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Brick Bell Shop Heater  RSS feed

 
gardener
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And Again ;  a little more.  Got smart and put the barrel to work in its new job.... not quite as hot as its going to get but it sure captures more of the propane heat for me.
Got the exhaust outlet built in this afternoon as well. I had a few oversize firebrick 6 x 24 I brought home from the saw mill. A broken one was just right to bridge the outlet.  10" w x 9" T
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pollinator
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Getting there slowly but surely... thanks for all the pictures.
 
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Really looking great!
 
gardener
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I think you'll be happy with your brick bell. The back of my bell which will abut the future stone chimney is one brick thick (2 1/2", old red brick and firebrick), and throws heat within an hour from starting the fire. Your heat-catching protrusions may help speed the process.
 
thomas rubino
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Thanks guys;  Its a slow process but its getting there.  Wish I had started earlier in the summer...  cold out there!
 
thomas rubino
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Below freezing all day today...  only got about 3 hrs work in on this before I called it a day.
Got around the corner and got the ash cleanout door fit.

Not to sure if my bricks are drying or freezing... :)

Couldn't help but throw in a picture of our Hudson.... maybe if the shops warm I'll work on it.
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My 1938 Hudson
 
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Is that a gas burner attached to the gas bottle?
 
thomas rubino
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Yup , Propane heater, got it under the barrel ,so that heats up as well.  I was pointing it at bricks to dry them out BUT...  its cold out there. Rather have more heat for me!
 
pollinator
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Hey Thomas,   A few questions for an inquiring mind....

1) When you built your exhaust outlet, how did you determine the size and shape?  I had heard that low and wide was the way to go....
2) How do you plan to cap your bell? Are you going to need pillars?
3) Just wondering if maybe it would be a good idea to cap the bell temporarily with a piece of cement backer board or something that would give you an idea of how it runs with different configurations - more or less pillars (to add/subtract ISA), dividing walls to make 2 or even 3 bells?



 
thomas rubino
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Well Gerry, I never came across any recommended dimensions.  I reasoned it needed to be larger than 8" so I went 10" wide . The nine tall was the height of my firebrick. I kind of figure that if its badly wrong then Peter or Max (or maybe Gerry) would let me know. :)
I have an option to use 10" heavy wall galv. pipe as my chimney, I haven't made up my mind yet, if I'll use it or 8" but I wanted to be sure my hole in the wall was big enough. I did consider putting a wall inside the bell so the hot gases coming down from the drum don't try to sneak out the chimney without first depositing their heat up top.

Capping has been on my mind quite a bit lately.  I hadn't even considered a temporary roof ... what an outstanding idea!!!  Hats off to you Sir !

My real plan is rather ambitious, and may change as I progress.
The small area behind the barrel will get a flat roof, I haven't determined at what height or of what material yet.
For the rest of the roof... I REALLY want to build an arched brick dome ... Like the batch box, Kirk built with the casserole door. I'll probably muck it up but... I just got to try.
I'm having great fun being an apprentice brick layer!

Now that outstanding idea of a temp roof...  I want to run off to Sandpoint rite now and get a couple of sheets of hardy board!   I could Fire it off early !!!  Whoo Hoo !  Like you say, see if it needs a second bell !! Get it drying out while I prepare my form for the arch!  I could sort of pick better weather before I open it back up !  WOW   I owe you a beer my friend!
 
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Thomas, 9x10 for an 8 incher?  That's plenty.  Sure you could have done 16X4 high. But who cares.

For your arch, use a saracen or catalan arch!



Or a nubian one!

Can't find a nice video. If you want to know more, ask Kirk!
 
thomas rubino
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Hey Max;  Great video ! You got to respect a master craftsman at work ! Those guys are amazing!
I however am no master craftsman.... I think a Saracen arch is a big enough challenge for the time being :)  You will know if I succeed or fail by the final photos of my new arch OR my new flat roof.
Those formless Nubians are really something as well.
 
Gerry Parent
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thomas rubino wrote:
Well Gerry, I never came across any recommended dimensions.  I reasoned it needed to be larger than 8" so I went 10" wide . The nine tall was the height of my firebrick. I kind of figure that if its badly wrong then Peter or Max (or maybe Gerry) would let me know. :)
I have an option to use 10" heavy wall galv. pipe as my chimney, I haven't made up my mind yet, if I'll use it or 8" but I wanted to be sure my hole in the wall was big enough. I did consider putting a wall inside the bell so the hot gases coming down from the drum don't try to sneak out the chimney without first depositing their heat up top.

