Michael McKinley

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since Dec 22, 2011
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Recent posts by Michael McKinley

I love the imaginative ways I have seen the rocket stove concept applied. I have wanted to find an alternative to my propane BBQ for some time. The rocket stove, though, has too much heat out of the stack, and it is too concentrated.

My question is this. Can you place the emitter plate found in the Charbroil Infrared BBQ (replacement part is about $30) above the chimney. The emitter acts as a spreader plate and emits infrared over the whole surface, which then cooks the food. There may be balancing issues to solve. Maybe an open frame with 4 legs made from bent coat hangers that supports first the emitter and then the grill bars. Does any one have comments, or is this just a pipe dream?
6 years ago
Any kind of structure is going to suffer from moisture if damp earth is up against it. Some sort of drainage solution and a french drain is needed on the uphill side of the structure. Surface contouring to drain surface moisture away from structure. A french drain to keep subsurface moisture away. If you are okay with concrete, and a dome doesn't turn you off, look at the Mortarsprayer.com website under thinshell domes. See same site for Lloyd Turner dome patterns for airforms. The guy from Oregon did a good garage out of billboard vinyl for the form, dome shaped. Very strong if you are going to place against the hillside. Minimal material cost. rent a suitable air compressor, buy the Tirolessa sprayer, which also works with papercrete.
8 years ago
The Formworks system is a proprietary system; you would have an almost impossible time getting the steel framework fabricated. The large pieces are curved I beams with slots in the outside to accept the rebar. You can use rebar or basalt rebar instead of the I beam ribs, though It takes more pieces. In order to shoot the shotcrete, Formworks places foam pieces against the steel framework. I believe an airform balloon works much better. Review each process very carefully to understand all the steps. A website called the Mortarsprayer.com has an explanation of how to form an airform yourself.
8 years ago
Check out the thin shell sections of Mortarsprayer.com Lloyd Turner's design and way to make a form/balloon is shown also. The quote I got to foam the inside is only about 10% higher than the cost of DIY foam off the web, If you are doing a big building, say 40 feet diameter or more, check out basalt rebar. It is much easier to work with, stronger and lighter. Made out of rock, not iron ore. Costs more than steel, but saves on labor and concrete. The Mortarsprayer Tirolessa sprayer will save a huge amount of labor.
8 years ago
I looked at this very seriously. A monolithic dome does the same thing, a a lower cost. If you hire MD contractors, cost may be the same. But read website at http://www.byoh.com/ and apply it to a dome; all the subs know what they're doing and the cost goes way down. Consider basalt rebar instead of steel; it is much easier to work with, and labor and concrete savings more than make up for added basalt cost.
8 years ago
Recycled billboard vinyl; 18 mils thick , water resistant/proof, lasts 5 years untreated in UV exposure, painted probably much longer. 14 x 48 piece is under $50, you can get various sizes. Yes, this is recycled, so one side is printed advertising. I cover my patio with it, shade in summer, water proof in winter.
8 years ago
Someone above mentioned the Mortarsprayer site; it has the design you need to create the forms used by Monolithic. For smaller structures you can use Tyvek. Larger structures can you recycled billboard vinyl. A 50 foot dome uses about $750 worth of billboard vinyl, $3500 worth of basalt rebar, and less than 40 yards of shotcrete. $1200 for a compressor, or rent one, $265 for a mortarsprayer. My research makes me think the pro spray foam people charge me about $.25/ board foot above the cost of DIY foam, that seems really cheap for doing a less than pleasant job. There certainly are pitfalls, but do the research and you will be surprised.
8 years ago