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charcoal-msg - 1/12/08

 

Use and making of charcoal in period.

 

NOTE: See also the files: blacksmithing-msg, mining-msg, salt-msg, bladesmithing-msg, metals-msg, tools-msg, glasswork-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: william thomas powers <powers at cis.ohio-state.edu>

Subject: charcoal

To: markh at khyber (Mark Harris)

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1993 13:27:58 -0500 (EST)

 

Some of the uses of charcoal that would not be thought of today are:

 

Polishing metals with powdered charcoal, (non-ferreous ones)

Polishing your teeth with powered charcoal

medicine for a "sour stomach", bad breath, gas

meat was packed in it

charcoal could be added to stale water to purify it

wrought iron can be made into blister steel by heating it in a closed

      container full of charcoal, (red hot for a considerable time)

some of the chinese barrows had massive layers of charcoal to help

      protect the inner tomb

 

BTW sifted wood ashes mixed with a little water and used on a wool cloth

pad makes a GREAT polishing compound for bone, Theophilus was right--

but he forgot to mention the water... The faster you can "buff" it the better.

"shoeshing it with a long narrow strip of wool works well.

 

Wilelm the smith

Barony of the Middle Marches

Middle Kingdom

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: tip at ai.chem.ohiou.edu (Tom Perigrin)

Subject: Re: Charcoal Burners

Organization: Ohio University

Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 18:42:08 GMT

 

royleblanc at aol.com (RoyLeBlanc) wrote:

> I am doing some research on colliers or charcoal makers.  I've located a

> copy of Foxfire 5 and most of the descriptions are handed down, rather

> than first hand experience.

>

> I understand that charcoal burning is still practiced by the liquor

> industries and intend to check with a couple of distilleries.

 

I suspect that the distilleries may use retort charcoal, where the wood is

loaded into a large steel vessel which then heated.  This gives the highest

quality of charcoal, at a higher cost.

 

What you want is mound charcoal, which is made by carefully stacking wood

in a specific pattern, overlaying it with dirt and sod, and then setting

fire to it, and finally blocking the ingress of air after a suitable period

of time.

 

> Does anyone know of other places, preferable in the Southern US where this

> may still be practiced.

 

I know charcoal burning in mounds is still practiced in Northern Mexico,

and in Japan.  Amoung other things, the Japanese use charcoal in "Hanabi"

(Fireworks). Takeo Shimizu, one of Japans foremost fireworks experts, as

written a first hand description of the process in his book "Fireworks, the

Art, Science and Technique" (Pyrotechnia Press).

 

> -Roy LeBlanc

 

Tom

 

 

From: rhayes at powerup.com.au (Robin Hayes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charcoal Burners

Date: 9 Jan 1997 00:24:53 GMT

 

GMT, Irene Davis of idavis at ix.netcom.co says...

>(RoyLeBlanc) writes:

>>

>>I am doing some research on colliers or charcoal makers.  I've located a

>>copy of Foxfire 5 and most of the descriptions are handed down, rather

>>than first hand experience.

 

Charcoal is made locally (in Brisbane) by a practising blacksmith, who uses

a large steel tank, but I do have reference material on old age processes.

 

Some useful books from my library.

 

These books contain many illustrations, including photographs of actual

practices, with often considerable detail on the actual processes. Many of

these are not only useful reference books but absolutely beautiful "coffe

table" books as well. Most probably out of print, but there are ways to

obtain them.

 

Simply browsing them can make you a "general expert"... ;-)

 

~~~~

The Forgotten Arts - John Seymour

Angus & Robertson 1984

ISBN 0 207 15007 9

 

Sections include Woodland, building, field, workshop, textiles, homecrafts

 

Charcoal burning p 36

Still practiced in Portugal at time of writing

 

Author also wrote

The complete book of self sufficency,

The self sufficient gardener

 

charcoal burning on p36

 

He also wrote Forgotten Household Crafts

smae pub -1897

ISBN 0 207 15608

 

sections include kitchen, diary, laundry, home (gathering and making fuels

- heating [charcoal]), textile, decorative,

 

~~~~~

Traditional crafts in Britan

A Readers Digest Publication (Bl**dy hell!!!)

