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TLUD Questions


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#1 wizard7611

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 08:33 PM

This is the first time I've ever tried to use and make a TLUD before, so I have three questions. 

 

Would the pet bedding that I use turn to ash if I put direct flame on it?

Does the pet bedding need to be contained or can I put direct flame on it?

Should I pack in the pet bedding or loosely pour it in? 

 

Thanks! 



#2 NeighborJ

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 10:21 PM

A TLUD is a great way to make good charcoal fast. It will have a very tiny amount of ash created but it weighs next to nothing and in the grand scheme of things it won't affect the performance of your BP.

It may take a few runs to learn how much to pack into it. If it is packed too loose, it will burn down one side of the cooker and leave large patches of uncooked chips. If it is packed too tightly it won't get enough air to the fire, causing loss of flame at the secondary air intake. It is also important to break up the bale evenly so it has a fairly constant density then lightly press the chips down.

The quickest way to have a failed batch is to not dry your chips thoroughly first, they must be bone dry.

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#3 wizard7611

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 11:09 PM

Thanks for the help!  :)



#4 starxplor

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:23 PM

I always press down a bit and fill the newly created space with more bedding, then press that, let it raise a bit on its own, then light it up. I find the extra step of waiting a bit lets the bedding create the air space needed for an even burn.



#5 wizard7611

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:18 PM

How do I know when it's done? 



#6 NeighborJ

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 03:25 PM

Every cooker is different but with mine I can start to see the coals glowing thru the holes in the bottom, but I don't extinguish it until the flame grows long out the top.

I place a few dragons eggs under the bottom as an early warning system. I can leave it unattended while I work on other things.

#7 wizard7611

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 04:06 PM

Every cooker is different but with mine I can start to see the coals glowing thru the holes in the bottom, but I don't extinguish it until the flame grows long out the top.

I place a few dragons eggs under the bottom as an early warning system. I can leave it unattended while I work on other things.

Haha, that's a cool idea! 



#8 NeighborJ

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 05:02 PM

I have a few cookers, the drum cooker takes a while to cook so it's easy to get distracted and forget. I've heard the eggs pop and had to think what that noise was because I totally forgot it.https://www.amateurp...-1503844671.jpg
Firewalls made the link not work but I found another pic I took of it.

Edited by NeighborJ, 12 December 2017 - 10:43 PM.


#9 starxplor

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:52 PM

You can also put a piece of masking tape along the side of the can (on the outside, running top to bottom). You can watch the heat travel down the can with the affect on the tape.

 

I usually just watch for the light from fire out the bottom holes since I use 1gal paint cans they do not take long. I usually run three cans consecutively, so I prep them all, run 1, suffocate it, run 2, suffocate it, run last, suffocate it, and then let them cool.


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#10 dagabu

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 12:05 PM

I use an old perc can so my batches are a little smaller but I can do a whole bag of pine pellets in one shot. Bedding, I find I have to dry it out first, it always seems to be wet when I get it from the store. 

 

For pellets, I just load them slowly pouring them into my hand just on top of the pile they make, this leaves plenty of air in between them. I use a little charcoal starter to get them going and put the lid on and sit back. I play with the air until I can ignite the smoke and lit the flame shoot out the top so there is almost no smoke while burning off the VOCs.

 

For chips, I put four 1" cardboard tubes spread out evenly in the can and load the dry chips all around them. I do pack them a little and then remove the tubes, no all that carefully either. I use a little 'girl scout fluid' on them to get them started and cover it with the lid and light the smoke. 

 

When I can no longer support the flame in the stack, I remove the top, put a tight lid on it and carry the drum to a spot of earth where I can seal out any air from getting into the bottom. I just leave it overnight and pull the coal out the next morning.

 

I do get a few brown pieces, but not many and I just toss those, all the charcoal crumbles by hand and I run it all through my garbage disposal and into a bag for storage. 

 

Sounds like a lot of work but it is really easy and the flame coming out the stack is really cool! 


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#11 OldMarine

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 01:15 PM

I like the cedar shavings from Walmart since they keep them nice and dry inside the garden department. TSC keeps theirs outside so I have t dry them before using and the $1 I save isn't worth the trouble.


Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#12 dagabu

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 01:19 PM

Good to know, I hate drying them out.  :angry:

 

I like the cedar shavings from Walmart since they keep them nice and dry inside the garden department. TSC keeps theirs outside so I have t dry them before using and the $1 I save isn't worth the trouble.


