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#1 paddy

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 08:28 AM

i have my own woods ,my question is do i have to age or cure wood before i make charcoal..my southern pine and willow seem to work fine ..but there is room for improvment..i usually cut 1in. limbs.clean it up and right in the pot..would it be better to let it dry first??  Also you southern pyros probably know what a pop corn tree is (chinese tallow)...I recently used this wood, and it is working great..I checked out the tree info and found out the tree was once tested for a alternative fuel source..The tree makes seeds that look like popcorn(hence the name) when you squeeze them by a match,they shoot out a small flame..these trees  are found from texas to florida..please let me know what you think..I could send a sample ..at your expense..paddy


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#2 FlaMtnBkr

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 10:43 AM

Wood doesn't need to be dried first but it will likely take a little longer to cook when wet. I haven't noticed a difference at least.

I'm not sure about that species but there are a lot that work well. It really just takes some experimenting to see what works for you. You really need a way to test it to see how it compares to other BP.

#3 Blackthumb

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 04:49 PM

Having great success with cottonwood....


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I vanquish the night with the stars of my hand."

Volume 75, Chapter 15, Verse 10

 

 

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#4 Jakenbake

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:31 PM

I have tried cottonwood before. I found it only to be a little better then pine. The pieces I tried wouldn't exactly be considered new growth.


Edited by Jakenbake, 15 June 2014 - 06:42 PM.


#5 Blackthumb

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:19 AM

i use cottonwood and cedar since it is a byproduct of my sawmill. Someday would like to try balsa or paulinia. Haven't run across any willow yet.


"I split the heavens with the thunder of man..

I vanquish the night with the stars of my hand."

Volume 75, Chapter 15, Verse 10

 

 

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#6 dagabu

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:19 AM

A good chart for reference in dealing with woods in general and sparks in particular:

 

gallery_9798_35_45568.jpg

 

gallery_9798_35_90729.jpg


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#7 pyroman2498

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 08:06 PM

I still swear by ERC (Eastern Red Cedar) I wanna say it  has a burn rate that of or faster than Willow, It gives me great results and its very common to spot where i live making it a great choice for me :D, i also seem to get great medium burning tiger tail from them, with  golden glow that comes from the trail. 

If i had a great way to produces lots of this charcoal i would :) 

 

I like the chart daggy :) its a great reference for if i ever want to try something different :) *picture saved * 


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#8 tom27229

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:19 PM

pyroman!  read an article in AFN, comparing different wood for high quality charchol.  the eastern red cedar apparently tested better than willow, the hands down favorite for the fastest, high quality BP by most sources i've found. they used the bailed red cedar chips you find at walmart, etc. for pet bedding. a bail is about $8 and is supposed to make about 4 lbs of charchol.   its the first thing i'm going to try when i get my retort set up. no tracking down lumber, and no splitting!  is it too good to be true? we'll see...



#9 dagabu

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:46 PM

pyroman!  read an article in AFN, comparing different wood for high quality charchol.  the eastern red cedar apparently tested better than willow, the hands down favorite for the fastest, high quality BP by most sources i've found. they used the bailed red cedar chips you find at walmart, etc. for pet bedding. a bail is about $8 and is supposed to make about 4 lbs of charchol.   its the first thing i'm going to try when i get my retort set up. no tracking down lumber, and no splitting!  is it too good to be true? we'll see...

 

Nope, no to good to be true, it has been used many many times to make great charcoal.  

 

Here is the difference with willow and ERC, the sparks we like in rockets and stars?  We hate them when breaking subtle shells.  Hardwood makes for mild BP but leaves a clean sky* while all the fast woods make for a center of golden orange leftovers.  

 

To each his own, it's all in ber eye of the beer holder...


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#10 TYRONEEZEKIEL

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:11 PM

I second dags post. My Willow BP burst leaves a little fire dust fog as it burns off the hulls. I have been considering using maple or oak as my burst powder.
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#11 dagabu

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:23 PM

I second dags post. My Willow BP burst leaves a little fire dust fog as it burns off the hulls. I have been considering using maple or oak as my burst powder.

 

And its cheap too!!!  A bag of lump charcoal for the Weber is about a buck a pound. 


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#12 rogeryermaw

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:17 PM

i have some trees on my property that i am having trouble identifying. they are either maple (likely sugar maple due to region) or they are american sycamore. reading on both varieties, they both fall under the category of hardwood but it is easy enough for a 12 year old kid to snap a 1 inch branch without too much effort. i haven't seen them seed yet but my yard gets littered with little helicopters every year.  i see from daggy's list that both varieties are well favored so i will be trying them in the near future. if we have any resident arboreal experts, would someone care to try to i.d. them from pictures? if so i will upload a couple this week.



#13 FlaMtnBkr

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:42 PM

I would think Dag's pics were compiled for making firewood for heat and cooking. It might provide some insight into pyro applications but there might be some better sources of info. Such as LadyKate's Wichitabuggywhip.com site.

I actually like testing different woods for charcoal, especially in the upcoming cool fall evenings. And with the advent of TLUD cookers it is pretty easy to make a batch from a limb from your yard or other readily available sources. I found that just about any homemade charcoal can produce BP as strong as or stronger than commercial Goex BP. And many produce significantly stronger assuming you are using a optimized hobby ball mill.

It is fairly satisfying making your own high quality BP from start to finish including sourcing the wood to achieve the qualities you desire.

Edit: I'm not sure how a Chinese tallow will work for BP, but Chinaberry makes a hot charcoal that has gained quite a bit of popularity with the Florida guild.

Edited by FlaMtnBkr, 26 August 2014 - 12:45 PM.


#14 dagabu

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:49 PM

The tables are actually from the forestry department, it's their data. 


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#15 oldspark

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:39 PM

I sorrta wonder about the firewood vs pyro use also, have burnt wood for 35 years and Mulberry is a very sparky wood but not sure how the it would work for charcoal.



#16 dagabu

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:40 PM

Only one way to find out, go make a rocket out of it!   :D


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#17 Peret

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:42 PM

I can't help noticing that all the woods in that Forestry table that we think make good BP, are rated "poor" in the Coals column. That might be a good clue for experimenters.



#18 braddsn

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 04:11 AM

Roger I will be glad to ID your trees for you. With my sawmill, I had no choice to quickly learn how to ID trees, and fast!! Now I can ID them by any method including wood grain, bark, leaves, or overall tree shape.  You probably know this, but the little helicopters are from Maple trees.  Sycamore trees are most easily identified by the shape of the leaves, but if you are still in doubt, Sycamore trees have a unique bark.. it changes to white as you go up the tree. 


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#19 Blackthumb

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:53 PM

Just cooked a batch of 'Tree of Heaven' charcoal...we'll see.....


"I split the heavens with the thunder of man..

I vanquish the night with the stars of my hand."

Volume 75, Chapter 15, Verse 10

 

 

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#20 rogeryermaw

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:11 AM

20140828_071951_zps2f576b49.jpg

20140828_072015_zps641bc2fc.jpg

Thanks for the help Brad. Hope these images have enough detail.




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