Introduction: Make Your Own Charcoal at Home (Video)
In this project I'm going to show you how to make your own charcoal from junk wood at home for free.
If you don't prefer to read, you can skip it and watch the video instead where I have explained all the steps in detail. If you do, then continue reading the written steps along with pictures in the following steps.
Step 1: What You Need
1) Wood - I'm using some junk pieces of 2 by 2 and a wooden dowel chopped into small pieces.
2) Empty metal can - Paint cans seems best because their lids fit very tightly and can withstand a lot of pressure which will come in handy.(Make sure your can is thoroughly washed out and there are no traces of paint remaining as their fumes can be toxic. Alternately, you can buy new empty paint cans at a hardware store.)
3) Fire - Again, I'm using junk wood for this to keep with the spirit of the hack being free of cost.
4) Safety equipment - Make sure you have at least some gloves, safety glasses and a fire extinguisher at hand.
That's all, now lets get to work.
Step 2: Stuff Your Can
- Stuff your can to the rim with your wood pieces.
- Close the lid shut.
- Make a hole in the lid with a nail and hammer.
- Light your fire, and once it is roaring, Place your can of wood in the center.
Let it cook for a while.
- After a while, you'll see smoke shooting out through the hole in the lid. If you light a match to this smoke, it will put it out.
- When the jet of smoke reduces in pressure, then it will ignite if exposed to a flame. when this flame goes out, try reigniting it again. If it is not reigniting easily, it's an indication that the coal is ready.
- Remove the can from fire and set in on the side to cool.
- Once completely cooled, open it up to reveal a can-ful of perfectly made charcoal.
- A quick test shows that it burns just like the commercially available stuff as you can see in the above picture.
That is it. you have made your very own batch of free charcoal. Move on to the next step to see the big scale trial.
Step 4: Going Big Scale Now.
After a successful small scale experiment, I decided to ramp it up with a one gallon tin of paint filled to the top with scrap wood.
- Following the exact same steps as for the smaller version as you can see in the pictures above and after and hour and a half of waiting, I had a much bigger batch ready for use.
So next time you plan a barbecue or a camping trip, instead of buying charcoal, grab some wood, a paint can and make your own on the spot for free.
I hope you like this project and let me know if you try it out. Dont forget to share it with your friends and family.
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