I almost can't believe it's been a whole month since I did anything. Except I only like setting fire to things at the weekend as then my wife's around to watch the children, so really it's only four weekends.
Anyway, a neighbour told me of a recently dismantled wooden greenhouse that was fit for fire-wood, so I popped over and rescued a barrow load. Yesterday I stacked it up in the fire pit and this time I checked it cold for the fit of the barrow and re-adjusted it. I also drilled 6 x 10mm holes in the bottom of the barrow, in the hope that air would come in around the bottom and out through the top. It all lit fine and I let it burn for quite a while before it was all really raging, then I barrowed it! I also left a lot more air gaps around the sides. When the smoke had subsided to blue haze, I totally buried it.
In the morning (this morning) I went back and found lots of charcoal. In fact the charcoal had worked so well that it had already started melting some of the aluminium window fittings from the greenhouse. This evening I started off a burn to purify some cans with my own, home-made charcoal.
It appeared to be burning really well until I foolishly decided to adjust the lid to keep more of the heat in and dropped a brick right into the middle of the furnace... I put a lid on with a brick to reflect some of the heat back in and when I moved it, it flipped over and dropped the brick... hopefully it hasn't dampened the flames too much.
I'll have a look tomorrow when it's cooled down a bit and see how much melting has gone on.