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Oil Drum in My Living Room: design competition

Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
So we make these rocket mass heaters that are super-efficient, and we've gotten pretty good at doing lovely cob plasters, but ...
... there's still this oil drum that sticks up into the living room.
For best heat and draft, it needs to be bare metal or rapidly-cooling material such as thin, dense masonry. The cylinder is a really good basic shape for heating the room evenly, and allowing for potpourri or soup on top.

So the oil drum, cleaned and polished, really works excellently at its job.


This is a cargo barrel, cleaned and polished; it may be stainless steel.

But for some reason, the Martha Stewart crowd just doesn't see it as an asset to the well-designed living room.

What would make an object with the same basic shape and function, into an attractive feature instead of an ugly necessity?

Draw up your version, or better yet, fabricate one and taking an attractive picture.
Submit designs here. (Links or photos, either is fine.)

The prize for this contest is:
I want to send you clients.
Once we have a good selection to choose from, I will put the top 3 (or more) entries on our website, and I may rotate or add to that gallery if late entries are awesome.
If you are willing to take clients, I will list the winners' contact information and any price you care to set, to make one of your designs for a customer. (If you would want someone else to make it, we can take bids from fabricators too.) I have already linked to this forum for inspiration-seekers.

There is no limit on price - just to give you some ideas:
- a high-end aesthetic bell could make a firebrick rocket mass heater competitive with $30,000 to $100,000 masonry heaters currently on the market.
- People who are considering a $10 to $50 (used or new) oil drum may prefer a similarly affordable aesthetic compromise.
- A woodstove with factory-molded detailing or soapstone trim tends to run $400 to $2000, not all of that is the decorative outer walls, but that's what people see.
- I guess even a simple custom-welded barrel by a qualified welder to be at least $120 worth of work, plus the cost of stainless and welding rod.
Do think about a price that wouldn't make you ashamed to meet the buyer's brother-in-law, but would also make you feel slightly smug as you go about doing the work and sending off the order. Shipping could be extra; and allow a little padding in case you have to buy new materials to replicate a found-art piece, and of course, a referral bonus for us .

The biggest challenge is to handle (and maintain) the temperature gradients:
Temperatures (in Fahrenheit) of 1000+ inside the top center cooking surface (metal glows red with rich-fuel woods), woodstove temperatures of 400-800 around the top of the cylinder, shading down to 200 or less at the bottom of the cylinder, hotter inside than outside.
The cylinder material needs to shed heat for downdraft inside, and that heat is also warming up the room on the outside, so metal can be very effective. If your solution is an attractive outer wall, consider making provision for some air venting or fans to cool the inner cylinder. (And no, it doesn't have to be round - if square, octagonal, or hexagonal sounds juicier, go for it. Interior symmetry is nice, though.)
Bonus feature: incorporate one or two well-sealed cleanouts for removing fly ash during annual cleaning.
Double-bonus genius points: come up with a (safe) way to offer the 'flickering flame' look, given that the flames are actually located inside the lower part of the heat riser with 2" of insulation between it and the barrel.

Concepts we've brainstormed include:
- painting a regular barrel nicely, e.g. with lime paints (Linda Smiley) or country-kitchen colored stove enamels.
Maybe some chickens and a rooster, or a geometric motif (e.g. Scandanavian, Moorish, or tribal)?
- facing it with cob (up to 1/3 of the surface) or fireclay-grouted mosaic
- making a sealed masonry bell with attractive stone slab, like high-heat countertops or heat shields
- custom thin tiles, embossed or painted or just plain
- a 'hat' or 'doily' of metal that would hang from the top rim, like a decorative column capital or upside-down filigree tea tray
- a clean modern look like stainless(with heat-stain colors) or expanded-metal (with a sealed inner liner) or car-detailed enameled metal
- an old-fashioned ornamental woodstove (tall and narrow, like for bars or apartments), especially one with a burned-out bottom, that could have its joints sealed into a bell. Or a replica (beaten or cast metal).
- mica panels

Got a better idea?
Inspired to make one of the above?
Suddenly re-thinking your living room design?
Peanut gallery responses welcome: what looks/sounds nicest to you? Comment on the submissions, too!

I'll offer the first baseline submission to start us off:

This is a barrel we found (contained ascorbic acid, or vitamin C) that we cleaned off the paint, polished, and then oiled like a cast-iron frying pan. We added a ring of cob on top and a stone slab.


