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A whole lot of rocket cook stoves

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that the rocket mass heater comes from a "rocket stove".  A kind of cook stove.  Which comes from another cook stove called a "Lorena Stove".

I think this image shows it pretty well.



And for an oven, I think this image is fantastic:



All the details can be found here: http://weblife.org/capturing_heat/



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paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Ronie!

You made that?  How long did it take?

And .... uh .... can you expand a bit on "it works real good" ?? 

In the pic it looks like you might be frying something.  And that looks like a teeny tiny fire.  So is that teeny tiny fire plenty for frying some bacon and eggs?  Does it get too hot?

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Excellent!  How often have you used that?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
How is the rickety factor?  What might you do differently if you were to build another?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
The "removable bottom insert" sounds really smart.

The fiberglass does seem ....  like it would be problematic - although I cannot think of why.  I wonder if you run your current stove super hot for an hour, and then take a look at the insulation, if it will be unchanged.

North Hatfield


Joined: Feb 27, 2009
Posts: 11
Hi.

Smaller (large can)coffee can rocket stoves are not as efficient as the larger home or camp style version .  The same coffee can rockets stoves are also very bulky to carry around and while they are quite solid they do get dinged up quite a bit, and loose their ashes easily.

The rocket stove with vertically fed fire boxs (like the bread maker above) are better due to the fact that they have better protection from the wind, and are positive pressure types for even burning.

The simple cinder brick/block stove found at weblife is remarkably efficient.

I've built several of vavreks large oil can rocket stoves, and i have not heard any complaints as yet.

My own version is made from a an old used water tank.  It already had feet, and it was easier  to shape the thicker/stronger metal to the flu shape with a simple round file.
North Hatfield


Joined: Feb 27, 2009
Posts: 11
Rocket stoves were originally called (Western name given) "Fox stoves" .

A fox stove is a "J" shaped hole/home a fox (vulpine) makes.

You dig two holes (beside each other) to the same depth and about 3 inches or so apart.

The at the bottom you dig out a small hole between the two holes.

You then take the earth you dug out and pack it around one of the holes to make it taller and become a kind of chimney.

Add a few rocks to the top of the chimney to hold your pot above the rim and let  the smoke out.

You put the sticks in the lower hole and light it.

Voila a fox stove.

The fox stove is probably the oldest concealed flame stove.  Used well before any type of fired clay/brick was invented.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
North, do you have any pictures you can share with us?

For the cinder block one, do you mean this?



"Fox stove" ... there are so many variations, it does seem good to have a richer vocabulary.

North Hatfield


Joined: Feb 27, 2009
Posts: 11
Yes that's the cinder block/brick one i was referring to.

It should be noted that like the fox stove you need rocks, long nails, or pieces of steel/iron to lift the pot up off the top of the cinder block to let the smoke out.

The diagram does not say what  the three stones are for.

In reality, any kind of stone or metal pot stand will do.

As for photos of a fox stove , that would be a No.  I will have to wait until the ground is unfrozen to make one.



paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Are those cement blocks very insulative?
North Hatfield


Joined: Feb 27, 2009
Posts: 11
Actually yes they are quite insulative.

After about 15-20 minutes (in winter) of burn time on a regular ash filled metal can type of rocket stove i can no longer touch the outer can.

The cinder block type is still "just warm" after the same amount of time.

Although i still pack cob around it to get every last bit of useful heat out of it.

Waste not - want not.





Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 691
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  79
North wrote:
Rocket stoves were originally called (Western name given) "Fox stoves" .

A fox stove is a "J" shaped hole/home a fox (vulpine) makes.

You dig two holes (beside each other) to the same depth and about 3 inches or so apart.

The at the bottom you dig out a small hole between the two holes.

You then take the earth you dug out and pack it around one of the holes to make it taller and become a kind of chimney.

Add a few rocks to the top of the chimney to hold your pot above the rim and let  the smoke out.

You put the sticks in the lower hole and light it.

Voila a fox stove.

The fox stove is probably the oldest concealed flame stove.  Used well before any type of fired clay/brick was invented.


That Rocks.  I hadn't heard the term before - do you have any idea where the oldest fox stoves were made/found?  I bet it fires the earth a bit, and leaves a signature that archeologists could find for a long time.

