burning files burnbarrel


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Old 03-25-09, 12:01 PM
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burning files burnbarrel

It's really hard to guess which forum category to post this under, but would anyone have good suggestions for a kind of fast way to burn 16 big file boxes full of old paper office files in the burn barrel? I've got a burn barrel sitting up on blocks eight inches off the ground, with 1 1/2" inch holes drilled in four places around the bottom perimeter for air flow. But if you've ever tried to burn old files, you know how they don't burn very good or very fast when in the stacks and clumps they're in. Basically the paper just sit there and smoulders unless you take each paper off the stack and toss it in indidually. You can stand there all day and pull each paper out individually and toss it in and have it burn that way, but takes too long. There must be a better way. Shredding takes longer thats why we're burning them, but need them to burn faster than whats happening in the burn barrel this way...
 
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Old 03-25-09, 12:40 PM
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Well, as someone who has burned and shredded literally tons of paper...yer pretty much stuck unless you contract it out.

Industrial paper burners (if the EPA still allows em) use a sealed burn area, NG or propane jets and forced air..prob a built in agitator of some sort as well.

Sorry, can't help much ......
 
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Old 03-25-09, 12:44 PM
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Usually a blower, too. Used to destruct classified stuff that way in the central incinerator on base.

Oops, didn't notice gunguy already said "forced air".
 
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Old 03-25-09, 01:04 PM
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Without knowing where you are, around here, there are commercial shredders who will do the job while you watch (security) and even one outfit that will bring a shredder truck to your location and shred on site.
 
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Old 03-25-09, 01:05 PM
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For awhile the confidential destruction people I worked with at one of our banks was taking their paper to a trash to energy incinerator. They would allow him to watch the paperwork actually going into the oven for security purposes. They now use a confidential destruction service.

Bud
 
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Old 03-25-09, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
yer pretty much stuck unless you contract it out..
That what I figured. No one around here (rural AK) to contract it out to either.
 
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Old 03-25-09, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
Used to destruct classified stuff that way in the central incinerator
No such thing around here, unfortunately.
 
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Old 03-25-09, 01:30 PM
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Oh well heck..rural AR? Just get some lengths of chainlink fence..tear open the boxes and crumple the paper a little, pour 4-5 gal of gas/kero on it, cover the pile with the fence...lead a trail of gas/kero a safe distance and toss a match on.
 
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Old 03-25-09, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
... confidential destruction service.
No such thing here at this location locally .
 
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Old 03-25-09, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Oh well heck..rural AR? Just get some lengths of chainlink fence..tear open the boxes and crumple the paper a little, pour 4-5 gal of gas/kero on it, cover the pile with the fence...lead a trail of gas/kero a safe distance and toss a match on.
No, not rural AR. Rural AK (Alaska). Yeah, can't risk the paper with apparently confidential/secure info on it to be blowing off into the wind, etc. or unburned pieces flying off where somebody would find it, etc. Need to use the burn barrel, boss said.
 
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Old 03-25-09, 02:01 PM
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Alaska, Hmm, that means you probably have a chain saw. Could you cut each box of papers in half and mess them up enough to improve the burn process? Metal binders excluded.

Bud
 
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Old 03-25-09, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Alaska, Hmm, that means you probably have a chain saw. Could you cut each box of papers in half and mess them up enough to improve the burn process?
Yeah, but the chainsaw doesnt work
 
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Old 03-26-09, 06:08 AM
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A good design of a burn barrel consists of a 55 gallon drum with the top and bottom cut out, one Budd wheel (from a junk yard) and 3 bricks and a piece of 1/2" hardware cloth or lath to cover the drum's top. Place the 3 bricks on the ground on edge in a triangle. Set the Budd wheel on it with the outside up. The drum will fit perfectly on the rim. There's enough space in the wheel to allow air to run up from the space provided by the brick, and enough space to allow small particulates to drop down and not clog up the fire space. The hardware cloth/lath will keep pieces from flying all over the place. Key is feed the fire slowly.
Of course this thread should contain the warning to check with the local authorities to see if such a burn is legal. Where we are, we have to check with the National Forest Service, and obtain a permit before we can burn anything outside.
 