Capping has been on my mind quite a bit lately.  I hadn't even considered a temporary roof ... what an outstanding idea!!!  Hats off to you Sir !

My real plan is rather ambitious, and may change as I progress.
The small area behind the barrel will get a flat roof, I haven't determined at what height or of what material yet.
For the rest of the roof... I REALLY want to build an arched brick dome ... Like the batch box, Kirk built with the casserole door. I'll probably muck it up but... I just got to try.
I'm having great fun being an apprentice brick layer!

Now that outstanding idea of a temp roof...  I want to run off to Sandpoint rite now and get a couple of sheets of hardy board!   I could Fire it off early !!!  Whoo Hoo !  Like you say, see if it needs a second bell !! Get it drying out while I prepare my form for the arch!  I could sort of pick better weather before I open it back up !  WOW   I owe you a beer my friend!



Yeah, I really like Kirk's batch box too. Pretty sure he used a slip form to hold up one arch of bricks, then slid it forward and made another arch...repeat, repeat until the entire arch is done.  I have made an earthbag structure years back and had 3 arches to make. The slip form worked great! ... at least for those that are not quite as skilled (like me) as those in the video. BTW, really inspiring, thanks Satamax!

Something to consider from Kuznetsov's writings on double bells:

"There is another remarkable feature of our “double bell” stove: ability not to loose efficiency during prolonged firing. It is known that the longer you burn the hotter walls of the stove’s channels and flues become. The hotter they become, the less heat they can absorb. In this case, temperature of exhausted gases rises, meaning that efficiency of the stove falls accordingly"

As I sip my morning coffee, all I can taste is that beer you 'gave' me!   :)
 
thomas rubino
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Today I set the barrel down on ceramic blanket in its final resting place.  Cut a strip of 1" thick blanket down to 1/2" and set it in the shallow groove that I carved in the brick. I'll mix up some fireclay ,sand and ash to seal it.
I also decided to build a dry stack wall, out of extra firebrick. Between the riser and the outlet.  It is not sealed but should keep the heat rising in the bell instead of flowing directly across to the outlet stack. I gave it a 9 x 8 passage at floor level and it will be open at the top IF I successfully build an arch as a lid. It also adds more mass and increases my isa win win!
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thomas rubino
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Busy time of year. And I haven't even had to plow snow yet.
I got a few more bricks stacked today. Still so much more to go.  Picked up 3 more bags of fireclay in Missoula last week, some more sand as well. Need some 1/2" hardy board to use as a temporary roof. And I may yet run out of bricks and need to make a run up to Hot Springs to get more. And on and on... or so it seems.  
Haven't mudded it up yet but I got the 8" exhaust outlet set in place.
Still using odd pieces of ceramic board and ceramic blanket to fill in as needed with my mismatched brick build. It is making things much easier!
I'm going to need to build a low scafold to be able to work on the top.
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thomas rubino
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Back to custom cutting again.  Each brick that meets the barrel must be shaped to fit. I use a piece of superwool and plenty of fireclay to seal it up. The ceramic blanket should flex with the metal (I hope) keeping the clay from constant cracking.
My supply of bricks is dwindling faster than the walls are rising. I'll be buying more bricks before this job is done.
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Custom cuts here as well
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Gerry Parent
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Lookin' good Thomas!
How high are you planning on taking the bell?
Probably wish now that you had scooped up those free bricks for yourself that you posted about from Spokane a month ago eh?
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Gerry;
Thank you, I'm having a blast working with  brick. Heck I enjoy just looking at the old brick.   If only it wasn't so dang cold out there!

