@flammy Coming, later today...posssibly tomorrow if things take longer than I expect (we all know my track record here!). I'm getting some video as well...just to switch things up. The chatoyancy of some of these woods just needs video to properly show it off.
@xtraclipsforxtrashit I originally intended for people to be able to make their own charcoals, but after more experience I came to realize that the results may not be acceptable...depending on a lot of factors.
The Okin charcoals I ended up producing are pretty unique. They're made at a very high temperature (unlike pretty much any charcoal available, other than Japanese Binchotan), but...you can't just shoot for a screaming hot temp, because there is a point where the charcoal becomes almost like pure crystalline carbon, and it starts to become very hard to light and keep lit.
Also, the vessel should be steel, or stainless steel, without any contamination. It's possible that old steel vessels (like paint cans) have a coating, solder, or some kind of plating on the inside. The volatiles from these contaminants would likely be driven out by the time the charcoal reaches final temp, but it's best to avoid it all together, since charcoal is very absorbent and will suck in airborne contaminants just like active carbon (which is essentially very similar to a high temp charcoal).
I tested longer charcoals, there is a point where it becomes too long to work effectively at the start of the burn. Also, when wood turns into charcoal it shrinks, a lot. If the length is greater than the diameter, you'll have a poor yield due to cracking and major distortion. I find it's best to stick to about the same length as the diameter so that the pieces of wood shrink evenly.
Anyhow, I made a batch a few months ago and have plenty to go around if anyone needs it!
Okin II - I get asked allll the time if there will ever be a re-run of the Okin, or an Okin II. And every few months I get out my sketchbook to tease out more designs. I've gone through several prototypes in the last couple years, just testing the waters.
My most recent design that I thought had some promise is sort of interesting. It's basically a little wand type handle, sort of like a dab tool, not much bigger than a short pencil. This wooden wand has a little bit on the end that sticks into the charcoal and holds it firmly. Now you've got a little wand with a glowing charcoal on the end.
I made a matching bowl, not much different than a typical pipe bowl, that has an inlet that's a little larger than the charcoal. You simply use the pipe while holding the charcoal just inside of the inlet. It's sort of like a sticky brick in that you're holding a heat source at the opening of an air inlet. The difference is that the opening of said inlet only needs to be about 10mm away from the herb load, so you can make the entire inlet/bowl very compact.
I was thinking of bringing back some of my more "pipe" styled pieces to be used with the charcoal wand, for a totally old-school analog experience.
I also made a glass bowl/inlet, which is pretty cool because you can watch the herb while you're inhaling..which pretty much guarantees that you'll never combust.
Another cool thing is that this method seems to be a very effective use of heat, so the charcoals can actually be used several times for multiple micro-dose sessions per charcoal. I think you could get about 3-4 bowls out of a single charcoal.
What's holding me back from going further is the fact that, performance wise, the Nomad/Toad platform still outpaces the charcoal in terms of ease of use. The charcoals still require prepping, lighting, and technique to use properly... where as the Nomad/Toad is just so simple and quick.
I also know that this style will always be very niche due to the stigma of charcoal itself. I wouldn't feel comfortable marketing this product to just anyone... since there are dangers that go along with the charcoals... fire hazard, and if you don't prep them properly, dust hazard.
I still think it would be a fun project, and I know I could improve ease of use with some further tweaking of the inlet and heat diffuser, but with so much on my plate these days I'm trying not to take on anything until I have more free time! haha.
You guys can let me know how you feel about it.... perhaps the enthusiasm will build for it and I'll have no choice!
I’ve been interested in the Okin ever since I got into the Nomad, so it would be great to have a chance to get some version of it!
The dust is a bit of a concern, but I guess with your prep method it shouldn’t be?
Still, this might be a good opportunity to integrate the filter idea you talked about in the Toad thread. It could probably just be pressure fit between two parts if the bowl and stem or stem and a mouthpiece were separable…
I’m sure it’ll be a while before you can get to these and I wouldn’t prioritize them over the Nomads/Toads right now either, but I’m definitely onboard when you decide to make some!
Also, thanks for the pics @mourningbell ! We rarely see new pics of the really worn sleeves.
I’m guessing yours wore faster because of the specific pattern on it? I think the gold parts are embossed?
Because of that I’m not sure it’s the best representative of how most sleeves will wear, but I’m still curious how you usually carry yours. Bare in a pocket?
I’m glad it looks like it’s got a good amount of use!