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Making Your Own Charcoal

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Making your own charcoal

  1. Using a cold chisel prepare the drum by making five 50mm (2in) holes in one end and completely removing the other. Knock-up the cut edge of the open end to form a ledge (Note, the lid will have to placed back on this ledge and made airtight).
  2. Position the drum, open end upwards, on three bricks to allow an air flow to the holes in the base.
  3. Place paper, kindling and brown ends (incompletely charred butts from the last burn) into the bottom of the drum and light.
  1. Once it is burning well, load branchwood at random to allow air spaces until the drum is completely full. Keep the pieces to a fairly even diameter but put any larger ones to the bottom where they will be subjected to a longer burning.
  1. When the fire is hot and will clearly not go out, restrict the air access around the base by using earth placed against it, but leaving one 100mm (4in) gap. Also place the lid on top, leaving a _small_ gap at one side for smoke to exit.
  2. Dense white smoke will issue during the charring process. When this visibly slows, bang the drum to settle the wood down, creating more white smoke.
  1. When the smoke turns from white (mainly water being driven off) to thin blue (charcoal starting to burn) stop the burn by firstly closing off all air access to the base using more earth, and secondly by placing the lid firmly on its ledge, and making it airtight by the addition of of sods and soil as required. The burn will take between three and four hours.
  2. After cooling for about 24 hours, the drum can be tipped over and the charcoal emptied out onto a sheet for grading and packing.
Source: Traditional Woodland Crafts. Raymond Tabor. Published by Batsford,London,UK ISBN 0-7134-7138-7
post #2 of 8
thanks for starting this. i have been cking into making my own charcoal lump and just add a couple links, one is pretty much identical to yours and the other a little different. is an indirect method-the wood which will be the lump never makes actual contact with fire is inside the smaller drum.
post #3 of 8
Great info and interesting reading..................Sounds like alot of work, but I am sure it would be worth it............
post #4 of 8
Great info! Ya know what ya gettin, but Royal Oak Lump for $10.59/20 lbs, or Rancher for $2.99/20lbs (last fall at Homy D)......
post #5 of 8
Prices like that I might have to stock up like there was nuclear winter coming. Stashing extra bags in friends garages and such.
post #6 of 8
No kidding.. is that a typo by chance?
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
yea, I think I can make my own and most of us can when we have nothing to do,,(if that occasion ever arrives)

here are some more links..I guess knowledge is
post #8 of 8
That was last year. Good luck finding the Rancher at HD at any price.
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