Saturday, December 22, 2012

blacksmithing take two

With the cold weather ensuing one thing is eminent in my family, a fire. now your normal wood fire has very little practical smelting or blacksmithing applications, too much soot, not hot enough etc. However there is one thing they are good for, making charcoal. We all need some sort of fuel to heat our kilns, and some including me do not have the ability or time to go drive into eastern Oregon to get a tonne or so of coal to use, even though it only costs a few dollars. which leaves my fuel of choice to be charcoal, at least until I can get my waste oil burner working properly.
     So how do you go about making charcoal in a fireplace without it all burning up with the fire? It's really not all that hard, all that you need is a good nice steel can, the thicker the better. The can needs to have a loose lid or holes in the top to allow the wood gas somewhere to escape to. Fill the can full of wood and stick it in your fire and let  It sit in the fire until you don't see any more smoke or flames coming out of the holes or edge of the lid then let it sit in there for another ten minutes then pull it out leave the lid on until its cooled down then use the charcoal to your hearts content.
      About the flames coming out of the lid this is because of wood gas production which then the wood gas catches on fire, you don't have to worry about your charcoal burning. Wood gas is a product of heated up wood it is highly flammable, so flammable in fact that it can be used to power a car if the engine is converted slightly.
      So after an entire winter of this I should build up enough of a stock to be able to run the entire summer without having to buy any charcoal. if you have any questions leave a comment or shoot me a message.