Last summer, I wanted to see if I could make Drawing Charcoal. It turned out to be easier than I thought, without any fancy equipment. All one needs is a few sticks of wood, a couple of cans, and a dinner barbequeue.
I had been cutting some shrubs and saved a few nice-looking sticks. The best results are obtained with narrow, straight branches. It is best to use thoroughly dry ones, and one must remove the bark, otherwise the charcoal sticks will be sticky with goo.
I found that the wood will shrink in the charring process. Some of the pictured sticks became too narrow to be usable. Branches about the width of a finger will be fine.
I used two Tomato Paste cans, and sealed the join with aluminium foil and some wire.
I poked a hole (visible in photo above) in the foil, to let the gases escape. The cans went on the barbequeue, after the fish was cooked, the briquettes heaped over. Once the fire was out, the charring process was done.
Some of the sticks were damaged, as I had not wrapped the join carefully enough, and some of the aluminium had burned away. The sticks had started to burn. I have since started to use a three-can setup, where a third can seals the join between the other two. This also allows for using longer sticks. The cans can be re-used, at the next barbequeue, after brushing the soot off.
Cheap and Easy!