I'll have to make me one of those.

We do show a "jug stove" that you dig into the ground, they're made in Africa for heating a teapot, same idea but without the J-tube configuration.

Thanks,
Erica Wisner
http://www.ErnieAndErica.info


Play with nature, make nifty stuff:
www.ErnieAndErica.info
twobirdstone McCoy


Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 43
-the three stones are used to keep the cooking pot off the top of the single cinder block ...you can see them if you look carefully at the finished diagram.

-Erica,  I found the plains Indians in North America (the Dakota being one of the tribes to do so) used these stoves:

{you have to scroll down to fire making & primitive cooking}

http://www.primitiveways.com/

Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 691
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  79
twobirdstone wrote:
-the three stones are used to keep the cooking pot off the top of the single cinder block ...you can see them if you look carefully at the finished diagram.

-Erica,  I found the plains Indians in North America (the Dakota being one of the tribes to do so) used these stoves:

{you have to scroll down to fire making & primitive cooking}

http://www.primitiveways.com/


Thanks, that's a great site.
In "primitive cooking" they describe a firewell or Dakota stove that is simply a dugout cooking chimney + hearth; more like the L-tube rocket cookstoves; they don't raise the height of the burning side, so it might smoke back at you unless you keep the fire well pushed under the food.

Yours,
Erica


Bill Kearns


Joined: Feb 13, 2009
Posts: 151
Location: E Washington steppe
    
    2
Comrade Simba builds a rocket stove/heater in 2 1/2 hours at a farmer's market workshop! 

Pics and story:  http://www.comradesimba.com/blog/?p=480  


Permaculture is a gestalt ... a study of the whole. Not just how to produce more and better food, but how human life on the planet affects and is affected by the surrounding environment.
Bill Kearns http://columbiabasinpermaculture.com
twobirdstone McCoy


Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 43

I decided to make the cinder block stove; if you scroll down past "Josh's Tub" you'll see two of them side by side in action
http://twobirdstone.blogspot.com/

I use them every day.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞


twobirdstone,

The pic looks like you have just made this.  Fresh mud.  Do you have some mileage on it now?


ronie dee


Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 584
Location: Cosby MO
    
    2
twobirdstone wrote:
I decided to make the cinder block stove; if you scroll down past "Josh's Tub" you'll see two of them side by side in action
http://twobirdstone.blogspot.com/

I use them every day.


Is that a stainless steel 55 gal drum in one pic? how did you come by that?

Doesn't cinder blocks get brittle and crack after getting hot? or does the mud just keep them from falling apart?


Sometimes the answer is not to cross an old bridge, nor to burn it, but to build a better bridge.
Seeria McCoy


Joined: Jul 25, 2008
Posts: 8
Loving these stoves! Will be heading out west for some traveling and am always looking for ways to cut foot-print. These look far more effecient than propane cook stoves (camping, RVs, etc). 

I'll see what I can work up for more portable sizes before we head out, post a few pics and reports.
twobirdstone McCoy


Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 43
I've been off-line for about eight months and wanted to reply to some of these old posts:

paul w: Are those cement blocks very insulative?
North: Actually yes they are quite insulative.

I disagree with North.  The cinder block isn't very insulative at all -they get hot very quickly. To insulate, I used volcanic cinder (small volcanic stones about .5 to 1" in size). Volcanic cinder aka scoria is very insulative:  I fired one side of my double cinder block stove, boiled rice, and the non-fired second cinderblock stove remained cool to the touch.  [fire-|-first stove cinderblock wall-|-scoria-|-second stove cinderblockwall]. There was only about 1.5" of scoria between the two cinderblocks (and then sealed with clay mud on top).

North, if you send pics of your cinderblock stove without any added insulation and a laser thermometer reading on the side of the cinderblock after about 5 minutes of burntime, I think why we disagree might become apparent.

Paul w: The pic looks like you have just made this.  Fresh mud.  Do you have some mileage on it now?

