First, my cows are not appreciative of my new interest in RMH and bells - I was an hour late to milking because I kept watching video clips and trying to understand the barrels, exhaust location, burning chamber size etc (my brain doth spin!)
Neither I nor my husband weld and we have no crate or pallet truck, but our lives are full of lots of physical work and lifting so moving cob, earth, sand etc is not hard for us. And we have a 1 ton truck that can haul dirt and a tractor.
What about the concern that the wooden box will burn? Several people asked that and I did not feel it was answered too adequately (we'll be checking next year etc). It looked like there was maybe 2-3 inches between the half barrel and the wood.
The location this stove is going in has 2x8 or 10 x14 foot floor joists every 12 inches set on top of a couple of lengthwise running metal i- beams (I'll get DH to crawl under there next time he is there to see for sure how wide the floor joists are apart). These places are moved in 2 - left side that is 14x80 is hauled in first and then the second 14x80 is attached on the other side. They are usually blocked with concrete blocks and I know the entire house is on a concrete pad. I know that due to the metal beams running the long length of the house and no strength on the edges, you aren't supposed to put these homes on a basement.
The stove would be running parallel to the floor joists which is probably a big problem as no 2x10 will hold several tons of weight. I was going to put it along a wall that faces the living room and kitchen. The wall is 14 feet long and runs north south. I am glad you asked these questions as I had not stopped to think how the direction I wanted to put the RMH was vs. the floor boards. The problem is that the walls running east west across the joists have windows all across them and those windows are only 12 inches from the floor. I'll have to figure out what to do to get around this. I could put it in the middle of the room so I could go east/west but then the ceilings are tall and I didn't want to run pipe 20 feet up through the ceiling.
It doesn't have to be portable, but it does need to be able to be moved OUT if the next owners want it gone before we leave. I'm seeing a few things - old lockers, metal trunks etc that people are putting the barrels in that might work. The reason I like the idea of barrel is a lot less weight on the floor but I know one must be sacrificing something for that mass?? Are these things heating as well as the traditional RMH?
Has it been determined that the horizontal exhaust is a thing of the past? My initial research showed a horizontal exhaust and now I'm seeing all the new plans are vertical. And I believe I read in a post a while back that Ernie and Erica abandoned the horizontal, but I need to do some more research on that. I was HOPING to go out horizontally and have an external vertical if necessary - we don't want to put a hole in the ceiling yet because we are finding that nobody here likes to burn with wood and that means they also dislike holes in their ceilings from the chimney box. Their grandparents were forced to burn and heat with wood and why would they want to go back to that!
Edited to say I just found a post Erica wrote on vertical vs. horizontal and she answered most of the questions. But share your critiques if you like! They must feel the half barrel and barrel bell ideas to be not as good as their RMH? (not wanting to start an argument at all, just curious if they would recommend using something like a barrel).
I have only seen half barrel boxes so far - are people doing full barrels also?? I am not at all opposed to that if it is better (there is TONS of room in this house for anything I want as we don't use a lot of living space).
Are the tubes joining the half barrels at the bottom still? And tube does the diameter of the joining tube matter (6 vs 8 etc)
Is this what you are referring to http://donkey32.proboards.com/attachment/download/345
If so, they are making solid wooden boxes, putting a few inches of cob, concrete etc under the barrel, covering barrel with a good layer of COB to not burn paint, then fist sized stones on top of the COB? Then topping it with pavers? Is this air space with rocks better than some type of fill or more COB? We happen to live somewhere there are very few rocks - very fertile ground and such. It is probably easier to get pea gravel or even to do COB than to locate fist sized rocks.