1982 no ISBN available

 

2 sections

 

(1) Craftsmans' Art

 

over 200 pages of various crafts including Charcoal Burner p 46

detailed instructions on size of clamp (7 tons -> 1 ton charcoal, 7 dyas

work, clamp 15'x6' yields 2 sacks of charcoal netting 4 pounds at turn of

century - details on usage of coppiced oak, tanning, bobbin and cotton

reels and charcoaling, etc)

 

 

(2) Craftsmen at work

80 pages of british craft and folk museum addresses.... :-O

 

~~~~~

While on the subject of "field" crafts

 

Also worth a look

Traditional British Crafts

ISBN 0 86283 7537

 

p 235 contains a medieval manuscript illustration of a medieval smithy at

work, including the forge and anvil and bellows... :-)

 

Bodleian library, Oxford, MS Bodley 264 f.84 235

 

Courtesy of Serendpoity (fuuny what you find when looking for something

else)

 

Crafts of land, river, and sea

~~~~~

 

And don't forget the traditional dish of charcoal burners which has given

its name to a variety of pasta... :-)

 

Robin

--

pereant omnes ignavi seque stuprent

rhayes at powerup.com.au  http://www.powerup.com.au/~rhayes/

The Virtual Fooles Troupe: http://www.powerup.com.au/~rhayes/vfoolshm.htm

 

 

From: powers at colon.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charcoal Burners

Date: 9 Jan 1997 22:03:36 -0500

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

in haste;

 

"A Reverance for Wood" Eric Sloane, discusses american colonial charcoal

burning a bit.

 

"Wrought Iron and Its Decorative Use" Maxwell Ayrton and Arnold Silcock

mentions several references to medieval forges and rights of fueling in the

chapters: Introductory and 14th -16th centuries.

 

The Lindsay catalog has two books on making charcoal (Lindsay Publications Inc

PO Box 538, Bradley IL 60915-0538 phone 815-935-5353

 

Divers Arts and De Re Metallica frequently refer to charcoal

 

"Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel" Frances & Joseph Gies mentions its use

and that of "sea-coal" as well

 

I've made the stuff back when I couldn't get good smithing coal....

 

wilelm the smith  (BTW the Nature artical on the Sri Lankan monsoon driven

smelter mentions identifing species used for early period iron smelting

charcoal in that locality...

 

 

From: rhayes at powerup.com.au (Robin Hayes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charcoal Burners

Date: 10 Jan 1997 07:25:04 GMT

 

Jan 1997 00:37:22 -0600, Mark S. Harris of markh at risc.sps.mot.com says...

<SNIP>

>One book I thought had some info in it, but in skimming it I cannot

>find it is "Medieval Technology & Social Change" by Lynn White. There

>are other similar books detailing mechanical and technical changes

>and processes that you might want to look at, too.

 

I suggest, especially for a good historical grasp, not only of steel, but

of metals and technology, especially for SCA period and earlier, that you

seek out

 

Robert Raymond's

Out of the Fiery Furnace

The impact of Metals on the History of Mankind

(Pub) MacMillian Australia 1984

ISBN 0 333 38024 X.

 

It talks about the charcoal/coal situation, P16, and other references.

 

The theory for iron smelting is that the following path over history

occurred...

 

basket weaving -> pottery -> fired pottery -> copper ..... -> iron.. etc

 

Robin

 

 

From: rhayes at powerup.com.au (Robin Hayes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charcoal Burners

Date: 10 Jan 1997 07:29:03 GMT

 

Tom Perigrin of tip* at ai.chem.ohiou.edu says...

<SNIP>

>What you want is mound charcoal, which is made by carefully stacking wood

>in a specific pattern, overlaying it with dirt and sod, and then setting

>fire to it, and finally blocking the ingress of air after a suitable

period

>of time.

 

The whole point, is not that it burns as one may think of a normal fire,

but just basically smoulders, the heat and lack of oxygen driving

off all the orgainic products, reducing the material to just mostly carbon

(with some inorganic salts).

