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Jo Walker
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Hello Everyone,
Being new to Permies, I hope I am following forum rules, but this is kind of an emergency.
I am looking at another situation in Icestormage. Durring the last one, my family and I almost died, and I don't want to do that again. A few weeks ago, I came across the RS on Utube. I have been searching the forum here for any information I can glean about building one, just for this kind of situation, and because I thought it would be a perfect way of heating our "home" ( an amish shed we are trying to change over )

I have been looking for the stuff to build one, but alas, in our area ( I can't believe it either ) there are no such thing as firebrick, and no one here seems to know what fireplace flashing is. So, I have been unable to acuire the necessary materials to build a proper one for testing.

Now I am looking at a possible ice storm that could conciveably take out our power ( only source for heating and cooking ). I cannot risk this due to a disabled best friend. ( the other half of the "we" )

And, I have to do this on my own. So, all of that being said, could someone help me to work with what I have?

I have a field that is quite high in clay content, but no straw. I have cinder blocks and plenty of them. I have some wood, 2x6's, & 4x4's, and 1 sheet of 1/4 in. plywood, that is kinda old ( 5 yrs? ). And I have a whole "forest" area that I can get some rocks from. I also have some slate from an old pool table.

and no, our library here does not have any books on this. ( western kentucky )
 
Alder Burns
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If you have a field there's probably the remnants of something that grew there....grass, stubble, leaves, whatever. That's your straw. Break it up if you have to. Tear up or shred paper and cardboard and use that.
Cinder blocks will ALWAYS crack if exposed to the heat of fire. Ordinary bricks, having been made with heat, are much better. At worst, they will probably crack in half. Try to find ones that are solid, without holes. For flashing use any kind of steel or iron. Tin cans flattened out if you have to. Don't use aluminum as it will disintegrate quickly if exposed to fire.
Think about a big bonfire and all the different things you might throw into it, and what can next day be dug out of the ashes and still be recognizable and useful. Pottery, bricks, rocks, iron and steel.....observation...
 
Alder Burns
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You might actually build a big campfire and test your various kinds of rocks in it. Some will crack readily in fire. I think volcanic rocks are the best. I bet your slate will flake apart. What about tin cans filled with dirt?
 
karol kerl
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Simple way to build a rocket core without bricks.
http://donkey32.proboards.com/index.cgi?....d=508&post=4551

Parts of trunks can be used instead of tubes too.
One can use dissolved paper instead of straw.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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You could build a simple homemade solar dehydrator so that you dont have to cook.
You could just store and eat nuts and dried fruits/vegetables and root vegetables such as carrots/beets/sweet potatoes.
Preserve food by sugar(jam), yeast fermentation(alcohol), baking (cake/chips), lacto-fermentation, freeze, refrigerate, salt.

That should cover the food part now for the heating if you are going to repair your house.
You could try solar heating. I know that solar panels get up to 127F in the winter when the air is only 0F.
So if you could transfer some of that heat from your roof to room it would be awesome.
Then there is the whole insulating your house with strawbale or bags filled with ricehull etc, covered in mud.
Check out the passive/solar heating section....the solar dehydrator attached to your house recirculating/heating interior air only in the day.
http://www.permies.com/t/3562/cooking/Solar-Food-Dryers#77045


As for your RMH.
Just experiment, build it cheap even if you have to build a new burn chamber every year in 10 hours.
It takes way longer to collect wood.


 
Jo Walker
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I didn't think the cinder block would hold up to the heat, but I thought maybe if I covered it with something it could act like a wall. I'm not looking for permanance atm, just emergency heating/cooking source for inside the house.

I will build a proper RMH when I can get the correct materials for it, and the book of instructions

The rocks here hold heat very well, that's how we survived the last one, I heated rocks on the bbq grill, then put them in large pans to heat the room/ bed with. So they do hold heat very well, and for long periods of time. But they do get too hot to touch, and will start fires if they get hot enough.

I could easily build one out of them, but what to cover it with so my puppies and kitty don't get burned?

The top soil where I am is only about 8 inches deep, and clay beyond that. ( similar to caleche when dried ) But no straw, it is all green. I have a limited supply of paper, and cardboard. ( have had to eliminate it because of brown recluse infestation )




I'm going to go see what the landlord left in the barn... maybe.....
 
