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Homemade charcoal #6885703
05/30/20 11:49 AM
05/30/20 11:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 314
PA
Squaretimber Offline OP
trapper
Squaretimber  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 314
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Does anyone here make it? What do you make it in? I see 25 gallon galvanized trash cans at the stores but I'm worried the charcoal might absorb the zinc and who knows what else

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6885735
05/30/20 12:42 PM
05/30/20 12:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6,292
Alaska and Washington State
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waggler Offline
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Alaska and Washington State
Get an old 55 gallon steel drum with lid and ring. Burn it out really well first, poke a couple of very small holes in the drum at both ends, load with wood, start fire, fasten lid and wait. You should have charcoal when all is said and done.


"I'm not skilled to understand"
Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6885738
05/30/20 12:44 PM
05/30/20 12:44 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 33,071
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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Boco  Offline
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james bay frontierOnt.
Whats the best wood in the north to make charcoal?Birch?

Last edited by Boco; 05/30/20 12:45 PM.
Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6885756
05/30/20 01:11 PM
05/30/20 01:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 13,231
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hippie Offline
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I make it.

I use 15 or 25 gal oil drum inside a 55gal drum. I made a stand for the smaller drum to sit on, and a piece of 3/16th flat steel to cover the top of it. (The small barrel)

I fill the small drum with oak off callings from a pallet shop. They're around 4x4x5 inches. Then just build a really good fire in the 55gal and in about 3 hours you have charcoal in the little one.
You can tell it's about done when the flames stop shooting from the escaping gas.

Last edited by hippie; 05/30/20 01:13 PM.
Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: hippie] #6885857
05/30/20 03:07 PM
05/30/20 03:07 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,304
Mn
N
nightlife Offline
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nightlife  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,304
Mn
Originally Posted by hippie
I make it.

I use 15 or 25 gal oil drum inside a 55gal drum. I made a stand for the smaller drum to sit on, and a piece of 3/16th flat steel to cover the top of it. (The small barrel)

I fill the small drum with oak off callings from a pallet shop. They're around 4x4x5 inches. Then just build a really good fire in the 55gal and in about 3 hours you have charcoal in the little one.
You can tell it's about done when the flames stop shooting from the escaping gas.



You can also just take that 55 drum with a lid and set it one blocks and build a fire under it and get the same thing, some punch a hole in the top and when smoke starts coming out they stick a match in it and set the smoke on fire when the fire goes out it’s done





�Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.�
― Robert A. Heinlein
Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: nightlife] #6885881
05/30/20 03:34 PM
05/30/20 03:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 13,231
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hippie Offline
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hippie  Offline
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Originally Posted by nightlife
Originally Posted by hippie
I make it.

I use 15 or 25 gal oil drum inside a 55gal drum. I made a stand for the smaller drum to sit on, and a piece of 3/16th flat steel to cover the top of it. (The small barrel)

I fill the small drum with oak off callings from a pallet shop. They're around 4x4x5 inches. Then just build a really good fire in the 55gal and in about 3 hours you have charcoal in the little one.
You can tell it's about done when the flames stop shooting from the escaping gas.



You can also just take that 55 drum with a lid and set it one blocks and build a fire under it and get the same thing, some punch a hole in the top and when smoke starts coming out they stick a match in it and set the smoke on fire when the fire goes out it’s done


Yep.

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6885958
05/30/20 05:14 PM
05/30/20 05:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,331
MN >>>
T-Rex Offline
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T-Rex  Offline
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Posts: 6,331
MN >>>
Lots of good accurate information here. Here is a couple additional points that are missing.
  • Just about any wood works for charcoal, I use the short ugly chunks of firewood that won't stack. Basically anything 2-5inch dia up to about a foot long.
  • Any fire around your airtight charcoal barrel will work. To make it more efficient, contain it. I use a 55 gal drum for charcoal, and fire it in half of a 275 gallon fuel tank.
  • When the charcoal is "done" it will continue to burn down to nothing if it is not airtight. Seal it off and let it cool 24-48 hours.
  • Most any wood will work. I like to use oak, maple, and fruitwoods, "just because". I know a lot of people who use cut off pine 2 by's that seem to work just as well.


Man who mistake shillelagh for fairy wand; see pixie dust, also.
Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6885996
05/30/20 06:07 PM
05/30/20 06:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 33,071
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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Boco  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 33,071
james bay frontierOnt.
Anybody make pine tar?

