i'm new to the rocket stove idea, but i love and can't wait to built one.
i have at least one question, what woods can i use safely???
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I have a lot of weedy staghorn sumac on my property and when Ernie was here I asked him about burning it since I felt it was pretty light weight and worthless. He replied certainly and works fine if you properly dry it first. On the basis of that, I think one might be able to safely say any wood, properly dried.
Furthering Permaculture next to Lake Ontario.
I think the biggest concern with wood to burn in a RMH, aside from making sure it is fully dry, is the physical shape of the pieces. Very crooked or stubbly sticks will be harder to have reliably slide down as they burn, and risk losing the fire or hanging up and toppling out onto the floor as the bottom burns. Proper cutting (not too long) and feeding (big end down) should take care of most of those issues. If you have only very thin sticks, you may get them breaking down too fast and building up a heap of coals unable to all get oxygen. Larger sticks once the fire is going strongly will feed more reliably and let the coals burn more completely.
Another new member here, I have wondered about using non traditional fuels in a RMH, since I live in SW KS, good firewood can be a challenge at times& I have wondered if a guy could make bundles& get good results burning stalks of Bluestem grass, or dried cat tail stalks, etc. or as my ancestors did, cow pies.
Common woods around here otherwise are Chinese Elm, Willow, Cottonwood (these three are wet woods, smokey and make a lot of ash)
Better woods are mulberry, locust, and hedge (pops& sparks badly, but HOT)