The model to improve upon.

Good luck, and thank you,
-Erica W


Play with nature, make nifty stuff:
www.ErnieAndErica.info
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
Here's some of the high-end competition:
http://masonryheat.blogspot.com/2011/10/mha-2011-contest-winners.html
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 219
Location: SW Missouri
    
    7
I have an idea, but instead of drawing it, I will just describe -- it is really too simple to bother with a drawing.

You know that sheet metal screening that you can buy in DIY places (or from fancy metal fabrication places online and elsewhere)? It is usually found as insets in large cabinets or in fireplace screens, etc. and comes in a variety of decorative patterns. Okay maybe a picture would be better... like this....

http://www.brass-grilles-shop.co.uk/small-cross-decorative-grille---silver-sheet--1000mm-x-660mm-x-09mm-857-p.asp
or this...
http://www.yiliwiremesh.com/wiremesh/perforated-metal.htm
or this...
http://www.ydhardware.com/htmlen/perforated_metal.html
or... well I'm sure you get the picture at this point.


Anyway, here is my step by step. First paint your oil drum black (with stove paint) to make it less obvious. Then, fabricate a cylinder out of this decorative screening (brass would be nice). Make it slightly larger in diameter than your ugly oil drum and attach some sort of spacers on the inside of the screen cylinder to hold it half an inch or so away from the metal drum. (Ceramic insulators perhaps? Or just a few short bolts through the screen at regular intervals around the top and bottom of the cylinder?) Remove the stove pipe and slide the cylinder over the drum. Voila! Pretty cover up in no time and for relatively low cost. You could even add some decorative elements to that if you wanted. I'm picturing some metal dragonflies or butterflies or anything with fairly broad wings or fins -- to add even more metal surface area to the stove, but it could be anything.

Hmmmm... I think I may do this, now that I've thought of it.

EDIT -- I forgot to add that you can do clean outs and clean the metal mesh by just sliding it off the drum -- no doors needed. Or avoid having to lift off the cylinder altogether by making it in two pieces (longitudinally) and hinging it together. As a bonus, the mesh allows for air circulation naturally, without fans, etc. and allows you to see flames from any windows you may have in the drum.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4228
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  62
Embossed designs created by a ball peen hammer or pneumatic hammer. Ear plugs a must.

Paper templates could be taped inside the barrel or the designs could be stenciled. There are millions of downloadable designs. Barrel could be placed on a bed of sand or on a straw bale for this thunderously loud process.

Most barrels have some sort of denting already ( including in the photo above ) so the new design could blend with existing scars.


QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 219
Location: SW Missouri
    
    7
Dale Hodgins wrote:Embossed designs created by a ball peen hammer or pneumatic hammer. Ear plugs a must.

Paper templates could be taped inside the barrel or the designs could be stenciled. There are millions of downloadable designs. Barrel could be placed on a bed of sand or on a straw bale for this thunderously loud process.

Most barrels have some sort of denting already ( including in the photo above ) so the new design could blend with existing scars.


Hey, I like this idea too! You could maybe even make some interesting punches like they use for leather work to make interesting designs. Nice!
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4228
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  62
Any punch would need to have a very smooth profile so as not to damage or puncture the drum. Drums have a seam that must not be breached.

Designs can easily be added to clean metal by spot welding. I've seen entire scenes complete with people, buildings and trees built from welding rod. Low profile designs that don't protrude too much would be safer and would collect less dust.

Any time metal is added there's a chance that it will creak and ping during heat up and cool down.

Wrought iron adornment similar to what is seen on iron gates would be attractive. Care must be taken to ensure that expansion is allowed for.

And now one that is dead simple. --- A Gabion cage of high quality wire could encircle the drum leaving a space of 2 - 6 inches which would be filled with pebbles. By varying size and color any number of scenes may be drawn. Similar to those Chinese colored sand drawings. With a fine mesh, colored sand could be used. This would change the thermal properties of the system. All materials would need to be able to withstand the temperatures. Lava rock ? --- This should make the RMH safer for kids and it could be removed in minutes when desired - more later, I'm just getting started.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4228
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  62
Multi-functionality

I believe multifunctionality is very permaculturey. So here's a few.

