We are moving from TX to New Hampshire - big change! I've become obsessed with Rocket Mass Heaters! Bought the DVD set and a couple manuals, watching a lot of youtube, etc. Right now I'm wondering about where to get materials, like firebrick and stovepipe CHEAP. I have a client down here in TX in the refractory business (working in the petrochemical industry). I'm going to ask him to give me a load of used brick from a rebuild job, and maybe a couple of sacks of castable refractory at cost, etc. If I do the timing right I can haul it up to NH with our main moving load (renting a Penske truck). I see there is a guy in Sheffield MA who sells refractory bricks and/but they're not cheap. I like the idea of hard fire brick for the "wearing" surface, bottom of burning chamber, with lighter IFB on the outside and maybe the stack. I have not started looking for stovepipe yet but I assume it's not real cheap for the good stuff. I am a cheap SOB. My first project will be to build a small RMH for my stand-alone garage/workshop so I can keep it toasty. The main house has an old-fashioned (large) fireplace, probably real inefficient, and a wood stove in the basement. So far I have not seen an in-depth post/podcast/blurb on the subject of "obtaining firebrick and stove pipe for cheapskates" but if something along those lines exists I would be grateful for a pointer towards it. I am a lawyer now but was a boiler tech in the Navy so I know a little bit about fire and heat, but did not get into the bricking part of the trade. But I made a lot of steam! Thanks to all.
Welcome to Permies and welcome to the wonderful world of rocket science!
So, right now before you leave Texas , Get IFB from your friend at the refinery. Even if they have to be new you will still be money ahead.
Same with the heavy bricks If he has them... get some. Split bricks are handy to have as well. You won't find a refinery in N.H.
The castable refractory personally, I would skip and go with Lincoln 60 fire clay and #100 sacks of medium builders sand from Home D for about $11.
As far as cheap firebrick. A large percentage of mine were free. Look for sawmills that have a dry kiln for drying their lumber.
They will have firebricks in the kiln. Sawmill owners go to auctions to buy parts for their cobbled together mill.
Many times they will come home with pallets of used firebrick. Quite often they don't need them so off to the bone yard they will go, where hopefully you can find them and strike a sweet deal...like free!
Now I will tell you that brand new heavy bricks are $1.88 each at our local masonry supply house (Mutual Materials) Fire clay is $7.50 a #50 sack
Stove pipe) Thru your roof Class A Insulated in a proper roof jack. Insulated pipe outdoors. So yes the outdoor portion is spendy. Indoors all you need is single wall. Depending on location 5' sticks of HVAC pipe can be used.