Fall is here, that means winter is just around the proverbial corner. For most of us, that means having to keep our homes warm in some manner. For us, that means using our wood burning stove that PB designed and built himself when we lived back in the city and had access to a friend’s metal shop. It’s all made out of 3/16 plate steel with schedule 40 steel pipe for the flue (we aren’t afraid of flue fires). He poured about an inch and a half of refractory cement in the bottom. It serves double duty when I want to cook something on top of it, it makes great tortillas and pizza. The whole thing weighs in at around 200 pounds, I am still amazed at the fact that PB managed to get it inside the skycastle without any help, up to the second floor (our living space) that didn’t have steps yet, we used a ladder to get in and out.
I tried to get someone to help, while I was down at our neighbor’s house making phone calls, PB was up at the skycastle getting the job done himself, he waited until I was gone then went to work using a wench and pulley system, by the time I came back up the hill, he had it in the skycastle and already set into position, almost ready to go. He experimented with different ways to keep the wind from blowing the smoke back into the room and keeping any stray embers from getting away. Here are some pix of our wood stove:
I learned about rocket stoves some years ago, and have wanted to build one ever since, though I haven’t been able to get PB on board for it, I’m still interested. Rocket stoves work on the principal of burning smaller amounts of wood, very hot and very fast, it creates a complete burn, so there is little smoke and it very efficient. Here is a classic video teaching how to make a rocket stove
Since learning about the rocket stove, there is another way of incorporating a rocket stove design into a thermal mass rocket stove. This combines the rocket stove’s ability to use less wood and complete burn with a thermal mass to hold the heat being generated and slowly allow the heat to permeate the space being heated. More and more people are incorporating this into their homes as well as greenhouses and other spaces needing heat. Here are a few videos showing the concept, design and the actual units being built and used.
This one incorporates a rocket mass heater into a greenhouse.
There are lots of other videos on YouTube showing different ways of making rocket stoves and thermal mass rocket stove heaters, some are even incorporated into outdoor pizza ovens as well as water heaters.
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
Leave a Reply