1. I'm cheating here since this is one I presented in a different thread --- Generate electricity by placing an antique Stirling engine atop the riser. Now instead of a bare barrel, you'll have a giant antique conversation piece looming large over the livingroom.

2. Build a sculptural thermocouple which will generate electricity. Google it. There's no need to fill this thread with the workings of thermocouples.

This next one won't do much for the unit pictured above but could work for a unit desinged with a table in mind.

3. Build a stone or concrete table arround it. I would lean toward ferro concrete since stone may fail due to thermal shock. This table would wrap around the barrel somewhat but stay several inches clear of it. Ashlar stone work or bricks could form a semi circular leg for the table. The giant leg would shield human legs from direct radiation from the riser. A semi circular table top sheild could be placed in order to prevent direct radiation if it becomes excessive.

I would expect that this table would not often be used during firing. Instead, it would be used as a breakfast nook or as a place to warm up, or to do crafty things between firings. Fires happen in the evening and it might be nice to start the morning in a warm nook. All of the stone and concrete would add some thermal mass. The table would compliment the bench, making this corner of the house into even more of a gathering spot than it already is. --- OTHER BENEFITS --- Set the table early and have pre-heated plates, keep a pot food warm on the riser , and using heat from the riser and a big pot - HAVE THE RIP ROARINGEST FONDUE EVER !

A drawing is in my head and will soon be presented below.
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
Dale Hodgins wrote: Multi-functionality

HAVE THE RIP ROARINGEST FONDUE EVER !

A drawing is in my head and will soon be presented below.


You really are just getting started. Keep it coming!
Ernie and I were thinking about the metal peening, but anyone offering to do this should try it once before setting a price. Could create gorgeous effects, though. We were just playing with the idea of a mold-formed tile like those old ceiling tiles, that could be attached around the outside and made with less noise and fuss from thinner metal.
The fondue is probably the most likely fit with the Martha Stewart crowd's ideas about living rooms.

Deb - Thanks for the links to decorative screen - I should have guessed they were sold, but I've only seen handmade ones. That would make it easy to price, or let people choose. Self-ventilating, or easy to add a small fan and blow some heat downward or toward a nearby room. There aren't usually flames visible from the barrel, though. But you could use high-temp decorative screen as a spark-guard for the firebox itself too. Neat!

I will have a picture soon of a tasteful and minimalist copper cladding (piece of scrap for a solar project) on our current barrel.

The pictures above are just examples - you can work to any RMH design you've seen, it should just be tall, enclose hot gas, and fit into a cob or masonry plinth somewhere between floor-height and 18" high. Heck, you could make the whole thing as the masonry plinth, if you can spec masonry to handle those heats. Masonry heaters use double walls with expansion joints, 8" thick, because things crack.
Does ceramic flue-liner come in 18" or 24" diameter?
-Erica
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4228
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  62
Build an igloo over it. Actually, a dome shaped cob structure that only looks like an igloo.

This idea warrants its own thread which I will start soon.

Back in June when I first stumbled upon one of Ernie's videos and saw the heat riser I thought that the inclusion of one of these inside a cob oven could prevent the smokey mess and ash clean-up that often accompanys the more primitively designed ovens. It completely separates the fire from the oven. Nothing to clean up other than boiled over pie goo.

I like the look of a bee hive kiln. It could be done in spirals of log shaped cob, like what comes from a pug or from a rolled tarp. A large removable door and a removable top plug ( a clay tile ) would regulate heat flow. Let's make it 7 feet tall. This unit could sometimes be operated as an oven by sealing it up and running a fire, or with the door off or swung open and the cap off most of the heat could leave as it is being produced. Unlike regular cob ovens that must be overheated and then cool slowly, this one could be fired continuously or intermittently while in use. You no longer have to cook things in decending order of cooking temperature ( pizza, bread, pie, ... dried apples) as the oven cools.

This will totally alter the thermal properties of the system as well as the look of the room. The instant radiant "woodstovey" heat aspect will be limited to the area surrounding the open door. The oven will add hugely to the available thermal mass. Gasses will leave the riser and enter the bench at at higher temperatures than with a bare barrel. This aspect would be magnified whenever it is being operated as an oven since the barrel would be radiating into a room that could reach 700 degrees. Not that there's anything wrong with that. This could foster a cleaner burn since gasses stay hotter longer. But adjustments may need to be made to the length of bench to accomodate hotter incoming gasses.

