There's very little ash but you do need to build cleanouts our you'll get ash build up pretty much where ever there's turbulence in the exhaust flow and a place for the ash to settle - think how drifting snow or sand will drop out of the wind when it hits obstructions.
"Instead of Pay It Forward I prefer Plant It Forward" ~Howard Story / "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir
Does anyone have any pictures of an ash cleanout? Is there ever any buildup in the Horizontal pipe that most of you put in a bench? Everytime I look at these pictures I wonder if you could put that bench level with the floor instead of above the floor. Just lowering the entire stove. you would only have the feed and barrel above ground.
We have four rocket mass heaters and a half dozen pocket rockets. I bought this ash vac with the idea of saying "We use this ash vac all the time. here is a link to amazon. Buy it and I get lots of kickback money." Instead, I have to say that while this has been an excellent ash vac, the thing I use the most is the small piece of cardboard and a stainless steel bucket. The ash vac has come in handy a few times while experimenting with cores and the like. We want to stop the fire and move on to the next test, so we throw sand on the fire and the vacuum all the sand out. This thing has lots of metal tubes and super fine filters so you don't end up just blowing ash all over the house like other shop vacs. So it has earned it's keep. Definitely a cool tool.
The plan is to bend the handle on this shovel to get ash out of the rocket mass heater. I have used the poker a LOT and erica uses the tongs a lot. When looking for fireplace tools, most are crazy expensive (hundreds of dollars) or have features that won't work for what we are trying to do. This is reasonably priced (forty bucks) and the shovel will bend just right.
I like break the ash discussion into two parts: Combustion ash and fly ash
You are going to get a lot of combustion ash this is just due to the nature of the wood and inorganic materials that cannot be combusted. Stated differently, you cannot eliminate ash, you can takes steps to reduce combustion ash and fly ash buildup. I like to clean my combustion ash every time I burn the rocket mass heater. This helps reduce combustion ash build up and also reduces the change of breaking the combustion ash into smaller fly ash.
Fly ash is smaller combustion ash that is light enough to be carried away with the draw of the rocket mass heater. You will need clean out ports in your design. The preferred location is closest to the combustion chimney and adjoining horizontal ducting. In my build I have a fly ash collection pit. This allows the fly ash to specifically collect in a pit before entering the horizontal ducting of the thermal bench. The clean out port is within arms reach. Depending on how much you burn you may need to clean this several times a season or only once a season.
Paul H. : If you go to the listing of Rocket Stove / Mass Heaters I have bumped up- video: great rocket mass heaters in upstate N. Y. and Quebec it is of a
friend describing living with her Rocket Mass Heater after approximately 9 months ! While everyones individual experiences vary, I have not run onto anyone with
good clean outs who worried about cleaning their Fly Ash!
It is the first one, A Ernie And Erica Design built over a very long and wet rainy weekend that you should look at, I am sure after watching this video your confidence
in being able to operate, and maintain your own Rocket Mass Heater will increase as your basic questions are answered ! For the good of the Craft ! Big AL !
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan