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Pyro Man Dan Introduction and RMH build  RSS feed

 
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Good day fellow Pyros. I'm Dan and I'm a Pyromaniac.

It all started when I was 4 in 1970. When matches were common place.

Every were you would go had free matches with company logos on them. ( had a very large collection that was lost in a house fire in 2009)
I was fascinated with them to an extent that I burnt a lot of things. (no major property damage) Toys made up the most of what was destroyed.

Firecrackers and matches, to me were more fun than any toy I ever had.

My dad started reclaiming silver in 1976 from film fixer. We built small natural gas powered blast furnaces from soft fire brick. I got to tinker with smelting copper with a charcoal fired furnace.

Today.

About a month ago I was surfing the tube and came across a vid on a rocket stove. That took me to a vid on a RMH and a link here, that's when I was hooked.

I had to build one, even bought the hard copy of the RMH book. It's good for some one who has never played with fire but I like tinkering better.

So I went on a scavenger hunt for every thing I would need to build one. Being unemployed at the moment monies is tight, every thing needs to be real cheep.
The only monies I've spent is on the refractory clay and perlite for the heat riser. under $100 so far. The clay has been a hard to find here but I think what I have found should work. Waiting on the test bricks to dry.

6" RMH will be big enough to heat this shack.

I casted a heat riser with a 6" od x3/16" square tube and a 15 gal perfume barrel. The neighborhood smelled lovely when I was burning it out.
I slowly heated it up every day for the past week to dry it out completely.

Yesterday I cranked it up, and I thought, hell the heat coming from the top of the riser should be hot enough to smelt lead. It maxed out my stove thermometer at 600 f in a few seconds. Then I got another idea to TURBO charge it, (with a in line fan I found at the dump collecting). Just like the furnaces I built in the past.

It will now turn a cast iron pot full of lead red hot at the top of the riser. Even with out the turbo it will melt the lead.

As the build goes I will keep up dating this thread but mean tine. Here's a few pics of what I've done so far.

thanks
DanD



 
Dan Dronberger
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Dan Dronberger
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not one comment..

On to the second stage. Cobbing up the drum and reducer/ clean out to a temporary chimney. This will tell me if I got the gap rite.

@1 3/4" drafting correctly so far.

Takes off quickly.

My cob clay brick was a success, Well kind of. It's so hard I can't break it with my BIG hands. I think to much chopped native grass.


The property I live on was a adobe brick factory. They used tar in their proses and left a lot of chipped lime stone and sand.

Will the chipped lime stone work for the inner cob?
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pollinator
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Dan Dronberger wrote:Will the chipped lime stone work for the inner cob?



I'd think it's best to go with as dense and homogenous of a material as you can - straight (finer but gritty) sand and good clay, a little heavy on the sand - for at least an inch or two right around the heat source as it will conduct the heat a bit better and provide a better seal (less chance of thermal cracking). I'm a complete newbie to the hands-on though, so I might be wrong on some things I know limestone does break down at a somewhat attainable temp but pretty sure that's not too much of a threat outside the burn tunnel and heat riser.
 
Dan Dronberger
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Tristan Vitali wrote:

Dan Dronberger wrote:Will the chipped lime stone work for the inner cob?



I'd think it's best to go with as dense and homogenous of a material as you can - straight (finer but gritty) sand and good clay, a little heavy on the sand - for at least an inch or two right around the heat source as it will conduct the heat a bit better and provide a better seal (less chance of thermal cracking). I'm a complete newbie to the hands-on though, so I might be wrong on some things I know limestone does break down at a somewhat attainable temp but pretty sure that's not too much of a threat outside the burn tunnel and heat riser.



Thanks Tristan.

This is the plan. (when I move this project inside.)

First layer around the bottom of the J tube is a 2" + layer of refractory clay and perlite.
Then the rest is cob. I think it shouldn't be a problem using the chip in the cob around the mass. No high temps to break it down.
That's what this mock up, should show.

The draw back using it is. That the chip sharp and hard on the hands.

When I started this fun with fire. I screwed up and didn't start building it in the green house. I have a portable 15' x 10' dog pen and enough plastic to cover it. To use this beast as a seed starting bed. It will be a work of art when I'm done and don't want to tare it down.

That means I get to build two more now.:pointlaugh:

pics

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Dan Dronberger
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one more were the bench is going.
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Dan Dronberger
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Now that the first layer is dry, it looks like there is salt in the clay.

This clay came from the Pecos river bottom, it's a salty river.

Salt shouldn't be a problem will it?

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Dan Dronberger
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Had nothing better to do, so I set up the mini green house to keep it dry.

It was 25 f outside 70 f 3' down from the top at the back.

After it was covered I found some leaks. That I couldn't tell, being out in the open air.
Still have a ton of cob to do.
A friend stopped by and was amazed by how hot his butt got. With the small fire I was running.
Now, it looks like I get to build one at a deer camp, for a chance to bag a deer or two.
We could use the venison and I have nothing better to do....

