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Inexpensive vacuum formed ceramic fiber heat risers here in USA  RSS feed

 
Brian James
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Hi folks,
I know a lot of people on various forums are looking for a source of affordable ceramic heat risers here in the US. I sent queries to a dozen US manufacturers here in the eastern half of the country over the past month and finally found a factory in Pittsburgh that is willing to produce these in small quantities at very affordable prices.

I am not in the stove industry and don't desire to make a business out of this. Other forums, however, often put together a forum "group buy" to get a good quantity price and meet the minimum purchase quantity on a desired item.

I sent the manufacturer specs for its application and current European and American photos of what is currently in use in rocket mass heaters. I want this to be completely open/honest so that no one thinks any profits are being made, so I'll simply post the information I received by email (that way it's open source, anyone can do likewise):


Brian,

Per your request, here is your price for a Vacuum Formed Riser Sleeve.

2600 F Vacuum Formed Fiber Sleeve 6” ID x 8” OD x 24” Long
$ 36.00 each

FOB – Pittsburgh, PA
Lead time = 3-4 weeks ARO

Miminum order of $ 200.00

If you have any questions please let us know.

Thank you,
Product Sales Manager
Temtek Solutions www.temteksolutions.com
2 John Street | Mckees Rocks, PA 15136
Tel: 888-265-2608 | Local: 412-771-5533
Cell: 412-334-0618


I've subsequently requested these be manufactured with male and female ends for ease of stacking. That will raise the per unit price a small amount.

My question is whether anyone here would be interested in a "group buy" on these risers?

I would be willing to arrange the group buy, by picking them up from Pittsburgh, packaging them and shipping them individually. Total cost will depend on the final cost of the individual riser, packaging costs and actual shipping costs. I'm estimating around $85 total per unit, but I've never done this before, so I may be over or underestimating the cost to package them securely and ship them via the best shipping option. Anyone who lives close enough to west central PA is welcome to pick one up in person to save packaging and shipping costs.

My only "motive" in doing this is to pick up one or two for myself (I'm on an extremely tight budget) and friends to experiment with and make them available to others in the same situation. I'm good at researching but my experimenting days with casting etc are just about over due to health trouble and lack of space for tinkering.

Please let me know your thoughts and please give me a heads up if I'm going about this incorrectly here or missed something important in the tech involved.

I also posted this at http://donkey32.proboards.com/thread/1948/affordable-commercial-vacuum-formed-ceramic and there is a good discussion with the experts there who thought it was a good price for a good quality unit.

 
Kyrt Ryder
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I'll sign on for two.
 
Glenn Herbert
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That sounds really good. What would be the feasibility of getting 8" riser units too? At 24", a 6" unit sitting on top of a J-tube core would be a bit on the short side, though probably long enough. An 8" riser would need to be composed of two 24" sections, maybe a little bit less. So if similar economics plays out, it would probably only need 4 to 6 sections to make the minimum order.

I'm not in the market for this myself, but I'm sure there are numerous people who would be.
 
Tam Deal
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I watched the 4 DVDs a while ago so I am not current on this stuff. What are we conceiving as the required height for an average build?

On diameter. One thing I seem to remember is that one wants the same section all through the heater. So a 6 in ID translates into a 5.2 inch square ID. So if you are thinking burn area or feed will be 6 inch square, 36 square inch section you need to gross that up by about 27% to get the ID for a tube, or 7.6 inch ID. If I remember correctly.

I would actually be interested since I may make a 4 inch one at some time, shipping would seem to be the sticky wicket here. I would need delivery to Buff NY.
 
Tam Deal
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Or did I overthink that, and the tubes are square. I normally think round when talking tubes, but of course they can be square. As far as male and female ends, the same issues pertain, there needs to remain the required air section for whatever box you are conceiving of.
 
Glenn Herbert
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When discussing system sizes, it is customary to use the diameter of ducts and chimney as the base, and calculate square sizes with reference to those. However, because the corners of a square channel create some drag and turbulence, you actually need a slightly larger square cross section to equal a round tube. It is within tolerances to make the squared portions the same width as the round size, or a little less.
 