 

Robin

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: tip* at ai.chem.ohiou.edu (Tom Perigrin)

Subject: Re: Charcoal Burners

Organization: Ohio University

Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 16:55:02 GMT

 

rhayes at powerup.com.au (Robin Hayes) wrote:

> In article <tip*-080197134248 at shimizu.chem.ohiou.edu>, of Wed, 8 Jan 1997

> 18:42:08 GMT, Tom Perigrin of tip* at ai.chem.ohiou.edu says...

> <SNIP>

> >What you want is mound charcoal, which is made by carefully stacking wood

> >in a specific pattern, overlaying it with dirt and sod, and then setting

> >fire to it, and finally blocking the ingress of air after a suitable

> period

> >of time.

>

> The whole point, is not that it burns as one may think of a normal fire,

> but just basically smoulders, the heat and lack of oxygen driving

> off all the orgainic products, reducing the material to just mostly carbon

> (with some inorganic salts).

 

Right... but one has to first heat the wood to the point where the

charcoalization will continue in the absense of adequate oxygen.    You

won't get charcoal if you stack wood in a mound, drop in a match and

immediately cut off the air.   It has to heat up first.  Thus, you begin by

allowing to burn normally for a while, and then you cut off the air.

 

According to Shimizu (ref in my last posting) the chemical analysis of

japanese paulownia charcoal is typically C21H4O.  

 

However, it has also been shown that for making  black powder (BP) the

charcoal MUST contain organic tars and oils.   For example, BP made with

charcoal cooked at 650 F will burn at 1.2 sec/10 cm,  whereas the otherwise

identically processed material made with charcoal cooked to 1200 F burns at

15 sec/10 cm.  (K.Kosanke, W.W.B. Symposium, Lake Havasu Az, Feb 14-16

1996).

 

TIP

 

 

From: timbeck at ix.netcom.com(Tim Beck)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charcoal Burners

Date: 12 Jan 1997 21:14:48 GMT

 

RoyLeBlanc wrote:

> Regarding the 'in period' aspects.  Would a domesday book be a good

> starting point for documenting the craft as a historical practice?

 

Check out *The Pirotechnia of Vannoccio Biringuccio* Dover (of course)

has a translated reprinted version that's cheap and provides 16th

century step by step of the age old process...It looks a lot the same

as the way charcoal burning is done in third-world countries today!

 

                       Good luck,

                                  Timothy

 

 

From: rhayes at powerup.com.au (Robin Hayes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Charcoal Burning

Date: 20 Jan 1997 05:51:34 GMT

 

Serendipity found the following site describing a modern recreation of the

Clamp making process in England in 1992 at a Windermere living history

exhibit at Brockhole in Cumbria.

 

http://www.ftech.net/~regia/charcoal.htm

 

quote

Footnote: Anglo - Saxon word "col'' often taken to mean "coal'' (ie.

mineral coal) actually meant charcoal - cf. "The Wen charm'' - "scring pu

alswa col on hearde'' - "may you be consumed as charcoal on the fire''.

Mineral coal was called sea - coal, because it was found on beaches (washed

up from exposed seams). Only the monks at Margam actually dug for it, from

about 1054.

unquote

 

Robin

 

 

From: please.respond.to.the.group at nospam.org (Madog Hir ap Llew)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charcoal

Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 23:05:14 GMT

 

On Sat, 26 Jun 1999 00:53:41 -0700, "JoAnn Abbott"

<josco at theriver.com> wrote:

 

>I was wondering.......

>Why did people use charcoal instead of wood?  Does it burn slower? Hotter?

>Less ash?  And I am refering only to the type of wood made at the charcoal

>burners in the forests (an interesting process, btw, explained in one of the

>Brother Cadfael books).  Not to the coal dug up in pits by my husbands

>ancestors.

>Anyone have a reason why they would want to burn charcoal rather than wood?

 

Charcoal burns quite a bit hotter than wood, and with less residue.

This was useful to smiths (because they needed the hotter temps,

especially for iron/steel) and cooks and bakers (because there was

less of a "smokey" smell to the food).