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Dan Dronberger
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Final test run of the new core, it rockets nice and clean.

Waiting on my heat and air friend to bring all the 90s and ducting and Ts.

A question on the barrel? if some one would be kind enough to answer.

question. Would a concave top (like a wok) work?

Would it compromise the gas flow?

It will double as a wok for cooking. I know it would take some time hammering it out and polishing it enough to cook on.
Don't want to spend the time and it be a waist.

Thanks

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Dan Dronberger
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more pic
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gardener
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Dan ; Nice build, I don't think that your wok idea will work , at least not with a barrel top. I am amazed how much the top flexs with high heat. I very carefully measured my heat riser getting the gap just so, and as soon as I fire the stove the lid flexs and it all changes. In an 8" system I am getting barrel top temps over 1000 degrees so I'm guessing that close is good enough.If you want to cook put your real wok on top of the barrel its hot enough.
 
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Dan Dronberger wrote:

question. Would a concave top (like a wok) work?

Would it compromise the gas flow?

It will double as a wok for cooking. I know it would take some time hammering it out and polishing it enough to cook on.
Don't want to spend the time and it be a waist.



Hello Dan, I would avoid using the top as a cook surface. I have seen pictures of the barrel top rusting very quickly at operational temperatures in the presence of water and moisture. The barrel is low grade steel and that will not readily form iron-chelates that make is a non-stick surface with proper conditioning that a cast-iron skillet will do. If you had a stainless steel barrel you could do non-stick cooking at those temperatures without rusting, after seasoning the stainless steel.

Would it compromise the gas flow? I don't know.

 
Dan Dronberger
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Well thanks for the replies kind folk.



Did some testing with a disk under the drum. (see pic)

(no chimney)

concave very poor flow.

convex great flow.

convex is the way to go, for optimal flow.

I keep over thinking this RMH thing. It's a heater that has turned into an obsession.

Just need to get it installed and then work on accessories.

Didn't get to play with it today, Wind gusts above 30 mph.

Did take down the first test model (be for wind event) and moved all the parts into the green house. This rebuild is for a future aquaponic set up. Still looking for more urbanite (love that word) parts.

Is there a easy way to break down pallets?



























 
Dan Dronberger
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Dan Dronberger
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Started on the green house RMH. It's will heat a 7' x 10' aquaponic tank.

Laid out the horizontal pipe (10" x 3/16 x8'4") The core build in the morning.

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Dan Dronberger
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laid the first run of brick today.

Going to only use clay slip/ mortar in this RMH as it will most likely not be permanent. Plus the fire clay isn't cheep.
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Dan Dronberger
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mortar mix
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Dan Dronberger
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I'm adding this wedge to the back of the burn tunnel.

after testing it on the test rmh I think it will make a difference on the flow. It should stop the turbulence at the back.

Any one do this?
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Dan Dronberger
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installed the insulation around the burn tunnel. Perlite and clay slip.

Run a few small fires to dry it out. Looking good so far. The wedge brick has it burning great so far.
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Dan Dronberger
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built a new riser core for the green house RMH from tin buckets. Pored it with perlite and fire clay.
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Dan Dronberger
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Set the riser inside a barrel and filled it with packed perlite and used my mud gun to coat it.
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Dan Dronberger
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next
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Dan Dronberger
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drying it up with wood chip.
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Dan Dronberger wrote:I'm adding this wedge to the back of the burn tunnel.

after testing it on the test rmh I think it will make a difference on the flow. It should stop the turbulence at the back.


Don't you want the turbulence to help with a more complete burn?
 
Dan Dronberger
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Buy the time the gasses get to it they are completely combusted.(no smoke) It is there to help the flow up the riser. So far it is working well.

Today we made a tomahawk out of a trailer spring. Got it red hot in no time.

thanks for asking.


David Nelson wrote:

Dan Dronberger wrote:I'm adding this wedge to the back of the burn tunnel.

after testing it on the test rmh I think it will make a difference on the flow. It should stop the turbulence at the back.


Don't you want the turbulence to help with a more complete burn?

 
Dan Dronberger
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the tomahawk we forged.
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Is some of the metal you're using galvanized? If so as a heads up for safety, using galvanized metal in and around the combustion and higher heat areas isn't a safe or good idea. The zink plating will burn off and is poisonous if inhaled. Usually not deadly, but no fun for about a week. If you have asthma or someone with asthma or other respiratory issues it can be deadly.
 
Dan Dronberger
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being a welder and a radiator man, I'm very aware of what zink can do. I have been poisoned in the past and it will never happen again.

