Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At the IBMA in Nashville

I am writing this from the lobby of the Renissance Hotel in Nashville, TN. We are down here for the annual IBMA business conference, representing the Wernick Method; here to answer questions and spread the word about jam classes. So far it's been slow, nobody has answered the ad in the program. But we are still here. The library is right across the street, and so we spent some quality time there catching up on things.

Ran into Jed Clark yesterday...one of the few people I ever met on Facebook, he plays lead guitar in a band called The Roys. Hopefully we will meet up when there's some time to pick. We also met up with Ira Gitlin, the very first Wernick Method teacher, and had a nice long chat.

Parking in Nashville is a headache...Of all the parking garages, several were full this morning, one was not clear how to pay for a spot, and the one we ended up with was $10, up 4 levels....with no elevator. Hopefully we will get in the library garage earlier tomorrow and we will be all set.

This year the hallways are open to the public, which is supposed to let people conduct their business without having to register for the conference. So this year we are in the hallways, waiting for someone to see the ad in the program and call for an appointment....Like I said, it's been slow so far. But it's only Tuesday, things may pick up later.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Plumbing the gasifier - Part 1

I promised that the truck would be running just as soon as I get these little pieces in place. I have had to custom fabricate a number of my own fittings, like these you see here:

In the picture you see an oddball Y fitting, two homemade valves, and a pipe to the blower:

Notice all the flanges. Had to make those so that I can disassemble this later.  Here's a homemade valve; involving a 16p nail and a scrap cutout from the hole saw:

This one locks into the tabs on the blower. Again, custom made with no pattern. 

Here it is bolted up. Lots of silicone goo:


You can see the blower is on there now. Much better setup than the demonstration. I still need to make a real support for it. But all this is in place now, and I am ready to flare gas. I want to get a little more pipe work done before I flare, though. There will be PVC under the bed, and a hay filter - next time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pictures from KSU

I had a great time at KSU's Third Thursday Thing program. Here are the pics:

They had asked me to come up and show off the gasifier in progress. This went as well as could be expected. Nobody got burned or inhaled too much smoke. The duct tape was not behaving as I would have liked, but we managed to get a flare going. The weather started out a little dreary at 9am:

 Also on display was the MicroFueler [visible in the background]. Basically a $10,000 computerized moonshine still, which is "in beta". They were trying to get it to work when we had to go. Oh well.

By lunch it had cleared up, but the wind picked up, and made lighting the flare difficult. Plenty of interested folks!

Thanks to Matthew for taking the pictures. He was a big help, especially loading up:

It's not easy taking what basically amounts to a hot stove, emptying it, and putting in the car for the ride home. We kept the windows down for breathing sake.

The next step is hooking it all up...the part you've been waiting for. Just have to cross little hurdles, like getting some PVC pipe today. The hay filter and the gasifier installations come next. Then plumbing, gas mixer, Arduino.... it will be running very soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gasifier demo at KSU

I took the week off from gasifier work, but that doesn't mean I have been idle. Wernick Method classes are picking up this fall, and so I've been busier. We got some very much needed rain at the beginning of the week, and lately it has been much cooler and overcast. Very pleasant. Tomatoes are done now, they made a good run which we enjoyed very much.

On Thursday I have the opportunity to demonstrate the gasifier at KSU. They asked me to do a presentation, so I have been putting that together this week. This is what it looks like now  - updated in realtime:

Tell me what you think. I will continue to refine this as we go along.

Last week I did take some time to paint the gasifier with hi-temp grill paint, it looks much better now:

And the cyclone is in place:

Cut a hole in the floor, for the ash bin to go through.

Connected the cooling rack downspouts to the plumbing under the bed - two different methods here:

Got a rotor with a 5" opening from the junkyard:

Trimmed to fit inside the gasifier:

And I made a test run with the new blower stand. Self sustained flare in 7 minutes! Even with all the futzing around I did... Hope it goes smoothly on Thursday.

I have to make sure it will all fit in the Suburban. If I disconnect the pipes, it should fit fine. Bringing plenty of duct tape and Silicone II sealant. I will try to get some pics while I'm up there.