Madog Hir ap Llew

 

(The newbie SCAdian formerly known as "Ulrich the Ungainly")

 

 

From: james koch <alchem at en.com>

Organization: alchem inc

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charcoal

Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 12:20:14 -0400

 

Charcoal can also be burned with a draft.  When I first started

blacksmithing years ago I attempted to supplement my meager supply of

coal and coke with a pile of wood I happened to have on hand.  I quickly

discovered that if you put wood in a forge and blow air through it you

will obtain a huge cloud of smoke.  The wood will also begin to explode

since the water trapped inside rapidly turns to steam.  Charcoal works

just fine in a forge or furnace.  Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)

 

 

From: david.razler at worldnet.att.net (David M. Razler)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Charcoal

Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 23:08:14 GMT

 

"JoAnn Abbott" <josco at theriver.com> wrote:

| Why did people use charcoal instead of wood?  Does it burn slower? Hotter?

| Less ash?  And I am refering only to the type of wood made at the charcoal

| burners in the forests (an interesting process, btw, explained in one of the

| Brother Cadfael books).  Not to the coal dug up in pits by my husbands

| ancestors.

| Anyone have a reason why they would want to burn charcoal rather than wood?

|

| Lady JoAnna

| who just read a Swedish fairy tale about a charcoal burner and got to

| wondering....

 

Missing from the other replies (and information that might help explain things

if you don't have it):

 

       Charcoal is near-pure carbon (the remainder being non-flamable

compounds) made by taking wood and heating it with either no or very little

oxygen present. (OK, you can make it from bones and just about anything else

that contains carbon and stuff that can be driven off by heat, but that

doesn't matter here)

 

       Anyway, by driving out all the water and reducing some of the organic

compounds to carbon and stuff driven off mainly as water vapor, you end up

with a fuel containing much more energy per pound, burns with a flame of known

temperature (wood fires vary in temperature from spot to spot and moment to

moment) and burns cleaner (since, assuming a well-vented fire, almost all the

carbon is converted to carbon dioxide0

 

       The cost is higher though, especially through the early 1900s, due to

the long, dangerous, labor-intensive process of converting wood to charcoal

(op.cit. Eric Sloane). The process has since been automated, but you still pay

for the energy needed to run charcoal-making kilns.

 

                                               david/Aleksandr

 

David M. Razler

david.razler at worldnet.att.net

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 10:15:27 -0400

From: "Jeff Gedney" <JGedney at dictaphone.com>

Subject: Re: SC - kitchen in a krak

 

Stefan wrote:

> My comment was simply to mention that to get coals, at some point, you

> have to have flames. That assuming you only had coals is not a complete

> solution.

 

You need flames, but...

Not necessarily in the same place.

 

A very common occupation throughout period and right up to the

beginning of the 20th century is Charcoaler.

 

This is a person who buys or gathers wood, and starts a very controlled

burn of it, usually while it is also buried to convert it to charcoal. the

charcoal is then sold as heating/cooking/industrial (the preferred fuel for

silver/goldsmithing was charcoal) fuel. It was clean burning and unlike

mined coal, imparted no sulphurous (connected with evil) odor to the

house.

 

The wood was often stacked in a very particular order, to allow just the

right amount of air to flow through as it burned, and then the stack was

lit in the center, and covered with earth a foot or more deep, with the

exception of a smoke smoke vent in the top.

In two or three days the fire burns itself out, and the Charcoal is

unearthed and brought to the manor, taken to market, and sold.  

 

IIRC, one of the Brother Cadfael stories has a body that was found in

a Charcoal burning pile, when one of the brothers went to get charcoal

from a local charcoaler.

 

The use of charcoal for fuel would have eliminated all sparking,

popping and uncontrolled burning, and allowed a shorter chimney

stack, just as was posited earlier.

 

brandu

 

 

From: "Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Charcoal

Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 13:44:59 +0000

 

I get lump hardwood charcoal from the roofing supply company.  It comes in

20 pound bags and the price I pay is $9.25 per bag.

Olwen

 

>Where do you get chunk charcoal?

>

>Liadan

 

> >     BTW, I've found that for smoking meat, chunk charcoal (rather than

> > briquettes) gives a MUCH better flavor. It burns a bit hotter, so you don't

> > add as much to start, and you have to add chunks more often, but the

> > results are markedly superior.

> >

> >     Sieggy

 

 

From: "Siegfried Heydrich" <baronsig at peganet.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Charcoal

Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 11:53:14 -0400

 

    I generally find it at Wal-Mart, the brand is Real Flavor, and it's made

by the American Charcoal Co. My last bag was on sale, $5.87 for a 10 lb bag.

