Mike Kimble

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since Nov 28, 2012
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Recent posts by Mike Kimble

Hi,

From my experience, a fence is the first thing to build on a new property.  Fruit trees/bushes need to be planted first; but deer will take them out or hinder them at least.  Here's what I did over ten years ago to keep deer out of my orchard/garden:

The area of the garden/orchard is 300' by 150'.  First I tried electric fence; but they still got in; 3,4,5 or six wires made no difference.  Here's what worked, and has kept the deer, and most other stuff, out of the garden for ten years.  I cut 12 foot 6-8 inch log posts on my property, and sunk them 3 feet every 20 or so feet around the perimeter.  I then strung 4 foot rabbit fence (welded wire) around the outside bottom of the posts.  Then I strung 4 foot (pig fence, welded wire) fence above that.  I tied them together with pieces of wire and zip ties.  As the years went by the posts started failing (I don't have any locust or cedar trees) and I've replaced them, at my leisure, with 10' Tbar posts, which works much better.  I've yet to have any deer, bears, or large animals in the garden. (knocking on wood).

And let me stress this again: build the fence before planting.  To paraphrase a popular saying: "If you don't build it, they will come."
Hope this helps somebody.

Mike
2 years ago
Hey Matt,

I have a similar hoop house..pics on this site. I used Bentonite clay for my stove; built it in Decmember, still going strong. There is a cheap, cheap cat litter, I think it's called Special Kitty, sold at WalMart, that is only clay.
The only drawback I've found is that you have to be in the hoop house maintaining the fire. It's not like a regular wood stove, where you load it and don't mess with it for 3 hours. RMHs need attention every 45 minutes or so; at least mine does.

I've taken to pulling a solar pool cover over my hoop house on the real, real cold nights (teens and below). That helps to contain the heat.

Duh, my pictures are on the page before this. What kind of propane heater did you use???

Mike
7 years ago

Andrew Parker wrote:Review this project for some ideas on how to burn coal cleanly. I mentioned it in an earlier thread on coal, "First RMH in Mongolia".

You may also want to look into using a p-channel (described at Donkey's Stove Forum).



Andrew,

Thanks for the info. Great pics and explanations.

Mike
7 years ago

Dale Schlehuber wrote:Will I have to worry about "klinkers" with a rocket stove?



Hi Dale,

I still had some klinkers when I burned a small amount of coal...

Mike
7 years ago
Tried the coal in the stove last night, without any definitive results. Got a good bed of coals, put in a cast iron grate, and started putting in coal a few pieces at a time. The coal took right off; but as it was getting late and very cold, I didn't stay too long to see the results. It seemed to fire up, then start cooling. I cut down the air supply, and gave it up for the night. Here's my conclusions:

1. We all know that wood fires are made a lot differently in rocket mass stoves; I think coal fires offer the same challenge. Could take a lot of time to figure out the best way for burning coal
2. Coal burns dirty and smelly; nothing as beautiful as wood.
3. I used to burn quite a bit of coal in a US stove wood/coal furnace, so I am somewhat familiar with coal's burning properties. After the coal fires, you cannot poke/mess with it. That makes clinkers, so it's a bit hard to add wood after the coal. Since the coal is burning so hot; it makes the wood steam; even wood that appears completely dry.

I will probably mess around a little more this weekend with it, but am thinking that coal is not that great in a rocket mass stove; at least in my application.

Mike

PS I think Ernie's idea of wood chips/coal and dung would work, but am wondering if something can be used instead of dung. I used all my dung in the compost pile.
7 years ago
I would close down the input and outputs on the stove; that should stop the smell.

Mike
7 years ago
Anybody have any experience with burning coal, soft or hard, in a rocket mass stove?? Maybe just to lengthen the last burn of the night.

Mike
8 years ago

Denny Nebgen wrote:Thank you , Mike and thanks for the pics. That helps give me an idea of what to expect . I suppose a double layer of plastic might also help.



Hi Denny,

Glad to help out. There is a way to use double layers of plastic; you use a small pump to put air between the sheets of plastic. Never tried it, but saw it done in a small greenhouse in my area. Also, insulating the sides of the green house would help too
(Those two black trash cans in the pic are filled with water for two reasons: to heat up from the sunlight, and to be able to water plants when the hose is frozen.)

Mike
8 years ago

Dale Schlehuber wrote:We are attempting our first rocket stove (and mass heater) this weekend and have tried many variations but still have trouble with smoke (and flame) coming from the feed. Initial paper start fire is really rocket sounding, but as the sticks are added, the sound isn't there, and eventually flames and smoke start coming up the feed side.

Here is what we have:
6" x 33" double insulated pipe that has been filled with vermiculite and clay
firebricks, clay, sand, regular bricks found in alley.
pre-burned 20 gallon barrel

Questions: 1) is there an ideal burn chamber length? too short, long, or tall? (ratio to the size of the pipe?)
2) is there a limit as to how high the feed chamber can be?
3) is there an ideal ratio of the size of the feed chamber to the upright pipe (6")



Hi Dale,

Yes, those are all critical measurements. The burn chamber csa, (cross section area) is the choke point. The top gap on the barrel, the exhuast manifold, and the exhaust pipe all needs csas larger that the burn chamber. Feed chamber should not have higher csa than burn chamber. Ratio of feed to heat riser is 1:2, I believe. Make sure that your connection between feed chamber and heat riser is not leaking; that will cause the smokeback after lighting.

Mike
8 years ago

Denny Nebgen wrote:I am seeing in some threads on the Rocket Mass heaters that there is some suggestion that they need fed quite often to keep them burning in order to get the mass to temperature that will maintain heat inside the greenhouse say throughout the night. This could be a real drawback for this idea of mine. I can see where if you are inside a home tending a fire throughout the day would not be a problem but, inside a green house you may not want to be inside there all day to tend the fire continuously. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.



Hi Denny,

Well, I can tell you some of what you are asking from my experiences the last couple of days. I have a 24 foot hoop house, that I have insulated with a solar pool cover when the temps are really getting low. The last couple nights it has gone down to 5 degrees. When I got up yesterday and today at 5am, the temp inside the hoop house was 20. I have the plants covered with floating row covers. I built a fire in the morning, and got the temps back up to the forties, with temps in the teens outside. My bench is 20 feet of cob/rock covered 6 inch pipe.

The bench heats up to 100 near the stove, to around 80 where it exits the hoop house; that's with me firing the stove for a few hours. The top of the barrel gets to 500 degrees. To keep the hoop house above 30 on those nights, I would have to get up in the middle of the night and fire the stove. After you get used to firing your stove, it only takes going up once an hour and stoking the fire. Hope this helps...



Mike
8 years ago