OTHER CHANGES --- 1. A bench could be built completely or partially encircling the oven. (warm backs AND bums) A "roasting bench" could be placed in front of the door for those who want instant heat.

2. When in heating mode the door and top cap could be used to fine tune the amount of heat given off at different times.

3. This could also serve as a dehydrator and/or clothes dryer. ------ More later.


4. A few months ago I presented the idea of placing the riser within a sauna/dehydrator/steam room/clothes dryer/Trombe wall. I'll dig that up

Erica --- Your last posting was at 4:24 am. Are you guys night owls or extreme morning people?
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
Here's a new version of our existing stove:

We tied some pretty copper to it as an experimental decorative touch for the barrel.
What do you think?

It has not affected the stove's performance so far, although we do have a fan running through a gap in the back to cool the barrel underneath it.

I don't think I'd recommend it in a household with kids, because although the temperature is lower, the conductivity is higher and it 'feels' hotter all the way down without warning you. For related reasons, it doesn't radiate nearly as much - I can hold my hand an inch away, and not feel the heat I do 4" from the steel, so it's easy to suppose its not 'hot' until actually I touch it. Then it is painfully hot.

Ernie likes that it reduces the heat spike during firing, and evens out the heat experience.
We point the warm air from the gap in my direction, as I like heat spikes. He is an Arctic sea bear, I am more like a cat or lizard.

There's another image of it on my blog: <a href="http://ernieanderica.blogspot.com/2012/02/wood-burning-for-ethical-rich-people.html">Ernie and Erica's Joint Adventure: Wood Burning for Ethical Rich People</a>: Warning: I am now going to pontificate about religion, and personal finances, and playing with fire, and possibly about race, sex, and your mother.

The next idea, if I can bear to cut up the copper, is to make a mold and try a set of punched or stamped copper tiles. about 4 to 6 of these would go around the middle of the barrel, and I might paint the rest with some attractive enamel like the teapot on top. Not sure if it would be too loud with our fieldstone.

-Erica
Monte Hines


Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
    
    4
Lots of good ideas... go permies people!

I like decorative skin idea... can tailor to individuals liking's... still use low expense barrels...

Some more ideas... Just brainstorming...

I would think many would like "stainless steel look", if that material is feasible?
smaller stainless steel addition to top of barrel?
stainless steel cylinder tanks cut in 1/2?
fabricated tread-plate stainless steel box?
...?












Related links:

http://hambydairysupply.com/xcart/home.php?cat=317

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=stainless+steel+barrel&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=681&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=17524982022275665408&sa=X&ei=hMEzT5-SNOPd0QHk_J29Ag&ved=0CKIBEIIIMAM4Cg#scoring=tp

http://www.amazon.com/SKOLNIK-UN-Approved-Stainless-Steel-Drums/dp/B000LDCXLA

http://shop.usedstainlesssteelbarrels.com/ various weigh materials

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=55+Stainless+Steel+Barrel&_sacat=0&_odkw=55+Gallon+Stainless+Steel+Barrel&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

Just food for thought...

Keep those P2P ideas flowing... Make innovation happen at permies...!!! (-:

With Regards and Respect To All,
Monte Hines
Hines Farm Blog



Monte Hines-Hines Farm Blog- http://hines.blogspot.com
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
Dale Hodgins wrote:Build an igloo over it. ... oven. ... dehydrator and/or clothes dryer. ------ More later.

4. A few months ago I presented the idea of placing the riser within a sauna/dehydrator/steam room/clothes dryer/Trombe wall. I'll dig that up

Erica --- Your last posting was at 4:24 am. Are you guys night owls or extreme morning people?


Well, at a certain point, the distinction becomes irrelevant.
Lately I'm putting in a lot of computer time, with the online store and polishing up plans.
It's dark up here, the computer screen glows, and the brief daytimes seem to be full of distracting things like family and phones and snowplows.
There's a lot of concentration involved in individually placing pixels for our new plans.
I have definitely seen the dawn more often at the end of my work than at the beginning lately.