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6886504
05/31/20 11:52 AM
05/31/20 11:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 468
midland, michigan
M
midlander Offline
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midlander  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 468
midland, michigan
Where's the pics..?

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: midlander] #6886560
05/31/20 01:11 PM
05/31/20 01:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,331
MN >>>
T-Rex Offline
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T-Rex  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
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MN >>>
Originally Posted by midlander
Where's the pics..?


[Linked Image]






Last edited by T-Rex; 05/31/20 02:15 PM.

Man who mistake shillelagh for fairy wand; see pixie dust, also.
Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6886580
05/31/20 01:44 PM
05/31/20 01:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 13,231
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hippie Offline
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hippie  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 13,231
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Pics....

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Top pic is little barrel sitting on the stand, second pic is of it inside 55gal barrel.

This way heat is contained around it. Like the fella said above, you can just fill the 55 drum and build a fire around it. Not sure how long that would take.

That's a piece of 3/16th flat steel I lay over the top.

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6886586
05/31/20 01:55 PM
05/31/20 01:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 13,231
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hippie Offline
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I'm about due for some more, so I'll take some pics when I make some. Probably this week or next at the latest.

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6886694
05/31/20 04:54 PM
05/31/20 04:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 50
Wisconsin
M
mpb475 Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 50
Wisconsin
So, what does everybody use it for?

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6886735
05/31/20 06:11 PM
05/31/20 06:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 468
midland, michigan
M
midlander Offline
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midland, michigan
Thanks T-rex and Hippie, those visuals help. Looks like something Id like to try.

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6886975
05/31/20 08:43 PM
05/31/20 08:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 314
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Squaretimber Offline OP
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Squaretimber  Offline OP
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PA
Thanks everyone

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6887064
05/31/20 09:52 PM
05/31/20 09:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,026
West Central Illinois
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il.trapper Offline
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West Central Illinois
A few years ago a buddy and myself decided to make a bunch of charcoal. We fixed up 6 55 gal steel drums. Put small pipes in them to let off the gas and all. Then we used concrete blocks to set them all up. Two rows one on top of the other. Then we built a 3 sided wall around the whole thing.

Loaded the drums as tightly as we could, put the lids on tight, piled wood all around and under the drums and lit it off.

The first hour or so everything was cool. Then things got hot in a hurry. The gas started coming through our pipes and it started getting loud. And louder and louder and louder. I was pretty sure the whole mess was gonna blow. Neighbors about 1/2 mile away called the FD. Cops showed up and didn't know what to think or do. Neither did we. I tell ya, it sounded like a huge jet was trying to take off or something. Fire had to be at least 40 ft straight up from all six pipes. Looked really cool, but scary as heck.

It did all end well, but it took most all night for that mess to cool down. Another two days before it got cool enough for us to even open up the barrels to see if it worked. It did work very well. Had alot of dust to tend with, but for the most part it made some really good charcoal.

Would I ever do that again? Maybe, but on a much smaller scale.

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6887265
06/01/20 06:53 AM
06/01/20 06:53 AM
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hippie Offline
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Lol, I bet you were worried!

There's a lot of smoke when you do this.

Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6913601
06/28/20 02:00 PM
06/28/20 02:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,331
MN >>>
T-Rex Offline
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T-Rex  Offline
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MN >>>
Here's a couple pics of the process:

The wood will smoke out of the loose fitting cover at first
[Linked Image]

The smoke will turn to flames...just starting in this photo
[Linked Image]

It's too early to open up the drum, but when I do, I hope to remember to take a photo.


Man who mistake shillelagh for fairy wand; see pixie dust, also.
Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6913666
06/28/20 03:19 PM
06/28/20 03:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 1,835
Aliceville, Kansas
Yukon John Offline
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Aliceville, Kansas
I have read that you can do it in one barrel...put a layer about a quarter the way up and get it burning decent,then add layers letting them get started good, once at the top cover until it cools. Any thoughts? I haven't used either method, but thought (if it works) this may be easier??


Act like a blank, get treated like a blank. Insert your own blank!
Re: Homemade charcoal [Re: Squaretimber] #6914171
06/28/20 11:03 PM
06/28/20 11:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,983
central Missouri
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Bigfoot Offline
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central Missouri
Has anybody messed with a gasifier to run a engine on smoke

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