Rob Halter

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since Nov 26, 2013
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Recent posts by Rob Halter

Wow - I love the concept of the vortex, but I'd have to run it past the wife. I'm guessing it'd need to be dismantled once the winter's over - any chance it's possible to put this together without it being mortared into place, then dismantled after the burning season?

Other ideas coming to mind --
1. A small greenhouse on the south facing wall of the house through some sliding doors, with a RMH in it. Kind of passive solar + RMH
2. A RMH that's removable in a little used part of my house that I could vent out a window (is that OK?)
3. #1, with the external RMH, but run the exhaust under the house floor, kind of like Erica's in floor heater video

I think the thing I'm most interested in is the removable RMH in the house that vents out a window. Possible?
OK, my excitement is building again. thanks Max.
10 years ago

Satamax Antone wrote:Rob, show us a picture of your fireplace, and inside the chimney opening, looking up.

I'm pretty sure something can be done, if big enough. But, without a pic, i can't tell much. A sketch with dimensions could be cool too.



Hi Max,

Just took some measurements, I'm no artist but here goes.

Here's a sketch of the front. I guess it's pretty standard:

And here's one from the side:

10 years ago

allen lumley wrote:
After you have made one and used it out of doors, you will quickly find out why it is recommended for out door use only, Having said that they are very handy
things to have in a back corner of your Garage/ down cellar when mother nature ''takes you off grid''! Go for it ! For the good of the Craft!

So what I've summed up so far from this and numerous other posts, is that I'm not going to do much better than my current Rumford. My fight with the frackers means I either freeze or continue using copious wood. In other words, keep on choppin'. The microheater ideas are fine for me, but not the rest of the family.

Pocket rocket may be an option for the detached garage, and I'll certainly experiment there in the coming months.

This is not a very satisfying conclusion. I see the value in continued RMH research, but there won't be a large conversion unless there's a retrofit solution that works for the large number of folks in suburbia. I'd love to knock my house down and start over, but it's not gonna happen. A fireplace insert seems an anemic compromise. Trying to wrap my head around the russian bell concepts, but again I don't see it as a retrofit into my existing rumford.

Anyway, if I'm missing something, please enlighten. My excitement is waning.
10 years ago

Erica Wisner wrote:Ernie suggests a Pocket Rocket like the one on pp. 76-77 of the Rocket Mass Heaters book. (  Sminfiddle suggested something similar toward the end of his ideas - like he said, it's not the prettiest thing ever, but it's neat.

You can make a small one from a 5-gallon bucket and 2 pieces of scrap stovepipe, and get a lot of radiant heat.  The fire is concentrated near the bottom so you get more of the warmth.  Fun project, fuel-efficient, quick heat in the evenings, and gives you practice operating a J-tube rocket stove if you want to build one later.

I have an existing rumford, sounds like a 5 gallon pocket rocket would get me more efficiency in terms of going through cords of wood, perhaps without sacrificing the amount of heat radiated into the room. Is this still your current view on this Erica / Ernie? I have Ianto's book, and I think I would try this (after outdoors experimenting).

So the exit flue just goes straight up the chimney?

Anything new / better come up since this post?

10 years ago
Hi all,

I was introduced to the conecpt of the RMH about a month ago, love it, and know that I'm going to build one. Somehow.

Details: I'm in in a multifamily rental, can't make any mods to the house, have access to the basement, 2 floors of living space, and a walk up attic. There is a masonry fireplace, with a hearth that's supported by concrete block all the way to a footing in the basement (that's right, they have an 8 ft tall wall of CMU bumped out of the wall under the hearth, I have no idea what kind of load it will support, but it's go to be better than regular joists).

I'm going to work on an RMH in a detached shed until I deem it ready to trial in the house.
I just purchased and read Ianto's book, it's fantastic. I'll probably pick up the 4 dvd set next.

A few questions to get me started (I'm just getting started, so sorry if these questions have been asked before, I did search around before posting):
  • I think trying to vent up the chimney flue is a dead end, and thought about venting out the ash pit, but don't see that working well either. There are windows on either side of the hearth. Are folks that are operating in an undetected manner generally putting a vent out a window, perhaps through some rigid insulation that they've run a vent duct through and closed a window down upon?
  • The hearth area that could potentially support some thermal mass is quite small (2'x6') - has anyone attempted to make a massless heater with maybe some heat sink fins to radiate more immediate heat and cool the exit flue?
  • Will there be issues with drafting/blowback if the flue length is short (like <= 10ft)?
  • I know I'm going to have to experiment a bit, but before I do - should I be looking into other options? I'd like to persevere here, since I think I'm in a pretty typical end user situation, if this doesn't work for me I don't think it bodes well for mass adoption (no pun intended)

  • Whatever I come up with needs to be removable and not too heavy, so maybe a small version of Paul's pebble filled mass?


    10 years ago