Charcoal Retort Day 5

A standard burn for version 1.0 took an unexpected turn, likely due to the wear of high heat on some of the structural steel. We loaded the retort with some excellent construction cut offs, this time thanks to Tim and his crew at Bayshore Construction Inc., and sealed… Continue reading

Bush Forged J-hooks

Using the excess heat from the charcoal making process, a delicate pair of hooks formed with nothing but a hammer and anvil. While enjoying our backyard charcoal making party, a suggestion was made to haul out the old anvil and conduct some “bush forging” out in the wilderness.… Continue reading

Charcoal Retort Day 4

The weather was great and today’s burn was like a party with everyone out to help chop wood, fuel the fire, and roast marshmallows. The official version 1.0 of the charcoal retort was based on the 0.9 design but incorporated a better airflow design via a grate and… Continue reading

Island Workshop Open!

Following the preliminary experiments with the charcoal retort, it was time to make a fire and start hammering again, island style.

Charcoal Retort Day 3

Take two on the charcoal retort in an attempt to get the burn temperature higher and complete the process of charcoal formation. The first attempt was promising but seemed to take too long to get to operating temperature and did not stay there long enough. So rather than… Continue reading

Charcoal Retort Day 2

The results of the first attempted burn of the D.I.Y. charcoal retort were not as impressive as expected but seem to be on the right track. Yesterday morning I picked up some nice cut-offs of spruce, cedar, and fir from Chris and his crew who were more than… Continue reading

Charcoal Retort Day 1

“Charcoal!”, he retorted. This is my first foray into high-tech low-tech clean charcoal production but I am stoked to try it out. For background information on fuel alternatives, see the post entitled: Sustainable ‘Smithing?. For this project, I visited the good folks at Demxx and picked up a… Continue reading

Island Workshop Day 6

Built a reclaimed fir boardwalk at the front of the shop, installed the leg vise and post drill, and built the charcoal retort, beta version.

Island Workshop Day 5

Spent most of the morning rebuilding a hand-cranked blower, hooked up a light and a power outlet, and rearranged more tools.