Robert's Special Project











Some of you may wonder what Robert has been doing while your kids have been working in the schools. I like to imagine that he is swinging in a hammock some where drinking coconut milk, but if you know my father you know that would last for about 2 seconds. We recently came across this Micro Industry online http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqI63IEg3MM

If you don't have time to watch it, I will summarize:

Wood is typically used to burn inside the homes, however it is very dangerous because the ventilation is inadequate. Charcoal is the preferred method for in door burning because it burns cleaner and is there for safer. The youtube clip shows how to create charcoal from natural products found around say...the jungle.

Roberts day job is that he owns a foundry, so in about 3 hours he had these handy dandy charcoal presses made that were then sent to India.

In India, he and "the boys" have been working on creating their own charcoal manufacturing plant, West Bengal style.

Step #1 Find a berral. If I understand the story correctly; my dad, a translator and a manually operated (bicycle) richsaw, drove around Calcutta with a barrel until they found some one to cut a hole in the top.

Step #2 Burn stuff. Using the bamboo, trees and what ever they could find they made a big fire! Don't worry, Captain Fire (Greg Stewart) was there to supervise.

Step #3 Let Contents cool.

Step #4 Crush Charcoal

Step #5 Make binder. I have no idea what they ended up using for a binder, but it looks like glue.

Step #6 Mix the binder and Charcoal.

Step #7 Press Charcoal. Using the custom built Charcoal Presses provided by Historical Arts and Casting, Inc. (Do you like my plug) They were able to make lots of little charcoal briquettes.

Step #8 Let it dry.

As you can see there is never a dull moment for my dad. His project was a success and I am excited to hear about from him! Hopefully you have learned a little...and please don't try it at home.