Hi everyone, I'm new to the rocket stove world but very excited at the prospect. I've been reading up on on rocket mass heaters (RMHs as I'm learning!) and am excited to build one in our new house that we just broke ground on a few weeks ago in Ithaca, NY. I have two questions: Does anyone know of any nearby RMHs I could go to see in person and ask any questions of the owners? I searched the forum and saw two references to upstate NY from Allen Lumley and Thomas Vogel... perhaps one of you is relatively nearby or knows someone who is?
Secondly, the only conceivable "downside" (if you can even call it that) to RMHs versus the traditional wood stoves we were planning on before getting religion was being able to see the fire in the stove. That got me thinking...would it be possible (or maybe ill-advised) to put in some tempered glass in front of the horizontal burn chamber in an RMH so the fire were visible? I know I'd lose a bit of thermal mass there, but, especially since we'll be laying the RMH on a concrete floor that will also collect the heat for subsequent dispersing. Would such a plan be safe? I imagine it would withstand the heat from the chamber...?
We just broke ground, and I won't be putting in the RMH until after we've moved in, but am very excited at the prospect. Thanks much for any advice out there!!