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having a little trouble with my mock up

Posts: 553
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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My husband and I have been trying to build our mock up portable rocket outside on the patio for two weekends now, with limited success. I think we may have cracked it, but my husband still has doubts. On both occasions when we were trying to light fires/keep fires going, we had very windy cold days; we got a lot of smokeback when the fire went out due to a big gust of wind. My husband thinks this will happen indoors if the fire goes out: we'll get a roomful of smoke. We also had a lot of smoke coming from the exhaust, not the expected CO2 and water vapor, but thick white smoke. Again, for me, this is not a problem as long as it heats the bench, but my husband thinks the barrel is not getting hot enough; I think it was cold and windy and that was keeping the barrel temps down. Also, we were experimenting with not-very-dry wood, which I also think affected the temperature of the fire.

For the final attempt, we were getting a pretty consistent draw, and the barrel got pretty hot (no thermometer to measure, though). However, it was still smoking back when the wind gusted, particularly when the fire blew out due to a gust. We were just testing the rocket itself, without the 12ft of exhaust pipe attached.

Are miy husband's worries justified, or are these most likely due to the outdoor weather conditions/condition of the firewood? He doesn't want to put together the indoor rocket until the outdoor mock up works "optimally", which I fear won't be until one fine day next summer!
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Galadreil Freden : Try it again, possibly shifting the site of your trial to one were when you add 10 -12 feet of vertical chimney right off of the transitional area of your Barrel,
your vertical stove pipe is at least 5 ' above all other surrounding objects, if it works fine with lots of very dry chucks of small diameter wood, then there is noting wrong in the
Burn Tunnel, Heat Riser, Barrel or Transitional area !

Hope this is the final clue that you needed, and is timely. For the good of the Crafts !

Think like Fire, flow like a Gas, Don't be the Marshmallow ! As always all questions and comments are solicited and are Welcome ! PYRO - Logically BIG AL !
Posts: 24
Location: Aarschot belgium
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may i propose a direcktional windcap easy to make and draw inprovement when it's windy


and here how to make it youself


kind regards karl
Posts: 567
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Hi Galadriel!
I'm going to poke just a tiny bit of fun at you here. I'll do my best to make sure it comes across as friendly and helpful as I intend it to.

When I read your post, I was immediately reminded of a thing cooks sometimes do: oversubstituting. I've been asked, for example, "Taste this... I used nutmeg instead of cinnamon, almond milk instead of milk, squash instead of pumpkin, and we were out of sugar. I don't think I'll make this recipe again, it's not very good. What do you think?"

Sounds like your test stove circumstances are as far away from real stove circumstances as the vegan, sugarfree squash pie in my silly example above is from a regular pumpkin pie. Doesn't work because it's just not the same thing.

Good on you for noticing all the points of concern, so without being a RMH expert, I'd say... fix them all and test it again!

You listed:
-some component might be cracked
-cold air
-windy air
-no exhaust flue
-wet wood

That's an awful lot of substitutions. Have you thought of rebuilding it in a testable indoor area (do you have a garage where the flue could stick out a window, perhaps?)? Might it even be worth the trouble to build a little shelter around it? Just five pieces of plywood so that it really is inside a room? I heat with wood only, so I'm inclined to suspect the green wood as being the most problematic of all your problems, but I think they're ALL worth resolving. Then you'll have a test behind you that should give confidence to you, your husband, and anybody you like.

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