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Old 03-26-09, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
A good design of a burn barrel consists of a 55 gallon drum with the top and bottom cut out, one Budd wheel (from a junk yard) and 3 bricks and a piece of 1/2" hardware cloth or lath to cover the drum's top. Place the 3 bricks on the ground on edge in a triangle. Set the Budd wheel on it with the outside up. The drum will fit perfectly on the rim. There's enough space in the wheel to allow air to run up from the space provided by the brick, and enough space to allow small particulates to drop down and not clog up the fire space. The hardware cloth/lath will keep pieces from flying all over the place. Key is feed the fire slowly.
Of course this thread should contain the warning to check with the local authorities to see if such a burn is legal. Where we are, we have to check with the National Forest Service, and obtain a permit before we can burn anything outside.
Thanks Chandler! Great info on burn barrel design. I'll try to acquire an old junk Budd wheel from somewhere around here. No junk yards here, so could be a problem. But I'll definitely check around for one. The burn barrel setup you describe sounds like the way to go for sure. Already have the bricks and 1/2" hardware cloth, so am halfway there already.

Insofar as checking with authorities, burn is on private property, and permission here simply involves notifying fire dept of intended activity beforehand. thanks again
 
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Old 03-26-09, 08:43 AM
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Ok, I googled it..but I'm still not sure what a Budd wheel is. Can someone give me a simple explanation?
 
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Old 03-26-09, 09:06 AM
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Old 03-26-09, 09:33 AM
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Ahh ok..clear now. I thought thats what the explanations I found were saying...but I couldn't find a good pic or simple explanation.
 
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Old 03-27-09, 01:41 PM
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http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1063.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1064.jpg

The links above are to two photos I took, one of my burn barrel sitting on the Budd wheel on the bricks (actually blocks) and one of showing the wheel sitting there with the burn barrel aside.

Seems to work okay this way, but I guess I'm seeing how having the wheel helps. Why not just set the barrel on the bricks without the wheel (still plenty of air flow from underneath that way)? Also, I was hoping the barrel would fit just inside the lip of the wheel but it doesn't. The diameter of the barrel is exactly the diameter of the wheel, so if its bumped a little it almost falls off, not really stable.
Comments?
 
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Old 03-27-09, 07:05 PM
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Don't bump it. The wheel's partial solidness keeps your trash from falling all the way down and smothering out your air supply. The air will keep flowing up to the area of the fire and only the cinders will fall to the bottom as you have witnessed. You can bolt three pieces of 6" long steel to the sides so they will slip over the outside of the wheel to keep it stable. Or weld three steel fingers to the edge of the wheel.
 
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Old 03-27-09, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Don't bump it. The wheel's partial solidness keeps your trash from falling all the way down and smothering out your air supply. The air will keep flowing up to the area of the fire and only the cinders will fall to the bottom as you have witnessed. You can bolt three pieces of 6" long steel to the sides so they will slip over the outside of the wheel to keep it stable. Or weld three steel fingers to the edge of the wheel.
Ok, as you suggest, I might bolt pieces of steel to the sides for some stablity (burning bunches of paper files seems to require quite a bit of regular poking and stoking, thus the barrel is rather prone to getting bumped and knocked). Yeah, the blocks and the wheel seem to make a pretty decent fire pit underneath, lotsa draft going on and the accumulated ash clears out easily. Burns the files pretty quickly without smouldering out all the time, much better than what I had before. Now I just throw several piles of files in there when the fire is going good and hot, leave for a while, then come back and poke the mostly burnt paper down through the wheel, it flares up even hotter, then I throw some more piles in. I might even get another Bud wheel and burn barrel, and double up on the fun. Thanks again chandler.
 
 

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