Chuck and cover
Day two of charcoal-making began with moving the woodstack to the inner sanctum of the pit…
We always leave the initial build to W. Palmer (Mark). That cribbing of 3 pieces stacked around the pole forms a “chimney” in which the pit can be fired tomorrow.
Anything can be charcoaled, but we tend to use a lot of maple, cherry, and oak for our burn. It’s all cut to an even length and stacked upright to maximize the coaling effect. Care is taken to fill in all the little gaps with smaller pieces.
Mark gets that second ring of wood started before the bottom ring is too large. Detail of the cribbing below. Live coals and small firewood will be dropped down this stack tomorrow.
More friends came to help out as the stack started to take shape…
We were visited by angels of mercy again today…we ought to make coal more often!
Here’s the last time these billets of wood will see the light of day as firewood. Next stop, charcoal.
We cover the stack with a mix of hay and grass. It forms a veil between the wood…
…and the blackened earth called, “breeze”. Breeze is a mix of ash, ground up bits of charcoal, the tars which come out of the wood in coaling, and the angst of many a collier. It’s the ideal cover for a new burn.
A board is placed over the top of the cribbing to keep the breeze from filling the hollow.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll open up the chimney and begin to charge the stack with fire. Depending on the wind and other unknown factors, it can look very dramatic–a little like a space shuttle launch. We’ll try our best to get video.