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#41 Mumbles

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 12:15 PM

Just to clarify, there is a difference between softwood and soft wood.  Softwood trees are trees that produce "naked" seeds (aka non-covered) and generally are needle bearing trees.  They tend to be better for sparks and long hanging tails due to the presence of sap and other organics.  There are exceptions of course, and I'm sure there are varieties that work well for BP.  You'd probably want to look for relatively clean, non-sappy varieties.  As a whole, they're not the best though.  The opposite of this are hardwoods.  These are trees that produce covered seeds (think acorns, whirlybird things from maples, etc), and generally are leaf bearing.

 

Soft wood on the other hand is more a description of the properties of the wood itself, and has no bearing on how it grows or reproduces or produces leaves.  Hardwoods are not always hard. 

 

Many of the highly touted BP charcoal varieties are soft hardwoods.  Hardwoods tend to have cleaner wood, and the softer nature produces less dense charcoal and is probably ground up more effectively or has a more advantageous charcoal pore structure. 


Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

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#42 Arthur

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Posted 04 June 2021 - 12:54 AM

Technically Balsa wood is a hardwood as defined by grain size and seed type, but we all know it's so soft it needs gentle handling and it makes really ace fast powder.

 

Added;

For many years willow charcoal has been regarded as  superior for BP  in the UK and Maple charcoal in the USA. Proper BP factories will likely use one of these charcoals probably selected for what is locally available, and their faster and slower batches may be mixed to produce a good and highly standardised product every time.

For people without access to either of these charcoals, other woods can be made to work, things like demolition pine can be cheap and easily available, BUT usually these will require a good milling/incorporating process. 


Edited by Arthur, 04 June 2021 - 01:06 AM.


#43 Uarbor

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 08:27 AM

I am currently Milling up a batch using black Birch branches. Everyday I trim a branch strip off the bark and use it to make tea for my wife and I that we drink before we go to bed. I have a very large bag of nice dry branches from 1 inch 2 inch and a quarter with the bark stripped off and dried. I have heard some people mentioned it is very good but it is very hard to find anyone who has used it. The charcoal turned out perfect. Once the powder is granulated I will do a comparison burn with my old powder. If this is not Superior Powder than I am going to do a batch with red maple which I have an unlimited supply of. Also I have a lot of tulip poplar which is related to Willow. I'd rather use the birch though since I'm already processing it on a daily basis LOL

Edited by Uarbor, 08 June 2021 - 08:31 AM.


#44 Arthur

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 10:41 AM

Most woods give about 10% of their wet weight as charcoal, or if dried out then they give about 25% of the dry weight as charcoal. -Saves cooking fuel to dry/season the wood before charcoaling it.


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#45 MadMat

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 12:55 PM

I use both willow and cedar for my charcoal. I have done numerous baseball tests to compare the difference between willow and cedar and found the flight times close enough to be within the margin of error of my testing method. BTW black willow is the traditional species of willow used for BP charcoal. I happen to be lucky enough to have a bunch of them growing around a pond on the edge of my farm (black willow commonly grows around ponds, streams etc.)



#46 ronmoper76

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 02:19 PM

I use both willow and cedar for my charcoal. I have done numerous baseball tests to compare the difference between willow and cedar and found the flight times close enough to be within the margin of error of my testing method. BTW black willow is the traditional species of willow used for BP charcoal. I happen to be lucky enough to have a bunch of them growing around a pond on the edge of my farm (black willow commonly grows around ponds, streams etc.)

I just ordered 5lbs of paulownia charcoal and the next day got the idea to go hunt for one of these trees in the wild. I found literally hundreds of them in no time at all. I got them growing across the road and all along the river. Huge trees,small trees,saplings everywhere...I really wanna get this cooker built and try this now,tlud or retort i have yet to decide but i'm kinda excited because most of these areas aren't private property and readily available.


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