Unofficial Companion Guide to the Rocket Oven DVD
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Jared Holesmith

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since Feb 24, 2012
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Recent posts by Jared Holesmith

I have another video up this one shows how they did on the grass as I moved them every few days for 6 weeks. This is in the fall so the grass really was not growing anymore, I am sure in the summer the oldest area would have already been covered with new growth.
3 years ago

Chris Kott wrote:Hi Jared. Nice tractors.

I agree with your point that there doesn't seem to be enough grass getting through the slats. I was thinking about 1"x1" or even 2"x2" welded wire bottoms. I mean, if they're on the ground and vegetation is pushing up through the grating, the rabbits won't even feel the bottoms for the greens.

Looking good, though. I hate typical confinement setups, and yours looks to have all the benefits of a stationary hutch with a lot of the benefits that pasturage brings. I remember even with my tiny rabbits (we had dwarves when I was little), they were ecstatic when we put them out in their cages sans plastic bottoms, directly on the grass.

Keep us posted, and good luck!


My concern with any kind of a wire bottom is I think the grass will be bent over more when pulling it ahead where as the full length slats allow it to keep standing in between the slats as you pull it along. I didn't show it that well in this video but I have more video I have to upload that shows the rabbits pulling the grass up between the slats to get at it more, they actually do quite a good job as is. But I still think I may experiment with smaller slats. I found something just now that may work really well although it may need another brace or 2 for support since most of this composite stuff is pretty bendy in my experience however if it worked it would never need to be replaced due to rot etc and would be easy to clean.
3 years ago
I designed these tractors to be light but strong for medium rabbits. So far I have used them for almost 2 months and just put them up on a stand for the winter. I will have more video and pics in the future on them, so far I am very happy with them.

Material list is in the description of the video. Let me know what you think.
3 years ago

Glenn Herbert wrote:It has been the prevailing advice from researchers for well over a decade. However, probably 3/4 of the youtube videos are of first-time builds using all metal; very few of those follow up to show how they lasted.

The better your stove functions, the hotter it will get deep inside and the quicker it is likely to corrode. Your riser with loose perlite between the walls will fail rather dramatically when it does burn out near the bottom. Using a mix of just enough clay to hold the perlite together will let that hold its shape when the liner burns out, and the outer shell should last for many years using that construction method. You could do the same thing with the feed.

Ok so this one I originally built in 2012, but I have probably only used it a couple dozen times since then because I never had gotten around to finishing insulating the room it was in and later caring more that my insurance doesn't cover any kind of wood stove in that structure let alone a non certified home built one . Hopefully now that I have it moved into my semi workshop which is pretty much fully insulated I will use it more often. "edit just started reading the thread you linked" I haven't inspected the heat riser yet but the feed/burn chamber seem to be in good shape still and it had been sitting in a semi damp shed most of my tools out there get rust on them if I don't oil them. I mean the whole thing has a slight layer of rust on it where the carbon/ash from burning off the paint didn't partially protect it.

I think the way I use this stove "maybe a few hours at a time maybe a bit more" and not every day I think it should last a sufficient amount of time, for one thing my heat riser is shorter than a normal RMH, because of coming in the side of the barrel instead of from the bottom my top of lid temps have not gotten much over 600-700 "I think I hit 700 can't remember now" and the burn chamber right past the tube is somewhere above 1200F but not sure how high that is just the highest reading my laser temp gauge is able to take, its hotter than that and the recycled bbq grate that I have in there for air space under the wood has deformed quite a bit from the heat.

I will search if I get a chance but do you know the mix on the perlite/clay I assume you mean bentonite clay? I did mix my perlite with that but not sure on the ratio, I think at first I was going for half and half but then because I wanted it lighter I ended up adding more perlite. I did use that mix around everything in the build. Both the feed and the riser are sleeved so about 1" around both have that mix 6" pipe sleeved with 8" and then the bottom of the barrel where the burn tunnel is is completely covered and surrounded with it.

I do plan to make more stoves in the future, also do you have to wet the perlite/clay mix to get them to hold there shape or does just firing them dry work?

The idea from my stove originally came from reading forums here/elsewhere on rocket mass heaters and also seing a few youtube videos on welded ones, I didn't like ether design completely for what I wanted to do so I figured I would just try my own thing and this is what I came up with and I rather like it. It works good for my use, didn't cost me very much and its a heck of a lot of fun . Especially that now I can actually get some actual use out of it.
5 years ago

Matt Coston wrote:I've only skimmed your video, but the prevailing advice is: don't use metal in the burn tube and riser. It will function for a while, but eventually corrode.

