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Nate Bocker

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since Nov 28, 2012
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Recent posts by Nate Bocker

There is actually an ABANA group here in Northern Virginia, and I had a chance to take a class this past winter with a member in Maryland. At this time my focus is.more on edged tools, and I live in a pretty urban area. I've been considering going through the local farmer's market and fisherman's wharf here. I'm active duty military, and a full time student as well, so my time is limited to smaller projects, like knives and axes, and such. I'm also less inclined to do decorative iron work, which seems to be the majority of the focus of modern smithing (although, not all).
6 years ago
While I'm still working on transitioning to a more sustainable method of living, I have been playing over the past year with smithing. I'm at the point now, after developing a small amount of skill, where I am trying to decide on a direction. Most of what I have made, up to this point have been knives for friends and family. I've mostly had requests for utility knives, hunting knives and the odd bowie, but I am truly interested in tools and tool making, from axes and chisels for timber framing, to carving tools. I am also looking at finding a way to recycle metals into this, since this is often an untapped aspect of sustainability. I suppose, my question for the group is "is there a need/demand/interest in hand made tools" using recycled metal, all or in part, in the permaculture community"? By moving in this direction as opposed to other available directions I am considering I would be hopefully providing a resource.
6 years ago
Spencer,
I wanted to touch base with you, since I'm in the same boat. Have you looked at pairing the permaculture design with a related degree program? I'm going through AMU for my BS in environmental science, focusing on sustainable development. Where are you looking at relocating to, when you ETS? You are more than welcome to PM me, if you want to. I have been looking for other vets doing similar things...

-Nate
6 years ago
Another thought would be to cast the burn chamber from refractory cement with a wire mesh form, in a mold. The chamber could then be coated with the refractory coating. This would eliminate having to use the pipe inside...
6 years ago
My recommendation is to use the kaowool 2" blanket, with some refractory cement "painted" onto it, followed by a coat of the ITC-100. This is how the majority of blade smiths build their forges, and many of them reach temperatures hot enough to forge weld. This will also protect the inside of the steel barrel. Based on what I've seen of the images, there must be a gap between the burn chamber and the outter barrel, so size the chamber accordingly. I am only making an educated guess, since I've not built an RSMH, yet, that the heat will be transferred better to the "seat" since it is not being lost through the chamber shell. I would recommend testing this, before installing it, since I'm a novice to the rocket stove concept.

On a side note, has anyone investigated encasing thermoelectric couplings when the mass section is built? I haven't gone too deep into this, yet, but it would seem to be an effective way of using the heat for the secondary purpose of generating electricity, as well. I am going to do some more research, on this subject, so I may start a thread outlining the concept. It will be at least two years, before I get a chance to try these theories, myself.
6 years ago
I just joined and figured I would jump in and contribute.

I am, among other things, a bladesmith, and built a forge a few months ago. Check out http://www.hightemptools.com/supplies-mainpage.html
This is where I bought kaowool liner and the refractory cement. In a nutshell, by coating your ceramic liner with a product called IRC-100, you can extend the life of your liner, dramatically. This coating reflects the heat back into the burn chamber, instead of allowing the liner to absorb it. This is how I reach forge welding temps, using propane (i would prefer another fuel source, but I currently live in the middle of suburbia, and require something I can use out of my garage).

I hope this helps!
6 years ago