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#13 CityPigeonPyro

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 10:15 PM

I finally set up my TLUD today after a few days of rain. It is a 10 gallon barrel. On the top I have an 8 to 6 reducer to a 6 to 4 reducer. I had washed it out and ran a small batch of pine bedding to dry it and burn off anything that might be in it. On my first try it got a good flame out then it smoked and would not keep the smoke lit. If I held my lighter to it, it would burn but then go out a few seconds after. I think I need more holes in my chimney. I have about 16 7/16" holes total in the 8 to 6 reducer and none in any other parts of it. The base is 14" diameter and I have 3 rings of holes that are 7/16" and spaced about 1.5" apart for a total of about 30 holes in that. 

 

I am going to try a run in it tomorrow that I will attempt to seal off once it reaches the bottom to try for charcoal. Today I just let it all burn as a "cleanse" of the drum. 

 

Should I add more holes to the chimney or try to seal off some at the base?

 

Thanks for the input.



#14 OldMarine

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 12:26 PM

Sorry for the late reply.
You need more air at the bottom. What diameter and how many holes are in the bottom? Lloyd uses a ball valve to regulate his bottom air intake.
I plan to use that approach when I upsize my TLUD.

Edited by OldMarine, 29 September 2019 - 12:27 PM.

Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#15 CityPigeonPyro

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 06:37 PM

I just picked up 2 new 55 gallon drums. I am going to use some ball valves at the bottom too. I have extra lids so this was my idea. 

 

#1 - Put about 6 (3/4") brass ball valves at the bottom. - I have them free from work 

 

#2 - About 4" from the bottom on the inside add some brackets that would extend in the barrel

 

#3 - Size down on of my extra lids that it fits on the brackets to float just above the bottom of the barrel. Thus acting like the part that would be sitting on the bricks. Punch my holes in this to allow air flow up into the burn chamber.

 

#4 - Use a 5ft 8in pipe for my chimney out of the top of the lid. Would spider up the fins that I cut to be able to adjust the chimney until I can get the correct air flow and then fasten in place. 

 

With this set up I am hoping to be able to adjust the amount of air flow that goes into the bottom of the barrel and be able to shut if off with out having to move a large hot piece of metal. The air would go into the lower chamber then through the holes of the cut down lid to fuel the burn. Once it is complete remove lid w/ chimney and replace with solid lid and weights. Close of valves at bottom to seal the air out. 



#16 dagabu

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 03:27 PM

CPP, how did your burn go?


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#17 Sideburns

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 02:39 AM

New member here.....  What does tlud stand for?  Is there a tutorial on this method somewhere?  Yes I searched, but haven't finished reading the 44 results yet.   I think I'm happy with the metal can in the wood stove method, but maybe this method is better?  I guess I do have a hard time telling when it's done because of the lack of visibility.  Thanks.



#18 starxplor

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 03:52 AM

TLUD - Top Lit Up Draft

There are tutorials all over, including on this forum.

If you are happy with a retort, you probably wont want to switch. If you are just accepting of the retort, TLUD might make sense at some times.

Neither method is better than the other, they are both useful in different situations.

If you have a good outside fuel source and enough time, a retort is just fine.

If you are short on time, or if you do not have a good outside source of fuel, a TLUD is good.

The TLUD usually has a piece of masking tape down the side, and it burns down as the flame layer progresses so you know when the flame gets to the bottom (means it is done).



#19 NeighborJ

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 05:40 AM

Striking a line down the outside with a chunk of canning wax also works to check the progression of the cooker. I find it more convenient than trying to get tape to stick.

#20 CityPigeonPyro

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 10:37 PM

Dagabu,

 

Here is the latest on my TLUD

 

55 Gallon drum 

Have screws in about 10" from the bottom to make a holder for a lid I cut down to fit inside. I did the calculations of the amount of holes in the fitted "floating" lid and the air allowed need to have 3 two inch pipes in the bottom. Use a small screwdriver to hammer in the holes to cut down on any shavings getting in the system. These pipes are about 2 inches from the bottom and let air into the "lower air chamber" which goes through the holes in the "floating" lid. 

 

The pipes were cut in and sealed with high temp caulk. The flames will never really get all to the air inlet pipes so I am not that worried. I made plugs the I can shove into the 3 pipes that cuts the air completely off after burn is done. This means I do not have to try to manhandle a glowing hot barrel off of stone and onto something to seal the bottom from air getting in. 

 

The burn lid has a 5 foot x 8 in duct pipe that I screwed into the flaps that I cut for the opening. Once the burn is done I have another lid that I can throw on it and a snap band that keeps it tight and sealed until it cools off. 

 

I was able to fit an entire bad of ERC shavings in it and get a full burn yielding just about 3 pounds of charcoal to go into the mill. 

 

Here is a video of that burn -

 





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