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Gerry Parent

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since Jan 12, 2017
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building solar woodworking rocket stoves wood heat greening the desert
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Live with a small community of people out in the back woods of southern BC, Canada.
No cell phone, TV or car. Instead, I have a walkie-talkie, the internet and a tractor.
To keep warm I have a Rocket Mass Heater in the shop which I love to tinker with....often.
Westbridge, BC, Canada
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Recent posts by Gerry Parent

Bravo Liz!!!
4 days ago
When I lifted my top barrel, I secured the lifting rope to the barrel with 3 C clamps equally spaced on the top lip/ rim.
You mentioned you bolted a light chain across the top Thomas. Didn’t you tell me that you used vice grips as a removable way to attach the lifting rope to the barrel?

Anyways, glad it worked out well ...and yes, it certainly does make barrel removal SO much easier with one person whether you are strong or not.

Also this technique is a great solo way to easily lower the barrel into place exactly where you want it in a slow and controlled manner with 0 straining.

Although this technique works great for a single barrel too, it’s especially easier when you have a double barrel system (One barrel stacked on top of the other for maximum radiant heat into a cold workshop)
5 days ago
Welcome Philip to the rocket mass heater forum!
Thank you for making the decision and doing your part in helping to keep the air a bit cleaner in your neck of the woods.
My first main question is why you don’t just remove that existing collar/reducer so that your pipes stay at 6”?

Tell us a little bit more about what you have in mind as a whole: J tube or batch box, size of house, what your building the heater with? Etc...
Pictures and drawings are helpful too.
1 week ago

Brody Ekberg wrote:As for stove pipe, do I need to get above the peak of the house or just a certain distance above the roof surface?

This link gives you info on the codes and proper installation for chimney placement:  chimney placement on roof
1 week ago

Nico Poeta wrote:How are you guys connecting the 5 minute riser to, say, firebrick?

I can’t answer how Carlos did from his pictures, but a 5 minute riser generally has a flat bottom that can just sit upright on the firebrick (or other) levelled off surface at the top back end of the burn tunnel. A little sand/clay ring can help seal the gap and also help support the riser to keep it from shifting over time.
2 weeks ago
I’m with you on spot# 2 as well Brody.
Spot 3 seems another good choice but I’m assuming spot 2 is closer to your roof ridge making the cost of outdoor piping go down.
A bit easier to glance out your bedroom door to see how the fire is doing with spot 2 as well.
2 weeks ago
Hi Nico,
My 6” batchbox was in my shop huddled between fixed shelving, a work bench and a wall, all made out of wood. There was maybe a 2” gap between the barrel and metal heat shield, then another 2” gap to the wooden items mentioned behind that.
With the air gap, I was constantly able to monitor the temperature of the wood to make sure it was safe. A general rule of thumb is that if you can’t comfortably hold your hand on the wood (or other flammable surface your trying to protect) then it’s too hot.
It never reached that state so that was good.  
Placing a layer of superwool or wall of bricks inside the barrel on the side your trying to protect is a good way to help slow the rate of heat exchange on that side of the barrel for sure. It’s not the type of stove that’s generally burned all day anyway so buildup of heat on this protected side would be far less likely.
Just be sure it doesn’t interfere or restrict with airflow into your manifold or make the barrel removal difficult if you don’t have a removable top for cleaning and inspection.
Are you positioning your barrel so that it’s offset from the riser? Leaving a very small gap between the riser and the barrel on the side you want to protect also helps to encourage the hot air flow to the front where you want it to radiate to.
Having a remote temperature gauge between the wall and the back side of the heat shield would also be a good thing to have and be able to inspect at a glance.
One more thing: if the heat shield was all silver or white (shiny) instead of black, it would help reflect the heat much better... perhaps a negative of your current art work?
2 weeks ago
Glad you got your smoker fixed so that we all can stare and drool over that last picture of the smoky cheese!
2 weeks ago
Its been almost a year now since I also had a place where I did regular Shop Dragon tear-downs/ rebuilds to test ideas and innovations.
Now, I'm currently iiving in the desert with not much need for heating and no place to test, so it was a real pleasure to get back into it by paying Thomas a visit and getting to tinker together with his Shop Dragon.

I discovered that Thomas is certainly not a perfectionist or a fine finishing touches kind of guy and that should be an inspiration to those that feel they don't have the skills necessary to build one. Trust me, if being a rocket scientist called for fine precision, I think we'd of both been left with cold workshops all these years.
Its moreso the spirit of being like a kid with a wondering mind and allowing creativity to be your guide and not being afraid to try something that may not work. After all, its just being mostly held together with mud that can be reworked again and again by rehydrating it with water.

For those that are not interested in getting their rocket science diploma though and are more interested in just putting together a tried and true RMH that they don't want to modify any further, it is definitely possible. There are lots of good posts here and books that show finished and very functional units.
However, I still would strongly encourage that you build with clay/sand mortar which is a huge benefit down the road for easy repairs and small modifications. Besides, it much easier on your hands, the environment and doesn't have a set working time before it hardens forever.

The take away out of all of this is to not be afraid to to go ahead and build your own RMH this winter (whenever that is for you).
Start simple, learn the basics through first hand experience, and most of all have fun!
2 weeks ago
One thing I do different than the fellow in the video is to not cut live trees if possible but rather cut standing dead trees or snags that are already mostly dry.
4 weeks ago