Joshua States Posted February 12, 2017 Share Posted February 12, 2017 So, I was cordially invited to participate in an iron smelt sometime this spring. In the discussion about how it was going to happen, I mentioned that I was preparing to make a bunch of softwood charcoal (https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=32964&page=13, post #253) and would gladly contribute all of it, should I be able to participate. So, today I tried it out. First I had to build the retort. I'm using the barrel off of a small cement mixer that the motor burned out. I cut the bottom off a barrel I got with about 45 gallons of heat treating oil for the burner area and made an opening for the burner. I split the wood into roughly 2x2x17 inch long pieces and loaded the retort. The cover is 3/16" plate with a bunch of drilled holes and a handle. I have an old plumber's stove (for melting lead) and I was going to use this as the heat source. After dicking around with it for about 15 minutes, I decided to just use some old pallet wood and build a small fire. After about 10 minutes, it started to off-gas through the holes in the retort cover. It was still smoking after the fire went out about 45 minutes later. I fed the fire a little anyway and it was cooking really well for a couple of hours. The funny thing is, it wasn't really hot. I could touch the top & sides of the retort with a bare hand. It's been cooking for about 3-1/2 hours now. and I'm letting it do its thing. More tomorrow morning. 1 “So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.” The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing. Josh http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg J.States Bladesmith | Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71 https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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