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Yup, you can only beat a dead horse for so long.:D

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Sorry for the long absence I've had a lot going on in my life. I have located an old sprayer tank that will be turned into a charcoal kiln if all goes well. I'm hoping to get it this weekend.

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I’m curious about this making of charcoal and I just watched a quick video of how a guy makes it. He fills a 30gallon metal trash can with his wood, tips it sideways and inserts it into a 55gallon drum, then tips both upright so the to-be charcoal wood is hidden inside the upside down 30gal. He then fills the leftover area inside the 55gal with more wood to create his fire.  There are holes around the bottom edge of the 55gal drum, but none in the 30, that I can tell,  except for the actual can’s opening, facing down. He lights the wood and lets it go for 3-4 hours. 

I have trash cans and a 55gal drum. Is this a method that can work well enough?  It seems like a waste of a lot of material to make material, but I guess that’s just how charcoal is made? 

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Most metal trash cans are galvanized. I would strongly advise against using it in a fire making charcoal. The zinc fumes are VERY dangerous. Lots of information here on IFI regarding that topic. Non-galvanized metal is the way to go.

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Just use the 55 drum and be done with it. With insufficient air it will only smolder, not flame up. You need one that has the full lid that comes off. 

Personally I just chuck wood chunks on the forge and get going, I don't make charcoal first.

 

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Look up charcoal making using the direct method and you will find a bunch of videos for making charcoal in a 55 gallon drum. The way you described is the way I make charcoal. I only use that method because my landlord burns questionable stuff in the burn barrel that I don't want in my forge. You can do it with just the 55 gallon drum pretty easy with less wasted wood or like BGD said you can use wood in the forge. I prefer charcoal but the wood will be charcoal eventually if you throw it in the forge. Have you looked into feed corn as fuel?

Pnut

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7 hours ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

 I just chuck wood chunks on the forge and get going, I don't make charcoal first.

 

I would have thought wood would burn way too fast, but I do have a fair bit of it laying around. 

I don’t forge regularly yet, so it could last awhile.

 

 

 

7 hours ago, pnut said:

 Have you looked into feed corn as fuel?

Pnut

I have not looked into feed corn. Is it relatively non-smokey?

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When you first light it up it smokes. That's the way just about any fuel is though. Once it gets going it's not very smokey at all. There's a video on here of a guy using corn. I think it's titled corn as fuel.

Pnut

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Wood turns to coals fairly quick with air being blown into it. The blower also helps to keep the smoke down. I had a truck load of scrap from a truss company, and they were small corners and ends of 2x4's , perfect size for the forge. I am considering using more wood as I can get literal tons of it for free, whereas coal is $130 a ton, plus the drive to get it. Plus no green smoke or stink like coal has.

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