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Source for willow/willow charcoal?


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#1 SamGurdus

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 09:57 AM

It is my understanding that willow is one of the best woods for charcoal for use in black powder. So far I have found one site that sells it. Has anyone bought from there or somewhere else? https://ihaveadotcom...products_id=284



#2 MadMat

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 03:00 PM

My advice, Don't get hyped up on a certain charcoal to the point you spend a lot of time or money. There are many types of wood that make perfectly fine charcoal for BP. There was a thread on this forum once, where a member, who apparently did extensive research into making BP, said that the method used in making the BP is way more important that the fine differences between types of charcoal. I can truly agree with this member as I have the luck of having willow trees near the edge of my farm and I also have an abundance of cedar growing around here (it is said that if you scratch the dirt around here a cedar tree will pop up.) I have made BP from charcoal made with both of these woods and the difference was almost unnoticeable. As a matter of fact, if given the choice between making charcoal from semi-rotted cedar or sound willow, I would, hands down, use the semi-rotted cedar. The charcoal made from the semi-rotted wood was softer and easier to grind up and made superior  BP


Edited by MadMat, 21 November 2018 - 03:11 PM.


#3 OldMarine

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 04:22 PM

Phil sells good charcoal Sam and that's his site you listed. Also has good prices on sulfur as well.
Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#4 dynomike1

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 09:56 AM

Creagan did a lot of testing to.
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#5 Bigdawg

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 11:25 PM

Guys I REALLY need to know is the willow charcoal which is used in art suitable for black powder

#6 MadMat

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 11:41 PM

If you are talking about charcoal sticks for drawing, it probably is no good for making black powder. The sticks are more than likely going to have some kind of binder (quite possibly bentonite clay) which will make poor black powder. For this same reason, charcoal briquettes for BBQ make horrible black powder


Edited by MadMat, 02 January 2020 - 11:42 PM.


#7 MadMat

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 11:45 PM

Oh yeah... don't bother trying out activated charcoal for aquarium filters either. VERY BAD results



#8 Arthur

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 02:28 AM

One of the former UK suppliers used to buy the reject willow charcoal (broken sticks etc) from an art supplies manufacturer and sell them, crumbled a bit more, as willow charcoal for pyro. If the charcoal looks like sticks it's great. I've never heard of art charcoal being other than absolutely great for pyro. BUT the UK stuff was expensive compared to cheap pyro charcoal of uncertain source.



#9 asdercks

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 11:25 PM

Bigdawg, I have bought from this guys twice, cannot complaint about their charcoal, well, one tome I did received some undercooked pieces of charcoal but nothing too Bad
http://www.customcha...p-charcoal.html
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#10 Arthur

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 04:02 AM

One of the old maxims for choosing a good type of tree for BP was a fast growing tree that grows near water, and from that take young branches from the size of a man's thumb to the size of his forearm.  That opens a lot of types to try in my locality, in your locality I cannot say. 

 

However the two biggest influences on powder are the charcoal and the method, you have to get both right and exactly repeatable to have good reliable powder. 

 

A lot of the old classic British BP was made from red alder, the Royal gunpowder mill had a forest of red alder to use, pick a timber and use it Eastern red cedar pet bedding is the food of choice for people in some parts of the USA. 


Edited by Arthur, 12 January 2020 - 04:09 AM.


#11 justvisiting

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Posted Yesterday, 12:29 PM

In my earlier pyro days, I tried many different charcoals for BP for nozzleless rockets. One of the 'winners' was staghorn sumac. It's an invasive species found over much of North America, the bark peels off easily, and it's easy to identify. Most people would be glad to be rid of it from their properties.



#12 SharkWhisperer

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Posted Yesterday, 02:55 PM

Bigdawg, I have bought from this guys twice, cannot complaint about their charcoal, well, one tome I did received some undercooked pieces of charcoal but nothing too Bad
http://www.customcha...p-charcoal.html

Has anybody dealt with Custom Charcoal recently? I sent a message querying (then) current availability back in September 2019, but never received a response...



#13 Boophoenix

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Posted Yesterday, 04:32 PM

Word on another forum is they closed up shop a while ago. Apparently maybe the owner was getting on up there in years and felt like retiring mixed with a drought that year. Don’t know them personally so the rumor mill is a fair bet. The source of that info is not known to spread false rumors.






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