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The Red Cabin

 
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Welcome to the lil red cabin, located at wonderful base camp. Only a few steps away from the willow bank and the pee palace! A Beautiful morning view of the sunrise over the mountains, turkeys in the field, birds flying over berms, and on route to a short hike up the side on the volcano.

Home of the "minnie mouse" rocket mass heater.
Bunk bed with a double on the bottom and a single on top
And a short walk up to the fisher price house (home of J & P)

Come check it out!
red-cabin-minnie-mouse-heater.jpg
red cabin minnie mouse heater
red cabin minnie mouse heater
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red cabin minnie mouse heater
red cabin minnie mouse heater
 
gardener
Posts: 1508
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Looks like home, sweet home. Practically a perfect Permie palace.
 
Posts: 192
Location: Missoula, MT
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Kaizen. The only Japanese word that stuck with me means "constant gradual improvement." All the ants and gappers have a lively spirit of kaizen which has made a big difference at the Red Cabin. Spring blooms and a little smoke-back has helped, too. Note to self: Always thoroughly wash sheep's wool before using it as insulation.
red-cabin-hike-camp-permaculture-rocket-mass-heater.JPG
red cabin hike camp permaculture rocket-mass-heater
red cabin hike camp permaculture rocket-mass-heater
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red cabin hike camp permaculture rocket mass stove heater
red cabin hike camp permaculture rocket mass stove heater
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red cabin camping missoula montana
red cabin camping missoula montana
 
steward
Posts: 32881
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Julianne visited and made a video:

 
steward
Posts: 6356
Location: Carnation, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)
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paul wheaton wrote:Julianne visited and made a video:



Apologies to Peter van den Berg - he is from the Netherlands, not Norway!

Also, the Minnie Mouse is a rocket mass heater, not a rocket stove, and there is mass inside the barrel! A discussion about the Minnie Mouse starts here.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1589
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Ecobunks sounds good! I have a spare room now. Maybe after some 'renovations' I could make it into an eco-airbnb ... Interesting ...
For Permies who want to see the Netherlands i.r.l.  
 
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The cabin looks great! Congrats on all the progress.
 
paul wheaton
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The red cabin now has a sexy new rocket mass heater:

 
paul wheaton
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A bit more about the tiny house rocket mass heater in the red cabin:

 
gardener
Posts: 522
Location: Sierra Nevadas, CA 6400'
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This turned out great, thanks for the video! If I wanted to learn more about this style of RMH, are there any other resources I can look at? I really like the compact footprint and visual style of this one.
 
paul wheaton
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Kyle Neath wrote:This turned out great, thanks for the video! If I wanted to learn more about this style of RMH, are there any other resources I can look at? I really like the compact footprint and visual style of this one.



Like this:

https://permies.com/t/71576/tiny-house-rocket-mass-heater

??
 
Kyle Neath
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Doh, yep that's it — I must have missed that thread.
 
paul wheaton
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A video about the casserole door, with some tidbits about the red cabin:

 
pollinator
Posts: 585
Location: Near Missoula, MT
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The Red Cabin
red-cabin-rocket-oven-pizza-party-tour.jpeg
red cabin rocket oven pizza party
red cabin rocket oven pizza party
 
Coco Newlon
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Location: Near Missoula, MT
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The Red Cabin in December ❄️
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
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red cabin rocket oven pizza party
red cabin rocket oven pizza party
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red cabin in December
red cabin in December
B6FC380A-09D2-45DB-A3A5-E3E2E0F2BC01.jpeg
red cabin in December
red cabin in December
 
steward
Posts: 8903
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I stayed in the Red Cabin during the 2019 PEP1 event.  It's a lovely cabin and close to all the action.  I'd highly recommend a stay there.  I'm over 6' and the lower bed was long enough (feet dangling a bit).

I did have trouble getting the rocket mass heater to run without smoking.  I don't know enough about the design of these heaters but it seems like the top of the door should be below the height of the exit slot at the rear.  Otherwise any smoke hanging out in the firebox has a chance to escape the seams in the door.  Even having a perfectly sealed door wouldn't remedy the situation since you have to open the door at times and that would let the smoke out into the room.

