• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Burra Maluca
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Miles Flansburg
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Daron Williams
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
  • Bryant RedHawk

Are You Interested in Free Plans for a Steel-Cored, Air Cooled RMH-style heater?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last year I built a "Steel Max", a steel-cored, air-cooled rocket mass heater with a 67" high heat riser and a 24" high feed tube BEFORE I encountered all the dire warnings on this forum and others about the colossal failures of steel cores in RMH's.  I likely never would have attempted such a task IF I had read those warnings earlier!  But the project was done and I didn't want to scrap it after all the work I'd put into it. SO... decided to use it this winter to heat our drafty Southern Ontario farm house, photograph the inside of the burn tube and heat riser periodically to check for signs of spalling and heat corrosion and to see what would happen.

I've been pleased with its performance. It drafts very well, even with a feed tube much longer than anyone recommends here. Then, while it was in operation, it was inspected by the insurance company which insures our rental home and (wonder of wonders!) was approved by them!

So I am planning to build another system with a slightly larger flue (7" rather than the current 6") but with a much smaller footprint. (A masonry bell rather than a mass with the flue running through it.)

At this juncture, I considered building a "standard" RMH insulated refractory core. But considering the work, the cost and the time involved...I've decided to build another "STEEL MAX". I'm positive that a steel core is much cheaper, easier and less time-consuming to construct.

I'd be willing to post plans here for both the 6" unit with integral mass which is also connected to a mass with a horizontal flue through it and for  the 7" system with one large bell with an inner steel shell (a 5'x4'x2' furnace oil tank and an outer sand and masonry mass).

My two conditions are these:
(1) Would promoting a steel cored RMH be permitted by the administrators of this forum, provided that sufficient warnings about possibilities of heat corrosion were included, instructions on testing the unit prior to installation are given and explanations are clearly given regarding air cooling rather than insulating the core?  I would not even consider making the offer if such would not be permitted by the administrators.

(2) Is there sufficient interest in such a venture among forum members?   (I know that many on this forum have experienced first-hand or have read about colossal failures of INSULATED steel cores in rocket mass heaters. As a result, for many and possibly the vast majority here there is no interest whatsoever in EVER building a steel cored RMH.)  Thus if interest is limited or nil, I would not bother drawing plans and making them available here.

So I simply make the possibility known and will await the response of forum administrators and members before proceeding. If such is agreeable to the administrators and interest is shown by at least 50 forum members, I would proceed to make such plans available in the near future.

See below one picture of my current "Steel Max" which has received approval by our landlord's insurance company.
(24)-RMH-ready-to-heat-house-for-winter.-(Notice-air-cooling-fins-and-duct-which-draws-heat-away-from-sides-of-comb.chamber.).JPG
[Thumbnail for (24)-RMH-ready-to-heat-house-for-winter.-(Notice-air-cooling-fins-and-duct-which-draws-heat-away-from-sides-of-comb.chamber.).JPG]
 
Mother Tree
Posts: 10811
Location: Portugal
1368
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar tiny house wofati
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm going to discuss this with Paul and the other RMH experts o nthe staff and we'll let you know what we decide.
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Burra Maluca wrote:I'm going to discuss this with Paul and the other RMH experts o nthe staff and we'll let you know what we decide.



Thanks so much for your consideration! I'll await your decision.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 10811
Location: Portugal
1368
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar tiny house wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OK - go ahead and post.

If it looks like the warnings are being ignored by new members, I might wade in occasionally and point people to the thread about use of metal in rocket mass heaters, just don't let it wind you up.  I'm only trying to stop people re-inventing stuff to the point that it becomes dangerous or futile, and trying to prevent them coming back and blaming me for not telling them.
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Burra Maluca wrote:OK - go ahead and post.



Burra, thanks to you and the other administrators for the "go ahead".

But it seems (although this post has been viewed over 680 times, not a single person yet has indicated any interest in plans for a steel RMH.  As that was the other condition, I'll just hold off. There's no sense in addressing a matter in which there is no interest.
 
Posts: 48
Location: USDA zone 6a/5b
1
bee food preservation forest garden
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm interested in the plans and materials list or any resources for this build

I read part of your thread, the one with all the warnings about the temp melting your 'steel-max' and am glad your design works, because it seems easier to make than a traditional RMH, But are you heating a 'mass'?

is that 'bench of stone' in back of the steel-max your "mass"?..

 
gardener
Posts: 2776
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
109
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A lot of people who have never built an RMH are familiar with working with steel, and have welding experience and equipment. Naturally, these people feel that it would be easier than a standard cob/refractory style. If you are not a welder, building a steel core seems much more difficult than a standard one.
 
