Thanks for your Art of Fire -- I just got it and skimmed over it before work, and I'm looking forward to reading in detail.
I was intrigued by your Tea Stump, by the Indian "good stove", and by the final pic w/the Chris Alexander quote. Is it a dry-stacked stone corner in use as a "fire ring"?
I think I'd like to build something very like the Tea Stump, but I know nothing about masonry or fire materials like "refractory insulation" and don't know what "harder materials" to line it with.
Any chance you have buildable plans, or even just more details somewhere? Or maybe something like this is in the DVD set I'm looking forward to receiving soon? I'm looking for an outdoor, one-pot cooker that is easy to make and not too ugly (the beauty of the Tea Stump may be beyond my time-budget.)
Thanks for your work,
PS. Is the Tea Stump "rockety" at all? Does it need to be to burn sticks cleanly like a RMH?
Kerry Rodgers : I envy youhaving alpeady seen Ericas new book ' The Art of Fire '.
Have you seen Rion Mathers Video Post/Thread on The cutest Rocket stove, Ever ! ? It needs a little more insulation in the base, and the shelf burn plate
that separates the fuel up above the air channel that should be there to bring in what is supposed to be pre-warmed air ! other wise it is very close to the one
picture of Erica's Tea Stump that I can find !
Your comments/questions solicited and Welcome ! Big Al !
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
The refractory stuff we used was mostly a product called 'DuraBoard', a ceramic-fiber board with a starch binder. We also got a leftover piece of pipe insulation in the same material, 18" tall by 3" ID (it would fit around a 3" pipe).
You could also do a small stove lined with kiln brick, which can be ordered online and is soft enough to cut with household tools like a dull wood-saw (don't worry, if it's sharp when you start it will become properly dull very soon).
Or you could try making your own 'vernacular insulative ceramic' (google that phrase plus 'Uganda' for a description of a research team's efforts to build cleaner cookstoves using local materials).
I'd be tempted to take a page from Approvecho and use metal cans as the forms. Then fill in between with Ianto's favorite cheap refractory insulation, perlite mixed with clay slip. The outer can should remain intact and portable; if the inner can burns out, the clay helps keep the perlite from escaping.
You can do some punched-tin decoration on an outer can, or paint with woodstove or engine block paints to get something a little slicker. After using it a while, to test how hot the suface gets, you could even explore less heat-resistant materials for attractive and durable covers.
The attractive outer shell of the Tea Stump was made with Plaster of Paris and canvas strips - a page from my theater stage-set days. I made it a cedar stump because that was the easiest bark to immitate with the frayed edges of the canvas. Glad you liked it.