thomas rubino wrote:Hi Eric; Everything is moving along for you. Add some sand to your slip it will help with the cracking. Also, do you not have a 55 gal barrel with a removable lid ??? Way way easier to inspect/ clean if you just pop a lid. removing the barrel should only need happen during a core rebuild. One of my removable lid barrels I purchased at a farm and ranch store (BIG R) $30.00 the others were located for free by checking county shops , mechanic shops , farmers , someone has that barrel and doesn't need it ... you do. Only as a last resort would I use a barrel without a removable lid.
Glenn Herbert wrote:You mentioned dimensions being a bit smaller than they should be by the book... I have found that there are the standard commercial firebricks exactly 4 1/2 x 9 x 2 1/2, and a skimpier version about 1/4" smaller in each dimension. At least you don't have a mix of the two - that would be a real hassle to work with (don't ask me how I know).
It's not ideal for the burn tunnel to be only 6 1/2" tall instead of 7", but that is the one place in the system where a slight constriction is said to be okay. I think if you just add a layer of splits laid flat around the top of your feed, after building up the surrounding material so they can be well bedded, you will get a nearly exact 16" height which will work fine. This would give a nice flat hard surround to your feed. If you are custom cutting all of your firewood and want to make it all about 14" long, that would work too.
thomas rubino wrote:Now I literally go several years before popping my lid. But I have a tried and true fireclay perlite riser that performs flawlessly (even though I would like to upgrade to ceramic fiber). I also have a huge transition area with an ash pit that gets cleaned each spring . When my system was new (5+ years ago) I checked the riser monthly, so a removable lid was essential. Your going to want to inspect yours often in the beginning as well.
In regards to your question ,I understand very lazy (I think of it as smart) I would locate a free lidless barrel and use the lid and clamp you have in your photo. That style removable lid ,you will want some wood stove door gasket to replace the plastic seal that usually comes on them. Lifting off the barrel is just more work than I would want to do. admittedly your riser is brick so its less Likely to have issues than a home cast one... but still .