Brian James
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:I'll sign on for two.

Ok I'll get you more details in a week or two when we get the final price and I can get a general idea on shipping and packaging costs.
 
Brian James
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Glenn Herbert wrote:That sounds really good. What would be the feasibility of getting 8" riser units too? At 24", a 6" unit sitting on top of a J-tube core would be a bit on the short side, though probably long enough. An 8" riser would need to be composed of two 24" sections, maybe a little bit less. So if similar economics plays out, it would probably only need 4 to 6 sections to make the minimum order.

I'm not in the market for this myself, but I'm sure there are numerous people who would be.


From what I've read and from talking to folks who know over at the other site, total height of riser is measured from the floor of the batch box to the top of the heat riser. Since these vacuum formed ceramic fiber risers are so well insulated and so light weight, 24" is more than adequate to get the highest temps out of a 6" J tube or batch box.

We could do another "group buy" in the future if there is a demand for 8" units. This current order is for all the same size, 6". Because of their manufacturing process we have to keep them separate.

We're also looking at the possibility of having them make 2 part batch boxes in the same manner, with the vacuum cast batch box modified to accept split thickness firebrick liners in the bottom, rear and sides. It's never been done but it would be lightweight, very well insulated and the firebrick would protect the vacuum formed batch box. It's something that we'll have to look at further and experiment with to see if they would hold up to firewood loading.
 
Brian James
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Tam Dl wrote:Or did I overthink that, and the tubes are square. I normally think round when talking tubes, but of course they can be square. As far as male and female ends, the same issues pertain, there needs to remain the required air section for whatever box you are conceiving of.

These are 6" round tubes for 6" J or batch boxes. Internal diameter stays the same regardless of the male and female ends which are to help secure the risers to each other or to the batch box. Similar to these:
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Nice this is an hour from me!
 
F Styles
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I would be more concerned with how these tubes handle the temperature shock heating and cooling without cracking?
 
Brian James
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F Styles wrote:I would be more concerned with how these tubes handle the temperature shock heating and cooling without cracking?

Please follow the link to the other forum in the original post and read the posts there by folks more qualified to comment than me.

Here's what Peterberg said on the thread there (I'm fairly certain he posts here too):

"That $36 is quite a good price. Specifications look good, those things can be stacked without additional support. But you need to make sure it stays in place so male/female ends would be a good thing as long as the internal diameter stays the same. It could be put inside an 8" steel tube or chimney pipe to keep those lined up. I am using similar sleeves for my heat riser and to date there aren't any signs of problems."
 
chad glassart
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I would be very interested to learn more about these ... I am about an hour away as well. (morgantown wv)

It could be put inside an 8" steel tube or chimney pipe to keep those lined up.


From what ive been reading lately it sounds as if metal riser liners are a bad idea ... as they break down in the heat. Curious...could you cement these together?

thanks
 
Glenn Herbert
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What Peter was talking about was not a riser liner, but a sleeve outside the fiber tubes to keep them aligned. This has been a common practice, for instance to contain a perlite-clay insulating riser.
 
Brian James
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chad glassart wrote:
From what ive been reading lately it sounds as if metal riser liners are a bad idea ... as they break down in the heat. Curious...could you cement these together?

thanks

I'll ask the sales rep about the best methods to join these risers to each other and to the batch box though I've heard people use furnace cement and ceramic gasket material.

I have not heard back from him yet this week by email but I just put in a call to his office. If I hear back today I'll post more info and the final unit price. Otherwise I'll be traveling for the next 6 days and may not be able to post an update till mid next week.
 
Brian James
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Ok, I finally heard back from the sales rep on a per unit price with the male and female ends. Here's his email this morning:

Brian,

Here is your revised pricing:

2600 F Vacuum Formed Fiber Sleeve 6” ID x 8” OD x 24” Long
$ 46.00 each
Includes ½” deep x ½” wide shiplap (Male/female) ends

FOB – Pittsburgh, PA
Lead time = 3-4 weeks ARO

Miminum order of $ 200.00

If you have any questions please let us know.