My goal during my stay was to figure out a way to get it to run with the design as built.  First, we took out the elbow in the smokestack (pictures above) to check how plugged up the stack was.  It was pretty bad.  We cleaned it out and replaced the elbow with a tee so that checking/cleaning will be easier in the future.  That night it still smoked

After a few iterations, the best heater operation system I came up with is:
  • Get some easy to light paper and feed a bunch back through the slot in the rear to get it into the riser.  The goal is to get as much in the riser as possible without blocking an air path up the front of the riser that's maybe 1" in diameter.  Don't use cardboard, you want stuff that burns fast.
  • Have this paper extend out the bottom of the slot (not blocking airflow through the top 1" of the slot) and out into the bottom of the firebox a ways.  This will be the tinder underneath your small starter fire.
  • Then build a small starter fire on top of that paper tinder.  Use small twigs and split wood, aim for pencil to hot dog sized pieces.  Make this starter fire in the back of the firebox and under the 1" air gap you've left at the top of the slot.  When building the little fire, lay the sticks criss crossed so that there's plenty of room for air to pass through the sticks.
  • Then, light the torch.  Reach way back in there and light the paper in the riser (not under the starter fire).
  • Close the door.

  • The riser paper should ignite right away and start drawing air through the air inlet of the firebox and pushing cold air out the chimney.  That fire should work its way back out the slot and under the starter fire, igniting that wood.

    Once that small fire is half burned up (don't wait too long), gingerly open the door and see if smoke comes out.  Regardless of smoke coming out, put more wood on the fire.  Now it can be larger splits but no bigger than 2" square.  If you're having smoking issues, use shorter splits so that the butt end isn't real close to the door.  

    Once that new wood has charred up and been burning for a while, the system should be in "steady state".  You can open the door as needed to fill up with wood.  Now you can put in larger pieces but probably nothing bigger than 3" square or so.  I'm not sure because I didn't have larger stuff to try.

    I got to the point where I could get the starter fire going and then just put my main wood on (2" size).  Three sticks that size was enough to heat it up for me for the night (45F lows and 65F highs when I was there).

    Good luck!
     
    paul wheaton
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    a little surgery inside the red cabin!

     
    paul wheaton
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    part 2 of the surgery

     
    pollinator
    Posts: 2766
    Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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    Nice videos!

    The need to get inside and do periodic repairs has significantly discouraged me from pursuing a rocket stove approach. This is a pretty nifty way to get it done.
     
    paul wheaton
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    Part 3:  put the bricks and plaster back, and test:

     
    paul wheaton
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    The cyclone has been removed.   A 4 inch j-tube rocket mass heater has been installed.  It has a pebble style bench that goes under the bed.



    (pic from dez's boot thread)

    There is some beautification to be done still ...
     
    Mike Haasl
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    I believe the beautification has happened.  Just checked in yesterday after dark so the photos aren't as good as they could be.
    No-flash.jpg
    No flash
    No flash
    flash.jpg
    flash
    flash
    New-RMH-and-seating-bench.jpg
    New RMH and seating bench
    New RMH and seating bench
    Same-stuff-different-orientation.jpg
    Same stuff different orientation
    Same stuff different orientation
    Front-corner-of-cabin.jpg
    Front corner of cabin
    Front corner of cabin
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    It looks amazing, and so cozy! I love the little bench over the rocket mass heater's mass, and how the mass goes under the bed. So very nice!
     
    Mike Haasl
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    Yes, there's much more room inside now that the heater is mostly under the bed.  I'm still learning to run the heater so I should have more to report later this week.  It is a wonderful place to spend the night.

    Sorry the pictures are so grainy, a daytime pic would've turned out better...
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    You'll be there for a week--you can always take more picture during the daylight . Though, I'm pretty sure you're totally busy during the day, learning and teaching and having an amazing time!
     
    Mike Haasl
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    I've been using the new rocket mass heater for the past week and figured I'd document how I run it.  There may very well be better ways to operate it but this could be a place to start.

    First I put some paper in the burn tunnel.  It's a small 4" wood feed so you can drop it and tuck it out of view with a piece of kindling if you want.  The pulp paper that they make egg cartons out of is even better than paper.  I also set a wad of paper in the middle of the wood feed.  Then I chose some very small kindling and set it on the side of the wood feed closest to the tunnel (in between the paper wads).  I take the propane torch and reach in and send the flame down the burn tunnel to ignite that paper.  After a couple seconds I ignite the piece of paper at the bottom of the wood feed.  The first wads of burning paper start the draft and suck the flames from the other wad of paper past the kindling.  Once it's going, add 5+ more pieces of small kindling.  If it failed to get going, use the torch to start the base of the kindling on fire.  The small kindling should be pencil sized give or take.

    Once it's running, upgrade to larger pieces of wood (dice sized to store bought cherry sized).  Once that's started to burn down you can put in larger pieces up to 2.5" in diameter.  

    The system seems to smoke back if the wood feed is wide open so I cover it about half way with a fire brick.  Sometimes I have to close it slightly more if a wisp comes out.
    Red-cabin-rocket.jpg
    Red cabin rocket
    Red cabin rocket
     
    Just put the cards in their christmas stocking and PRESTO! They get it now! It's like you're the harry potter of permaculture. richsoil.com/cards
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