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dry stack brick rocket stove

 
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Hi all -

After 10 years of wanting to build a rocket stove, I'm finally in a place where I can start playing around with one.  I've come across a bunch (~30 ) of firebricks.  I'd love to start learning (more than watching!) the intricacies of rocket stoves.  I'm hoping to do some 'dry stacking' of the bricks in a way that is semi-temporary / modifiable.  The purpose of this is to play around and learn, not really make a permanent heat source. It'll be outdoors, mainly used for heating a cast iron griddle and/or roasting veggies/marshmallows etc.

Can anyone point me towards some plans/resources for dry-stack (i.e. no mortar, dissassemble-able) rocket stove plans?

Thank you.
Ryan
 
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Posts: 2195
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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cat pig rocket stoves
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Hi Ryan;
Congratulation's on finding some firebrick and having a place to play with them.
Dry stacking is going to leak air , so you may not be happy with the results. But its a good way to come up with a design you like.
After you have a design plan. Then just a skim (slip) of clay will make it rocket like your hoping for. You'll be cooking in no time!
Clay is fun and easy to use.  It is easy to knock apart, it rehydrates, so its reusable. Really great stuff! Using a bagged fireclay is easiest , but any clean clay will work.

Do you have a copy of the rmh builders guide ? Or perhaps Ianto Evans rmh book?  Either will give you design ideas. Or ask here, the dimensions are not a secret, we love to share!

Your about to become a Rocket Scientist!  Congratulation's!
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Our friendly crew of rocket scientist are here and ready to help!
 
Posts: 418
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Hi Ryan

I've done quite a few experiments with dry stacking which I posted to youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGchiu/videos

It's my winter time so I've stopped for the moment!

Cheers,
 
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I tried dry-stacking a variety of materials and was frustrated with the results.  In my ignorance, I blamed the materials, when the real crux of the problem was the number of air leaks in the systems I built.  Before I heeded the advice to create a sealed riser, at the very least, I had to use a small fan to force enough air into the burn chamber to generate the kind of heat I wanted to see.  After I sealed the riser and burn chamber properly, two of the three materials I had been playing with worked very well.  The third was a concrete paver and simply too porous to create enough heat, unless I was patient enough for that entire mass to get really warm, which took anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes, depending on conditions.

Once I built a proper, sealed unit, out of suitable materials, I had 500 degrees (F) or more within just a couple of minutes of starting the stove.  This was the difference between a rocket stove that I could barely simmer soup on to one that would get a cast iron pan hot enough to sear meat properly.  Also, the amount of smoke coming out of the riser decreased dramatically when I finally had it burning hot enough.  Those are my experiences with dry-stacking.
 
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It depends very much on your materials. I have done some dry-stacking with clean firebrick (exact dimensions, perfect edges) and had excellent results. But the first dry-stacked experiment I did was with old beat-up firebrick, and there were so many leaks that I could barely make the 8" J-tube layout function, let alone be efficient.
 
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