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Adam Jonathan

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since Sep 06, 2014
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Shenandoah Valley
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Recent posts by Adam Jonathan

Caleb Mayfield wrote:Yes, I would add some type of reinforcement to the outside so if it cracks again it will not fall outward and gap open blocking off your air flow. I think that was what caused the smoke back on the first go.

Would you suggest anything in particular? I have chicken wire, wire mesh from Windows, and could obtain a number of other things. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
3 years ago
Hi Caleb,

Yes, it's firebrick with clay/perlite/lime insulation around the sides for insulation.  The top was simply lime and sand.

I filled in cracks with 1 part Type 1 Portland, 4 parts all purpose sand, and 1 part hydrated lime.

Would you suggest adding chicken wire or steel blanket outside of that?

3 years ago
Hello All,

I did a test run the other day on my J tube Rocket Stove, and I got blow back after about an hour. I took off the steel drum, and checked for leaks in the insulative layer, and I have a lot of cracks. I'd like to get advice as to whether I should completely scrap or break apart the cracked insulation, or whether it would be worth my while to try to patch the cracks. If I patch the cracks, do I need refractory cement? Or, could I just use regular cement with sand?

Any thoughts appreciated!
3 years ago
Does anyone sell a door for an 8" batch rocket with a window in it?

I don't know how to weld, and don't have equipment.

I'm thinking of hiring someone, but it would be easier just to buy a door and a p-trap, I think.
4 years ago
Howdy Y'all!

I'm looking to do nixtamalization of corn (and maybe wheat?) with the hardwood ash from my rocket stove.  

Is there any danger in this idea?  My ash in my burn chamber is mostly from oak, and is dark grey/black.  At times it hardens up into semi-solid substance (like charcoal), I believe due to high heat for sustained periods of time.

I took off ash this morning from yesterday's burn, and ran warm/hot water over it, and it's been sitting in a jar of water since this morning.

Any thoughts?


4 years ago

Glenn Herbert wrote:If the core is the same as before except for the addition of the tripwire and backsweep, something else must have changed for its behavior to have changed drastically. Tell us more about the chimney shelter. Also, more details about the overall system, its setting, your climate, and how it performed last year would be helpful in diagnosis.

Hi Glenn,

the chimney shelter is made for a variety of sizes (it's adjustable), and looks almost exactly like this:


Last year, the only problem I had was a birds' nest in the flue, which is why I put in the chimney shelter     Otherwise, last year was a great year.  Part of my barrel was clogged with ash, so I took the whole thing apart, and tried to do the van den Berg improvements.  One improvement he suggests is a cured piece at the end of the burn tunnel, just under the heat riser.  That sticks out about 2" plus, so maybe that's my problem???

5 years ago
Hello All,

HELP! I had a traditional J-shaped rocket mass heater with a 55 gallon steel drum for a bell.

I rebuilt my traditional stove, and put the improvements Dr. van den Berg suggested into the burn chamber (the arrow, and the curve at the back.

Since rebuilding, the J-tube, I have some kind of issue. Basically, the stove works moderately well for about 5-10 minutes, and then my house fills up with smoke, and won't draw any more.

I checked that all of the exhaust lines are clear, as well as the chimney.  The riser is 2" thick firebrick, with a 2" layer of rock wool insulation around the riser.

One other improvement I did between last year and this year was to add a chimney shelter.

Any thoughts appreciated.
5 years ago
Does anyone know what temperature this type of Russian Stove exhausts at in Farenheit?  I have an old flu that will likely have fires if I don't keep the exhaust below 200 degrees F.

If the Russian Stoves exhaust at higher temps, any ideas on ways to capture additional heat prior to exhaust?

Thank you,

6 years ago
Howdy y'all,

I would like to build a Bocce Ball course, and the "oyster flour" is about $1,000 for a cubic yard bag.  So, yeah, that's expensive.

Any ideas for a cheaper, natural building replacement for "oyster flour"?

Also, anyone have plans for building a Bocce Ball court with natural and inexpensive building materials?


6 years ago

thomas rubino wrote:Adam; Here is where I purchased pigment for my cob.  http://www.earthpigments.com/ All natural, heat resistant below apx 200 F  Very nice product ! You can also get red ,black and yellow dye for concrete at a home depot type store.

Thanks Thomas!

In terms of Tadelakt, is the process to do:

1. A base coat of plain white tadelakt;
2. A finish coat of pigmented tadelakt; and
3. A final coat of black soap?

If I'm applying to a cob rocket mass heater, do I still need the base coat?

Which coats do I need to polish?  Just the finish coat and the black soap coat?

Also, what would the ratios be in each coat?  I believe that 10% pigment to lime ratio is used by weight. Is that right?

Any input appreciated!  I've been scouring the internet trying to figure this out.


6 years ago