Yes, I do wish I could have gotten a truck load of that brick in Spokane. Logistically, it just wasn't worth it. Spokane is 140 miles one way. My almost 50 year old pickup gets 8 mpg tops, empty or loaded... it could have easily carried 2000 bricks. My Subaru gets 28 mpg, but only holds 200-300 bricks...  (Besides I had piles of brick then...:)  

Ultimately,  I would like to take it to six foot and then give part of it the domed roof.
But for now I'm thinking, just stop at 5 ',  throw on a roof, hook up the chimney and  Fire this dragon up!  See how she roars!     As I said, its cold out there :)
 
Gerry Parent
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Yeah, I know the feeling of being cold working on a project.... but what a great motivator to keep working!
Having an insulated container (like a chest cooler) of very warm water nearby on a job has been a life saver for me...cleans the hands and revives them so I can feel again.
 
thomas rubino
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Hi All;

Made a big change today after talking to Peter over at Donkeys.
He suggested that a column would be a better choice than the wall.
I quickly removed my dry stack wall and replaced it with a mortared column.

Still making custom cuts to come up along the side of the barrel. Using Super wool as an expansion joint to hopefully keep it sealed.
Closing on the 5' mark on the south wall.  North wall is maybe 4' mortared with dry stack after that.  Current plan is to stop and cap the bell at 5'.

Hired a helper today, to cut bricks, pack sand in the hollow bricks , mix batches of clay , and to generally be a spare hand. He starts tomorrow... Maybe I can make some good progress this week.  

 
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Gerry Parent
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thomas rubino wrote:Hi All;
Made a big change today after talking to Peter over at Donkeys.
He suggested that a column would be a better choice than the wall.
I quickly removed my dry stack wall and replaced it with a mortared column.


Would like to read about what Peter had to say. Could you provide a link to the proboards chat?  Thanks!  
 
thomas rubino
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http://donkey32.proboards.com/thread/3456/internal-wall-count-total-isa

How's that for service!
 
Satamax Antone
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thomas rubino wrote:

Still making custom cuts to come up along the side of the barrel.
 



Only answer is



 
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thomas rubino wrote:

Still making custom cuts to come up along the side of the barrel. Using Super wool as an expansion joint to hopefully keep it sealed...

 



Interesting build Thomas. The steel barrel to masonry vertical  gas seal, that's going to be the trick maintaining a tight leak free seal in that critical area. Lots of thermal cycling forces at play there. Perhaps some kind of spring loaded strapping could be implemented to hold the barrel tight against the compression seal? Myself, I'd probably just go the second route, i.e. add/build the bell's fourth wall straight up against but not touching the barrel. Best of luck, and looking forward to the test burn results.
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Byron;

This whole build is experimental.  I may decide to convert this to a batch box later if I'm unhappy with the output of the J tube.  At that time I would most likely replace the barrel with a full brick bell.

For the time being, as it is located in a drafty auto shop and not a living space. I am willing to try sealing the barrel with blanket & clay. I think it will work.
If I find it just will not stay sealed, then in the summer I can do a modification and add either a blanket wrapped beam or purchase a 24" firebrick to bridge and build up a fourth wall out of brick.
The beauty of working with a clay mortar, all it takes is a mallet and putty knife to make changes!

 
 
thomas rubino
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Amazing how much work you can get done with just a little help.  
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thomas rubino
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Picked up the exhaust pipe and hardy backer board yesterday.  
One last course of brick to mud down and I can set the roof on.
Started work on the chimney.    By using the thick wall pipe at the bottom, if do I need to prime the bell, I can do so with my cutting torch. By heating that first section of pipe.
Might get to fire this up by the weekend if not sooner!!!
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Fox James
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Almost there now, I can hardly wait for the test run... quite a beast!
 
thomas rubino
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My Baby Dragon Roared Today!
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Fox James
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How did it go?
There is a lot of bricks to dry out and warm up but it looks like you can get a lot of fuel in the feed chamber!
 
thomas rubino
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Hi fox;
She did outstanding !  That 5 minute riser and the ceramic core are simply the best I have ever used!  She shot up over 800F on the barrel in just moments. The exhaust stack started drawing rite away!
I only ran it for an hour or so , long enough to see steam .
Yes , the 8" core uses a 7.5 square feed  much better than the 6" version. And there sure is a lot of brick to dry out and warm up!
Today I have auto work to get done (seems I have been otherwise occupied the last few days ) I plan on firing her up  and running her hard all day!

Next, we will see how well my sealing of the barrel to masonry with ceramic blanket works... so far so good!
 
Fox James
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Fantastic news mate.
I notice on some of the Facebook threads, folk have reported on CF board shrinking!
Not badly but the joints have opened up at the corners.
 
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