CHARCOAL (how to make charcoal in a drum)

jeff davis

he author, Gary Gilmore, explains how he designed a charcoal retort from steel drums. This is a smoke free design also the flare could be put to use.

Charcoal by Gary Gilmore video 1

First make the retort by adding air holes to the bottom of a steel drum.
Then make the afterburner by turning another steel drum into a tube.

Then start loading the wood (no more than 20% moisture) tightly packed into the retort. (This contains a great description of wood as nature's battery).

Charcoal by Gary Gilmore video 2

Once you have the wood packed in the retort, build a small fire on the top. (There is a nice description of a top lit retort system). Once the small top fire has caught, ad the afterburner (the tube) to the top of the retort.

There is a good description here of how a top lit charcoal system works.
Oxygen control is achieved by using dirt to cover air holes in the bottom of the retort. (It's helpful to do this where there is spare dirt, and away from any overhead branches).

Charcoal by Gary Gilmore video 3 (final video).

Observing the fire and making adjustments to the air flow, and some encouragement to watch the fire and learn 'the art of making charcoal'.

Description of what to watch for at the end of the charcoal making, and how to close off the air and safely shut down the system.