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Rocket Stove 3.1 and 3.2

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I'm on my third rocket stove mock up. It's getting pretty close to the final model. In my last run, the top feed design just wasn't working. I couldn't get a solid fire going, and the draw wasn't working either; even though i used paper to heat up the heat riser and started with lots of small, dry wood. Things are pretty moist up here right now, so i could try using dryer wood again. BUT, i decided to nock out the front, cover the top and feed the fire from the front. When i did this, BINGO. Strong fire, great draw with only a few wisps coming out that went away when loosely covered with a metal plate.

Any input on this kind of front feeding design?

I have a double wall, aluminum pipe packed with vermiculite and clay as my heat riser. I was going to replace it with a steel pipe wrapped with aluminum sheeting and vermiculite/clay packed in between them. Good idea?

With the top feeding version, i really wanted a way to clean out easily under the fire, so i literally built in a clean out that i bought from the store attached to a coupler. I liked this. I made it pretty air tight when it was closed, and planned on really setting it up with a solid clay mixture, or high temp. mortar in the final version. Now, i'm all about the front feed...

Looking forward to learning more...
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Initial brick layout, later shortened by 9" (brick length)
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Top/down feed, not working very well
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Front feed working great!
Rocket Mass Heater Manual
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