S Bengi
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Well for now you could just put a layer of thorn (blackberry), around the hot rock/clay.
You could cover the hot rocks with some from of mesh/basket
You could also get some very warm but not hot rocks and "teach" the animals the dangers of the hot rocks. After about 3 times they will remember not to go inside the fire circle.

Hopefully you will find some straw/paper so as not to resort to the above, for the time being.

 
Jamie Corne
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Jo Walker wrote:Hello Everyone,
Being new to Permies, I hope I am following forum rules, but this is kind of an emergency.
I am looking at another situation in Icestormage. Durring the last one, my family and I almost died, and I don't want to do that again. A few weeks ago, I came across the RS on Utube. I have been searching the forum here for any information I can glean about building one, just for this kind of situation, and because I thought it would be a perfect way of heating our "home" ( an amish shed we are trying to change over )

I have been looking for the stuff to build one, but alas, in our area ( I can't believe it either ) there are no such thing as firebrick, and no one here seems to know what fireplace flashing is. So, I have been unable to acuire the necessary materials to build a proper one for testing.

Now I am looking at a possible ice storm that could conciveably take out our power ( only source for heating and cooking ). I cannot risk this due to a disabled best friend. ( the other half of the "we" )

And, I have to do this on my own. So, all of that being said, could someone help me to work with what I have?

I have a field that is quite high in clay content, but no straw. I have cinder blocks and plenty of them. I have some wood, 2x6's, & 4x4's, and 1 sheet of 1/4 in. plywood, that is kinda old ( 5 yrs? ). And I have a whole "forest" area that I can get some rocks from. I also have some slate from an old pool table.

and no, our library here does not have any books on this. ( western kentucky )


South Dakota - we cannot even "order" fire clay from Lowes. That is strictly for "southern" Lowes stores. We had to go to a pottery shop.

We used the following:

Fireclay (about 12.00 a bag)
Vermiculite from Lowes (about 20.00 a bag)

We will have to make our own kiln using bricks that are rated for 3000 degrees F - but we'll have to purchase the high heat fire bricks first from the pottery store at 3.50 a brick. Upfront expense - but well worth it over the course of time.

I found a place that sells the stuff in Kentucky:

http://kentuckymudworks.com/

It's located in Lexington - which is on the western side of Kentucky - so you're in luck We had to drive only an hour to get our supplies.

You don't "need" straw for the cob. You can use other organic material that works the same if not better - such as old newspapers pulped up, twigs from trees (very small ones) or, you can purchase the straw from any stable - and Lexington has many stables.

Of course, since it's an emergency and you probably don't have the time to run anywhere - do this:

 
Alder Burns
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Another thing people do in a pinch is to reduce the area of the house being heated, sometimes to just the room with the heat source in it. If there is no door, block off the room by hanging a blanket, etc. in the doorway. Beware of water lines elsewhere in the space freezing though. Countering this line of thought is the need for ventilation, especially with any kind of open flame used for cooking inside the space.
I would think that water would be a better heat sink than rocks, if you're thinking of heating something on an outdoor fire and then bringing it in. When we started homesteading in GA (in Nov-Dec.) we were in a tent till we could get the cabin done. With nights in the 20's, we'd put a 10 gallon pot of water on the campfire and bring it to a rolling boil, and then set it inside the tent on a piece of cardboard. The two of us and four cats and a puppy all shared the tent with the pot of hot water. Going to sleep was toasty, but getting up in the morning was a bitch!
 
Jo Walker
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Alder Burns wrote:Another thing people do in a pinch is to reduce the area of the house being heated, sometimes to just the room with the heat source in it. If there is no door, block off the room by hanging a blanket, etc. in the doorway. Beware of water lines elsewhere in the space freezing though. Countering this line of thought is the need for ventilation, especially with any kind of open flame used for cooking inside the space.
I would think that water would be a better heat sink than rocks, if you're thinking of heating something on an outdoor fire and then bringing it in. When we started homesteading in GA (in Nov-Dec.) we were in a tent till we could get the cabin done. With nights in the 20's, we'd put a 10 gallon pot of water on the campfire and bring it to a rolling boil, and then set it inside the tent on a piece of cardboard. The two of us and four cats and a puppy all shared the tent with the pot of hot water. Going to sleep was toasty, but getting up in the morning was a bitch!

