Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Ohio

Members
  • Posts

    165
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Ohio

  1. I built a retort based on the Hookway design and wrote it up here. There are other links in this thread that may help you. I haven't used the other method. My retort (named Burnie) also uses the gases from pyrolysis---as does Hookway's---to continue the charcoal process. Basically, I start a fire in the rocket stove (named Rocket J. Stove) with small lengths of wood. After about an hour, the pyrolysis gases start feeding this fire and I don't have to add fuel for about an hour and a half. I then add small pieces of wood to finish the charcoal process. If you look at the pictures in the linked thread above, you should be able to see how the gases are fed into the rocket stove. Rocket stoves burn very hot with little smoke and you can use small pieces of dried materials. I also added a 3-foot length of stove pipe to the top where the rocket stove exits to ensure draw and it works great, though it roars fairly loudly. It's a very clean burn with very little smoke. But there will be smells. Anything on the steel parts (paint, oil, grease, etc.) will burn off and stink. Sealing materials often smell as they heat up. The area around the barrel may get singed and smell, though you can always put the barrel in sand. Just keep cats away or you may heat up sand that gives off a completely different smell you weren't expecting. When you open the main drum to empty the charcoal, which you do the next day otherwise it can explode, I find the smell from inside overpowering, like being stuffed into a chimney that hasn't been cleaned since Charles Dickens was alive. I wear a respirator that also protects from the dust because charcoal is VERY dusty. I wear dispoable gloves and clothes I throw away because you will not get the dust out of your clothes. This is a messy and not fun process. Varying the size of the feedstock (the stuff that goes into the main drum) and how long you let it burn affects the end result. I don't use this charcoal for cooking or smoking food, so I'm looking for full cooked charcoal for smithing. You can get less than fully-pyrolized charcoal by using bigger chunks of material or less burn time. For example, I did a cycle with larger hardwood pieces for 3 hours. All of the material is usable, but some is not fully pyrolized. I now do everything for 4 hours before stuffing the rocket stove opening with mineral wool insulation to put out the fire. You can buy Hookway's design drawings off his website and it may help you visualize how the design works. The key is insulation. I've also found that some smoke is unavoidable. You can lessen it somewhat, but there's always going to be some. I use a clay mix to seal openings because it's cheap and works surprisingly well, and that gives off steam until everything is fully dry. I think there are also variations of this design that use smaller (5-gallon) drums and amount of feedstock that may work better for you---less smoke, less dust, etc. Hope this helps.
  2. Welding tips and tricks Jody isn't just a great welder, he's a great teacher. He goes through troubleshooting techniques as well as every other possible welding topic you can think of. Hope it helps.
  3. Heh. I'm good making charcoal for my own use. I got a chainsaw, machete, and Burnie the retort. I still have to do a couple batches before summer is here---don't want to burn anything outside when it's dry. Re: Chunkers, Inc. My neighbor/pal wants to build one because he loves crap like that. He has a rock crusher already (which is pretty fun, I will admit) and this is his thing. He, of course, is the same neighbor who set himself on fire a couple years ago---dude's over 70, you'd think he'd have some sense, but nooooo. Anyway, it'd be fun, but I had to impose a rule about only buying and building stuff I'll actually use. I know---insane, not normal, and clearly a sign I'm a communist or something.
  4. Frosty, my dude, there is so much feedstock it would make even you weep. And I have my tree guy who chops and chips and a firewood operation just over yonder (end of the gravel road, take a right and there they are). It's the building of a chunker to chop the stuff that people don't want as firewood into the right size that gives me pause. Could I build one? Yes. Could I buy one? Yes. The chunked material would go through a series of screens to get the crap out, and into the retort/charcoal cooker. Cook it all up, back through the screens to sort, and bagged. All doable. But who do I sell it to? I'm not kidding when I say every blacksmith I know uses propane out here. Those of us that don't are few and far between, so I don't see breaking even trying to serve this market. But I might be able to make the other products to even it out. I've even thought that given the wildfires we had last summer---air quality was horrid---I could even pitch the idea of making charcoal as carbon capture and wildfire mitigation or prevention, which is a good message out here in hippie land. But the smell of the retort when you open it up. I don't barf easy but that smell seriously makes me want to and watching people barf is only funny if it isn't you. arkie, in one of my lines of work, we call that Hoss situation an opportunity. He's making the market and having to pave the way tog et people to consider cooking with mesquite. You follow behind. Your overhead regarding marketing would be considerably lower as you surf his brand and sell at a lower price, making your margins healthier. You're not competing with Hoss, you're competing with Kingsford. Hoss is just going to break ground for you.
