Lua Sage

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since Feb 02, 2013
Live in small cabin with hubby, dog, and cat. 30 goats right outside. Beading tapestries, singing, guitar, flute, piano, making leather clothes and moccasins. Intention to survive coming earth changes and be part of building new civilization.
Colorado Rockies, off grid
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Recent posts by Lua Sage

I finally succeeded in building an RMH in my tipi (2 year struggle) and might manage to share the story once I recover. For now, I hope someone can offer a ballpark figure: how much firewood do I need to cut for next winter? It is mostly pine, some aspen, Colorado Rockies, plenty cold but not as cold as Montana.
4 years ago
Ok, I got a fan installed in the outdoor exit pipe and the whole thing is drawing very well now. It is clear that the mistake was not knowing that elbows need to be counted as five feet, and having way too long a pipe. So, next summer, I'll back up to much less pipe and re-channel the exit pipe out the west side of the tipi, reducing the length considerably. I could just leave it with the electric fan, but do not want any dependence on high technology to stay warm in the winter. I get the electricity now from solar panels. A few years ago, our solar system took a direct hit from lightning (yes, we have all the grounding recommended) and had between two systems - my son's and mine - $16,000 in damage. Without insurance and an existing grid, we would have simply and instantly lost all electricity. Since I fully expect total collapse of civilization, I never count on any high tech stuff continuing. I will enjoy it while I have it, but learn to live without when I don't.

Thank you very much, all of you, for your input and education. I wish I had presented a diagram off the plan before doing it. Oh well, live and learn.
6 years ago
Yes, the heat riser is insulated with perlite.

Difficulty with another 5 ft on the vertical pipe is wind - it gets fierce around here. I can insulate it.

I can't increase that 1.5". That's a solid piece of ceramic. That goes into the category of tearing it all apart and starting over. But, I think next summer, I can get help to reduce the feet of horizontal pipe. How about the electric fan idea to increase the draft in the meantime?
6 years ago
Heat Riser spacing:

The top of that heat riser is 1.5 inches from the top of the 55 gallon drum.

The outside chimney: 5 feet high.

The fire burning merrily after I knocked off two layers of firebrick in the firebox and before I added one layer back on again to the two sides.

How it looks right now:

6 years ago
Ok, so I figured out how to do pics. This one is the stove put together prior to mortaring it.

During the mortaring:

Covering with rocks:

6 years ago
One person has an idea of putting a small electric fan in the end of the exit pipe to help pull the draft through. I have the idea that we're going to have to dig up the end of the pipe after the third run of straight pipe and send the pipe out through the wall of the tipi straight from that point, instead of making the last turn. That would eliminate two elbows and eleven feet of straight pipe. The vertical chimney is 5 ft. tall, uninsulated. I am thinking about going with the fan idea for the winter and then digging up the pipe next summer.
6 years ago
Ok, I'm working out posting pics. I hope this works. Here's the first one of the cut barrels, the pipes starting to be laid out, the fire bricks pile.

Well, that didn't work. So, how do you get the actual picture to post in the thread? I hit the Img button, put in the link, and this is what I got.

ETA: Fixed the picture link for you. Bill Erickson
6 years ago
Bunch of things learned here too late. I thought I understood from what I had read before, but am clearly seriously deficient. I still do not understand the 1"2"3" ratio. I did not know elbows equaled 5 ft. This is an absolute disaster and I don't know what to do now. Total straight horizontal length = 38 ft. Five elbows = 25 ft. Vertical pipe = 5 ft. WAY over the limit = 68 ft.

I can put the oven stove below or at least equal to the burn tunnel, if that's the only solution.

Before I try to figure out posting pictures, I would like you to know my limitations. I am 66. I walk with crutches and live in pain. I had a tremendous amount of help with carrying and lifting, but I need to figure out what I'm going to do now on my own, so my capabilities are pretty limited. My income is also seriously low. I tried to get some help way back in the beginning of exploring RMH's, by asking a couple of questions of the experts, as offered on a website, but the consultation fee requested in return equaled a quarter of my monthly income. At that point, I felt pretty bad about asking anybody anything and just started reading and trying to figure this out on my own. I felt pretty awesome when I built the one that works so well, and just barreled into this one without learning enough, obviously.

I will study how to post pics now.

6 years ago
I don't know how to add pics. Will try it tomorrow. It is not wet at all. There is no cob. The fire bricks were mortared with a kiln mix and the pipe was simply covered with rocks and dirt. No reason for cob when it is under the floor.
6 years ago