Alder, I understand exactly what you are talking about! I lived in a tent every summer as a kid, and it saved our lives a few years ago. Had to live in one while the house we were living in was sprayed for the deadly infestation of brown recluse.. I'll post photos one of these days.

Jamie, I may have to purchase them over the phone, or mail order ( we don't do credit cards, either cash and carry, or not at all. ) Lexington is a 4 to 6 hr drive from us, and we don't own a vehicle.

k, checked the landlords barn, and nothing I can use there.. except for really old 2x6's. ( not even any old dung )
umm, would dead tomatoe plants work for it ?


I would like to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU for all of your help. I don't think I could do this without you all.
 
Jamie Corne
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Jo Walker wrote:
Alder Burns wrote:Another thing people do in a pinch is to reduce the area of the house being heated, sometimes to just the room with the heat source in it. If there is no door, block off the room by hanging a blanket, etc. in the doorway. Beware of water lines elsewhere in the space freezing though. Countering this line of thought is the need for ventilation, especially with any kind of open flame used for cooking inside the space.
I would think that water would be a better heat sink than rocks, if you're thinking of heating something on an outdoor fire and then bringing it in. When we started homesteading in GA (in Nov-Dec.) we were in a tent till we could get the cabin done. With nights in the 20's, we'd put a 10 gallon pot of water on the campfire and bring it to a rolling boil, and then set it inside the tent on a piece of cardboard. The two of us and four cats and a puppy all shared the tent with the pot of hot water. Going to sleep was toasty, but getting up in the morning was a bitch!

Alder, I understand exactly what you are talking about! I lived in a tent every summer as a kid, and it saved our lives a few years ago. Had to live in one while the house we were living in was sprayed for the deadly infestation of brown recluse.. I'll post photos one of these days.

Jamie, I may have to purchase them over the phone, or mail order ( we don't do credit cards, either cash and carry, or not at all. ) Lexington is a 4 to 6 hr drive from us, and we don't own a vehicle.

k, checked the landlords barn, and nothing I can use there.. except for really old 2x6's. ( not even any old dung )


I would like to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU for all of your help. I don't think I could do this without you all.


I would highly suggest preparing for next winter by using this summer to gather materials and begin building. It sounds like you rent as you've mentioned a landlord.

I have been looking on youtube for something that might help you - because I was afraid that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere.

Is your ground frozen right now?

If it's not frozen to where you can get to the clay beneath the top soil...this might help:

Although adobe isn't meant for high heat - mixed with cob, you might be able to use your cinder blocks on their side (so the holes are pointed up) packed tight with clay, top soil, old organic clippings from the field and dried manure (if you can find any - cow manure and/or horse manure is the best) and newspaper pulp (extremely tight packing) on the inside of the cinderblock and around the outside in order to create a temporary rocket stove until you are able to get to somewhere that will allow you to make a more appropriate one.

I don't know how well this would work and if the cinder blocks would hold up - but for an ice storm (and my having lived in South Dakota weather all of my life) it just might save your life. You're gonna want, though, to make sure that you are really packing those cinder blocks thick...with the cob because they will explode...causing someone to get hurt and possibly the house burning down.

If you have metal buckets - I'd suggest making a makeshift one as I left you a video up above...and closing off one room for the ice storm. I'd be making your space as minimal as possible to retain heat.

Remember also - that most heat is lost through windows and the roof - so possibly hanging blankets lower than the room or somehow creating more makeshift insulation for the ceiling (perhaps using pillows in the small space) will help you to retain heat.

Since you have 2x4's - it might be good to build a little "hut" inside of your home that all of you and the pets can stay in until the storm is over.

Icestorms bring with them (at least here in SD) very low temps and a person can freeze very easy...or get other injuries such as frost bite that can cause gangrene. Either way - I'd even ask neighbors if they have anything they aren't using - or ask the landlord to assist you since it's a life or death situation. Most times, churches will be willing to help you as well - even put you up somewhere until the ice storm is over. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Again - ice storms are nothing to mess around with. Be very careful and good luck.

 
Jo Walker
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Jamie Corne wrote:I would highly suggest preparing for next winter by using this summer to gather materials and begin building. It sounds like you rent as you've mentioned a landlord.

I have been looking on youtube for something that might help you - because I was afraid that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere.

Is your ground frozen right now?

