John Hammer : Disclaimer , i don't make a cent off of this ! Please go to www.rocketstoves.com and download a copy $15.oo U.S., of Ianto Evans Great book 'Rocket Mass Heaters'. There is no other book with more information specific to Rocket Stoves in one location in any language !
Yes you can build on a combustible surface, you may have noticed that the few finished builds that you see are made with a thermal mass that is approximately 18 inches high ! the reason for this is weight , a generic bench can weight a ton a bed 2 1/2 tons, even then not a lot more than a LOT of older waterbeds ! Older houses are not much of a problem, newer ones will probably need some bracing This should not scare you away you just need to plan for it . The Rocket stove can not be beaten by any other stove for efficiency (except another rocket stove) but without a thermal mass to store it the heat will just be pumped out the chimney - you have to have the thermal bench/bed !
Have you ever heated with wood before? No is not a bad answer, as you would have to un-learn some old mind sets. This stove needs to be tended often over the period of 3-4 hours, to get 20 - 24 hours of heat storage and use ! Best for home bodies, not people who are never home or only home to sleep.
Having cleared-up the easy stuff, for a first build you really should have a set of plans to follow, Because you are contemplating building on a wooden floor Please checkout www.ernieanderica.info you should feel a little more comfortable after visiting this site! Also, Ernie and Erica are Stewards on these pages because of their extensive background in building stoves and Running Rocket Stove Work shops where builds are completed over a 3 day weekend !
Please do check out these sites, and comeback with questions, someone will be here to answer them ! Pyro allen
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