When I originally built it years ago, I don't know if that was prevailing advice then or not. But anyhow because this one is basically modular its not a big issue, nothing on this is welded on the worst part is the few areas I used stove cement, which should not be to bad to remove. The lid comes right off for inspecting the riser/cleaning. One of my next videos will probably be a clean out and lid replacement video the lid I have on there now was never flat but it was all I had when I originally built it I have wanted to replace it with a flat lid for a while to see if I get higher temps on the lid and so that its easier to place flat bottomed things on it to heat them.
5 years ago
This stove was made to act as a super efficient rocket wood stove heater to heat part of my pole building, but for insurance reasons I decided to move it into my semi trailer shop and it does a fantastic job heating it using very little wood, the reason I build it the way I did was I wanted to be able to change things on it easily and have it be somewhat portable  "the whole thing weights probably less than 50 pounds", also I wanted to put out heat very quickly I was not really interested in storing heat because generally I go out to the shop to work an hour or 2 at a time I don't spent the whole day out there so a mass heater would not really be beneficial.

I also did a quick design explanation video on it and how a rocket stove works "don't kill me if some of my terminology is off I was just trying to explain it simply and quickly.

5 years ago

wayne fajkus wrote:Nice job. Do you know if there's any downfall to storing the hay on the flat vs the round? I suppose a tarp would solve any issues. But curious if rain would penetrate deeper if set that way. Any idea? This is my first time buying a qty (8 round bales). Some may sit for 4 or 5 months.

I always cover mine, but just based on every farmer I know putting them on there side when not covering them and just looking at them I also think that rain would saturate them much easier with the flat side up than the rounded side. Just think of how there made, with the rounded side up you have layers on top of layers so the outside few layers will get wet but will also act as sorta a roof for the inner layers, where as the flat side is not layered really. That being said not being covered I am sure you have a lot more loss. Also the bit sitting on the ground will also suck up moisture and rot.

The last 2 bales I picked up had sat out in a field in rowe's for at least a few months uncovered and about the outside 4 inches you could tell had been damp but the rest was dry, I put tarps on them but only covered them about 1/2 the way so air could still get around them and they dried out pretty well probably still be fine for the sheep there not as picky as some animals.

Another thing in the past I have found is that if your in a snow area and you put them on the ground the bottom 4-8 inches may freeze down depending on what kind of snow/ice rain you get so you will have a lot of loss that way, that is the other reason I wanted them off the ground the last few years I have put them up on pallets and blocks but I think this solution is going to work better especially if after they eat one down I can drag the skid out I am hoping it won't freeze down to bad. I only made 3 skids and have 6 bales 2 move.

Oh also one thing I Have found from feeding them on there side like this rather than standing is the best hay is always in the middle so standing the sheep would eat out the middle and not be as interested in the outside, by having them on there side like this they have to eat into the bale to get to the center it seems to keep them more interested in the bale and I think helps with waste.
6 years ago
I just started looking at these and I was going to build one but then I found this stovetec model on sale for 80 dollars and it includes a pot skirt "skirt that attaches to your pot to force the heat up and around the sides of your pot to boil water, cook stews etc faster" all the other reputable companies that sell them charge an extra 10-20 dollars for that piece, so I ended up ordering it and did a video testing it out.

Overall I was very impressed, its not perfect but for 80 bucks I think it's a great option especially if your not handy at all. I still plan to build one with a few different features or modify this one a little to meet my needs better or do both. They do make another model that has 2 doors I did not like that one because the ceramic in the bottom area on the sides is exposed so if it cracks/breaks the stove could disintegrate inside, where as this one has metal all the way down the inside sides so even if the ceramic breaks it has no where to go and should still work just fine.

I also did an unboxing video just to show what it came with.

7 years ago

allen lumley wrote:Jared Mevissen : Not to be bossy but - I Did a Search within for gabions and had 614 hits in 0.51 seconds !

The Search feature is located on the left hand side of the Permies Toolbox at the top of the page, thois is a membership perk ! and allows you to search
the 10s of thousands of Forum Threads for previous comments on a given subject 1 Good Luck and good hunting ! For the Good of the Craft! Big AL

Had no idea that was a name for them, all I could have searched is dirt boxes or something.
8 years ago