Charcoal Retort B15-18

The recent rash of outdoor blacksmithing demonstrations has taken a toll on our handmade softwood charcoal supply so it was time to get serious. The lower heat shield was burnt right through last batch, so a new one was cut out of slightly higher gauge steel for this round. We processed and chopped four batches this week, two in a day, rain or shine. The last two batches were saved for a live charcoal chopping demo at Morningstar Farm / Little Qualicum Cheeseworks on Saturday, come and see how it is done!

For the sake of research, we added a couple of scraps of different alder and grape vine to a couple of firings of the retort this time. This is part of our fine-tuning experiment with the production of hand fired artists’ charcoal.

Fuelled in part by its own wood gas:
Making blacksmithing charcoal by hand.

Before – construction scraps:
Making blacksmithing charcoal by hand.

After – softwood blacksmithing charcoal:
Making blacksmithing charcoal by hand.

A shrunken knife handle and some grape willow artists sketching charcoal:
Making blacksmithing charcoal by hand.

Alder charcoal and its interesting mineral colours:
Making blacksmithing charcoal by hand.

Hand fired grape vine artists charcoal:
Making blacksmithing charcoal by hand.

Thanks to Darren and crew from Smitty Construction Ltd. in Nanoose Bay for the spruce wood scraps for this week’s charcoal batches.


Read more about the charcoal making process and why we do it: How Charcoal is Made
Read some background information on fuel alternatives: Sustainable ‘Smithing?
Find out about the construction and operation of our new and improved charcoal kiln: Charcoal Kiln V.3
Follow the charcoal making progress: All posts tagged Charcoal

Comments are closed.