Welcome to the lil red cabin, located at wonderful base camp. Only a few steps away from the willow bank and the pee palace! A Beautiful morning view of the sunrise over the mountains, turkeys in the field, birds flying over berms, and on route to a short hike up the side on the volcano.
Home of the "minnie mouse" rocket mass heater.
Bunk bed with a double on the bottom and a single on top
And a short walk up to the fisher price house (home of J & P)
Kaizen. The only Japanese word that stuck with me means "constant gradual improvement." All the ants and gappers have a lively spirit of kaizen which has made a big difference at the Red Cabin. Spring blooms and a little smoke-back has helped, too. Note to self: Always thoroughly wash sheep's wool before using it as insulation.
This turned out great, thanks for the video! If I wanted to learn more about this style of RMH, are there any other resources I can look at? I really like the compact footprint and visual style of this one.
Kyle Neath wrote:This turned out great, thanks for the video! If I wanted to learn more about this style of RMH, are there any other resources I can look at? I really like the compact footprint and visual style of this one.
I stayed in the Red Cabin during the 2019 PEP1 event. It's a lovely cabin and close to all the action. I'd highly recommend a stay there. I'm over 6' and the lower bed was long enough (feet dangling a bit).
I did have trouble getting the rocket mass heater to run without smoking. I don't know enough about the design of these heaters but it seems like the top of the door should be below the height of the exit slot at the rear. Otherwise any smoke hanging out in the firebox has a chance to escape the seams in the door. Even having a perfectly sealed door wouldn't remedy the situation since you have to open the door at times and that would let the smoke out into the room.
My goal during my stay was to figure out a way to get it to run with the design as built. First, we took out the elbow in the smokestack (pictures above) to check how plugged up the stack was. It was pretty bad. We cleaned it out and replaced the elbow with a tee so that checking/cleaning will be easier in the future. That night it still smoked
After a few iterations, the best heater operation system I came up with is:
Get some easy to light paper and feed a bunch back through the slot in the rear to get it into the riser. The goal is to get as much in the riser as possible without blocking an air path up the front of the riser that's maybe 1" in diameter. Don't use cardboard, you want stuff that burns fast.
Have this paper extend out the bottom of the slot (not blocking airflow through the top 1" of the slot) and out into the bottom of the firebox a ways. This will be the tinder underneath your small starter fire.
Then build a small starter fire on top of that paper tinder. Use small twigs and split wood, aim for pencil to hot dog sized pieces. Make this starter fire in the back of the firebox and under the 1" air gap you've left at the top of the slot. When building the little fire, lay the sticks criss crossed so that there's plenty of room for air to pass through the sticks.
Then, light the torch. Reach way back in there and light the paper in the riser (not under the starter fire).
Close the door.
The riser paper should ignite right away and start drawing air through the air inlet of the firebox and pushing cold air out the chimney. That fire should work its way back out the slot and under the starter fire, igniting that wood.
Once that small fire is half burned up (don't wait too long), gingerly open the door and see if smoke comes out. Regardless of smoke coming out, put more wood on the fire. Now it can be larger splits but no bigger than 2" square. If you're having smoking issues, use shorter splits so that the butt end isn't real close to the door.
Once that new wood has charred up and been burning for a while, the system should be in "steady state". You can open the door as needed to fill up with wood. Now you can put in larger pieces but probably nothing bigger than 3" square or so. I'm not sure because I didn't have larger stuff to try.
I got to the point where I could get the starter fire going and then just put my main wood on (2" size). Three sticks that size was enough to heat it up for me for the night (45F lows and 65F highs when I was there).
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"