I cooked on the stove from September 2009 through November 2009 while doing a meditation retreat.  The clay mud (with about 5% sand) held well -it shouldn't have... I think the clay here has alot of decomposed granite... most clay with 5% sand would've cracked like crazy.  But, eventually, a packrat tore up the front of the stove where I didn't seal the scoria with mud after snow started to fall (in the search of the rice I dropped in the scoria).

ronie: Is that a stainless steel 55 gal drum in one pic? how did you come by that?
Doesn't cinder blocks get brittle and crack after getting hot? or does the mud just keep them from falling apart?

No, it's just a regular steel drum that wasn't rusted before I burned all the paint off of it  -without paint or rust, it kinda does look a little like used stainless.

Yes, the cinderblocks do get brittle, but strangely enough, didn't crack all the way through like firebrick does in cold stoves.  I laid the cinderblock stove on a bed of tampped scoria, and used the flat top of another cinderblock for the bottom of the cinderblock stove. Then added scoria with a rock/mud sealer on the outside: this seems to be tight enough to hold any cracking cinderblock in place... so you're right the "mud" holds it together.

I wouldn't use a cinderblock stove unless it was an emergency and one had a supply of cinderblock (and I'd put a heat mass of rock inside of my scoria insulation next time).  -I used cinderblock because I didn't have much time for my own projects last summer and I was curious if the cinderblock stove really worked ...it was a matter of speed, curiosity and hunger.
ronie dee


Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 584
Location: Cosby MO
    
    2
Glad you made it back by here Twobirdstone (did you catch a bird with two stones?) hahhha .

That hunger is the mother of a ho lotta  inventions .

Thanks for the info. ( I did run across stainless barrels once, but they were well guarded:-.)

If you make a new cook stove, please post pics...I am always on the lookout for ideas for cooking stoves.
Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    2
Paul talks with Ernie and Erica about rocket mass heaters in this podcast: rocket mass heater podcast

They talk about cookstoves.


www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
Roy Clarke


Joined: Feb 05, 2012
Posts: 120
North Hatfield wrote:Rocket stoves were originally called (Western name given) "Fox stoves" .

A fox stove is a "J" shaped hole/home a fox (vulpine) makes.

You dig two holes (beside each other) to the same depth and about 3 inches or so apart.

The at the bottom you dig out a small hole between the two holes.

You then take the earth you dug out and pack it around one of the holes to make it taller and become a kind of chimney.

Add a few rocks to the top of the chimney to hold your pot above the rim and let  the smoke out.

You put the sticks in the lower hole and light it.

Voila a fox stove.

The fox stove is probably the oldest concealed flame stove.  Used well before any type of fired clay/brick was invented.


Suzy's post has just brought this topic to the top. I thought this was a great idea, only need to carry a shovel, and you have a cooker. Then I had another thought, be careful where you dig it. Some soils burn underground as they contain so much plant material, and putting the fire out is not a one man job. Most places will not be a problem, but don't get caught by the few that are.
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 691
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  79
Roy Clarke wrote:
North Hatfield wrote:Rocket stoves were originally called (Western name given) "Fox stoves" .

A fox stove is ... probably the oldest concealed flame stove.  Used well before any type of fired clay/brick was invented.


Suzy's post has just brought this topic to the top. I thought this was a great idea, only need to carry a shovel, and you have a cooker. Then I had another thought, be careful where you dig it. Some soils burn underground as they contain so much plant material, and putting the fire out is not a one man job. Most places will not be a problem, but don't get caught by the few that are.


It's a timely warning, but this type of cookfire is no more dangerous than any outdoor fire in my opinion. Most campers dig some kind of pit to avoid setting the grass on fire - these stoves aren't any deeper than that.

I believe it's traditional, especially when concealing one's presence, to put the dirt back in the cooking hole after use.
A small amount of water will quench the fire very thoroughly. If carefully applied, the amount of water to put out the fire should give very little more steam than cooking does; still fine for concealment.

It's only if the fire is left to smolder that it runs underground. These buried fires move very slowly, esp. at first. And tend to run in old tree roots, or layers of old duff / peat from swamps or ancient landscapes. Starting this kind of fire is definitely not crafty, and creates many angry people to chase after you.

Maybe I'm sanguine because I've heard Ernie talk about putting out all the 'hot spots' on a hillside with a single canteen of water - it really doesn't take much to control a fire if you are conscious of it. If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave unattended.

-Erica
 
 
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