Posts: 19
Location: Ontario, Canada
1
chicken forest garden fungi
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm also from S. Ontario and I am interested in how you go about getting the insurance to ok it.  I've been planning to heat my workshop with an RMH but didn't think it would be possible to get a RMH ok'd for the house without a lot of hassle.  Were you able to build it to code?  Is there a code for this?  Really interested in this part of your project as well as the plans.
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would appreciate the plans as well.
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Blaze Gorski wrote:I'm interested in the plans and materials list or any resources for this build

I read part of your thread, the one with all the warnings about the temp melting your 'steel-max' and am glad your design works, because it seems easier to make than a traditional RMH, But are you heating a 'mass'?

is that 'bench of stone' in back of the steel-max your "mass"?..



Hi Blaze,  Well there does seem to be a bit of interest, so we'll see how it goes. Yes, the field stone bench (filled with sand) in the background is the external mass.  The 5" sand-filled space between the barrel and the external tank in the foreground is also an integral mass.
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Glenn Herbert wrote:A lot of people who have never built an RMH are familiar with working with steel, and have welding experience and equipment. Naturally, these people feel that it would be easier than a standard cob/refractory style. If you are not a welder, building a steel core seems much more difficult than a standard one.



Hi Glenn,  I am one who is not a welder, but I did all the cutting and had my son and a friend do the welding for me on my first RMH.
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Stew Haggerty wrote:I'm also from S. Ontario and I am interested in how you go about getting the insurance to ok it.  I've been planning to heat my workshop with an RMH but didn't think it would be possible to get a RMH ok'd for the house without a lot of hassle.  Were you able to build it to code?  Is there a code for this?  Really interested in this part of your project as well as the plans.



Hi Stew, Great to meet a fellow Southern Ontarian here! (I'm just south of Woodstock. How far are you from here?)

As far as codes are concerned, I/m not aware of any for RMH's as they are basically unknown here. I just built it taking into consideration our own safety and I firmly believe it is a lot safer than our former woodstove. I didn't "plan" on getting the insurance to OK it! We live in a rental home and the insurance co had not checked the landlord's properties for over 10 years and just scheduled a heating system check a few weeks ago! I( thought for sure I'd have to remove the RMH for sure, but decided to leave it in, brought in the old woodstove in case we'd have to switch back. Then I just asked the insurance inspector to look my RMH over while it was burning and he was quite intrigued! He'd never seen anything like it and agreed with me that it was no firehazard. He took lots of pics and I sent him all mine of the construction of it and he "went to bat " for me with the underwriters and they OK'd it!  So I encourage folks to go ahead and get one in  operation and then call the insurance co and show them that it really is safer than a woodstove!  They would be crazy to reject it and ask you to put in a woodstove which is more of a risk!  Seems there is a bit of interest in this project so if the trend increases, I'll see about getting plans drawn up to post here.
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Bruce Woodford wrote:

Blaze Gorski wrote:I'm interested in the plans and materials list or any resources for this build

I read part of your thread, the one with all the warnings about the temp melting your 'steel-max' and am glad your design works, because it seems easier to make than a traditional RMH, But are you heating a 'mass'?



There have been almost 2000 views of this thread and yet only 4 seem interested in plans. So as there is so little interest, I won't bother posting plans here. Those who are interested may email me at bwood4d@gmail.com and I can send you plans as I have them available.

 
Posts: 7
Location: Bowen Island, British Columbia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would definitely be interested in these plans, given the cooling effect of the vanes. I have read here and elsewhere of the dangers of a metal riser/ burn chamber..it is encouraging to see other options that don't produce the toxicity and spalling that have been reported.
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jason, I'll get the plans together. Could you send me your email address so I can send them to you? Mine is bwood4d@gmail.com Better yet, go to the following thread    https://permies.com/t/69632/Building-tube-steel-air-cooled    and see the whole construction. Then you can contact me with any questions you may have about how it all goes together, if the thread isn't clear at some point.
 
Jason Glaim
Posts: 7
Location: Bowen Island, British Columbia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Bruce! I will check out the thread.
-Jason
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You are most welcome, Jason.  If you need any specific dimensions or have questions not answered there, I'll be happy to try to help.
 
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There will always be interest in FREE plans. Your heater looks good. Personally this particular thread is about wood heaters not rocket heaters. They have a separate topic thread for those. But I'm all for innovative ideas. I understand the admins concern about being whiplashed for allowing it, however technically this is not the rocket heater thread so I guess you could rename it to something else without using the word "rocket" and we would be good. Great idea!
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Steve, That concern is why this thread has been posted in "wood heaters" by the administrators themselves! That is also why they retitled the post as "RMH-styled"! What else can I do?
 
Steve Day
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well I guess you can change your name so I'll know who you are. I bought the rocket stove manual in Amazon. I've been here awhile and noticed you post alot but didn't know your part of the team.
 
Bruce Woodford
Posts: 161
Location: S. Ontario, Canada
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Steve,
I'm not sure how I have confused you, but I've never changed my name here and am not part of any team here that I know of!
 
Steve Day
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok well my mistake then. Thanks for clarifying. I'll have to be more observant before posting. Thanks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 243
35
books duck forest garden hugelkultur urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So Plans Aye?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!