  5. That mesquite stuff is a dang fire hazard, more than usual. I bought some to give my crappy blacksmithing projects the lovely flavor of the Southwest and it fireflea-ed all over the place. I made some biochar. I won't tell you how I inoculated it because some things should be Left Unsaid. I used a little electric chipper shredder I had for some other experiment and it worked really well except for the dust. I was trying it to see if I could get the charcoal even smaller for another product idea, which didn't work, but I went ahead and used the stuff I had for the biochar. I ended up adding it to the acreage around the apiary when I was fertilizing with composted manure. What I learned was that it's way easier to chunk up the feedstock before tossing it in the retort. I actually drew up a production line that would screen out the blacksmithing bits from the biochar bits and the really small bits used for other products. It's fun to think about that kind of stuff but oy vey, there's no way around how much work it would be on such a small scale. Irondragon is so right---it's the chainsawing and hauling that is brutal. Loading the retort isn't so bad but emptying is torturous.
  6. Sorry, I missed this earlier. That you are complaining about not being able to get the product you want without doing extra stuff...well, there's profit in pain. That's what I was thinking about: selling locally-sourced sustainable charcoal in the right size for blacksmithing to whoever wants to buy it. I did a bit of research on what it would cost to start up as well as to make a variety of charcoal products other than for cooking or smoking with it. There are several other things I do/can/could manufacture, I'm in a good part of the country to sell specialty products (and already do with our apiary), and I have experience with that kind of stuff. But honestly, I don't think there's enough money to offset the un-funness of making charcoal. Maybe I'll change my mind when I start Burnie the retort back up. I like the pyrolysis part---that's neato---but I don't like the mess enough to do it for money.
  7. Where do I get these minions of which you speak? Out here in the sticks, people who are interested in blacksmithing (they all wants to make knives and swords---which should be pronounced with the "w" just to annoy) all go propane. They try forging something and then quit. It's sad, actually. I try to be supportive by telling them, truthfully, that I am the worst smith in the history of fire. Doesn't seem to help, though. I understand why someone would look for fuel other than charcoal, I really do. And I understand why someone would want to order a truckful of charcoal rather than make it themselves. If I thought there was an actual business opportunity (and not just more backbreaking work) in making and selling charcoal, I'd consider it, but there isn't.
  8. With you there, Irondragon. Last winter we had a windstorm that took out a neighbor's large cherry tree that brought down some alders when it landed. We're slowly beavering away at getting it all bucked up. I have some stored for woodturning, another pile for chipping, some for firewood, some for turning into charcoal for putting in Christmas stockings, etc. Oh, my aching back. I make and use charcoal to forge as part of a woodlands forest management. We have a five-acre parcel and have left two-thirds of it as lowland forest with primarily native species. I have harvested deadfalls and fallen brush for Burnie, my charcoal retort. I also have a neighbor who gave me 200# of black bamboo, most of which is split and chopped for retorting---and he has another 300# for me to turn into charcoal as well. (Yes, it's been split as well as chopped---don't want any unintentional explosions.) The challenge is to find a way to "chunk" the feedstock into the right size for the retort. I keep pondering building a wood chunker so I can chunk the pieces directly into the retort and then fire the retort. Haven't done it, not yet, at least, not only because of time but because it requires an investment in machinery I'm not sure I want to make. Regardless, I have plenty of feedstock stored up for this spring's charcoalification all done with small chainsaws, machetes, and bad language. For me, charcoal is a viable forging fuel because I Iive where there are a lot of trees. There's always a tree that has, is about to, or just did come down. TP makes some excellent points about coppicing, etc., as a means for getting feedstock for charcoaling. The raw material is there, but the amount of labor to go from feedstock to charcoal...see the aforementioned backache. So I get why someone wouldn't want to make the charcoal for their forge: you want to heat steel and smash it with a hammer, not grub around with stupid tree parts.
  9. Excellent. When I had to do the electrical in the Wonder Hut, though comparing the Wonder Hut to your project is like comparing mooning somebody to the moon landing, I found once I got going on it, everything flowed---it was quasi-Biblical in that And Then There Was Light. Regardless, good for you and I salute you. Good thing I'm wearing sweatpants, makes the saluting easier. Look, the moon is out. I accept your challenge. But first I need to buy a million feet of flex duct. And a HF anvil. Srsly, dude, this is helpful stuff, even in a small shop. I was thinking of installing a small fume extraction and/or metal dust control system but I didn't want to half-moon (get it?) my way through it. If nothing else, the 20CFM per person guide is a place to start thinking about what I want to do and how. And I'll bet I'm not the only one thinking about a shop build/re-build while following along here.
  10. This Latticino fellow sounds like a useful guy to know. You can tell because he uses terms like "backpressure" and "duct friction" but not in the form of a question, i.e. "What in all that's sacred is backpressure?" or "Do ducts have more or less friction when they quack?" This has really been an interesting build to follow---thanks, jlp. Are you still on schedule for a grand opening? Should I get a beverage ready for toasting? Truthfully, I'm getting a beverage ready, regardless, but congrats on your continuing progress.
  11. Ohio

