Small Woodland Owners' Group

Charcoal

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Postby Justyh » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:34 pm

I read with interest the article on the charcoal kiln test (dated 14 June) on Mike’s website; http://peplers.blogspot.com/2008/06/charcoal-kiln-test-and-stuff-thats.html and was keen to know a bit more about it. I have an old oil drum which I was just about to make into a traditional style kiln but after seeing this and Mike’s reports on the results I think this is the way forward.


My main question is do you just make a fire to cover the smaller drum or fill the larger one to the top?


I’d like people’s views on making charcoal with an oil drums as I have a stack of hornbeam just waiting.


Justyh
 
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Postby tracy » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:43 am

The next newsletter has an article about British Charcoal and also a bit more from Mike about how he made it.

I am sure he will reply to this as well though!

There are courses on Charcoal making at The Netherfield Centre too!


tracy
 
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Postby mikepepler » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:46 am

Hi Justyh, I just made a small fire around the base of the larger drum, and kept it going for 2-3 hours. I think duration is probably more important than size.


What I\'d like is to get hold of a slightly larger drum to go inside to increase the yield.


But anyway, here\'s the results of using the kiln:

http://peplers.blogspot.com/2008/06/charcoal-results-and-selling-logs.html


Mike


Mike
------------------------------
My blog: http://peplers.blogspot.co.uk/
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/mikepepler
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Postby The Sawyer » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:32 pm

The basic principle of charcoal burning is to remove all of the moisture and other rubbish to leave pure carbon. We have started burning using a 6ft dia kiln (same principle).


the two methods we used when learning to make charcoal where as follows:


method 1


to start with you need an oil drum with one end missing and a square and 3 round holes cut in the other end (plus a method of sealing them at the end that will not burn so woods out then)


with the barrel sat on some bits of wood light a fire in the base and then feed the wood through the square hole in the top till the barrel is full.


know block the square hole but leave the 3 round hole open ( you may need to open the square hole a bit ) you then need to get the fire going well as fire build start to shut the base down with soil (not as i did) and back until the smoke turn blue at this point remove the wood holding the barrel off the ground making sure it doesn't fall over or burn you. then close of the chimney holes and earth up the top to stop any air getting in.


after a couple of hours check to make sure that it has shut down and no air is getting in.


Method 2


to start with you need an oil drum with one end missing as before this time turn the barrel upside down and fill with logs. light a fire then up end it trying not to spill the logs (good luck) make sure you prop the barrel as with the other method to allow air in. then as the fire move up the barrel ( you should here it drop as it burn through) close the base down a bit to reduce the air. when the smoke turns blue ( and starts to smell less sweet) remove the supports with care an drop the barrel to the ground and earth up.


after a couple of hours check to make sure that it has shut down and no air is getting in.


this is a simplified description of the two methods if any one wants to try then get in touch.


ttfn kester


The Sawyer
 
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Postby tracy » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:17 pm

I have just been looking at bioregionals website


http://www.bioregionalhomegrown.co.uk/index.html


Looks like an interesting group, I have emailed them and will let you know what comes of it...


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Postby Darren » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:03 pm

found this website http://www.allotmentforestry.com/fact/Charcoal.htm


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Postby Darren » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:54 pm

Almost forgot here is one way of making charcoal. From my blog http://morganswood.blogspot.com/


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