thomas rubino

pollinator
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since Apr 14, 2013
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

Ian;  Have you purple mooseaged Matt from permies ?  If that doesn't work try a post at Donkey pro boards ,  Matt is a moderator there.
2 hours ago
I think everything has already been tried... those measurements are the result of lots of experimentation by the rmh innovators and  only place I have heard of a variation from stock specs is to make the burn tunnel 1" deeper to allow for the 1"of fly ash that sits there.
Hi Stacie;  #1)  You normally transition at the height of the feed tube so apx 16"or so  #2) I've not built a 6" system but I've always heard 5.5 x 5.5 as standard.  #3) Shortening a burn tunnel is always better than lengthening it.
About your riser,  what kind of and how thick is your insulating blanket? Is it Kao wool ?  ceramic fiber ?  How much do you have ? There may be another option for your riser. 
I would use a construction adhesive to stick those "perimeter bricks" down to the floor and to seal inside to each other.  No worries about the sand mixing in , it won't hurt anything.
Seal with construction adhesive, (PL Premium) or you could use clay/mixed with sand to seal joints.
2 days ago
Hi All;  Building a new rmh this summer. Been out rounding up supplies.  I had been getting my Lincoln fireclay and split bricks over in Spokane at White Block.  I have located a better source in Missoula ! Maybe twenty minutes closer and better price with no sales tax!  (Of course Washington doesn't charge Mt people sales tax but I just like spending my money at home)
Mutual Materials just off of Broadway,  has Lincoln Fireclay at $6.27 a bag and split firebricks at $1.77 each !  Great price ! I paid less than $33 bucks for 15 bricks and a bag of clay!  They do not carry the insulated bricks. They do have a few #50 bags of very expensive refractory ($105.00 ! )   I can buy a lot of fireclay for $105 !
3 days ago
Hey guys have you seen this ?  https://permies.com/t/84440/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Hands-Workshop         ; Its in Pennsylvania but can't be to far from Maryland... at least by montana standards.
3 days ago
Hi Jeremy; In my greenhouse I placed the mass apx 4" away from the outside wall and filled the gap with loose perlite. Works perfect to insulate/isolate from the outdoors. Also, your mass really doesn't get hot enough away from the core to harm wood anyway. 
3 days ago
The riser is insulated to keep the combustion temperature inside the riser at the max possible. Also, yes  you want the outer barrel to remain cooler to continue the flow of hot air from the riser to your storage area (mass).
6 days ago
Hey Jeremy;
The design you followed for your mock build is the original way of building. Many rmh's are built that way , including mine. With the proper dimensions it will work as you have it.
Current designs are using ceramic fiber board and ceramic fiber blanket as a core and riser.
By reducing mass at the core, full rmh temperatures are reached very quickly , this allows for the 98% efficiency / combustion  to begin sooner than it will if you have to heat your core/riser firebricks.
6 days ago