Ovens - There's a pretty good option where the oven goes on top of the barrel, you have a clean metal floor that can be oiled.
I also got this link a while back from someone who met us here: http://greenrocketoven.com/home
I think a larger version of what you're talking about is more like what Donkey or Shannon did for aluminum smelting, and I would love to hear about it if you get it to pottery cone temperatures.

I am going to go find Ernie for our shift-change snuggle, though.

p.s. I have declared a birthday special on our newest mass heater plan: the big Bonny Convection Bench with the air channels to carry heat away from a wood floor and up into a multi-story house. I want to add more photos, AND I want to get the design down below 25 MB so I can email it (currently 26), so I am going to tweak it one more time in the near future. But not before my birthday, which is Friday. So until Saturday, it's $10 off. Not marked on the store page, because that would involve doing more computer stuff to un-mark it very close to my birthday. Payloadz link
rocket stove mass heater and oven plans at our online store

-Erica
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4228
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  62
Decorating copper --- Anyone who has ever soldered copper pipe has seen the rainbow of colors that copper takes on when heated by a plumbing torch. I think It's an oxidation thing.

Your copper sheeting could have this treatment and you wouldn't even need to remove it for the process. The effect may dull with time but could be touched up at any time.

A soldering gun can be used on copper to produce raised designs similar to what can be done with welding rod. The solder sold these days is lead free.

Dremmel tools could create many different designs.
Daniel Hatfield


Joined: Apr 10, 2011
Posts: 17
Deb Stephens wrote:I have an idea, but instead of drawing it, I will just describe -- it is really too simple to bother with a drawing.

You know that sheet metal screening that you can buy in DIY places (or from fancy metal fabrication places online and elsewhere)? It is usually found as insets in large cabinets or in fireplace screens, etc. and comes in a variety of decorative patterns. Okay maybe a picture would be better... like this....

http://www.brass-grilles-shop.co.uk/small-cross-decorative-grille---silver-sheet--1000mm-x-660mm-x-09mm-857-p.asp
or this...
http://www.yiliwiremesh.com/wiremesh/perforated-metal.htm
or this...
http://www.ydhardware.com/htmlen/perforated_metal.html
or... well I'm sure you get the picture at this point.


Anyway, here is my step by step. First paint your oil drum black (with stove paint) to make it less obvious. Then, fabricate a cylinder out of this decorative screening (brass would be nice). Make it slightly larger in diameter than your ugly oil drum and attach some sort of spacers on the inside of the screen cylinder to hold it half an inch or so away from the metal drum. (Ceramic insulators perhaps? Or just a few short bolts through the screen at regular intervals around the top and bottom of the cylinder?) Remove the stove pipe and slide the cylinder over the drum. Voila! Pretty cover up in no time and for relatively low cost. You could even add some decorative elements to that if you wanted. I'm picturing some metal dragonflies or butterflies or anything with fairly broad wings or fins -- to add even more metal surface area to the stove, but it could be anything.



Hmmmm... I think I may do this, now that I've thought of it.

EDIT -- I forgot to add that you can do clean outs and clean the metal mesh by just sliding it off the drum -- no doors needed. Or avoid having to lift off the cylinder altogether by making it in two pieces (longitudinally) and hinging it together. As a bonus, the mesh allows for air circulation naturally, without fans, etc. and allows you to see flames from any windows you may have in the drum.


I think Deb has cracked it for simplicity. My current stove pipe on my combustion stove has a shroud using a similar patterned design and is up to visual standard. I would therefore have to assume that if it were wrapped around a barrel it would also be up to standard visually.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4228
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  62
Well Deb may have it on simplicity but I've got it on volume both in words and tons of extra cob required. So there.

On a totally separate note, if you scroll down you'll notice the little house that adorns the bottom of each page. The chimney smokes quite a bit. Perhaps Ernie could replace the wood guzzler with one of those super compact RMH units. I'm worried about what all that smoke is doing to my screen !!!
Monte Hines


Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
    
    4
Dale

Ron George


Joined: Dec 30, 2011
Posts: 1
Bear with me on this, because maybe I am talking out my azz-- As I understand it, the drum "pulls" the heat out of the initially hot exhaust, allowing it to cool enough to descend instead of rise,,, so with that in mind, I would weld cooling fins on it. Granted, it would not have the asthetics (sp??) that some would like, but it would create more surface area to pull heat out of the exhaust, and if done neatly, would at least break up/disguise a crappy old barell. Someone with the right fabrication and artistic skills could make something pretty nice I bet.

