thomas rubino

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since Apr 14, 2013
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thomas rubino currently moderates these forums:
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

Ha Ha Stacie; Glad to help.  My wife would say I should pay you for allowing me to talk and talk. I talk to complete strangers about rocket stoves ...She is convinced they only listen out of politeness..  I have this foolish idea that anyone who burns wood, knows somebody who burns wood, has a grandmother who used to burn wood ... ALL those people NEED to hear about this ... and in my mind they will want too!   Mainstream america has no idea of the possibility!  Have I started rambling ? :)

2 hours ago
Hi Stacie;

#1) Both.
#2)  Yes , just a smoothing layer to direct the hot air to your pipes.
#3) If you can turn that cleanout it would be more convenient. If you can't, you can work with what you have.  If your rocket is built to spec and burning cleanly (good dry wood) you will not produce enough fly ash to go more than a few feet down your horizontal.  You have your cleanout at the manifold , the one at the 180, and your vertical leaving the mass is able to lift off.  It is enough. Mine has been burning for 5 years , I have one cleanout at the manifold I have none at my 180... (i really should have put one there) My vertical pipe IS able to lift off for emergency cleaning.... I have not yet needed to lift it.  At one point my stove was not built to spec...  seemed to burn good until middle of winter when it just wasn't rockety anymore.  Turns out I was not burning cleanly and produced enough ash  to partially plug my horizontal. Vacuuming cleaned up the visible run  ... that was when I learned that vacuums do not like fly ash... I also learned that using a leaf blower works much better, as long as you remember to remove the chimney cap first... ha ha
#4)  I wondered the same thing when I built. So as I came up with the cob I placed large flat rock over top of everything to distribute the weight over a larger area.  The cob itself is very strong when dry.

Last of all ) I recommend you watch the video just posted by Matt Walker about mortar making it is very informative!
4 hours ago
Just popped over to your site.
Your new Continental stove looks outstanding !   Good Job, as usual !
5 hours ago
I can not speak yet from personal experience as my ceramic fiber board is still wrapped in plastic...and my CF blanket has not even been ordered yet. But as I understand it , the first time you bring it up to rocket temps it hardens . I would expect some scorch markings but its good to 2300F , even in the riser we are not reaching that level... Yet...
Matt is happy to answer any questions. He has worked with all the variants of rmh's from the early days to the new riserless cores and his newly released "Continental" rmh.
If ceramic fiber board and blanket is what he and the other innovators are using then that's good enough for me. 
5 hours ago
Just talked to the butcher , here are their hanging weights.

Mighty(aka the fat girl)  #226
Einie(the nice one) #215

And last but not least is Meenie( the friendliest one, also the runt)  #130

This year I am having very little ground breakfast sausage made... instead I have them giving me #1 packs of unflavored ground pork.... I'm perfecting my Home made East Coast Hot Italian Sausage recipe.... Hmmm GOOD
5 hours ago
Great instructional video !   Just what people needed to see and hear !!!    THANK YOU !
6 hours ago
It was Matt who recommended the 5 minute riser to me and also Matt who told me 1" Cf boards backed by common red brick is good for a core but if you felt rich 2" on the roof and if richer yet than 2" on the floor as well.
I'm sure that 2" would be overkill on the riser... nobody else has done it.
With the popularity of ceramic fiber and the extreme performance of it, I see it as the new standard in rocket stoves.  Kind of getting away from building one for under $100 down to free.  BUT you still can!
6 hours ago
Not sure I understand your question?
  2" blanket I believe is more than you need .  I have not read of anyone using that thickness. Most of the blanket sold is 24" , I have seen 48" offered but it was to long a roll and way to much money. I'll use 24" and stack it for my 8" dia. 48" riser.
Now when it comes to ceramic boards its a different story.  1" is acceptable through out the burn tunnel and start of riser,  2" board on the roof has been suggested as even better.

8 hours ago
Elle;  We too wondered about using fresh piggy poop on the garden and decided to compost it first. Our pigs are meat free ,other than grubs and catchable small critters. But why take chances when its so easy to compost passively.
Listen to Marco's post, he is spot on including the part about letting the  pigs in to turn it over for you... this works ! it is what we do.
10 hours ago
The word I got from "pinhead" the inventor of the five minute riser, is that his original riser is still in use today and showing no signs of failing. I think it is close to two years or more.
He used #6 2300 F 1" thick ceramic blanket  wrapped inside an 8" black steel stove pipe. It doesn't get much faster or easier than that
I have a 4' long piece of 10" pipe I will use to make an 8" riser on my new stove.
Ceramic blanket unfortunately seems to be sold in 25' and 50' rolls, for around $90 so its not cheap.
I should mention also that ceramic fiber boards are also the newest best thing to make your burn tunnel out of...   That costs about another $100... Its not cheap to stay on the cutting edge.
10 hours ago