Today was a frustrating day in the world of gasifier building. I snapped a metal-cutting blade in the jigsaw mid-cut through some 1/8″ flat stock and I haven’t yet been able to extract the piece left in the barrel. But I will.

Fire tube cut to length, 16.5". Check out the groovy circular steel thingy, perfect for the top plate!

Fire tube cut to length, 16.5″. Check out the groovy circular steel thingy, perfect for the top plate!

The first thing I did was cut the fire tube to length. Easy enough. Next I cut two pieces of 5″ x 5″ flat stock to use as flanges and reducers on the in and out of the cyclone filter, which has 2 1/2″ fittings. I intend to cut 2″ holes in the centers of the plates, weld them to the cyclone filter ports on one side and weld the gasifier plumbing to the other side. Hope it works.

I also found a sweet circular steel plate that might have been some kind of a platter or something at some point. I’ll hit it with the wire brush and use that for the top plate. It’s only a few inches proud of the barrel, no big deal.

I was too lazy to run to the hardware store to maybe (probably not) find washers that suit my purpose so I bent three rusty 12 penny nails into gnarly circular looking things and used them as replacements for the extra lock washers that I didn’t buy in Mapusa. I need to clean them up with a wire brush a bit so they can receive a bead of weld and close them shut.

gasifier-part2-1

Shaker grate completed, deluxe nail washers included

Next I slipped the eyelets and chain sections onto the nails and pounded the nails closed, or close to closed. I then slipped the three lock washers that I do have onto the three holes of the stainless steel bowl and used a clamp to close them, or almost close them. Close enough that a bead of weld will finish the job.

With that the shaker grate is finished. All that is left to do there is weld the three chunks of flat stock to the side of the burn tube, hang the eyelets and adjust them to the correct height from the bottom of the fire tube.

On to the shaker handle. I screwed in the pipe nipple plugs (this isn’t about porn, I promise) and clamped the pipe between a sheet of plywood and an offcut with a clamp on either side of the pipe. I drilled straight through the plugs no problem.

I then sliced off a chunk of steel about 1 1/4″ x 5″ and drilled a hole in one end to receive the shaker rod. Either the steel plate that we picked up for bits and pieces is unusually strong or the drill bits we picked up are unusually weak, but in either case I’m having difficulty drilling through it. I got most of the way through by drilling from both sides, then shaved down one end of the shaker rod to fit through the hole. I then clamped the steel piece at the edge of a large piece of steel and proceeded to beat the protruding end to within an inch of its life until it made a nice hook to catch the ring that will be welded to the bottom of the grate.

I was too lazy to keep cutting and drilling steel with struggling power tools and hacksaws so I grabbed a steel tent joint which conveniently has a hole in it, threw a nut over it and called it good. A couple beads of weld and it’ll be fine.

Shaker assembly more or less completed. 'GREASE!' is a reminder to coat the shaker rod with a layer of grease before applying silicone so it stays unbonded and moves freely inside the pipe.

Shaker assembly more or less completed. ‘GREASE!’ is a reminder to coat the shaker rod with a layer of grease before applying silicone so it stays unbonded and moves freely inside the pipe.

Lastly I drilled a hole near the end of the pipe to squeeze in high temp silicone.┬áSo that’s the shaker assembly minus the high temp silicone which we are coming up gooseggs on at the moment.

I hacked off a 1 1/2″ long piece from the end of the exhaust pipe to use for the ring at the bottom of the grate. It’s bigger than the rest of the 2″ pipe, probably 2 1/2″. I would have like 3″ or larger but I didn’t have anything that size and I definitely wasn’t going to cut through the 4″ pipe again without a jigsaw. It will have to do.

Next up: cut the ignition port pipes to length, cut a bunch of 4″ x 4″ flat stock to weld to the sides of various barrels where the plumbing will run, determine the lengths of the plumbing between barrels, and figure out how the relative positions of the barrels when the fabricating takes place. And get the goddam broken jigsaw bit out of the jigsaw. That’s harshing my cut mojo hard.

I’ll be ready for a welding session soon. The welds and cuts are pretty straightforward. So far the list is:

  • cut a 4″ hole in the center of the top plate
  • cut 2″ holes in the cyclone filter flanges
  • weld the three pieces of flat stock to the side of the fire tube
  • weld the fire tube to the top plate
  • weld the cyclone filter reduction flanges to the in and out ports
  • weld the lock washers and nails shut
  • weld the shaker handle together, assuming I can find some high temp silicone before then
  • weld plates with 2″ holes to the sides of various barrels for plumbing attachment

And if I can’t get the jigsaw operational then he can open the top of the gasification barrel as well.

See you prying blades out of power tools,

~Nathan