If you have access to lots of wood and want to do an interesting project,

making charcoal isn't that hard, just very time consuming. I wouldn't think

you'd want to make too much, but it would sure be an interesting art/sci

project or gift for your favorite blacksmith.

    Here's a link that goes into more detail -

http://www.connerprairie.org/fuel.html

 

    Sieggy

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 08:14:28 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Charcoal

 

Gardens Illustrated for Feb. 2001 did a major

article on traditional charcoal burning. It

takes a special kiln and a forest of the right

sort of trees. But if you've got cooperative

neighbors, a couple hundred acres of woods to

deplete, and EPA permission to smoke up the air

you too can make charcoal. Large scale charcoal

production for smeltering helped to deplete the

hardwood forests of Michigan's UP faster than the

demand for lumber for housing back in the mid 19th

century.

 

Johnna Holloway

 

 

From: "Hrolf Douglasson" <Hrolf at btinternet.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 17:59:01 +0100

Subject: [Sca-cooks] charcoal burn

 

We made charcoal at Fritton Lake (UK) this year.

dug a pit

put in wood

stack tightly with a air gap in center

light fire

cover with turf so there is only a little smoke escaping

leave for 24 hours or so

that should produce charcoal.

 

there is a special way of stacking which I will try to post when I get the

instructions for my charcoal making friends

 

vara

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 21:50:02 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re:  Charcoal

 

The article that I made a reference to in

Gardens Illustrated, February 2001 entitled

"Burning Issue" describes the work of Chris

Jefferson who is attempting to create an

"English charcoal renaissance and change the

face of the Cumbrian woodland at the same time."

He is advocating a system whereby oak, ash, hazel or

hornbeam are cut down to a stump and then coppiced

to create seperate poles that can be harvested every

seven years. The article notes that the Dutton Furnace

burned the equivalent of 10 acres of woodland a week

at its peak from 1650-1750. Using his modern steel kiln,

Jefferson averages a sixth of a tonne of charcoal from

one tonne of wood.

 

There is a website given at www.englishcharcoal.co.uk

that people may want to check out.

 

Johnna Holloway

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 22:03:24 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re:  Charcoal

 

Here's another charcoal site with pictures of what

the kiln looks like today... they aren't burning

scrapwood either.

http://www.coppice.leeds.co.uk/charcoal.htm

 

Johnna

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 11:42:09 -0600

From: Mary Denise Smith <costumemag at costumemag.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Charcoal

 

I have to jump in here and call upon my years of experience in

18th/19thC historic interpretation, which included hearth cooking as

well as making sure that other cooks on site had adequate wood for their hearths.

 

"Scrap" wood from harvesting trees is almost a non-issue. It is used in

the hearth and/or stove. The really small stuff (pencil sized, say) and

the leaves and needles had their uses, but not in the fire place.

 

My recollection from the one time I had anything to do with a charcoal

burn was that the burn goes much better when the wood is of relatively

uniform size. This was a pretty large size, as I recall (sifting back 17

years), say at least 3" in diameter. Also, I seem to recall that

uniformity of wood type was important.

 

For definitive information, I refer you to Conner Prairie's web site http://www.connerprairie.org

 

Conner Prairie does a charcoal burn every Fall or so, and thus they have

current, practical, first hand experience with making charcoal in the

pre-industrial manner. If I were to want to do a charcoal burn, they

would be the folks I'd ask.

 

MD/Marged

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 21:42:58 +0200

From: Volker Bach <bachv at paganet.de>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Charcoal

 

jenne at fiedlerfamily.net schrieb:

> > >Correct. But if I had the hardwood for this, even chunks, it would

> > >more likely end up in furniture or boxes or somesuch and not converted

> > >to charcoal. I can *buy* the hardwood charcoal for less than I can

> > >buy the hardwood.

> > Well, presumably charcoal would be made from scraps, either bits

> > left over from other projects, or even scrap trees that are too bent/to=

o

> > slashed/too lightning scarred to be used for furniture. . .

>

> Um, do you have any documentation for this assertion? Because there's

> nothing in any of the mentions I've seen about charcoal burning to

> indicate that scrap wood was used.

