I've been wanting to try this for over a year now since I saw fishfire's thread: http://www.theqjoint.com/forum/showt...ight=made+lump. And instructions on the Naked Whiz site. Both call for making a kiln out of a big drum and a small drum. Small (30gal) goes inside the big(55 gal). Both call for lots of hardwood.

The hardwood is easy to come by at the Shoots' place. I got oak all over the place. And a 55 gal, heck I've had one sittin' here rusting for two years. What I can't find is a 30 gal. drum at a reasonable price (like free). I don't want to spend a buncha money on something to burn in. I'm tryin' to make charcoal to save money.

Well I did some more lookin' around on the web and found this site for makin' lump with just one drum. Cool!

http://www.saveourskills.com/lump-charcoal

Read the notes and watched the videos and decided to give it a shot.

So here's how it went:



Here's the drum with holes I made in the bottom.

Then I dug a shallow pit big enough that when the drum was placed over it, the holes would not be covered with earth. Also I dug a short channel from one edge of the pit for an air intake.



Then I went and hacked up some oak.







Next, I placed the drum over the pit leaving the air intake channel open. Also I packed dirt around the bottom seam of the drum to prevent any air from getting in except by the channel.



Then built a small fire in the barrel using smaller sticks for kindling.



A few minutes after this pic, I piled the oak chunks on top. I did it quickly so as not to light the whole mess on fire. All those chunks sort of smothered the fire enough to keep it from blazing, but not put it out. Then put the lid on kinda crooked so as to let out smoke.



And man, was there a lot of thick white smoke!



Jeeze, I hope I don't get busted! There is a burn ban here. But I knew I could do this safely, and it would be contained. That much smoke made me nervous. Somebody might report me.

Anyway, this white smoke deal was supposed to last 2-3 hours. Then it would subside and turn more blue. That's your cue that the chunks are starting to burn, so you close it all up for 18 hrs. or so. Mine lasted just over an hour. I approached the drum and heard the crackle inside so I shut 'er down.



Put dirt into the channel, and bolted the ring in place.





Well, now it's just a waiting game. The worst thing I could do at this point is to open the drum while there is any heat at all left inside. Getting air in there would cause it all to catch fire. We don't want to burn it all before it turns to coal. I'm gonna be patient and wait at least 18 hrs or so. The guy in the vid waited 24. We'll see.

Well thanks for stoppin' by. Wish me luck and come see me tomorrow afternoon!