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protecting a barrel from rust?  RSS feed

 
tony morse
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I've just built my first RMH and I'm loving it already, however the steel drum I used is bare (deliberately after reading about the risk of paint fumes), so I'm wondering what everyone does to stop the barrel rusting?? is there some heat proof paint you'd recommend? or something else?
 
Michael Newby
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Hi Tony, congratulations on your first RMH! Got any pictures? We looove pictures around here.

Most of the RMH's that I've seen have been just the bare barrel with no paint. If the stove's kept inside and used somewhat regularly there shouldn't be a serious problem with rust unless you're somewhere with very humid/salty air.

I don't have experience using it on a RMH barrel but I know that you can go to most hardware stores and buy "stove black" which is what is used on wood stoves and that should work just fine on the barrel.
 
tony morse
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As you can see, a work in progress. The cob will be part of a raised floor between the caravans.
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Michael Newby
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Looks nice! Since it's going to be part of the floor do you have any plans to cover the cob or treat it in any way to make it a little tougher/more wear resistant?

When you do the floor I'd love to see a thread about it in the natural building forum, too. I bet there's a good number of people that visit the site that would be interested in doing something like what you're doing.
 
Byron Campbell
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Location: US, East Tennessee, north of Knoxville
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One thing to watch out for when sanding paint off the barrel is don't touch it, wear gloves. There's salt in perspiration / fingerprints, which induce rusty spots at every human contact point.

Once the barrel is cleaned of paint there are a couple of methods to help prevent rusting. Some folks rub in a light coat of vegetable oil. I prefer Stove Black high temp. paint, but it will smoke at the first firing (so will the oil method) so have some serious ventilation going. Once the Stove Black is "burned in" it no longer smells. The outer layer actually flakes off leaving the steel blackened. I use a dry rag to brush the paint flakes off. It is still important to avoid direct bodily contact with the blackened steel and keep it dusted off to avoid attracting moisture to the treated surface as it can still rust under certain conditions.
 
thomas rubino
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Tony: Automotive high heat spray paint works well, and is good for temps in the 1500-2000 F range. My barrel temps are below 1000 F on the sides and only directly above my riser is the temp over 1100 F Your temps should be in the same range. It will smoke/smell the first time you heat it, so plenty of ventilation ,after that it's all good. Its fast easy and cheap!
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