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Question for Erica & Ernie (with a 20$ to paypal)  RSS feed

 
Daniel Truax
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Good morning Erica & Ernie...

First question (and to set a good example) is eritter@gmail.com the correct e-mail to send you a 20$ before I do.

My second broad question is has anyone tried to make a firebox in front of the burn tunnel like the one in the illustrations below? Did it work? How'd it work?

I am getting ready to start dry bricking this idea in the living room. I have my slab poured and reinforced floor in place. See "RMH on Suspended Wood Floor" post for pics.

I figure that if the fire box doesn't work I can always abort and make a traditional top feed.

Thanks for the long podcast and ALL the work you have done so far.

-Dan in Oswego NY, 15 mins from lake Ontario (23.9F today, its been a warn winter here)
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Daniel Truax
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Pic of the masonry door I plan to use...
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Ernie Wisner
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yes on the email

the setup like you have would work its basically the same as the hybrid wood stove rocket. the situation you are going to have is that you will have to balance the air taken in with the fuel load and what the system will allow you to intake. the cross sectional area in the heat riser and the ducting will only allow a certain amount of air so you will have to balance the fire box volume to the amount of air you can actually use. then you will be tweaking things till you are no longer producing CO. We will be drawing up the hybrid and will have pictures up on the picasa album as soon as we can. We have something of a back log to work through.

For Me its like this, I would like folks to go to a rocket stove totally but i understand that folks are used to a box stove and its makes the transition easy. so i have worked to let folks have an easy path.

I would suggest you have the standard wood feed if you are going to build it. A polished mirror over the feed tube will allow you to see the fire without the special stuff for the door. however if you go with the box idea i would like to see pictures and we would love to help. We will be in the east not far from you this fall. talk to erica about the timing. We where down to below zero last night and our house this morning was 74 degrees.
 
Daniel Truax
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Thanks for the reply. 20$ just sent. Wish I could send you more but I just took out enough "good debt" to buy the necessary fire brick. Probably could send you some more this summer when we get caught up.

I think the easy path is the top feed. Made that work in the yard already. Wish I would had the time this fall to do this mock up in the yard with this idea.

I have mentally and physically handicapped (child and adult) individuals living with me who I worry about smoke back / fire in the house due to misuse in the winter when I am working a 12 hour shifts.
I had a few incidents already with the inefficient steel stove, but at least they could shut the door and contain the fire even thought the house was filled with smoke.
I want that box so if all else fails when I am away they can just "contain" the fire buy shutting the door.

If I were single living by myself it would totally be a top feed.

So I will try the box, I can get air via the door glass, the ash drop and possible a 3rd way in between the fire brick and clay brick.

If all else fails I can fill the overlarge box and retrofit it as a top feed by filling it in.

I keep us posted with photos as I go, thank for the help.

-Dan.
 
Roy Clarke
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Dan, what about using the door as one side of the firebox, but permanently sealed except for use as a clean-out door, then have a top feed with a lid that could go on in the event of smoking?
 
Roy Clarke
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Ernie Wisner wrote: We where down to below zero last night and our house this morning was 74 degrees.


That's interesting, I had the impression that to use low wood volumes than conventional wood stoves, part of the operating method was to run the house at a lower temperature, say high 50s, and sit on the bench for warmth. Have I got hold of the wrong stick? 74degrees is higher than we can get ours in the winter. It's minus a couple of degrees outside this morning.

I am assuming "zero" is freezing, not 0ºF.
 
Daniel Truax
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Roy, You could run the house at 50F or super-insulate your house and use the same amount of wood and kept it in the 70s. That is my strategy.

I'm skinny and my R-value is low
 
Ernie Wisner
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no 0 is 0, freezing is 32 degrees last i checked those numbers hadnt changed. Why the heck would i keep my hose at 50? the thermal mass is charged to 100 and emits at about 80 the heat loss in the house is about 10% for air circulation and another 10% for windows and other small heat leaks. We burn 2 cubic feet of wood on a cold day. it stays 70 in our house for 20 hours if we wanted it to be warmer longer we could have built more mass.

For the life of me I will never understand folks wanting deprivation over comfort, when the comfort can be had with a tiny bit of effort in the natural building and permiculture worlds. once the effort is applied the comfort lasts with little or no real input, giving you the time and energy to make other things that little bit better.
 
Roy Clarke
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Ernie Wisner wrote: ............Why the heck would i keep my hose at 50? .............

For the life of me I will never understand folks wanting deprivation over comfort, when the comfort can be had with a tiny bit of effort in the natural building and permiculture worlds. once the effort is applied the comfort lasts with little or no real input, giving you the time and energy to make other things that little bit better.


Sorry, I was asking because I did not know the answer. In the UK we use both ºC and ºF, we have a long history of un-natural, low insulation buildings. I have an engineering background so if there is any confusion, asking a question is the easiest way to clarify things. Perhaps I should not ask questions here.
 
Daniel Truax
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No you should definately ask questions, Ernie is just Ernie, if you listen to the long podcast on the RMH you'll get to know/figure him out.

And like most American's he takes the Imperial system for granted and thinks the whole world uses it.

Which sucks because when someone comes up with a good design in metric firebrick it just doesn't translate perfectly to American firebrick or visa versa.

 
Ernie Wisner
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Hey I resemble that remark! no i was not getting down on you. nor having fun at your expense. I do use imperial measure but occasionally i translate stuff into metric. What i was trying to say is that folks tend to think natural building needs to be uncomfortable in some way (i blame the puritans). it does not.. an observation on the UK much of the un insulated houses where built after the war just to put folks in shelter. many of the traditional houses where thick masonry and if lived in constantly didnt need insulation (Well except for london cause i think the victorians where idiots that liked to suffer). Any how thats what i gathered from visiting and listening to Ianto and other older UK expats.
 
Roy Clarke
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I live in an unsulated 150 year old Victorian house. I think they could get away with building like that because it was the start of the industrial revolution, and Britain ruled most of the world at that time, so generally fuel was a plentiful saleable comoddity, so build uninsulated and sell more fuel. Industrialists still do it today, make something that uses batteries, sell more batteries. The current build of housing is not much better. Thin timber framed with a wad of insulation, but not much mass. I have long been impressed by old cob cottage construction, (just realised I was born in one), and am irritated by the way we were taught in history that people years ago were primitive and knew little. In reality we have chosen to not learn from them, and to have the nerve to think that modern means better. Not always the case.

In their defence, London lost a lot of buildings in the great fire, so later building in brick was possibly seen as a safer option, and today they don't melt as quickly as cob buildings when built on flood plains (a lot of that goes on in the UK, as flood plain land is cheap (dumb move!!)).

Anyway thanks for the replies guys.

Nowadays the difficult bit is the building control departments. If it is unusual, they cannot cope, so you can easily build a timber frame building which will burn in minutes, but not a straw bale house which takes ages to burn. (Umm, I'd better get back on topic I think).
 
He's dead Jim. Grab his tricorder. I'll get his wallet and this tiny ad:
The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
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