That video looks a lot dirtier and easier than what we worked on with the drill your own well thing. Here are some pics of Paul playing with his steam shovel. Still no water in the place we dowsed, but it's looking pretty damp down there.
It'll probably undergo several more iterations, but thank you. Here are some views from the other side. Allen, the overall run is about 25' right now, and it's an 8" system so I'm thinking it's still well within range. I appreciate your pointing out possible sticking points so I don't screw things up too bad, so please flag away.
Of the things I've tried thus far, I think the slip casting thing has some real merit. There are still lots of kinks to work out. At this rate if I wait to figure it out, It'll be next winter at the earliest, before there's heat coming from my basement. I think the thing to do is to get A core completed and gain some experience sooner rather than later. The slip cast idea will probably become a thread unto itself.
Funny how this is shaping up. The idea I appear to be landing on for a good and inexpensive core "right now" is cobbish in a wooden box (touché Paul)...
At any rate, it's time to start making wooden boxes and filling them with the stuff of a RMH. The "modular" part of the project is something I know I can pull off. Here's a little different view of the overall layout as it stands.
I've thought of this a few times now so I'm gonna go ahead and post it. Diatomaceous earth... I want to hear more about it. The latest and greatest findings. Especially more about humans taking it internally, & any findings on parasites and longevity.
That was fun to see so many permies on the live feed. I thought it went great. Anyone catch the guy's name who did the "in between" presentation/poem thing? You know the pro-wrestler guy with the awesome beard and the trash compactor finishing move. I'd like to find more of his stuff.
Ha! Yes I can see how this would be confusing. It's not obvious at all really because the form on the left was an idea I've already discarded. I might use it just to practice slip casting, but it may (probably will) go straight into the archives. The form on the right is the first one I've pulled off that's consistent with the 4 piece idea I posted images of a little while back. The idea is to see if I can even pull the technique off before making more forms.
Kevin, I'm pretty sure Paul prefers perlite. The core currently in his office is made of 3 materials... clay (from the lab), perlite, and wool (from a sheep), and he says it's holding up nicely. I think perlite is more insulative than vermiculite but I'm just going with what I "think I heard once". At any rate, it's what Paul, Ernie and Erica use so I'm moving forward with confidence.
I've played with a few different materials and even bought some expensive castable refractory (mizzou). It's still sitting in my garage waiting for the right application. There are lots of really cool and expensive things to play with in this space.
If the ingredient list gets paired down to just clay and perlite, your average joe (me) can afford to tinker. I really like the idea of coming up with reusable forms that can cast cheap and accessible materials. Fingers crossed it works out. It'd be the first thing that did thus far .
Kevin Prata wrote:On a YouTube video - I cannot remember which - I saw a guy mixing vermiculite and refractory at a 4:1 ratio for his rocket stove in a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Is his 4:1 ratio workable in a 20- or 30-gallon system?
Actually now that I think of it I wonder if a concrete pre-cast fabricator could make these things with a given receive of castable refractory and vermiculite. There's a huge market!
See my drawings attached here. I'm curious, what are you using to make the form molds? Are you able to share other drawings or tips here?
Kevin, wow! 4 vermiculite to 1 part refractory? That would lower the cost substantially. What flavor of refractory are we talking?
Looking at your drawings, I'm curious about the exhaust coming out the back bottom of the barrel. How is that attached and is it going into a cob mass from there?
I'm using more cardboard molds to develop plaster molds for slip casting clay and perlite bits that can be assembled. It's all new to me and experimental so I'm just going for it and seeing how it works out. I'll keep posting pictures and drawings as I can.
The latest idea is to "slip cast" the core. There have been a few failed plaster cast attempts already. I thought I'd taken some pics but can't seem to find them. In the works is a 1/2 scale core using the new technique. As things now stand, the core will be cast in 4 easily assembled pieces.
Mostly, the core has been the sticking point. Having spent far too much time building large cardboard forms, I've finally come to grips with the fact that it's not going to work out. The clay and perlite want to be formed in a more additive/sculptural way. I ended up ripping the outer shell of the cardboard form off and packing mud around the inner cardboard bits. The cardboard doesn't hold up well to the abuse and the process is just too slow! In the back of my head, I want to solve the problem of making this a quick and repeatable process with less wasted time and material. Here's a pic of the core as it currently sits... It will eventually be broken down and recycled into slip (fingers crossed). I would bite the bullet and finish it "as-is" just to get the rest of the experiment under way, but that's just not how I roll I guess. MUST SOLVE CORE ISSUES FIRST.
C.Ray Gill wrote:I cast foundry furnaces quite often, and have a 26 guage core that is a slip form. I have a vice grip welded (behind the hinge pin) to the ends of the slip form.
Using the slip form core means that I end up with an (almost) perfectly smooth joint between the "doughnuts" in my furnace to keep from causing turbulence in the flame path. I cast "doughnuts" almost exactly like V1 in Chip Friedline's drawing above (minus the taper, of course).
FWIW, and I have no idea if this will help on an RMH but it seems in my pea brain that this would be an advantage in the Rocket to create more draft in the combustion chimney, I wrap 3/8" vinyl tubing on the outside of the slip form after I expand it, barber pole style, to create a vortex effect around the crucible. I know that there is no crucible in an RMH, but a vortex is a vortex, and creating more draft creates more draft...
C.Ray, I've been wondering if a slip form is the way to go here. Any way you could post some pictures of your form set up?
For some weeks now I've been working on a core with the intent that it might be shipped or moved at some point. I've run into lots of snags. After the last snag, I went on a youtube binge and stumbled upon a technique known as "slip casting". Currently there are 1/2 scale plaster molds in the works in my basement.
If this works out, I think it will fall into the realm of "freaky cheap".
Thanks Tyler. I don't know how the weight is going to shake out. Working with insulating type materials is throwing some curves at me. I've got four 50lb. bags of fire clay and I'm mixing that 50/50 with perlite which weighs next to nothing. Hopefully I won't go over 200 lbs. as the idea is that this could be moved out of my basement at some future point. I'm forming it in my basement which is also its first resting place (fingers crossed it works out!) The plan is to build the whole thing in bite sized "modular" chunks that could be moved with a few extra hands and w/ out too much difficulty.
I got some seeds from this guy for Christmas. He lives in my neck of the woods and does some interesting stuff like deep winter lettuce which grows outside all winter with no help, and perennial wheat, which I'm excited to try along with some Weston A. Price methods of preparation.
Two things really. The black stove pipe is something I hadn't realized, so that needs to happen, and I now want to make the run about 10 feet shorter, possibly with one less elbow. Oh, and one more, the exhaust will be situated closer to the bell for the secondary pumping action.
Not pulling your leg at all Al. I think I get what you're saying. At the workshop, I think E & E stacked one barrel on top of another that was cut way down to just a stump. It had the feed tube and burn tunnel kinda stuck in from one side, the riser extended up into the top barrel, and the manifold, if I remember it right, was simply some 8" coming out the other side of the bottom "stump". Could be wrong but that's how I remember it.
This form is upside down so after it's molded it should resemble something like a tilted fat horseshoe + wedge shape with a 10" hole at the bottom reducing down to 8" and a clean out. I get the gentle non-turbulence thing and will probably mold this "as is" and possibly attempt to make it gentler and smoother after that. Hopefully pics will be coming in the next few days. I'm posting this stuff pretty much in real time.