If it's not frozen to where you can get to the clay beneath the top soil...this might help:

Although adobe isn't meant for high heat - mixed with cob, you might be able to use your cinder blocks on their side (so the holes are pointed up) packed tight with clay, top soil, old organic clippings from the field and dried manure (if you can find any - cow manure and/or horse manure is the best) and newspaper pulp (extremely tight packing) on the inside of the cinderblock and around the outside in order to create a temporary rocket stove until you are able to get to somewhere that will allow you to make a more appropriate one.

I don't know how well this would work and if the cinder blocks would hold up - but for an ice storm (and my having lived in South Dakota weather all of my life) it just might save your life. You're gonna want, though, to make sure that you are really packing those cinder blocks thick...with the cob because they will explode...causing someone to get hurt and possibly the house burning down.

If you have metal buckets - I'd suggest making a makeshift one as I left you a video up above...and closing off one room for the ice storm. I'd be making your space as minimal as possible to retain heat.

Remember also - that most heat is lost through windows and the roof - so possibly hanging blankets lower than the room or somehow creating more makeshift insulation for the ceiling (perhaps using pillows in the small space) will help you to retain heat.

Since you have 2x4's - it might be good to build a little "hut" inside of your home that all of you and the pets can stay in until the storm is over.

Icestorms bring with them (at least here in SD) very low temps and a person can freeze very easy...or get other injuries such as frost bite that can cause gangrene. Either way - I'd even ask neighbors if they have anything they aren't using - or ask the landlord to assist you since it's a life or death situation. Most times, churches will be willing to help you as well - even put you up somewhere until the ice storm is over. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Again - ice storms are nothing to mess around with. Be very careful and good luck.


Jamie, that is exactly what I am talking about. our "landlord" has given us written permission for anything I want to do. Our house is only 10 ft wide, by 24 feet long, with 12 foot celings. a "barn shed" so to speak. We have two lofts, but one of them is blocked off. the other one holds my pantry.
Since finding out about RMH and the stoves/ovens, I have been looking for the items needed to make a proper one. But this storm is heading our way, and if it hits, and is a bad one, we will need a way to survive it.
At the moment, the ground is not frozen, but quite muddy. I am in a horse field, that hasn't held a horse or cow in 8 years. But the neighbors about 1/4 mile away have sheep that have kept the grass cut very short. So, I am limited to what I have on hand, and it isn't pretty. I just want to make sure that if this storm hits, we will be alive when it is over.
Then I will keep trying to make us a home that is as self sufficient and off grid as possible. ( something I has not been possible until now )
 
Jamie Corne
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Jo Walker wrote:
Jamie Corne wrote:I would highly suggest preparing for next winter by using this summer to gather materials and begin building. It sounds like you rent as you've mentioned a landlord.

I have been looking on youtube for something that might help you - because I was afraid that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere.

Is your ground frozen right now?

If it's not frozen to where you can get to the clay beneath the top soil...this might help:

Although adobe isn't meant for high heat - mixed with cob, you might be able to use your cinder blocks on their side (so the holes are pointed up) packed tight with clay, top soil, old organic clippings from the field and dried manure (if you can find any - cow manure and/or horse manure is the best) and newspaper pulp (extremely tight packing) on the inside of the cinderblock and around the outside in order to create a temporary rocket stove until you are able to get to somewhere that will allow you to make a more appropriate one.

I don't know how well this would work and if the cinder blocks would hold up - but for an ice storm (and my having lived in South Dakota weather all of my life) it just might save your life. You're gonna want, though, to make sure that you are really packing those cinder blocks thick...with the cob because they will explode...causing someone to get hurt and possibly the house burning down.

If you have metal buckets - I'd suggest making a makeshift one as I left you a video up above...and closing off one room for the ice storm. I'd be making your space as minimal as possible to retain heat.

Remember also - that most heat is lost through windows and the roof - so possibly hanging blankets lower than the room or somehow creating more makeshift insulation for the ceiling (perhaps using pillows in the small space) will help you to retain heat.

Since you have 2x4's - it might be good to build a little "hut" inside of your home that all of you and the pets can stay in until the storm is over.

Icestorms bring with them (at least here in SD) very low temps and a person can freeze very easy...or get other injuries such as frost bite that can cause gangrene. Either way - I'd even ask neighbors if they have anything they aren't using - or ask the landlord to assist you since it's a life or death situation. Most times, churches will be willing to help you as well - even put you up somewhere until the ice storm is over. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Again - ice storms are nothing to mess around with. Be very careful and good luck.