Although personally, I like the idea of punding some artwork into the barell- I am envisioning skulls n demon faces looking like they are trying to break through from the inside of the barell, but I doubt I have that kind of talent.
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 219
Location: SW Missouri
    
    7
Dale Hodgins wrote:Well Deb may have it on simplicity but I've got it on volume both in words and tons of extra cob required. So there.



You crack me up, Dale!
Susan Noyes


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 50
Location: Dallas TX
Ron George wrote:As I understand it, the drum "pulls" the heat out of the initially hot exhaust, allowing it to cool enough to descend instead of rise,,, so with that in mind, I would weld cooling fins on it.


Ron, when you suggested cooling fins the image of a rocket appeared. I guess a rocket mass heater maybe should have fins? That might be fun for us to play around with.
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
Susan Noyes wrote:
Ron George wrote:As I understand it, the drum "pulls" the heat out of the initially hot exhaust, allowing it to cool enough to descend instead of rise,,, so with that in mind, I would weld cooling fins on it.


Ron, when you suggested cooling fins the image of a rocket appeared. I guess a rocket mass heater maybe should have fins? That might be fun for us to play around with.


I could totally see a bachelor pad or "the party room" with a rocket in the corner.
Sleek stainless barrel or water tank, polished downward-sloping fins (a thick welding bead or caddy-style fin would be stylish and smooth enough to protect passersby). Optional stove-enamel paint job to resemble your favorite real or fictional rocket.
To complete the effect, add a nose cone: a conical top that is hinged on the back, allowing a secret stash of ... what would it be? Hot cocoa, mulled wine, Irish coffee, nacho sauce, or baked potatoes?
For the ultimate in party features, add a heat-tolerant ring of LED lights powered by a small Sterling engine, with a hose-type bullroarer that makes sound effects when you first light the rocket. (It should settle down somewhat after the cone's internal temperature evens out.) Or silent, insulated fiber-optics that just pick up the light of the fire, and carry it to back-light a band of mica or ceramic panels around the nose-cone or a surface-mounted "window" on the side.

Why, anybody who objects to a barrel in their living room after reading this idea, is just not seeing the possibilities!

-Erica
Susan Noyes


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 50
Location: Dallas TX
Erica Wisner wrote:
Why, anybody who objects to a barrel in their living room after reading this idea, is just not seeing the possibilities!

-Erica


My thoughts exactly!
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
OK, so I haven't done the sculptural versions because that would be a really blatant and irresponsible level of procrastination on other things.
But I did pull together a bunch of the ideas we talked about into a single image.



Still interested in posting contact info or link for anyone who wants to take commissions to do artwork for these barrels.
Metalwork, custom fireplace screens, etc.
(like the embossed copper tile, or custom welded steel tanks, or collars to hold other art like a round heat shield).

I am good at painting, but I would love to have someone else quote the job of fabricating a flat collar to go around the barrel, for example, where mosaic could be mounted with less heat-shock problems. (In the picture, the design with the rock art and tribal clay-paint would be pretty awesome, and a mosaic version like an Italian cafe-table would look pretty rad too.)

Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
Monte Hines wrote:Lots of good ideas... go permies people!

I like decorative skin idea... can tailor to individuals liking's... still use low expense barrels...

Some more ideas... Just brainstorming...

I would think many would like "stainless steel look", if that material is feasible?
... Make innovation happen at permies...!!! (-:

With Regards and Respect To All,
Monte Hines
Hines Farm Blog

Hey Monte - I went to comment on your idea before, but it didn't show up.
I like the brushed steel cylinder especially. People do like the stainless look, even when it's a little beat up. I would love to see one with some careful etching or peening that didn't compromise the seal. Maybe on a second collar around the main barrel - I included one idea like that in the page of simulated barrels. I would love to see some welder art that would work well this way - Ernie's dad did a sculpture of a fish one time where he heated the steel to make the iridescence for the rainbow scales, for example.

I like the milk pails, but not sure their joints can take the heat. How hot are they designed to get? Could fabricate something from stainless in that shape, if needed.
Could also do any of the 'antiqued' finishes that people like on milk pails.
Just add handles to a non-ringed barrel.