 

Well, we'd have to have a definition of 'scrap

wood' first. I know for a fact that in Early

Modern Germany, charcoal burning was carried on in

the forest fringes, so there would have been no

point in bringing scrap from city or village

workshops back out there. It also most likely

would have been the size to be more profitably

used in kitchen stoves or fireplaces. Modern

'museum' coalburners use wood in lengths of about

1 meter, though I don't think their techniques are

documented back much past the 17th century.

On the other hand, most Central European

coalburners operated on somebody's land, and

usually not their own (this may well have been

different for example in Russia or Colonial

America). The owner of the land would probably

have gone in for maximum profit, which, given the

prices paid for prime building timber in the 13th

century and later (I have no information about

earlier prices - anyone?) probably means big trees

are right out, too, even if they are crooked - no

problem for a good sawyer or carpenter, just

awkward for a mechanised sawmill. (There is even a

miracle story illustrating the dearth of prime

timber, about how churchmen were told that there

were no trees of the required size within miles,

only to go out into the forest and find five

within a day, but I'm not sure I could track this

one down, it's a vague memory from happy days in

the Berkeley Library). So my guess would be that

coalburners would have had access on good

quantities of thick branches and flawed trees

which would be left behind by timber cutting, and

in a 'balanced' forest economy would have used

this. This matches well with the size of a coal

whateveritscalled on a 15th century illustration

for Pliny which looks about 7 feet high and 5-6

wide. There is also a complaint from a 14th

century source in North Germany (unfortunately not

quoted, just paraphrased, in the Propyl=E4en

Technikgeschichte) that coalburners in the

Luneburg area cut down valuable trees, indicating

that they ought not have - at least in the opinion

of the timber users.

 

But I have no proof either :-(

 

Giano

 

 

From: "Hrolf Douglasson" <Hrolf at btinternet.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 21:08:19 +0100

Subject: [Sca-cooks] charcoal burning

 

charcoal burners live in woodlands and there are documents dating back to

doomsday on who has the right to cut wood to burn for charcoal...this would

lead me to suspect it wasn't the waste used.

However in the siomerset levels they make charcoal from the waste willow

that is too small to be used to make the furniture

pays your money and takes your choice.

charcoal is a good way to use up gash wood but cut wood would have been used

for the quatities needed.

 

vara

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 01:18:28 -0500

From: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>

To: SCA-Cooks maillist <SCA-Cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Charcoal

 

Alban said:

> >Um, do you have any documentation for this assertion? Because there's

> >nothing in any of the mentions I've seen about charcoal burning to

> >indicate that scrap wood was used.

>

> No documentation at all; but what else would you do with large scraps?

> Either burn them directly, or if they're big enough they'd be used for

> charcoal?

 

I had assumed you were talking about modern production of charcoal,

Alban when you said this, such as the turning of packing crates into

charcoal which someone else mentioned.

 

In period, there simply would not have been enough wood scraps to

produce the amount of charcoal needed. They were clearing large

swaths of forest to make the charcoal to feed the smelters.

 

I guess they might have gathered some scraps and made charcoal of

them, but remember most wood projects that would produce scraps

were small job situations. It wasn't like the industrial age where

you had centralized factories that would produce great piles of

scrap in one area. Period transport was primative. It was costly

to haul things any distance by land. Often the transport costs

could exceed the value of the item itself. Why go to the expense

of gathering scraps and transporting them to an area where you

would have enough of the them to be worth turning into charcoal

when you've got vast untouched, and frankly feared, tracts of

forest. Forests were generally not something to be treasured and saved

to the medieval man.

--

THLord  Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

Mark S. Harris             Austin, Texas         stefan at texas.net

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 09:33:38 -0400

From: "Jeff Gedney" <gedney1 at iconn.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Making wood charcoal

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Has anyone made their own real wood charcoal?

> Tips? Suggestions? Warnings? Dire warnings :-) ?

 

Offered for your perusal:

 

http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/charcoal/

http://www.workingwoodlands.info/charcoalmhowmade.htm

http://www.connerprairie.org/historyonline/fuel.html

 

Capt Elias

-Renaissance Geek of the Cyber Seas

 

<the end>



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