thomas rubino

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since Apr 14, 2013
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13 acres in extreme rural Montana 100% off grid since 1983. Solar and micro hydro. Summer time piggy farmer. Restoring 2000-04 Subaru outbacks wagons for fun and a little profit. Not quite old enough to retire YET but closing on it fast... until then I must occasionally leave Paradise "home" and run large construction cranes on union job sites across the inland northwest. I make (Well try) A-2 A-2 cheese, I love cooking with my wood smoker for everything! Would not live anywhere else but rural Montana ! My wife Liz runs "Rocks by liz" a successful Etsy store and we have a summer booth at the Missoula peoples market. We currently breed and raise persian cats but are about to retire all the girls and let them be happy kittys for the remainder of their days.Oh and my biggest thing is... I LOVE MY RMH !
latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Recent posts by thomas rubino

Hi Jay,Welcome to permies!

We need better pictures and more info.     What I can see is) it appears your feed tube is only 3 bricks tall ? That's only 12-13" tall, should be around 16". If it's too short the fire will want to draft up it, instead of your riser. How long is your burn tunnel roof ?   Should be around 12" . Too long and you will not get a good draft.   Hard to see but you may have air leaks at your feed tube, is your core still wet ? Takes time to dry out & then heat up heavy fire bricks.
Removable lid barrels really are nice if your having problems. Lots of folks have used a tank like yours but its a pain having to remove it for inspection.
What is your chimney like?
5 hours ago
You know Jason , if your dad would go for it .. your idea of a wall / partition would work.  Insulating with modern ceramic products would be easy.  You just need to convince your dad to move forward from the past.. I say that knowing that I am a horrible old stick in the mud when it comes to change... and hate to move forward myself.
One idea would be to show / convince one of his friends how rmh's work .... then let his buddy talk him into it...
  Good Luck he can be convinced.
17 hours ago
Hi Jason;  Can be frustrating getting people to accept a RMH.  Keep trying he may come around. Show him pictures of a batch box's , then show him a J tube, explain the differences. Maybe he will hear you...
19 hours ago
Hi Jerry;  Good luck with your build! It's very exciting doing your first RMH!
I know your photos are mock ups.  When you start building for real , may I suggest putting 4" of straw filled cob on the ground and build your core and mass on them.  Want that heat rising in your green house not helping to heat the earth.
Keep us posted and include lots of pictures!
19 hours ago
Hi Curtis; Welcome to Permies!

My barrel is in its 6th year and it is good as new.  Barrels have been used over 20 years in some cases. There really is no degradation of the barrel taking place.
If barrels concern you there are other choices.  Brick bells certainly have a several hundred year life expectancy... Water tanks , stainless steel barrels. Lots of choices in barrels, lots of choices in what style, shape ,design ,rmh you want.
20 hours ago
You could do it, but I'm with Gerry. all sorts of paints and aerosol are used around my rmh and my old double barrel wood stove (soon to be a new RMH). Never had an issue.
I think that a feed tube outside would be a bother to load and that really cold air would not help your burn temps.
Have you considered a batch box RMH ?
No open feed tube to worry about .
Everything is looking great Caleb!  Keep them pictures coming.
Came across this video, seems like these should be built everywhere there is wave action!  ( hope this works)
1 day ago
Hi Randy Welcome to permies!

I think that 12.5 acres would be large enough for all you want to do ...EXCEPT... growing Hay . Growing, cutting, baling hay, takes a lot of land and specialized equipment that is not cheap. Possibly if a neighbor is growing hay they might be able to cut and bale for a price... Depending on how much livestock you have .. you may need more than you can grow. Buy it from a neighbor.
Water or the lack of would be my main concern. Wells can go deep and still hit sulfur water . They also are not cheap. A windmill pump for livestock might be something you could do.
Your A-2 heifer (does not have to be a jersey there are others) is an excellent idea , however your bull must also be A-2 if you want / need  A-2 milk products.
Your in Texas... it gets hot... I might just leave that pool around for the hot dusty homesteaders to relax in after a hard day ... :)  just a thought.
I am a big fan of growing black locust !  Firewood , fence posts the only downsides are the thorns and needing new chainsaw chain because the wood is so hard your chain constantly needs sharpened.
Electricity,  solar works well, wind is also a good tool in windy Texas.  Battery's are the weak link.  If you are 100% self sustained you will need a large battery bank.  If you go grid inter tie then you will be dependent on the grid staying active... 
Cooling in Texas will be a biggie. I'm sure A/C is king down there.  With off grid living A/C is a power sucker...  some folks make do with a home built swamp cooler. Others just use a fan...
1 day ago
Ha Max;  I think that living in the Alps you have a great selection of large stone to choose from.  I prefer the large stones as well.