Tuesday, March 02, 2010

First Attempt Building a Rocket Stove!

For some time, I've been looking at the Rocket Stove, the design is simple, but makes a very HOT fire, a very CLEAN fire, with just a small amount of ash left over! I seen the Redneck Rocket Stove video on YouTube. It was so simple, but with "punch"!! So a buddy of mine, John Hall, and I gave it a go! I had lots of "odds and ends" (various bricks and blocks), but I couldn't get the right configuration together. John looked at it, and voila, in a minute there was the rocket stove build. It was dark so we didn't get to try it, in fact it was the next Saturday when we did try it! But wow, what a time! I seen it up close and in person, and I still don't believe it! It was almost as incredible as the solar heater (see previous post!). We had a fire going in like 5 minutes!! I read somewhere the quickest way to get a fire going is to crumple up 5 super tight paper wads, four of them throw down in the "pit", and light the 5th, and then put it in the pit. They caught up instantly, but it didn't burn very fast (especially for paper)..it was a slow burn, it allowed us to put some small kindling on the fire..and it took right to blazing!

We had a block that the centered was hulled out (this is for making concrete beams, that what Dad told me, he was in the block business for years!) John determined that the key was the bricks we had with holes in them, that was the 'grate', with a solid brick right behind it..he wedge them down in the "hulled out" block. Those brick didn't reach the bottom of the block, so it made a passage way for air! Next we started building the chimney part of the stove. 2 more blocks were added to make the chimney tall, and it worked! At the air input spot, we had a brick that we used to limit the amount of airflow we wanted, for the most part, we left it "wide open"!
At times the fire looked like a "tornado"..swirling flames, made the fire and the blocks super hot! At the top you see 2 more Pieces of brick/block, this limited the air flow that could go "in" and it made it harder for the air to get "out". That made the draft eXtra good!

It come to our attention, that fire was getting really, really hot when we noticed that the block were beginning to crack, (not blow up, just crack)! John put his knees against the #2 and #3 blocks, and he said this is a great warmer! At times you couldn't touch it for very long..the heat even went through our gloves!

It's simply amazing the "power" that Rocket Stove has. My goal is to find someway to "harness" the heat from the rocket stove to heat a room! This is our first try, our first design, and we've decided that it is necessary to go away from the concrete block, and concentrate on building a stove, out of nothing but fire brick! We've discovered that fire brick can withstand temps above 2000 degrees! That's what I'm talking about!!

We moved the stove around to the direction the wind was coming from, and BAM, instant fireball!! At times we would let the fire "calm" down, and you could look down in there, and see super hot coals justa blazing! You put a stick in there a POOF, instant flames again! I guess we "fed" it for about 90 minutes or so..and we used really small, and some medium pieces of wood (sticks really)!! If we use this same design again, block or brick, we will try to make a way to insert the "fuel" in from the side, on this one, we added "fuel" from the top! But it worked and worked well!
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