Charcoal briquettes

Hello, fellows.
Can charcoal briquettes be "coked" on a forge? Just curious.
Mike Mandaville Austin, Texas

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Nope, they're already as coked as they're ever going to be.
Charcoal is carbonized wood. Some folks say briquets have a some coal dust in them as well.
I know folks who do use briquets and it seems to work well for them, but I liked using hardwood charcoal lumps like restaurants use better. It's a very clean fire, but uses a lot of charcoal.
I've read about and tried using green wood treated somewhat like coal and heated/dried/carbonized on a forge, but haven't tried it more than a few times. So my experiences really wouldn't be accurate. If I'm not doing it right, I'd never know. :)

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I guess I'll have to drive to Alabama after all. According to Yahoo, it will be a twenty-six hour drive.
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On 17 May 2005 00:43:14 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Surely Texas smiths have oil fired forges and cook huge steaks over them at the same time ? 8-)
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On Tue, 17 May 2005 11:26:12 +0100, Andy Dingley

Yuk! I am a native Texan temporarily (last 4 years) in Michigan. Old time central - west Texas folks will ruin a steak worse than just about anybody. The only done is well done, and probably in a skillet. I always suspected the cooking methods were holdovers from pioneers concerned with food safety. My in-laws were that way, as were other older Texans I knew.
On the other hand, brisket is cooked 12-14 hours at low heat over live oak or pecan, and it's fit to eat.
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And if it's cooked by somebody like my brother-in-law, Johnny Sanchez in Abilene, it's the food of the gods. :)
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Yahoo,
them
I will be using the coke in a small cupola. According to Marshall Stewart, lump charcoal will only work in a larger cupola. I suppose that I could make the charcoal myself, briquette it, and then use it in a larger cupola, but I want to keep my emissions down. I'm going to start keeping track of my mileage with my trip meter.
About the barbeque, I am amazed that with some people so passionate about their barbeques, so many people will put up with the sulphur taste in their meat which is left over from the coal content in a typical briquette.
Mike Mandaville Austin, Texas
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I've eaten some real good BBQ in Austin, Mike.
You have seen the online pages on how to make charcoal, right? Example: http://www.twinoaksforge.com/BLADSMITHING/MAKING%20CHARCOAL.htm
GWE
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Grant Erwin wrote:

Example:
Hello, Grant.
I have seen a number of articles on the internet about making charcoal, but the site which you pointed me to is possibly the best one of them all, since it is very well laid out.
I will probably try my hand at making charcoal by the indirect method, and then pressing it into briquettes. However, my first cupola will be so small that I don't think I would have enough critical mass for a charcoal melt.
The biggest problem I seem to have now is that I will need a lot of fuel to power my truck for the trip to Birmingham to pick up the coke. Therefore, I am considering the possibility of distilling some alcohol for this purpose.
Mike Mandaville Austin, Texas
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Mike, why do you have to drive to Birmingham for coke? I see mention of coke in the local blackmith orgs., such as
http://www.balconesforge.org/newsletters/dec01/dec01.htm
That's in Central Texas. Maybe you could buy from them.
Gary Brady
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Gary Brady wrote:

coke.
alcohol
of
Hello, Gary.
It's interesting that you should see my post, and respond, because I actually thought about you when I first thought about making a trip to Birmingham. In other words, I thought that you might want to chip in, to get some coke in the bargain. Then I remembered what happened when I drove to San Antonio to get coal. After I got there, I discovered that they were closed for the holiday! So I decided that I should wait until I had made at least one successful trip before asking you. I mean, after all, the worst that could happen is that you would say "No, thanks", right?
Well, anyway, I had forgotten about the Balcones Forge, and it does look like I need to check them out as a possible coke sourse. The $125 per half-ton sounds reasonable to me. That is as much as I can carry in my truck. If I bought it in Birmingham, it would cost me about thirty dollars, but if I added in my gas cost, I'm sure that it would total more than $125. And then, of course, there would be the wear and tear on my nerves from driving twenty-six hours straight.
Mike Mandaville just west of Bee Cave
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It's not listed in my girl friend's old truck-driving road-atlas under Texas or OK. ;) (she drove a truck for about a year and a half and almost broke-even money-wise, non-union truck driving sucks donkey dick!)
I don't want to change your plans on the "wood cooker" or any of that, just want to re-advertize the fact that water-softener outfits have used activated-charcoal they have to get rid of one way or another.
It was originally coconut shell so it's about 3/16" cubed for the most part. They need something dense so it won't take up so much room... or work better/longer with the available space. ;)
Seems to me that'd be worth a try if a guy was going to "briquette it up" anyway?
Alvin in AZ
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Hello, Alvin.
Bee Cave is just southwest of Austin. I myself am within hollerin' distance of the Cowtown Restaurant, where Willie Nelson filmed some of the scenes for his movie "Honeysuckle Rose". What we are known for in Bee Cave nowadays is "The Backyard" outdoor music venue. All of the big names have performed here, including Bob Dylan.
Mike Mandaville in the Texas "hill countey"
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Gary Brady wrote:

