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RMH newbie

 
Posts: 36
Location: Tip of the Mitt, Michigan
6
monies cooking building
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Hello,  I am new here and have been trying to learn about different RMHs. Trying to learn the RMH language is challenging for me. Is there an RMH book for dummies somewhere?

I'm also planning on building a 12x26 metal pole barn this summer for the pickup truck, as working on it in the snow and rain with a gravel driveway is not fun. I'm  wondering if I have to make it deeper to accommodate space for an RMH? It can't be wider than 12 feet as it encroaches upon the drain field by 2 feet.

Just thought of this while typing and haven't done any searches yet. Does anyone know of a thread that talks about insulation? I have space and financial restrictions. And county restrictions up the wazoo.

Another thought. Has anyone made an RMH steam engine? My gasoline fuel bill is getting expensive and I heard rumblings it is supposed to get 3 times higher in the next couple of years.

Thanks for the advise

Stay warm and at peace
 
Rocket Scientist
Posts: 4163
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
1325
cat pig rocket stoves
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Hi Arthur;
Sorry but no-one has made an RMH for dummy's book YET!
If you can make your shop 30' or longer you will be much happier!  When you have no shop at all 12 x26 seems a mansion. Once you have it you will wish it was longer!
As you are restricted as to how wide, then go as long as you realistically can. You will be glad you did.

Ask away here at Permies about RMH terminology.   We will be glad to help you figure things out.

About steam.   As you know it is dangerous.   What were you wanting to do with it?  You mention gasoline getting expensive , do you run a generator a lot?
I have considered making a steam generator for electricity.   Thing is steam motors are not cheap and then you need to build a boiler...
I have friends who are union boiler makers they have offered to help but geez it seems like bunches of work .
I went with a 3500 watt Harbor Freight Predator inverter generator.  I converted it to run on propane and I figured out how to hard wire it for remote start.
Propane is currently less than $1.50 gal.  The new inverter generators are quiet , idle down when you do not need full power and can run just about anything.
If you are interested I have posts all about converting that genny over to propane and how to hard wire a remote (Comfy chair) start switch!
 
Arthur Angaran
Posts: 36
Location: Tip of the Mitt, Michigan
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monies cooking building
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Hi Thomas, Thanks for your knowledge and advice, and quick reply.

Well the state or county or township won't allow me to build a garage. I'll have to put up some kind of tarp and pole tent for the truck. and it has to be less than 200 sq feet. I saw something a while back that said make an RMH out of 8 blocks.  Maybe something quick to build might be a possibility. Just need heat in the winter to make changing oil bearable.

As for the steam engine, I use a lot of motors which run off of gasoline. Cost 80-100 a week. I knew steam was dangerous but have worked with it in the past. It was just a thought to maybe make a less expensive and cleaner choice for energy.

Our propane bill was 3.50 a gallon, close to $1,000.00 each fill up. So you can see why I started looking at wood to heat my home. I still need to do a lot of studying, so I was looking for something to help me understand RMH technology, and then if the wife approves I can begin the design phase. I saw an add really late last night here and hopefully can find it again.

You recommended a batchbok heater, and I have seen a few photos.  Can the steel drum be hidden someway? If I can make it pleasing to the eye she will approve. I think it is important for both of us to approve on things as much as possible.

Thanks again

 
thomas rubino
Rocket Scientist
Posts: 4163
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi Arthur;
Absolutely, you can build without a barrel, they are for fast radiant heat.
You can have an all brick bell, with no metal at all if you like. They are slower to heat that way, but hold that heat and share it for a good long while.
Propane @ $3.50 a gallon bulk delivery!!! Wow that sure is high!  I would be heating with wood already!


 
gardener
Posts: 3336
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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To avoid the look of a barrel, you can make a brick/cob/masonry bell (a big hollow box), and set a steel access panel in it that will give the same instant heating as a barrel. The bell can be fairly small if needed, as little as 2 1/2' square by 5' tall, or comparable proportions, depending on how much heat you need from it. Most surfaces of a bell do not require woodstove clearances from walls, only 4 to 8 inches, so it may not use more space than a standard woodstove.
 
Arthur Angaran
Posts: 36
Location: Tip of the Mitt, Michigan
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Thanks Glenn.

I wish, hope I can make my first heater this summer. Building it in the yard, as i think it will be experimental, it will be a wood/propane heater. For various reasons, the propane element will be the primary fire source with wood backup in case we run out of propane.

I will keep you all up to date on how the build goes.  Hopefully by then I'll have learned how to post a picture.

I keep finding DVD's on RMH but I need to read a book to learn first, then I can watch a video. I think I found a book called Fire Science, but have to find out where to buy it.  I don't have and never will have an Amazon account.

 Anyone know of of books for sale? Thanks in advance.

( 1 fingered typist)
 
Glenn Herbert
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The best book for comprehensive information is The Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide by Ernie and Erica Wisner. The link is to their publisher, New Society. You can read the first few pages of the book on the website.
Fire Science is an excerpt by Erica.

 
thomas rubino
Rocket Scientist
Posts: 4163
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Good Morning Art;
Yes, the RMH builders guide is the best book about J tube RMHs.
There currently is no book about Batchboxes.
However Peter Berg maintains a site all about them.
Here is a link     https://batchrocket.eu/en/
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