Thank you,
Product Sales Manager
Temtek Solutions
2 John Street | Mckees Rocks, PA 15136
Tel: 888-265-2608 | Local: 412-771-5533
Cell: 412-334-0618
www.temteksolutions.com

So the final per unit price for the 6" internal diameter, 8" external diameter, 24" long vacuum formed ceramic fiber riser with male and female ends is $46 each. I will have to pick them up in Pittsburgh, package them securely, and ship them individually from here in Johnstown PA. As such, final cost will be more, probably $70-$85, but that will depend on costs for packaging to protect the product and final shipping costs. They will take 3-4 weeks to manufacture and I won't collect anything until I have the final product in my hands and can obtain shipping costs and posts some photos here.

I need to give the sales rep a final order with the total number of risers soon. Please let me know if you're interested ASAP if you have not already so I can place the order.

Also, they are looking at the batch box files and I should have a rough estimate on a price for a 2 piece vacuum formed ceramic fiber batch box within the next week or two.
 
Brian James
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I'm going to be placing an order for these risers on Monday. I can only preorder units for those who have stated they definitely want to purchase one or more of these (I can't afford to order extras and have to cover the cost for those who change their mind) so please let me know via PM between now and Monday if you definitely want one.
 
Susana Smith
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Re-reading this thread I see that Brian said he's on an an extremely tight budget.

I will round up my payment, sadly not enough to compensate him for time on research, negotiation, pickup and shipping,
but just a bit to express appreciation.

Thanks again Brian!
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Ugh, turned out the budget's cinching in at the worst possible time.

I wish I didn't have to back out, but I do. Hope you guys can still swing the discount without me.
 
Brian James
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:Ugh, turned out the budget's cinching in at the worst possible time.

I wish I didn't have to back out, but I do. Hope you guys can still swing the discount without me.


No problem Kyrt. Right now it looks like we'll be ordering about 18 of these units so we're way beyond a minimum purchase. We may do another group buy in the future if there's a demand for them.
 
Brian James
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Susana Smith wrote:Re-reading this thread I see that Brian said he's on an an extremely tight budget.

I will round up my payment, sadly not enough to compensate him for time on research, negotiation, pickup and shipping,
but just a bit to express appreciation.

Thanks again Brian!


My pleasure Susana, thank you. The research and communications with various American manufacturers was actually an enjoyable learning experience.

(Trying to discuss these with Chinese manufacturers on AliBaba on the other hand was ... not as much fun.)
 
Steve Smyth
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Thanks to the OP for taking the time and effort to pull this together. AWESOME!!

I am really anxious to hear how these are working out for you all?

I am also wondering if buying from the vendor you used and having the risers shipped to Seattle would be cost effective or if I would be better served to find a similar outfit to make them over here on the Left Coast?

Thanks again.
 
Glenn Herbert
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I think the only way to answer that is to see what price you can get from a manufacturer near you. Shipping of any kind is likely to carry a similar load of base cost, whether it is 200 miles or 2000 miles. These cast riser tubes will have more bulk than weight.
 
Brian James
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Hi folks,
A quick update. The salesman got back to me yesterday by phone. This is one of those bad news/good news(?) updates. He said they were unable to create the male and female ends using the 6" ID and 8" ED risers and offered the original flat ended risers at the original price of $36 each.

Frankly, I learned that when they offered the male and female ends they usually would have charged an extra $1000 for the tooling and extra forms to add the ship lap to the risers and they forgot to add that to the $46 price, so they might have been trying to cut their losses.

Regardless, the risers will now be 6" ID and 8" ED and 24" long with flat ends at $36 each.

If that causes anyone difficulty I will gladly reimburse those who payed up front for the male and female ends.

