04-19-2003, burned it again. Used wood lath and other wood scraps to start a coke bed, then added about 4" of coke on top of that, bringing it about that much above the tuyeres. Added small pieces of copper, pennies and such, then capped it off with some coke. After a little melting (accompanied by more white smoke of course) I decided to try tapping it. Broke out the bod, and lo and behold, some metal actually came out this time! Not much, just some random drips, but I knew it was melting something! I left it open for a little while, poking around down there and watching a few drips come out, then installed a new bod and got back to melting. Eventually it got into the same condition as last time and I had to drive out the charge with the angle iron. Oh well.
I think I have to revise my previous philosophy. The charcoal seems to burn off much faster than I thought, so melting a single charge for the whole batch, at least with hot stuff like bronze, is impossible (unless you have an awfully high coke bed!). I think I need thin layers for the charge. I might step down and try aluminum next, the bronze (if it even is bronze anymore!) is starting to look pretty worn. :p
Sorry, no pictures this time!