I have recently been appointed troop leader of my local Boy Scout Troop and in our main meeting building there is and old double barrel heater. I'd love to start teaching these guys about rocket stoves and am wondering if there would be a noticeable difference turning it in to a pocket rocket. Thanks for the advise! Btw, the building is an old covered garage that is un-insulated and cinder block construction. We currently have 2 exhaust options, 1 straight through the roof and another out the wall.
Nick; Great plan to teach the boys about rocket stoves! I think having them build a few pocket rockets would be fun ... but In your meeting hall I would go ahead and have them help build a full mass heater ! The cost is minimal and you have the boys to make the cob! A pocket rocket would keep going out and the room would cool fast, using a mass heater you would still have to feed it but the radiant heat is wonderful ! Plus the boys will see both in action and you will hopefully have a new group of young rocket scientists on your hands!
Also, pocket rockets get super hot! Perhaps start with a demonstration of those (outdoors?) but I'd NOT want a red hot bucket around a troop of kids for very long.
I second the idea of the full RMH as a wonderful final stage of the series of projects!
I'd consider a progression, pocket rocket demo, followed by rocket stove demo (complete with hot food to be eaten!) and moving on in logical stages until they are able to build the full rock mass heater. Tons of cool stuff to learn! A great idea
A 30-55 gallon pocket rocket puts out some heat! Probably similar to a double barrel, but needs different fuel. If you have rocket fuel style fuel, as in long skinny sticks or construction debris, it is a good option. If you have short normal firewood, then a barrel stove is probably better.
You can make the upper barrel a bell by extending the chimney pipe down into the barrel and make it much more efficient, but you might not notice in that short of time.
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Nick; 90 Min. is plenty of time to feel the warmth. Leave most of your 55 gal barrel un cobbed and you will feel plenty of radiant heat off the barrel and your mass (after drying) will heat up nicely . My 8" system will have a glowing orange circle on the barrel top (+ 1100 F) The pipe leaving the mass, where it goes vertical runs around 100-130 F , thats a lot of heat getting stored in your mass ! After you build one you may find people (stopping by) just to check out the rocket... sign them up as assistant SM and you'll teach them the mysteries of rocket science! Seriously anybody that burns woodshould at the least know about rmh's and rural elderly people who still burn wood just might entertain and feed a troop of hungry boy scouts who were helping build them their own rmh! Our greenhouse/studio went from burning 12-15 cord of fir a winter to burning apx 4.5 cord so far this year! (yes it has been a warmer year here) Congrats on helping point the boys in the right direction!
Awesome! One last question, has anyone burned 'Paper Bricks' in their RMH? In case you are not familiar, you soak the paper in water, blend (if you want-not necessary) and compress into 'bricks' using whatever form you want. (A friend of mine used a pvc pipe with holes drilled in it, a ram and a couple bowling balls.) I work in an office that generates HUGE amounts of shredded paper so I thought this might be a free source of fuel. Thanks!
Nick DePuy wrote:Awesome! One last question, has anyone burned 'Paper Bricks' in their RMH? In case you are not familiar, you soak the paper in water, blend (if you want-not necessary) and compress into 'bricks' using whatever form you want. (A friend of mine used a pvc pipe with holes drilled in it, a ram and a couple bowling balls.) I work in an office that generates HUGE amounts of shredded paper so I thought this might be a free source of fuel. Thanks!
I've not tried it myself, but I've seen a few YouTube videos on it. Time seemed to me as the biggest negative factor, and for me time has more value than buying a cord of wood. Even if I have to split the wood, it seems faster and easier to me. But you may feel differently about that, so yes, try it and let us know what you think! If you could rig up some kind of ramming system that might speed the process.
In terms of paper, the question I would have is what chemicals are in the paper? Black and white paper may be OK, whereas four color printed paper maybe not so good. You may want to look into that, and find out what the chemicals break down into when burning at various temperatures.
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