We thought about turning our copper thing into a giant coffee cup, but didn't.
Monte Hines


Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
    
    4
I loved all the new design ideas you have developed...

I don't know whether it would be possible/feasible to have a cast ceramic drum with a removable /movable metal plate top with seal?
If possible, cast ceramic side could have 3D design?!

Next step is for clients to decide what they want and get out their checkbooks...

KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!

Regards,
Monte Hines
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 756
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  91
Monte Hines wrote:I loved all the new design ideas you have developed...

I don't know whether it would be possible/feasible to have a cast ceramic drum with a removable /movable metal plate top with seal?
If possible, cast ceramic side could have 3D design?!

Next step is for clients to decide what they want and get out their checkbooks...

KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!

Regards,
Monte Hines


I think it would be possible, but expensive. At least if it were custom; and shipping them would be a delicate thing too.

I'd be tempted to go with the 'cob beehive' idea for sculptural detailing.
You could easily form a round ledge that would support a stove gasket; and a thick, round steel plate slightly smaller in diameter would seal against the gasket just by its own weight. Round pieces don't tend to chip on each other as much with thermal expansion. A cast-iron crepe pan or wok could be perfect, if you oriented the handle in a little hollow out of the way.

You can probably also seal with mortar or chimney cement, but I like the idea of being able to remove the top plate for cleaning / inspection. In an outdoor kitchen, you could also size this to match a favorite large pot, so you could swap back and forth between a flat 'griddle' surface and a stewpot, with great heat transfer. Maybe too good in some situations.

I have been wondering if there is some kind of large-scale ceramic pipe, or chimney-liner, in the 24" diameter range. If it comes in short sections between 12" and 48" long, they could be stacked with gasket between, and the same top-plate idea could be used. shipping might still be tricky, but if it's something the larger cities carry for sewer or factory chimneys, it could be re-purposed here. Flowerpots have been used on top of a barrel for an oven, but I haven't seen anyone use a ceramic flowerpot for the barrel itself. I suspect they might not take the heat at the top; we won't know until someone tries it. I would not want to blow that much money on a big garden pot and then crack it; I think I would mount a steel baffle on the heat riser to spread the heat out where it contacts the dome.

-Erica
dan murf


Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Michigan West Side
Erica Wisner wrote:
Monte Hines wrote:

I would think many would like "stainless steel look", if that material is feasible?
... Make innovation happen at permies...!!! (-:



I have always been told, that stainless is the worst metal for heat transfer. ?


"to Tinker or not to tinker, that is the question!"
If you build it better than the one profiting from it, don’t tell them, they'll get pissed! "I challenge anyone to challenge me" ... Murf! "I am responsible for the comment in this comment section"
dan murf


Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Michigan West Side


I have always been told, that stainless is the worst metal for heat transfer. ?
Monte Hines


Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
    
    4
Thermal Conductivity of Metals:
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-metals-d_858.html



Thermal Conductivity of some common Materials and Gases:
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html
dan murf


Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Michigan West Side
Monte Hines wrote:Thermal Conductivity of Metals:
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-metals-d_858.html



Thermal Conductivity of some common Materials and Gases:
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html



Yea, Stainless not so good!

I wonder? is'nt a keg (beer) made out of aluminum? Would it be affected by the exhaust gasses? Might be an issue?
That would work better, than steel & way cheaper than copper or silver?
You Alzo would have to use a heat sink on top of it if it gets to 1000 degrees.
Sounds super efficient if it pass' the exhuast gas test!
Brad Davies
volunteer

Joined: Sep 22, 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Clarkston, MI
    
    8
dan murf wrote:
I wonder? is'nt a keg (beer) made out of aluminum?


Beer kegs are stainless, at least all the one's I have done hand stands one were....


SE, MI, Zone 5b "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
~Thomas Edison
Cj Verde
pollinator

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3128
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
    
  54
1st off I love the copper! I wonder what it'll look like with a patina, though?
2nd, I posted this pic on another thread but it's relevant here:
Wood stove
So close to oil drum but so great looking! Black paint does wonders.
It just doesn't "go" with the cob look, I think that's problem. If the cob were white like a southwest adobe look, the stark black oil drum might look arresting.


