Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Charcoal III

Progress is being made. Now the thin bits that I thought of as kindling are turning to charcoal and the big lumps are becoming brown ends. So I think the next stage will be to do a proper charcoal stack with a hole in the middle made out of the thinner bits of wood. Then I'll chuck a newspaper/firelighter combo down the middle and cover it with the wheelbarrow and treat it as before.



Charcoal II

Right so. That didn't work then! I got maybe a handful of charcoal from the bottom and a lot of charred wood.

So, I listened to what I'd been advised on Creative Living forum and made a nice neat stack of fresh wood on top of kindling...

... waited til it was all nicely alight and blazing...

... then tipped over the barrow again.

But, this time I'm leaving some air gaps around the edge.

Now we really are into trial and error. I'll just leave it for a bit. At least I know it's still burning under there with restricted oxygen. If this doesn't work I'll bash some holes in the wheelbarrow with a chisel and bury it totally around the edges so I have more control over the amount of air by covering holes. I might also go look for pictures of oil-drum burns and the like to get a rough idea of how much air hole is needed for what size of burn.

Still, as they say, you learn more from things that don't work!


Making Charcoal I

Right so. The reason I've stopped melting things is that I couldn't afford my charcoal habit! So after some very diligent months of reading Freeglecycle every day I have accumulated everything I need to make my own. Hopefully.

Here's a big pile of wood, chopped to size, with fire-lighting things and gloves.

Here's the fire all laid and just getting going.

Nice blaze now. Time to put on gloves and take courage in both hands!

Action shot of me wielding spade to start sealing it off.

Finished article - one slightly smoking wheelbarrow!

I can't seem to link back to the pictures so here's the link to my photostream - www.flickr.com/grahams_pictures - if you want to see big shots or indeed any of the other random stuff I take photos of.

In a couple of days I'll see if it feels cool and whether I feel like digging it up... and then I'll know if it worked or not.