Hello all, Several weeks ago I put in a query about making charcoal
soldering blocks. I received a reply from an Orchidian but lost the
man’s address. Here is what I have found out. Yes, you can do it.
Google up “Make Your Own Lump Charcoal”. There will be a lot of
articles as well as an article by a man in an “alt.food.barbecue”
(forum) site,. He gives instructions on how to do it. I haven’t tried
it but it fits an article I read years and years ago about homemade
charcoal soldering blocks. After all, the first jewelers had to do it
themselves. The fire retardant would be the next step–perhaps a
supersaturated solution of soda bicarbonate and then let the blocks
soak it up for a period of time, then let them dry out. Soda is a
flame retardant used this way to flame proof a lot of things or even
put out a shop fire.
As for making the charcoal blocks, the man stated that one is
actually distilling the wood! He write about the different colors of
smoke one observes as the process is carried out. I believe this
method would work. Some other ‘forum’ member offered to sell yhe
plan for making the charcoal, but this man rebutted by publishing the
plan in that forum. I printed it down.