My project thread
Agriculture collects solar energy two-dimensionally; but silviculture collects it three dimensionally.
dan murf


Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Michigan West Side
here you go!
nice barrel, well metal transformer housing I think! & a FIRE window!! Check out the window?? Would work sideways too!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imoH_iKAtvs&feature=related

Monte Hines


Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
    
    4
Dan,

That was great... That gives new ideas...

Very nice Japanese site: http://air.ap.teacup.com/applet/morino/msgcate18/archive
Site has 28 posts with some pictures and 6 YouTube videos on Rocket Stove Mass Heaters
Thanks to Google Translate we can translate and read!

Thanks again Dan!

I put together a playlist, if anyone wants to watch all videos ==> http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL06510E6E26C7DAF4
and a Blog post ==> http://hines.blogspot.com/2012/03/28-japanese-articles-on-rocket-stove.html
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4228
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  62
There are paints that change colour with temperature change. Some sort of pattern could be applied. This would give a visual reference for judging temperature of the barrel. The word "HOT" could appear at the appropriate time. This could be called the "chameleon barrel". How about polar bears and arctic char drawings which fade to camels and scorpions as the temperature rises.

Getting pretty high tech, but would be totally unique.
dan murf


Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Michigan West Side
I made a rocket with some fire bricks i have, just to playing around. I have put a tempered piece of glass in the side of the burn tunnel. In place of one of the bricks! Man it looks & works awsume! And I did not notice a difference in the performance, I was worried that some of the heat would be radiant and it would smoke more. It did not seem to effect the performance at all!

I will try to post a video tonight! Have had probs posting vids from my phone...
Monte Hines


Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
    
    4



RMH with window and oven - neat design...
based upon my limited knowledge of RMH

Credit ==> broaudio - Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/broaudio/videos

Dan, I like your side window...
dan murf


Joined: Feb 17, 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Michigan West Side
[quote=Monte Hines
Dan, I like your side window...[/b]

Hey Monte, I had seen that 2nd video on tube, but i wasn't 100% sure of what I waz lookin at!

The 1st video explained it all! Sweet job! That oven is awsume!

I think you can put at much viewing area of "the burn" as you want. "tempered glass" is not rated high enough! you need "high heat" resistance glass, so I have some ceramic glass on order 9" x 4-1/2" 3/16 for 90$ minimum WOW! It seems to me that the venturey is not effected at all. It still gives plenty of heat to thoroughly burn all gases'.



[Thumbnail for nite fire.jpg]

Matt Walker


Joined: Nov 27, 2011
Posts: 175
Location: North Olympic Peninsula
    
  22
That's my stove and videos. You can see a build thread if you follow my sig here. Dan, cool video. I've done some experimenting with similar stuff. You can find pieces of ceramic glass on ebay for a lot less than that. I've got a couple that are 14"x11" or so and were around $50 shipped. One thing that will help you...you must decouple the glass, any kind, from the surrounding material. The thermal shock will break any of them eventually. Look at a wood stove's window attachment and you will see what I mean. The glass is usually loosely clipped to a sheet of metal in such a way that the differing expansion/contraction cycles don't effect the materials, and the conduction between the two is limited.

Monte, you found out about my ski area! Eco Scale negative eleventyjillion. Ooops.


http://www.permsteading.com
Roy Clarke


Joined: Feb 05, 2012
Posts: 121
Matt Walker wrote: One thing that will help you...you must decouple the glass, any kind, from the surrounding material. The thermal shock will break any of them eventually. Look at a wood stove's window attachment and you will see what I mean. The glass is usually loosely clipped to a sheet of metal in such a way that the differing expansion/contraction cycles don't effect the materials, and the conduction between the two is limited.


Another way to support the glass is to mount it with ceramic paper (1/8" thick) either side and put that into a metal frame with a clamping frame to hold all together. Could use glass rope instead of the ceramic paper.

This will keep the glass sealed but allows expansion and contraction.
Jay Green


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
    
    8
Why not a wrap with something like this? They have several different patterns that are much prettier than the one pictured. Two of these aluminum ceiling tiles would cover a barrel and you can also get them in a copper. Very pretty, cheap and simple to do.



http://www.lowes.com/pd_89091-82801-G53-08_0__?productId=1199747&Ntt=aluminum+ceiling+tiles&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Daluminum%2Bceiling%
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
 
subject: Oil Drum in My Living Room: design competition
 
cast iron skillet 49er

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