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I was stationed in Iceland and came home for a vacation in 1982 and went to the worlds fair in Tennessee with my folks. While there, we went over to the now dead Mother Earth Farm of 700 acres. For those who do not know, back when it was in it's hay day, every single construction article in their mag ( Mother Earth News ) was done at the farm. So, my Dad and I went to their gasifier class, that is where I saw their saw mill that was ran by a flat head six, with a updraft gasifier plumbed right to the motor. No filters present, that is why they used the flat head, when the valves got stuck open, they would pull the head, wire brush the piston tops, valves and valve seats, and put it back together. They claimed that they could reuse the same head gasket two or three times. The motor started on gas, once the gasifier was up to temp, they turned off the gas and continued on. They burned the scraps from the log they were cutting.

So, the next year when I rotated back to the states, I went home for a week to see the folks. In the kitchen between the sink and stove there was a perfect circle melted into the vinyl floor. So I asked my Mom what happened, and with a shit eating grin she said " go ask your father ". So it seems my Dad was so impressed with the gasifier that when he got home he took a coffee can, made a metal top for it, brazed on a little brass tube out the top, went out and filled the can half full with saw dust and brought it back in and put it on the stove and turned the burner to high. Well, after a few minutes, Dad flicked his Bic lighter and he said he got the nicest blue flame there ever was. He was so tickled with that, he let the flame burn out, turned off the stove, and grabbed the can and started walking towards the sink. He said he made it about halfway when he realized the error in his ways, he dropped the can....

So my Dad, my best friend, my mentor was human after all. I laughed my ass off. After that, we built a fluidized bed like we had seen at Mother's to make steam. This stuff is so amazing that it does what it does when it is so ( relatively ) simple. I hope each of you have someone to share your projects ( and disasters ) with, it is what makes us human ...

David

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