifically done and wasn't 'charged' first. Some charcoal makers successfully sell it as biochar. I do have one lad who takes a bit to use in his forge.

A bit of info on Biochar here UK Biochar Research Centre | Welcome to the UKBRC


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