Thursday, March 15, 2012


Here's the progress so far. Of course I mean progress on the woodgas truck, version two.

I went to visit Wayne in Alabama and came home all the same day. It was a long trip, but well worth it.

Wasn't too sure what happened when I got there - right as I pulled onto his street the Metro started bucking and stalling, the dash lights flickered on and off, and I barely made it up his driveway. Long story short, it turned out to be a loose ground wire:

Why a loose ground wire would kill the entire engine I don't know. It's a bad design, but at least the problem got fixed quickly.

With that straightened out, we got on to business. Wayne loaded me up with supplies and I helped him with some computer issues. Which reminds me, check out his latest video! I put this together for him:

If you haven't seen it yet, here's the site I built for Wayne.

It's a great place to learn about gasifiers and woodgas vehicles. Wayne is a woodgas pioneer, why not take it straight from the guy who drives on wood every day?

I've started building things now, and the plasma cutter comes in really handy. Here's some thick pipe I cut:

It's not smooth because I am still learning my plasma technique. And I'm officially very bad at making holes! I have five burned out heat shields to prove it:

The problem comes when I try to use the plasma to pierce thick stuff; it widens and increases into a bowl shape, and doesn't always punch through. Like this one:

There's just nowhere for the molten steel to go. So my workaround is to predrill the holes.

Finished the condensate tank. It's not hooked up, and there may be further changes made, but here it is:

And started the dashboard wiring. Here's four control cables, three new switches and a vacuum gauge:

Not bad for two days work, eh? And more to come...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Condensate tank

I have to get a lot of things done before I can go to Alabama with the truck. Here's one of them: the condensate tank. You may remember I was using a propane tank for condensate. Since that holds a measly 3 gallons before causing problems (and was full of water because the valve was plugged up), I took it off and went with Wayne's solution: a full out water tank. This is actually a well tank from the scrap heap. It was rusty and had plenty of scale and dirt in it. But it cleaned up pretty well, and should hold around 10 gallons or more.

Covering up the old holes and making new ones. Find leaks by filling with water:

The gas goes in the sides, and out the dual pipes on top. Single pipe is for the blower. Note the bolt on cover I made with the plasma cutter:

Long pipe is the drain. Now to install on the truck, and plumb it in!