[Stoves] Mobile charcoal making kiln

Carefreeland at aol.com Carefreeland at aol.com
Sat Sep 29 22:01:03 PDT 2012

Dear Stovers, 
   I started reading this latest series of posts, just to  catch up on what 
is new in the world of charcoal making. It seems when I start  to play with 
the welding torch there is no end to all the configurations of  various 
successful designs of kilns which can be built. . The question is: how  can I 
quickly make cash money making charcoal here in Southwest Ohio on a small  
scale? Where is the cash market to sell into? 
    I accidentally started making a good quality  of VERY hard char while 
hardwood brush clearing. I'm doing  this on my new 5 acre farm lot for my 
nearly dormant landscaping business.  All it took was a discarded 30 gallon 
galvanized trash can with the bottom  rusted out. I used it to contain burning 
brush over the tops of small  stumps to get rid of them, but the system 
really likes to produce  charcoal, burning very cleanly once hot. Currently 
after charring, I just  allow the charcoal to continue to burn for several days 
to get rid of it. Then I  use the ash as fertilizer for my new garden and 
newly grass seeded areas. Simply  placing a lid on the can would quench the 
char, or shoveling it into a sealed  can would do even better and quicker.
    I just don't see any ready available market for  unscreened mixed 
hardwood charcoal made of mostly smaller pieces. I can use it  later in soil 
mixes for container stock when I rebuild the greenhouse and  nursery. Right now 
I just need to raise any cash I can to keep the land  payments and fuel 
bills paid until landscaping picks up again. In a year or  so the housing market 
will start up again and there will be plenty of  landscaping work. Most of 
the landscapers I know have gone out of business.  Selling off several 
hundred yards of charred brush could really help my slim  budget. Who do I sell 
to though? Especially the powdered char? 
    I have probably 100 yards of cleared brush piled  up, dry, and with the 
current drought it has been a fire hazard all summer. I  have nearly as 
much to clear in the next year. Nearly all of it is as dense or  harder than 
oak. The primary woods are Amur Honeysuckle, Walnut saplings,  scrub Redosier 
Dogwood, and Hedge Apple saplings. Those last two woods are  denser than 
oak. I get a lot of requests to do clearing of the Amur Honeysuckle  which is a 
non- native very invasive species around this region. My tree shear  can 
cut it off at the stump very fast and load it on a trailer. Sometimes I  just 
dig it out of the ground with the Bobcat loader bucket teeth, roots  and 
all, because it is very shallow rooted.  Most of the residential brush  is 
chipped in stump grinders at city run facilities and given away as free mulch  
around here. 
    I know of many firewood cutters who produce many  cubic yards of 
hardwood cut- offs and just burn the stuff off. The Emerald Ash  Borer is killing 
all of the Ash trees around here now, and so there is a  huge demand to cut 
down large ash trees. The wood waste needs to be destroyed  immediately to 
kill the pest.
     I'd like to sell the mid sized chunks to  blacksmiths, but I couldn't 
even afford to go to the blacksmiths show this year  to show it off. There 
are nurseries and growers around but everything is going  huge scale. We have 
a very mature market for nursery stock so only the largest  growers 
survived the recession. They don't take to new ideas very well. I need a  broker to 
buy this off of me so I can focus on producing it. 
        Dan Dimiduk 
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