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Brick Bell Shop Heater  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 1425
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi All;
Its finally time. Been collecting parts and doing prep work off and on all summer for my new shop heater. Starting to get cold out... I need my dragon roaring.
I started out by deciding where and how large the new heater would be, 4' x 6'. Then I dug down and put 2" foam insulation on the ground and up the sides. A 4" wall of concrete board around the whole thing and 4.5 yards of concrete to cover the whole floor. That left me with a 4'x6' section isolated and insulated from the rest of the slab and from the ground.  An ideal spot to build a RMH on.
I have 500-600 new and really old red clay bricks, plus a hundred or so full size firebrick. I purchased 15 new split firebricks... today I realized I needed 16...  I have enough 1" ceramic board to build my core. I have a 48" tall piece of 10" stove pipe that combined with my 1" superwool will be my 8" riser. I will be using a 55 gallon drum over that riser. I have one of those with removable lid already burned off to a shine, ready to go.
Today I assembled the ceramic board portion of the core. I used fire clay to join all surfaces. I then wrapped with a heavy aluminum foil around the whole thing, and temporary secured it together with tie wire. Only the burn tunnel and start of the riser are ceramic boards. The feed tube will be split firebrick.
I  sat the core in place and built a mock up to visualize things (and snap pictures). afterwards I mixed fireclay sand and water and mudded the first row of heavy fire brick around the base of the core to secure it in place. Tomorrow I will secure the feed tube bricks in place (all 15 of them :) surround the rest of the core bottom with heavy fire brick and start my red brick layers. I will be sure NOT to wear Birkenstock sandals while doing so...:)   
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Insulation in place ready to pour the floor
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Mock up
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mock up
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starting to look like a rocket
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I can hear it roaring already
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some materials near by.
 
Posts: 56
Location: Penticton, Canada
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Really look forward to watching your long awaited build to grow ...er... roar!
 
Posts: 31
Location: Australia Zone 10a
2
forest garden wood heat woodworking
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Thanks for posting. I'm looking forward to watching the build progress.
 
thomas rubino
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Haven't had enough time to get much done in my build but here is how far I have gotten so far.  Due to the number of heavy firebrick I have on hand I will be using them to support the barrel. The rest will be red clay brick
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bottom layer and CF core
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The shop heater build gets started
 
Gerry Parent
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Location: Penticton, Canada
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Thomas,   Is the aluminum foil (?) that you have wrapped around the core to help radiate some of the heat back to the fire or just there to help hold things together?
 
thomas rubino
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Hey Gerry;
Just to help hold it together. I built the core on my bench wrapped it in foil and used tie wire to help keep it together.I then carried it over to my build spot. The whole core assembly is shaky until it is in place and surrounded by clay brick. Once it is in place you must check your measurements and keep checking as you build up, it is very easy to push the CF wall in slightly as you place bricks and you end up with a tapering 7" tunnel instead of a square 7.5"... Don't ask how I know this...
  I asked Matt Walker's advice and it is what he uses on his builds.
 
Posts: 241
Location: SW Missouri
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Looking good.  After researching your suggestions it seems that the heat riser with ceramic blanket is the only way to go.  I was afraid to deviate from the book when building mine.  I will build a shop heater in the future, and plan to incorporate a very tall riser with a brick type of bell perhaps.  Looking forward to more progress.
 
Dan Hatfield Ii
Posts: 31
Location: Australia Zone 10a
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forest garden wood heat woodworking
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Eric Hammond wrote:Looking good.  After researching your suggestions it seems that the heat riser with ceramic blanket is the only way to go.  I was afraid to deviate from the book when building mine.  I will build a shop heater in the future, and plan to incorporate a very tall riser with a brick type of bell perhaps.  Looking forward to more progress.




I'm going with the ceramic fibreboard core and riser. I believe, that at only one 1" thick, it does not require any extra insulation and can be nearly half the size of a standard riser.
Matt Walker super hot j plans
 
thomas rubino
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Note for all who wish to build with CF board.
  For my next CF board core, I will build a square wooden liner. With an outside dimension  the same as the inside dimension of the burn tunnel. This wooden form will burn out with the first fire and will make moving and building a ceramic fiber board core much easier.
 
Dan Hatfield Ii
Posts: 31
Location: Australia Zone 10a
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forest garden wood heat woodworking
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thomas rubino wrote:Note for all who wish to build with CF board.
  For my next CF board core, I will build a square wooden liner. With an outside dimension  the same as the inside dimension of the burn tunnel. This wooden form will burn out with the first fire and will make moving and building a ceramic fiber board core much easier.



Hi Thomas,

How do you personally join/stick the ceramic board together and what is the benefit of using the wood core please?
Thanks
 
thomas rubino
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Hey Dan;
I used pure fireclay with no sand to stick the boards together. The whole assembly is wobbly as you move it , by having a thin wooden form inside, it would be much more stable while moving.
But more important in my eyes is not having to constantly check dimensions when surrounding with brick.
I had my bricks almost to the top of the core when I realized that I had pushed with each brick moving the top of my side walls closer together. I had 7.5 " at the bottom and 7" at the top... with a wooden form this would be a non issue.
I removed two rows of brick to correct this ...  I could have had the whole core covered by now if that little boo boo hadn't happened.  Wood form might take 30 minutes to make...  burn out with the first fire...  no brainer for me.
 