My apologies but this is beyond my control and I'm not very happy about it. Please let me know if that is a problem for anyone who paid up front. If it's not, I'll simply use the $10 difference towards packing and shipping for those who paid up front.

- Brian
 
Brian James
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Steve Smyth wrote:Thanks to the OP for taking the time and effort to pull this together. AWESOME!!

I am really anxious to hear how these are working out for you all?

I am also wondering if buying from the vendor you used and having the risers shipped to Seattle would be cost effective or if I would be better served to find a similar outfit to make them over here on the Left Coast?

Thanks again.

Because they are relatively light weight, I doubt that shipping will be very expensive, even out to Seattle. But they do have a $200 minimum order.
 
Steve Smyth
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Brian Kopp wrote:
Steve Smyth wrote:Thanks to the OP for taking the time and effort to pull this together. AWESOME!!

I am really anxious to hear how these are working out for you all?

I am also wondering if buying from the vendor you used and having the risers shipped to Seattle would be cost effective or if I would be better served to find a similar outfit to make them over here on the Left Coast?

Thanks again.

Because they are relatively light weight, I doubt that shipping will be very expensive, even out to Seattle. But they do have a $200 minimum order.


Thanks for the update.

I will give them a call on Monday and get a shipping estimate.
 
scott romack
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I would be in on an order if this is still open..
 
Steve Smyth
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I am waiting on a shipping estimate for 6 or the risers.

I don't need 6 but that is what it takes to make the minimum order. If I move forward with the order I will have 4-5 spares. I am in Snohomish County, North of Seattle. Anyone else in the area that may want to participate in the order?

Thanks.

S.
 
Anthony Donner
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I would be interested in 2 off these if possible, I live in minnesota
 
F Styles
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can they drop ship to different addresses?
 
Steve Smyth
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No word yet.

I sent an email inquiry last week and left a voicemail earlier this week. I have not received a response yet.
 
Brian James
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Sorry guys,
I had a pretty serious stroke and am in a Rehab Hospital. However I will have my son pick up and ship the risers as soon as they come in. I still have not heard back from the manufacturer. As far as drop shipping, I don't think they are set up fur that. If you call the number at they should be able to tell you if they can do drop shipping.
 
F Styles
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Brian Kopp wrote:Sorry guys,
I had a pretty serious stroke and am in a Rehab Hospital. However I will have my son pick up and ship the risers as soon as they come in. I still have not heard back from the manufacturer. As far as drop shipping, I don't think they are set up fur that. If you call the number at they should be able to tell you if they can do drop shipping.


you are "permies family" my friend and are in all of our hearts and minds... we will send positive energy your way for fast healing.
 
Brian James
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Still no word from the manufacturer yet. Argh.
 
Jason E Smith
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I wish I had been on this forum 4 months ago. I would have gone in for 1 or 2.
 
Brian James
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Hi folks,

I finally heard from the manufacturer late last week after I emailed them to check the status. They're in. I'm going to pick them up this week and ship them. Apologies for the delay.

Brian
 
Tom Robertson
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I've been working on my own ceramic riser, when I saw this thread.
The following is my plan 'C'

The blankets come in widths of 24 inches
Do the math on circumference of 6 an 7 inch diameter
Roughly, 6 = 18 w while 7 = 21.

Take a stovepipe and wrap your blanket around it. It should meet up or take a little trimmimg.
Bungee or tie blanket in place.
Put thin cloth in a bucket of furnace cement, or refractory.
When soaked, put the cloth on the outside of blanket.
I would focus on the seam.
You could cover the entire blanket to give it a right shell.
 
Tom Robertson
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I bought my blanket and 'airset" at a pottery place.
You can buy the 24 inch wide blanket in any length you want , by the square ft.
I think I paid $5 or 40 for 4 ft.
No need to stack risers
 
Brian James
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Hi folks,
I was able to pick up the risers in Pittsburgh last night. They are heavier than I expected, sturdy. I'll get them shipped this week. webpage
 
Gary Ebert
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I need a couple of these risers -- is anyone interested in doing a group buy?
 
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