This all out in the open, waiting for a roll of plastic to fall off a truck some were I can find it. I'm looking at $400 just for the plastic. Been hitting up my oil field friends to keep a look out for some.

if any one that reads this know were I can get a 40' x 100' 6mill CHEEP. Please holler.

thanks for stopping by



Kyle Cunningham wrote:Is some of the metal you're using galvanized? If so as a heads up for safety, using galvanized metal in and around the combustion and higher heat areas isn't a safe or good idea. The zink plating will burn off and is poisonous if inhaled. Usually not deadly, but no fun for about a week. If you have asthma or someone with asthma or other respiratory issues it can be deadly.



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Dan Dronberger
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Making water.

While I'm looking for more parts for the RMH. I thought, I would tackle the water well.

I have a shallow well here @66 feet deep, water line a 25' no pump. So I scavenged up some junk and made a air lift pump. @ 15 psi it makes 2 gallons a min., more if I crank up the pressure. I need this water for the fish tanks and garden. Last year I had $200 water bills, This year NOT!!!
The big tank I have, for now will be a holding tank. Until I find some thing better. All I have for a compressor is a little oil type nail gun compressor. With very little volume. So I hooked it up to a water pressure tank I have for more volume.

It all works, now a few days flushing it out and were set.

all from junk

Thanks for watching.
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Hey Dan,

I just got around to looking at this thread so I may be out of date with this comment but you asked if there's a easy way to break down pallets.

If you search U-tube there are a bunch of prybars that you can buy or make just for that. Most of them makes you use your back and shoulders to do the work, the one at
lets your weight do the work. With my history of back problems this looks like the way to go. The same guy has one on pulling the nails that shows the same level of common sense.

Love your way of putting in a straight perlite layer. Search "paper kiln" on U-tube. You might see something you like. Refractory cement is a bucket of worms to get into. Paperclay http://www.jerrybennett.net/paperclay.html and ashclay look to have great potential but, so far, I haven't found any results of hard testing. It's all "Gee! You ought to try this." Maybe you should try it... and let me know your results.
 
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I've really enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading about your heaters, Dan. Thanks for posting!
 
Tom Strode
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Your post on experimenting with a convex vs concave disk got into something I've been wondering about. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell much from your picture. You said "no chimney". Were you using this over the riser of an open stove or inside the drum of a heater? It seems like concave over a cookstove riser would act like a snuffer but inside a heater drum it would help turn the gasses around.

I thought about replacing the bottom of the drum with thicker steel plate to delay rust-out, and the warping of the bottom when it heats, and wondered if there was any advantage to shaping it other than flat.

The picture is a couple of options from my clutter pile. That disk is 22 inches across which is just about perfect for a 55 gallon drum. Have to close up those holes... but, hey, that's what Bondo is for. The other one is the bottom out of a waterheater tank. It's 16 in. dia. has a 2 in. deep concave, and is 3/16 in. thick.

Going to thicker steel just puts off burnout though so I was thinking of using one of those disks as a form to mold a bottom replacement from refractory cement, but I don't know if it would make enough difference to be worth the effort. And, I'm not sure how well the refractories I can make would hold up without cracking. Dragon Stoves makes a disk, made from some super refractory material, that you can buy to replace the bottom of a drum. It makes a good cook surface and you never have to worry about bottom burn out again. That's the way to go if you can afford it, but, you can replace a lot of burnt out drums for the price.
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Dan Dronberger
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Hey Tom if your read this. The disk was under the barrel it improved the speed of the hot gasses to mass, for quicker mass heating.

Well it has been a long hot summer scavenging up the parts for the house RMH. It's time to get it built. The hardest thing to find was free clean clay. Met a local river rat and he took me to a cool fishing spot on the pecos.

As we're walking in the river I found a large chunk of gray clay in the gravel bed. This led me to a large deposit of 4 types/colors of clay in the bank. What is really cool. There is a layer of gravel above the clay. Above the the gravel, is 30' of soil on the bank cliff.
I found pottery shards and knapped rock tailings in the gravel bed. This deposit of gravel and artifacts is sitting on the gray clay. Hopefully in the morning we will get to go and harvest the clay and find some thing interesting.

Garden has been prolific and as soon as I finger out how to post pick again :slap: I will.

got lost and just found the way back here.

peace

Dan D.
 
Dan Dronberger
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This is my cobbled up RMH for the shack.. (under $150)

I'm thinking :scratch: it might be a little to big. (6"er) We'll see.
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Dan Dronberger
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Dan Dronberger
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and more
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Dan Dronberger
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Does any one of the masters for see a problem at this point?

Will be doing a full on test run over the next few days. Then on to the finish.

Thanks
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Dan; The only problem I see is that barrel still has its paint! Better burn that one off .
 
Villains always have antidotes. They're funny that way. Here's an antidote disquised as a tiny ad:
five days of natural building (wofati and cob) and rocket cooktop oct 8-12, 2018
https://permies.com/t/92034/permaculture-projects/days-natural-building-wofati-cob
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