Wonder what is left over up in the coal fields of Cen Tex ? It is soft coal. And a power station... IIRC. Martin
--
Martin Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in

charcoal,
be
I have a similar charcoal retort as the described at Twinoaksforge.com. It works very well. Althoug I have not tried it one could also make coke using the same charcoal retort which allow you to use ordinary anthracite coal. Although the sulfer content is higher you could at least get started with out having to drive such a distance.
brad
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Twinoaksforge.com.
coke
Hello, Brad.
Your suggestion here makes a lot of sense to me. I also have been studying this article...
http://sleekfreak.ath.cx:81/3wdev/VITAHTML/SUBLEV/EN1/CHARCOAL.HTM
...which demonstrates how the wood tar gas can be condensed, and this one...
http://sleekfreak.ath.cx:81/3wdev/VITAHTML/SUBLEV/EN1/BRIQUETT.HTM
...which demonstrates how the lump charcoal can be pressed into briquettes.
I have decided that today I am going to purchase a one-gallon paint can at the Home Depot, and make my first lump charcoal, the way that the fireworks boys do so in small quantities.
Mike Mandaville in the hill country, just west of Austin
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Don't know for sure, but I happen to have been reading over a bunch of stuff about wood-gasification lately (12mpg pickup and the price of gas..), and while the vehicular application presently strikes me as not too likely to happen (for me) in the near future (there is much tedious filtering & cleaning of filters to keep the engine alive), there's a lot of information on applying wood-gas to cooking, including clean (ie not so smoky as the ones mentioned here) wood-gas gasifiers that can produce charcoal as a side-product. If tuned for it, they could produce considerably more charcoal (by intent) than they do as merely an incidental byproduct of making gas.
I thought of my "when I get time" gas and/or charcoal forge/furnace projects when I saw that. You could cook up a bunch of wood to make gas to cast with, and forge with the charcoal, or you could use wood-gas for the forge, perhaps. There are probably downsides (somewhat low-energy gas, I guess) but it seems possibly a good route, getting something useful while making charcoal...
http://www.inetlink.ca/a31ford/cgcmb /
http://www.fluidynenz.250x.com /
http://www.woodgas.com /
http://listserv.repp.org/mailman/listinfo/gasification
I hope to get the damn shop finished this summer, so I can actually work on projects, instead of on the shop building, once in a while...
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Those are some interesting links about wood gas. What I have in mind is to use found wood to get the charcoal-maker started, and then, once the water has been driven out of the wood, I will then use the wood gas itself, in a closed-feedback loop, to make the process self-perpetuating, from that point on. Of course, I will have wood which is inside of the retort, which itself will be inside of the oven, and then I will also have wood which is outside of the retort, but which is still inside of the oven. Once the white smoke turns to blue, indicating that the water has been driven off, and that the wood gas is available, I will then light the wood gas. At that point, I will be able to smother the burning wood which is outside of the retort, since the heat from that wood will no longer be needed, and since that wood will be good for the next burn. If I discover that I do not need all of the wood gas to keep the process going, which, I suspect, will probably be the case, then, I will condense the left-over wood gas into tar, which I will then use to start the next burn. I expect that, eventually, I will run into a situation where I will not need to put any of the wood outside of the retort at all, but that I will be able to work entirely from the leftover tar from previous burns, which, again, will be converted into wood gas in a closed-feedback loop.
Mike Mandaville Austin, Texas
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in

gas
oven,
blue,
is
into
Hmmmm ... I do not think that this process is self sustaining. From observing my charcoal maker in action I don't think the wood gas alone is enought. It may be possible with a charcoal maker that distributes the heat more efficiently, but with the abundance of scrap wood I am not sure it is worth the effort. When I need to replenish my supply I just go to construction sites and ask if I can collect all the small scraps of wood. I have an endless supply since there is so much construction in my area.
brad
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Grant Erwin wrote:

You bet. CenTex can cook. We smoke brisket about twice a month and Pork loin the other two weeks :-) Using Live Oak is a big No No. Pecan, Apple, Hickory, Mesquite for a few.
West Tex, North Tex, East Tex, Cen Tex, Deep East Tex. Been around myself. Just returned from an excessive stay in CA.
Martin
--
Martin Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
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