andy careaga

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since Nov 10, 2013
Lexington, Ky
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Recent posts by andy careaga

Thank you Robin Kyle for reminding me! I had a question I forgot to ask on the underground piping that was mentioned. Paul, where in the piping did it dip below ground? Right after the fire manifold or after the piping was supposed to be at the far end of the bench or someplace else? Kind of hard to distinguish elevation from a print looking down from above. Thanks
1 year ago
I gave this video 9 out of 10 acorns. Thanks to this video, a lot of my questions as to why my rocket mass heater's performance did not match the results I kept reading about from other people here on permies. And for that, I am really glad. Next summer I get to re-work mine. Thank you Paul for the super gift! It was very considerate of you! Maybe my next iteration won't get so many complaints regarding its esthetic appeal from upper management.
1 year ago
Hope I don't regret putting out an opinion on this topic but.... so let's say a person lives in the northwest. he typically buys a cord of wood found locally and generally it is consistent to other cords that person may buy over time, with respect to type, density, and volume, hence, general weight. In my area, my wood pile has looked pretty much the same for years now. Same wood types, same densities, same in about all respects. I would venture to say that is the case for about everywhere in the world. I would expect the same logic to hold true in Montana.

So it matters little if you buy wood that is very dense and I buy wood that is less dense. If I conduct a test using my wood compared to wood I previously used, likely it will provide a valid test. If I wanted to compare it to wood another person in a different locale has, it might not weigh the same. So as long as Paul is using his wood and comparing it to his wood, his testing is valid. If he wants to compare his results to wood found in another region, the results may differ. BUT, the basis for this test is that Paul has stated he wants to see if he can get through a Montana winter on X amount of "his" wood, not compare the results to somebody else's wood. Trying to alter the basis for Paul's test is outside the parameter's that Paul has set for his test.

Just sayin...
Paul, so what are the characteristics of the house you are heating? How many rooms, square footage, construction type? I am using mine in a  7-room ranch style house, not counting the 2 bathrooms and my rocket mass heater can get it toasty enough that the furnace does not turn on but I doubt I am anywhere near matching the amount of wood you are using... or not using depending on your perspective. That is just going by the amount you said you used from the picture of the shelf. I think you are keeping your place a shade cooler than I do mine, when I am home anyway. And then I am confident there is quite a bit of energy lost out the chimney from the air flowing through it. And this RMH is my first effort also. I think one could characterize it as "generic" compared to one made by a person that gets to build them more frequently but it still makes me happy! It beats the tar out of the 4-5 cord woodstove that it replaced.
Thank you for the data. I will have to think on this some more I reckon.

Here's another question I have been pondering. When I first built this RMH, the research I did led me to think that a 7"x7" firebox/tunnel would be a good idea since I had 8" dia stove pipe from the previous wood stove. I have been wondering lately if I would have been better off building a 6"x6" firebox, that maybe it would provide a better long term burn using a smaller amount of wood. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Maybe other benefits to using a smaller firebox I am unaware of?
Just a curiosity of mine (and I think you have probably been asked this many times already), but, why do you have the outside of the mass sided with wood? After all, it is insulative and seems like it would tend to restrict the transfer of heat from the mass to the house somewhat. Which leads me to a question I have been pondering regarding my RMS. I come home from work and build a fire. This is about 3AM. I go to bed about 5-ish and have a fire going. By the time I get up, the fire is out of course, but I keep wondering if there is anything I can do to prevent so much heat loss from going out the stove pipe with the air that is going out through it it after the fire has gone out. Other than waking up and covering the hole, because if I wake up I am going to throw more wood on, not plug the opening. Anyone have any suggestions on how to reduce the heat loss out the stove pipe once the fire has gone out?
Just reading the comments section after the Mother Tree video pretty much sums up this problem. Everyone just wanted to cast blame upon something or someone in some kind of intellectual debate that doesn't solve the problem. Thanks for the link to that however! I found it very useful information. It should be taught to our children and grandchildren in my opinion.

I went to a survival course taught by Tom Brown and he related a story where, as a child, he and his brother put to the test a teaching from his grandfather/mentor. The test was simple, where they set up a scope to measure the movement of a young sapling when one of them sat next to (but not touching) the tree. They discovered that the tree moved away from or towards them, depending on what they were thinking. If they were thinking good and loving stuff towards the tree, it moved towards them. If they thought hurtful, destructive thoughts about the tree, it moved away.

Trees are sentient beings. Why would it be so difficult to think they would communicate with each other if they are sensitive to us?

Anyway, I have noticed that so much gets lost simply because of our pervasive (perverse?) nature to digress into debates of he-said-she-said and overlook the true problems we should be facing. I believe that probably one of the most constructive teachings for myself is where Paul Wheaton says to avoid all that he-said-she-said and just do it.
2 years ago
How do these breeds do during summer time? We don't near as cold as you guys way up there and I like the idea of cold tolerant birds. However, what are your summers like. Down here there sometimes is spells where the temps can push 105 deg F. Can the breeds mentioned above take that also?
4 years ago
We are starting a small homestead just south of Cincinnatti, Ohio. I plan on having chickens and have read a few posts that mention winter hardy birds and such. I would be grateful for some good ideas on breeds that would accept the kind of winters we have up this way. It will be a little while before I get that part of the homestead up and running but would prefer to learn from others' experience rather than wasting time and resources. Anyone have favorites for zone 6 climates?
4 years ago