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Floating Sauna pellet rocket stove (or RMH) - need some advice and guidance

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Hi all, Im new here and excited about all of the posts I have found so far.

I bought some land last November and have been slowly transforming it to a fun Ewok Village once crazy idea at a time. The land is steep so everything is being built as tree houses, or at least suspended from the trees.

First structure on the property is a barrel sauna (it will make all the rest of the construction much more enjoyable to have a sauna/soak at the end of the day) that will be heated by a wood burning stove. The stove that I ordered was way too big for the sauna itself (6' diameter X 10' long) so I have been researching rocket stoves as a way to quickly heat the sauna for the short durations that we will use it on the weekend days we are up there. I would like the stove to be duel fuel with pellets or split logs, but would primarily use the pellets for ease and consistency. I would drop in enough pellets for a 1.5-2 hour burn. Right now i have a basic stove welded up with 4" square tubing in a J shape and then a u-bend in the heat riser to capture more of the heat before I connect it to a chimney that will go through the roof. I have the chimney already but have not installed yet until I know where the stove is going.

The stove itself is about 36" tall and 26" long. I plan on lining the inside of it with 1/4" ceramic fiber paper that i purchased from a pottery supply store. I guess it is used in Kilns. Not sure if it will work but thought it would extend the life of the metal a bit.

I was thinking of having the pellet feed tube and firebox extend through the end wall of the sauna and then the heat riser surrounded by sauna rocks on the inside as well as the chimney stack that would follow the curve of the barrel and out the top.

I know this plan is crazy and likely has tons of issues with it which is why I thought I would post here to get some much needed guidance. Can this work? What do I need to change? Would a RMH with a tube under the benches work better as Ben was proposing here ?

Here are some photos of the sauna itself, a photo of the purchased stove that was too large and a few photos of the rocket stove that is under construction.
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Purchased stove in the sauna - takes up the space of 2 or more people
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Current pellet basket welded from carbon steel rod
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New stainless pellet basket I waterjet cut and bent today - havent tested it yet
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Current progress on the 4in square tubing stove
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Floating sauna hanging in the trees
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View from inside the sauna through the acrylic dome
Staff note (Gerry Parent) :

A direct link to Benen's suggestion: https://permies.com/t/122076/Sauna-rocket-stove#981593

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Location: North Alabama
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Wow! Love the pictures of the sauna.

The ceramic fiber paper liner may buy you some added life to the steel of your stove. I'm not clear on how you will attach it to the inside of the metal tubing. The 4" tubing may not allow for enough energy production for "sauna" like heating. But by all means keep us posted.

You may want to look up the 5 minute riser, and think on those lines for building a larger unit and making the firebox out of two 4" pieces and expecting them to be disposable when they start to succumb to the intense heat. Only the firebox needs to be durable because of the contact with the wood which abrades ceramic fiber quickly.
Matthew Schoenholz
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I am not familiar with the 5 minute riser, I will look into it and see where and how I would incorporate it.

For the ceramic fiber paper, I cut it to size and adhered it with some high temp sealant that I got with some fireplace rope that I ordered. It seems to be working quite well, who knows how long it will last. It takes the temp down by about 200 degrees from areas that dont have it installed.

This weekend I am going to try to install it in the sauna and see what happens. I bought a bunch of fire brick and refactory mortar to insulate around the burn chamber, hopefully encouraging all of the heat into the exchanger. I think that with whole bricks all around the outside of it it should help. This is all a big experiment and I am having fun learning. Ill post photos after it is installed.
I'm THIS CLOSE to ruling the world! Right after reading this tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Jamboree And Updates
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