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I Forge Iron

lpg powered retort?

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Hi. Im new to the forum this is my first post. Hope I got it in the right place.

Id like to know, do you think a lpg heated retort would be successful. I have a old 4 burner bbq and was thinking of using the burners out of it to heat a 20L/ 4-5g drum of wood to make charcoal for my forge.
My idea was to put the drum on its side and have the burners sort of cupped underneath it. Have it all in larger drum or something to hold heat in mostly. Generally the same as a wood fueled retort bit using has for the heat.
so what do you. Will it work. Not Hey hot enough. Be too uneconomical?
Just after some thoughts before I give it ago.

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Welcome aboard Mike, glad to have you. If you put your general location in the header you might be surprised at how many of the IFI gang live within visiting distance.


 Sure it will work but only doing a 5gl. bucket is less economical than buying lump charcoal. If however you were to use it to jump start a 55gl. retort and use the pyrolization fumes as fuel to continue the reaction you'd be batting home runs.


Normally I'd recommend just building a propane forge but Thomas beat me to it. It's still a good idea though.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi again.
I'm thinking about building a lpg Forge at some point. But I already have a coal/charcoal forge and thought it might be a good way too put the burners to use. I think I'll give it ago. If I do get around to it I'll post up some pics, etc n let you guys know how it goes.
Thanks for your input it's greatly appreciated. :-)

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The prime reason for the rocket stove style retort is there is a massive jump in efficiency over older more traditional designs both in super low amounts of energy used and the superior quality of the finished charcoal. Some charcoal I have seen is only fit for biochar for the garden.


if your design can insulate the chamber, transfer heat from the firebox and draw oxygen to burn the expelled wood gasses as well as a rocket retort, you are on a winner.


I have tried several styles and put up with the smoke and wastage but I would not go back to any of them if I had a choice. There is no reason that LPG could not be used as a primary heat source but BBQ burners are going to be a little tricky.

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