I’m going to have to change my charcoal regime. I set it alight on Wednesday morning about 10:30. It wasn’t quite full so I expected less charcoal. I closed it down to tick over at 5pm and at 9am the next morning opened the air supply up again. The smoke still looked pretty dirty, with maybe a hint of steam still in it. However, I was able to ignite all three chimneys which I think should have been a warning that it was nearing time to shut down completely. Well, I decided to go down to the workshop with the air on about half cock. Stayed down there for lunch and when I got back to the kiln at about 12:30 there was no smoke! Bad sign. Closed down double quick. This morning (Friday) opened up, and nasty white ash at all three inlets – the charcoal had been burning. However, got out 22 10 kilo bags, and as it was a smaller charge that was not too bad, but I reckon about 2 or 3 bags were burnt. Next time I’m going to stay with it the morning after, I’ll have to bring some bowl or spoon work to do while I monitor the smoke. On the positive side there does seem to be a growing demand for the stuff. Now I need a market for the fines (dust and small charcoal) which are rejected at bagging. It’s supposed to be a very good soil improver.
This was supposed to be a day off, but the charcoal bagging took a big chunk out of the morning so I did a bit more on the chestnut bench (which needs a remake of one leg), washed the Land Rover and mended it’s driver’s side step which I smashed on a rock (and nearly punctured the diesel tank) while reversing the trailer in the woods.
I also shafted the second of three bill hooks I’m doing for a customer.
Pictures to follow. Tomorrow I’m brewing and playing at the Rough Beats Festival at Clapham – our band is Dales Jam.
Still Springy here but the Hawthorn May blossom is just going over, one last look:
You can see other bushes further away on the hill in the background which is known as The Gib.
This morning I planted a small elm and smaller oak in the corner near the new gate to replace the silver birch, the stump of which is still to be reduced to ground level.