    Show me your Lathe

    If you want to roll around in jello or mud, or wear a singlet or whatever, no judgment. While you and Nodebt are doing your thing, I will glide away with that South Bend. It's a win-win for us. Not so much for mountmyfish.
  12. Ohio

    Show me your Lathe

    For some reason, I am reminded of this:
  13. Ohio

    Show me your Lathe

    I will fight you for it. And I'm a kicker.
  14. Ohio

    Show me your Lathe

    mountmyfish, that is a terrible lathe and you will be very sad if you try to use it. Because I am kind and thoughtful, I'll swing by from Monroe and take it off your hands, cheap. That way you won't have to worry about it anymore. Just joshin ya. That's pretty and I want it. If you come home and it's gone, well, I won't say I stole it, but I will say that there's a good chance I would be in the vicinity of the stealing. <---This is also a joke, but only kinda.
  15. I have the same saw but in what I think is the original gray-green and with a treadmill motor for variable speed. I wanted to clean it up and adjust for a better quality cut when I found the shaft was a little bent and it turned into a whole thing. I machined a new shaft and bushings, then replaced that nylon gear with a 3d printed one that cost too much but it cuts great now. Yet the downfeed cylinder weeps hydraulic fluid in a mocking manner and I'm taking it personally. A couple hours ago I thought I had it all figured out until I had to bleed it, then I found myself in a handbasket going to a hot place. It may be easier to set up a different system instead of mucking about with this cylinder anymore. Regardless, I have rolled the saw to the side to work on something else. Something else includes pulling out the dozens of spinning tools that came with the Boice-Crane. I don't need all of them, so I'm trying to decide if I want to re-handle them or not before putting them on fleabay along with some molds and crucibles (I bought boxes of ceramic crucibles because I am insane and because the guy who bought them was dying and he needed to clear out his work shop). And now you know why I have to re-organize. Still don't have scissor tools, though. I have to get sorted before trying that. Thomas---thanks for the tip.
  16. I said swear words about both of you, Frosty and Thomas. Well, age before beauty, I guess. Heh. When I look up when we can get appointments, the entire Internet laughs at me. So, the saw is swearworded up big time. I fixed the bent shaft and bushings and while not perfect, certainly better than it was. But the hydraulic cylinder that controls the downfeed...I shoulda not touched it. And then when I did touch it, I shoulda not asked my neighbor to take a look. I should just looked at the old seals he busted and just given up right then. But noooooo...I had to think positive and have confidence. I really liked that saw. But it has betrayed me.
  17. Dude. How you? So I have the motor and VFD for that spinning lathe just sitting there. I decided to re-organize the Wonder Hut, which turned into a huge project including re-building my little tiny Craftsman horiz bandsaw---a two-dayer turned into a several weeker. Maybe today it will finally be all back together again. I moved the spinning lathe and am again re-thinking where it is in my little shop. I also moved the Beverly but haven't locked it down yet. And I have a metric ton of spinning stuff to weed through.: molds and tools (needing to be re-handled). So, mostly organizing and fixing. And you know, working.
  18. For cutting circles: James Riser has a design for a small circle shear that looks nifty: Making the Riser Circle Shear He is also a nice guy. Daniel Remer has a video about building his variation: Homemade Circle Shear - YouTube, which looks a little more versatile. I haven't built either shear---yet. I need to hook up the motor to the little Boice-Crane modified spinning lathe I have, which I can't do until I finish the other projects. If/until I need the little circle shear, my plan is to use my Beverly shear to cut rough shapes and then sandwich the pieces between large molds and trim to final shape. I'll probably do one of those circle shears because they're neato. The spinning I have done is fun, though. Something amazing about seeing the metal flow over the form.
  19. That's interesting, Tim. I've tried to use my carpentry experience while forging and I'm still pretty terrible, but less terrible than I was so...progress. But what you describe makes sense to me, so I'll try to remember this once the new forge is set up. I'll try the sitting approach again and not because I'm lazy and would rather sit (though that's true) but more because it looked---mindful? Mindful may be the right word. I don't know if the knee-crouching will happen, but I'll give it a try---you'll all know when I'm doing that because of the crying you'll hear coming from the Pacific Northwest. I have an improvised anvil and was thinking of rotating it to get more mass under the hammer. I'd have a smaller face if I do this, so I'll give it a try as well. I have about 200+ pounds of bamboo pieces to charcoal-ize. A lot of people up here plant bamboo and then forget and a few years later, it's invaded so they cut it all down and give it away. I machete it into pieces about 2-3" long, making sure the ends are open so there are no steam explosions inside Burnie the charcoal retort, then sack them up in burlap and let them sit a couple of years. One of my projects is a rebak chipper for chomping wood into charcoal-sized pieces because that's the part that is by far the most energy intensive---getting the feedstock to the right size. I did run some charcoal through a crappy chipper just to see how messy it would be and whoa, it was messy. And the charcoal was tiny, which is perfect if you want to make activated charcoal. I have a story about this but it's not appropriate for this website and I don't want to hijack Tim's thread anymore than I have.
  20. JHCC, you mean like Burnie? It's very fun and not difficult. The rocket stove roars like a xxxxxx jet engine, though. Tim Lively, I saw one of your knifemaking videos on youtube and was really impressed with 1) how you sat when forging, 3) the simplicity of your forge, and 3) the graceful manner with which you swung that hammer. (The knives were neat, too, but I was looking more at how you made them.) You made smithing look so easy. I went a different way with my charcoal forge design but I did try your sitting-down style and failed pretty thoroughly.
  21. Good for you, mpc. Welding is fun. And starting a post in the welding sub-forum with "BEHOLD!" is genius. Those little HF welders are not terrible, but the flux wire that comes with it usually is. It's usually pretty dirty. You may have better results with name-brand stuff (I did) and they sell Lincoln MIG flux wire at Lowes. Your local welding store, if open, may have better selection and better pricing, but at minimum, try a roll of the name brand and see if that works better for you. I have a favorite Central Welding store that's full of knowledgeable, helpful people and while I may be the stupidest customer they have, they are always quick with good info. Again, good for you.
  22. Ohio

