Win a copy of The School Garden Curriculum this week in the Kids forum!

Chris McClellan

+ Follow
since Oct 24, 2013
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Chris McClellan

Do we have an affiliate purchase link for the current pricing?
3 days ago

Hey Permies,
The Mother Earth News Fair near you is a great source of information on DIY you love best. Uncle Mud has a whole stage with hour long hands on demos all weekend on Rocket Heaters and Natural Building and such. They tell me there are other stages too with all kinds of Permaculture and Homesteading stuff but whatever. Come get muddy with us.
Of course if you really want to get into it you should join us at Wheaton Labs in July for the ATC
Think of it as the shop class for homesteaders. If you wish you had the confidence to drive a 16 ton excavator or mill your own wood or make cob or weld and cut metal for any of a thousand projects this is your opportunity to learn it all in one place.
here is my full schedule if you want to play in the mud with us this year

6 days ago
New post for the new workshop. More workshops coming up. Tell your friends.

May 17-18, 2019, Burton OH

If you want to learn how to build a Rocket Mass Heater the best way is to come build one, and now you can take one home with you when you go. You can become a Rocket Scientist for the price of the workshop ($300) plus parts (+$325). A parts list is provided to participants so you can scrounge many of the parts if you want.  You can register here, or scroll down to learn more.


This is Timothy. He came all the way from Florida to build his Cottage Rocket with us.

He's still building the Tiny House it's going in, so right now it sits in his yard making pizza and warming his patio.

Our exclusive Cottage Rocket design uses a removable cob or gravel mass so you can build it here where all the tools and fun people are, then load it in your car and take it home.

This is Jeremy loading his Cottage Rocket into his truck to take it to his off-grid cabin in Montana where the barrel will be filled with cob or gravel for heat retention.  The Cottage Rocket uses a hotter, smaller mass than a typical Rocket Mass Heater so it is perfect for smaller buildings and floors that can't handle a three ton thermal mass.

In the Workshop Rocket configuration the mass is eliminated and the barrel (or double barrel) becomes a quick-acting radiator for your shop. This is Rosi's Rocket. It is on its way to her upholstery shop in Ohio.

This Cottage Rocket is hooked to a pebble mass bench to heat a greenhouse at Chagrin Valley School in northeastern Ohio.

At the center of each of these Cottage Rockets is our super clean and efficient core consisting of an insulated heat riser and a refractory burn chamber made from durable, easily located firebrick. With expert assistance you will assemble and test all of the components of your Rocket yourself.

At a Cottage Rocket Workshop you learn to use the plasma cutter, angle grinder, sawsall, and other fun tools.

Then we'll fire up the pizza oven while we talk about how clean and efficient your new Cottage Rocket is.

Please email for more information or to RSVP. Camping and couch space available. Meals are provided, but bring your favorite topping to share for pizza time. Bring Your Own Instrument if you play, we usually have an evening jam session. Ask about staying in the big treehouse (extra charge). If you want to participate as a helper (not take home a rocket) or build a rocket with your Sweetie or friend let us know and we will work out a discount or trade.

6 days ago
Uncle Mud's review:

The book is pretty exciting. Well, no. It isn't exciting. It is nutrient dense, and like a lot of things chok full of fiber it is taking me a while to get through it and at times it makes my brain feel a bit constipated. I think it would be tons more accessible if it were 1/3 that long with 1/3 less nutrients per page like white bread but there is already too much white bread in the world. This isn't white bread. The best most important thing about this book is that it strings together all the disparate things Paul likes to argue about. By themselves they sometimes sound nitpicky or batshit crazy, but this book starts to make a cohesive story arc from them.

If we took everything Paul has ever said and wrote them on cards and randomly drew them one at a time and read them I would want to argue with some of them even if Mahatma Gandhi were doing the reading. Some folks would argue with all of them just because Paul is involved. But this book gives many of his most annoying declarations context and it works. I am excited to see the pictures (there weren't any in the review copy). I am excited to share the results. As useful as each of the ideas is, the sense of context and scale of usefulness connecting the ideas is vastly  more valuable. Most valuable is the sense of empowerment. Not "We're all screwed" or "the corporations or government or technology or frugality or Jesus will save us" but "hey I can do something and it matters". Thank you. Thank you to Shawn too. His voice is somewhat invisible in the writing but the fact that the book even got wrote is a testament to Shawn tying Paul down and getting him to focus.

And if you still want a copy use my link so I get a kickback
1 week ago

June 14-15
The Straw Bale Studio
Oxford, Michigan, USA

If you want to learn how to build a Rocket Mass Heater the best way is to come build one, and now you can take one home with you when you go.

We will start with a tour of the functioning Rocket Heaters on the property and the fire science behind clean, efficient Rocket Mass Heaters including this one.

Then we will build one to heat the Straw Bale Sauna.

We will work with scrap metal and cob (sandy clay soil) so you will want to wear sturdy clothing you are comfortable getting dirty.
Vegetarian friendly mainly local food will be provided starting with lunch on Friday and ending Saturday evening with wood fired pizza in the cob oven (bring your favorite topping to share). There will also be a special opportunity for a limited number of participants to build their own fully functional CottageRocket heater.

The CottageRocket fits the fire chamber and mass inside a barrel (30 gallon or 50 gallon) and is perfect for a workshop or greenhouse (or cottage) where a three ton mass bench wouldn't be the best fit. You can get more info on what a CottageRocket is at this thread For the price of the workshop plus any parts you need (a parts and price list is provided to participants so you can scrounge) you can become a Rocket Scientist. You can also participate as a helper (not take home a rocket). for more information or to RSVP. Camping and bed space available.

Workshop price is $300 per person or $250 per person for groups or 2 or more.
$50 discount if you register before May 15
Parts cost to take home your own CottageRocket is $325
A limited number of half price work/trade positions are available

You can purchase tickets below. If the options for group purchase/build one to take home/early bird discount aren't working please contact me at or 440-221-6609.

1 week ago

The historical Wofati for the Nebraska folk who didn't even have much wood to work with. There's more information on my original post
Joe, the barrels can be filled with cob or bricks or even pea gravel for thermal mass. We've also built benches out of cob or pea gravel for even more thermal mass, and the cottagerocket just plugs in.
1 week ago
Jerry, we are finishing the manual right now. The kits and heaters are available on a one-off basis while we get the manufacturing process worked out. The one in the picture is finishing its first season heating a garage upholstery shop with flying colors. If you want to come build one with us we have workshops coming up in Cleveland May 24-25 and Oxford MI on June 14-15. Meanwhile I recommend you start watching craigslist for a good triplewall stovepipe and the thimbles to put it through the wall or roof.
1 week ago
Some pictures from last year. What do y'all want to do this summer?
1 week ago