Jamie, that is exactly what I am talking about. our "landlord" has given us written permission for anything I want to do. Our house is only 10 ft wide, by 24 feet long, with 12 foot celings. a "barn shed" so to speak. We have two lofts, but one of them is blocked off. the other one holds my pantry.
Since finding out about RMH and the stoves/ovens, I have been looking for the items needed to make a proper one. But this storm is heading our way, and if it hits, and is a bad one, we will need a way to survive it.
At the moment, the ground is not frozen, but quite muddy. I am in a horse field, that hasn't held a horse or cow in 8 years. But the neighbors about 1/4 mile away have sheep that have kept the grass cut very short. So, I am limited to what I have on hand, and it isn't pretty. I just want to make sure that if this storm hits, we will be alive when it is over.
Then I will keep trying to make us a home that is as self sufficient and off grid as possible. ( something I has not been possible until now )


I would think that soil rich with horse fertilizer would act as a pretty good insulator for the cinder bricks - and add clay to that...you'd be alright for a storm, if you kept the fire fairly moderate and not squelching hot.

It looks like the snow isn't going to hit until Monday night and that the temperatures are going to be around 20 degrees F at a low. This is good news for you - because at 20 degrees F - you won't need a very hot stove. It is currently 8 actual degrees F outside in our area today - but with wind chill (the wind is blowing at approx 12 mph today) it is about -21 degrees F - which is typical SD winter temperatures and weather. The sun is shining - but that is our worst enemy in SD during the winter - clear skies make for colder weather whereas cloudcast skies help retain the heat thus producing warmer weather here. We are only using a wood stove right now for 3122 square feet (our home square footage) - and it's quite small, but does the trick.

Just make sure that you are wearing two layers of clothing as I'm going to assume that you folks aren't used to 20 degree F temps - including doubling up your socks. Wearing blankets...at times when you need to.

A lo of 20 Degrees F isn't going to cause frost bite or gangrene unless you're subjecting bare skin to the elements for over 15 minutes at a time - so make sure that if you are going outdoors, you are covering any bare skin with "something" even if it's socks on your hands.

Ice storms in 20 degree F weather aren't going to last very long - perhaps half a day so I think you'll be fine. I would however, get outside and start getting that mud/clay into containers that you will be able to use because once that ground freezes - it's going to be virtually impossible for you to get at it until such time that it thaws - and the ground doesn't thaw very fast if it's going to be cold.

Just make sure that you're blocking off a portion of your home - that "hut" I was talking about - when the temps are low like that and you'll be fine. That small can rocket stove is what's going to help you - but the boiling water suggestion by that other user up above is probably going to be your best bet since you're low on resources - and the snow will supply you with water enough to survive.

I would highly suggest - again - that you prepare for the next time because next time, the temps might be colder and unless you're used to living in cold climates like we are - you're not going to survive. The cold is nothing to mess around with - especially for someone who is disabled.
 
allen lumley
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- I often use multiple tents on camping trips, esp when canoe camping, one tent inside an other or just set up inside should give you an inside temp approximately 10o F improvement plus setting it up on a bed or platform will add a few more degrees, good luck , stay warm be safe ! pyromagicly yours Allen L.
 
Balint Bartuszek
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The straw is mainly for fibers to keep the clay from braking.
Any kind of fiber is good. Like wire, wire mesh, string, hair, thin shavings of wood, paper, grass, and if you only have a little use it around the outer surface of the stove. (close to the inside parts it will just burn out) And ultimately you can make a whole temporary RS from clay. But if you can make the burn tunnel and heat riser from thin cans, and put some clay around, that will make it a lot safer.
 
Jo Walker
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I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank you! to all of you for your immediate help. ( sp, I'm exhausted )

The power did NOT go out this time, but the online did. I can live with this! We are alright, and doing quite well. I have not had much time to play with the clay, but would have put off everything else if the power had gone out, to make an emergency RMH ( Mini though it would have been ).

Now the game plan is to continue looking for the items needed to make a real RMH and get us set up so there are no more emergencies like this!

Again, thank you so very much! I cannot say that enough.




First up, I'm going to get me some bricks, even if I have to steal them from a building tear down! ( IF I can find one that is )

 
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