    Ways and means

    It's no where near as beefy as a Prybil. No where near. But I got me a plan, Frosty, don't you worry. It'll be locked down completely. I fabricated a tool rest for my wood lathe for metal spinning. It's heavier than the one that came with this lathe, so I may see if it'll fit this Boice-Crane. Interesting thing about the bolt way to close the follow block. Really interesting. I'll have to think about that modification. I don't put the blank in while the machine is running, but put it in, lightly close the follow block on it, then turn the lathe wheel by hand to get it lined up using the backstick. I ain't getting paid by the piece and right now, I can't get past the idea of spinning metal not locked in somehow. Ok, I have to finish the Wonder Hut infrastructure---get the shelving in---and then start taking everything apart. I should mention---I think I'm going to use a non-standard paint color. Hahahahaha. Got a long way to go before I get there and I may change my mind, but I may do something a little crazy. Just a little. Not Chevy-transmission-on-a-lathe crazy.
  23. Nice. That extra 168sf will feel luxurious, IF&C. Congrats.
  24. Ohio

    Ways and means

    1701 is the same as the 1700 except the ways are 60" instead of 42". In this picture from the catalog showing the 1700... You can see the ways are two pieces of c-channel with four square bolts along the length and a block at the headstock end. Get aloud of the description: Not just strong but Herculean. Use of the word alone has my money leaping from my wallet. The lathe I have has already been modified---the block is at the tailstock end and some of the bolts are missing. Also, the ways around ground on each end so the tailstock center aligns with the headstock center. You know, like they're supposed to. I think the previous owner modified the ways by adding some holes so he could pull the way back to make the gap bigger. He moved the block to the tail end possibly because he was using two bolts at the headstock end and/or he wanted to move the tailstock all the way up to the headstock end for shallow but large bowls, platters, or plates, or for forms that needed more material than what the lathe would otherwise allow. I have some forms that are pretty big but fit the gap, but I wonder if the material would fit. Moving the ways back to a different set of dowel pins and then re-bolting may have been how he accommodated. I'm not sure, though, and won't know until I get it all cleaned up. Here is an image from James Riser's site showing what he calls spinning live centers in the tailstock: (BTW, James is a nice man.) The very end of the tailstock live centers have an insert to fit different follower blocks. Here's one with an automatic oiler or something attached: Dang, dude, if you were standing in the Wonder Hut you'd pick one up and know immediately. I'll try to get more pictures once I finish putting in the Hut shelving. I had to cut stuff up and haul it in there and this girl is tired. P.S. Thanks for the math. P.P.S. A truck transmission? Yet more evidence that your insanity is genetic.
×
×
  • Create New...