On May 12th & 13th we were fortunate enough to have Girl Mark come and teach a biodiesel workshop for us here in Salt Lake City.
I figured I’d give you a synopsis of how it went.
The Planning Stage
In early Jan or maybe even December girl mark contacted me and said she was thinking about doing another round of biodiesel workshops & wondered if I was interested. I said yes & we picked a date in Feb. and started planning for it.
And then fuel prices started to climb
Around that time fuel prices started to shoot through the air and demand for stuff like Biodiesel Workshops also went ballistic. She started getting requests from all over the country to do her workshops and quickly she had several dates set up, including our’s in Feb.
Utah’s Stupid Law’s
About that time we here in Utah were dealing with some problems with Salt Lake County shutting down biodieseler’s because we weren’t “permitted” to collect the oil. We had a nice friendly renderer in town here that decided to make it their life passion to rat every would-be biodieseler out to the Health Department and quickly folks got scared to make the stuff.
Well, because of this our Feburary date pretty much didn’t get any response…..I WAS BUMMED!!
So, we decided to cancel the Utah class and shoot for another date.
And then fuel prices shot up even more!
All of a sudden our second date got pushed farther forward because demand for the great girlmark was incredible! So we finally settled on a date and locked it in & began planning.
Plannning A Workshop
If you’ve never done a workshop before, you really don’t know how much work can go into one of these things. Beyond the stuff that Girl Mark put’s together (which is a heck of a lot of stuff), there’s also planning on the host’s end.
Essentially for us it included locating a feasible space, securing the space (kind of a nightmare but it worked out in the end), coming up with a place for folks to stay, and then answering all of the emails that one of these things generate.
People Can’t Read
To sign up for our workshop, people just had to visit a website on Girl Marks page, click on a button and register. Not hard right? Apparently it was….
You wouldn’t believe the high number of people that couldn’t follow those directions. I steered a lot of folks in the right direction finally so on our next workshop I’ll have to be a little more clear on the directions.
Early on this year Girl Mark decided she didn’t want to do parts runs at local home depots & lowes stores, but instead decided to have everyone purchase a standardized kit online and have it delivered to the workshop.
This made our workshop a lot easier to put on. Because I was a vendor I also was able to bring half the store with me and give folks an opportunity to touch, feel, & look at some of my “wares” in person. It was great!
The Workshop Itself
The workshop itself was phenomenal. We had a sell out on both day’s and the content was well worth it. Girl Mark, in her usual way, awed the crowd and kept the attention of all from the very first to the very last.
On the first night we covered some of the basics of biodiesel, the history behind it, how it differs from Straight Vegetable Oil, and then we made a small batch of biodiesel in a 2 liter jug.
The small batch
And then it was “time to talk shop”
After making the small batch the workshop moved into the processor section.
Girl Mark and I did a brief overview on the basics of how processors are put together, how they work and why they work.
Time To Get Busy!
After a brief introduction on the processors and how they go together it was time to pull the kits out and get started.
I pulled out the bucket of tools, someone pulled out their water heater and their kit, and Mark got started.
Together Mark & I quickly talked about the finer points of how to get started pulling the water heaters apart and then how to start attaching a kit to them.
After her introduction on how to get started it was time to play!
I then went into a bit on wiring the water heaters and we finished up the night.
(guess my bald spot is getting worse….)
The evening was a success and we finished up the night with two nearly completed processors…even I got in on the game:
The second day was “interesting”….more on that later…
If you haven’t attended one of these workshops, you’re definately missing out! They’re amazing and the great amount of information you get from attending is well worth the effort!
You can see more pictures from Day 1 here:
Watch here for more info on Day 2.
I have to get the pictures together…
The Rabid Biodiesel Nut