Dan Hatfield Ii
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forest garden wood heat woodworking
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thomas rubino wrote:Hey Dan;
I used pure fireclay with no sand to stick the boards together. The whole assembly is wobbly as you move it , by having a thin wooden form inside, it would be much more stable while moving.
But more important in my eyes is not having to constantly check dimensions when surrounding with brick.
I had my bricks almost to the top of the core when I realized that I had pushed with each brick moving the top of my side walls closer together. I had 7.5 " at the bottom and 7" at the top... with a wooden form this would be a non issue.
I removed two rows of brick to correct this ...  I could have had the whole core covered by now if that little boo boo hadn't happened.  Wood form might take 30 minutes to make...  burn out with the first fire...  no brainer for me.



Great tip thanks. I'll do that. I have a cabinet saw and lots of joinery ghear so I'm very comforatable in the wood zone. I'll just use some 1/2" ply
Thanks for the help.
dan
 
thomas rubino
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Got a little time to play in the mud today.  Sure is a slow process getting started.  A working brick layer would be embarrassed to see my work... maybe I'll get better by the top of the bell.

I haven't worked on this project for almost a week ... A third full bucket of perfectly mixed clay was patiently waiting for my return... try that with refractory cement.  Working with the clay is so nice, your hands get nice and smooth. 

My Morgan Superwool has arrived !  12.5'  enough to do two 48" tall 8" risers. I'm excited to try a five minute riser out !



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getting there
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you end up with quite a mess
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coming along
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Morgan Superwool plus
 
thomas rubino
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Got a little bit more done today.

For starters I built my 5 minute riser. What a wonderful experience!  Might have taken 15 minutes....

Continued brick work.  Feed tube is now up to final height.  Lots more to go.  Finished the first bag of fire clay today, 2 more on hand and more easily acquired.  Finished off one small stack of heavy firebrick, one huge stack still on hand.  No lack of red clay brick so far.
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shop RMH build
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feed tube at full height
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shop RMH build
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shop RMH build
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shop RMH build
 
Posts: 388
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Good project & thread.

How about posting some pics of the shop interior/layout.  I'm interested in that sort of thing.  Another place to put some would be here...  https://permies.com/t/62659/homestead-workshop-shed-situation ;
 
gardener
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Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft high Southern alpine climate.
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Thomas, one thing Fox James said, is that the five minute risers cool down rapidly. When i do mine, i think i gonna use some mass around it. Don't know yet.
 
thomas rubino
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Good Day Max;
I noticed Fox's comment on low mass risers as well.  I know that Fox likes to cook on his stoves, so a riser that slowly heats and then takes a long time to cool would be ideal. That is exactly how  Matt's  fireclay / perlite risers work.
In my build, I am thinking that the shear volume of brick will negate any quick cool down of the riser.
My shop is 24 x 32 with tall ceilings and minimum insulation. I want that thin barrel pumping out the heat & I also want that brick mass to hold the rest of that heat for me.
My previous stove in the shop for the last for the last 20 + years was a thin double barrel wood eating monster. It threw out great amounts of heat as long as you could throw great amounts of wood in it... 30 minutes after it went out it was cold to the touch. Rough to go in the house for lunch and come back to a cold stove and rapidly cooling shop.
My expectations for this new stove are slightly higher...

 
Gerry Parent
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thomas rubino wrote:Got a little time to play in the mud today.  Sure is a slow process getting started.  A working brick layer would be embarrassed to see my work... maybe I'll get better by the top of the bell.



Thomas,  Just curious to your red brick laying technique. Probably no surprise to anyone but isn't it better to stagger your joints for strength rather than work on one side and having more joints in a row?

BTW....I can see by the splashes of clay slip on walls and tools that your having fun.....that sure is one muddy hammer you've got there too!
 
Satamax Antone
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Thomas, when Fox James said this about his riser. I thought "i understand."

You might remember my workshop heater build. My heat riser is in a big 750 liters tank. It is not low mass, per se, but neither high mass.  I used those terracotta tubes from schiedel or Tona. With rockwool around, all contained by those pozzolan concrete flue elements.  And that's a fairly high mass around. I often wake up the next morning, still feeling the radiation of the heat riser, through the barrel. Not direct radiation.

So i thought, with your tiny 5 minutes riser, fitting another huge tube around, and filling with sand or else, could prove beneficial; in radiating through the barrel for longer.

Obviously, you do what you want, but this is an idea.
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Gerry;
Your being very polite :) 
Actually you can't tell, but all the single wall brick around the feed tube, is laid out in a properly staggered pattern.  What I think you are seeing is the firebrick around the core unit.  That brick is 2 x 2 stacked, it is all non structural mass. Its main purpose is to surround the core, hold heat and as a solid base for my barrel. I am quickly reaching a height where I will go back to single wall construction for raising the barrel the rest of the way up. That will be in a traditional stagger pattern, as will the bell.

As far as my mess ... well, its clay... it sticks to stuff ....it splashes on stuff... its just wet dirt...  that hammer should have never let me touch it ... and  OK OK  I admit it, I'm just a sloppy kind of guy :) having fun playing in the mud with bricks. You should see my clothes (and me) when I come in...  I get many scowls as I troop through the house ... its just clay honey it cleans up .... Ha Ha   we live on a farm, on a gravel road. I always troop thru the house dirty. Scowl's and tongue lashings over dirty clothes roll off me like water off a duck...
 
Oh the stink of it! Smell my tiny ad!
One million tiny ads for $25
https://permies.com/t/94684/million-tiny-ads
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