Robert Hohulin

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since Nov 03, 2014
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Recent posts by Robert Hohulin

Chuck, I'd be happy to. The idea for the barrel system came cometely from Ianto's book. I've found that it gave me a lot of flexibility with my build. Keep in mind, this is my first build, but I've had great success with it. To start you need two barrels, preferably with removable lids. Be accurate with your height measurements as to allow for the proper gap from riser to barrel top. Take the first barrel and turn it upside down:the bottom will now be the top, so the rim will match the bottom rim of the top barrel. Got that? Measure how much you'll need to cut out to fit over the core and for how much height you'll need. Mark it well on the barrel. Cut out the solid end of both barrels with a sawzall ( be very careful not cut through the outside of the barrels - I scrapped a couple doing that). Then take an angle grinder to smooth out what you couldn't get flush with the sawzall. You'll want a smooth drop for the hot gasses. Then cut out your markings. I would recommend having a second person steady it while you cut. In my case, I found that dismantling my chop saw and using it free hand with a masonry blade was much easier. Your cuts don't have to be super accurate because you can fill in any gaps with cob. Once you have the bottom barrel fitted, make your connection to the exhaust manifold. Make sure when you're measuring for height to allow for 2-3" of depth below the manifold to allow for a good ash pit. Seal the inner and outer barrel bottom with cob. Once that is securely in place, move on to the top barrel. Turn the top barrel upside down. Initially I used 1/2" fiberglass gasket rope w/incuded adhesive. Throw the adhesive away - it's worthless. It's rated at 1000* and after a few burns it hardened and flaked away leaving air leaks. I instead used high temp sealant caulk rated at 600* - it really seals well and remains pliable. Lay a thick bead on the rim that will meet up with the bottom barrel, lay out the rope gasket on the bead firmly, then cut the ends to size. I put a little extra sealant on the ends of the rope to make sure I had a good seal. Let it set up for a few hours. I also laid a bead of caulk on the rim of the bottom barrel too. Overkill maybe but I didn't want to do it again. Take the extra lid clamp ring and loosely place it over the bottom barrel. Once the caulk is set up, flip the barrel over and CAREFULLY lower it down over the riser, taking care not bump the riser. Once in place,adjust the alignment of the rims. It can tricky because the rope wants to roll. Install the clamp ring and tighten but don't overdo it. Then, when you're ready for the top lid, use the caulk to seal the bungs on the lid (if it has any) and lay a good bead of caulk under the lid rim(remove the rubber gasket that came on the lid first!) Lay out the rope firmly into the caulk just like you did on the barrel rims. Put the lid in place and tighten the clamp ring. You'll have very airtight barrel system. It's really easy to remove the lid to inspect, or to remove the top barrel for maintenance. I really hope that this helps. Let me know how it turns out!
4 years ago
Actually,the outside of the core gets pretty warm after a 5-6 hour burn. Interesting? Any thoughts? Makes me wonder if I'm getting enough draw.
4 years ago
Oh and my burn tunnel is 25" from the front side of feed to back of riser - 10" burn tunnel ceiling + 7.5" feed + 7.5" riser base to 8" riser. I'm wondering if I should reduce that by 5"? If I can destroy that duct in the riser, I might feel that I've achieved success. Lol
4 years ago
Chad, thanks for your reply. I have an 8" system and am using a 12" exhaust from the barrel reduced to 8". The core is cast from clay, perlite, and refractory 4" thick - top bottom and sides. Do you think I need to wrap that in cob to insulate it further? I was wondering if maybe I need to make the burn tunnel shorter, the reason being the 8" galvanized duct in my riser is warped but still intact after several months of almost daily burning. Shouldn't it be disintegrating by now? Ive kind of wondered if maybe I need to raise my stack by another foot or two. By the way, the pics are older. Here are some more recent pics.
4 years ago
I've had my RMH up and and running for a few months now and trying to finish up straggler parts of it along the way. I've been experiencing some burn problems though. I started off using hardwood millworker scraps-had phenomenal burns-nothing left but a dusting of ash. Wish I would have had a temp gauge at that time. When that ran out, I used 2x4 scraps split thin-again-complete burns. Then I purchased a 1/2 face cord of black locust. Turned out to be less seasoned than was billed. My bad. Locust should have just about melted the heater, but burn was anemic. Chalked it up to too wet of wood. Picked up a sampling of better seasoned oak, cherry, and locust and had a little better results, but was still not seasoned enough. Am having large amounts of ash left in burn tunnel - maybe 1" after a 6 hour burn. "Seems" to be drawing well - having the "rockety" sound. I'm keeping the system cleaned out and having fine ash on the inside of the barrel, no creasote. Running temps on average of 500-600 on barrel top,400-500 on side. Have had it as high as 750(side) and 850 on top, but not sustained. I'm starting to wonder if its not just the wood I'm using. Last night I had a first-a flame up where the burn creeped up to the top of the feed. Lasted a short time, no strong breezes. It made me wonder if my draw is not as strong as I thought. I feel like I have a solid build, followed the dimensions closely. Using a cast core with 4" thick walls and base on a bed of bricks with a cob buffer. Burn tunnel is 10"(ceiling) long and 7.5 x 7.5, feed is 7.5 x 7.5 x 12, riser is 15 gal barrel with clay,perlite, refractory, 3" thick walls around an 8" duct - 48" tall, 3" riser to barrel top gap, the barrel is offset around the riser to allow for good clearance in the bell, 4-5" to manifold exhaust. No leaks in system. Vertical stack is reaching 100-150 temps. Exited through roof with 2' outside of building. I've been reading that I should be hitting 800-1000 sustained with a clean burn. I'm not sure if I have a problem or if its solely the wood. I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone might have on this! Thanks in advance!
4 years ago
Thanks for the replies Landon, Shilo. Ever since I started using the native hardwood I've been having a lot of residual ash, to me indicating a less than complete burn. I'm hoping that its just a wood issue and that by next year my wood will be dry as tinder. Any thoughts on that? As far as the blocks are concerned,I'm not quite finished. I plan on pouring fast setting concrete in the blocks to eliminate the air gaps, just haven't got to it yet(almost out of clay). Here's video of a recent burn. I hope it plays. Let me know what you both think. Thanks!
4 years ago
Hi Jim, it's seems to be working well. Even cold, it lights up quickly with no smoke back. Draws like crazy and really roars! In reading a thread on barrel temps though, I'm a little concerned. The hottest I've been able to get it is 650 on the side, sustained at 450-500. Shouldn't it be getting much hotter? I'm getting white ash in the bell, very little black. When I fired it up the first several weeks, I had a good supply of hardwood millwork scraps and 2x4 scraps and it burned almost everything - almost no residual ash. When I ran out of that I had to buy wood, about a 1/2 face cord of black locust. It turns out that it was not as seasoned as the guy said- my bet no more than 7or 8 months. Fire was very anemic, barrel temps no higher than 300. Tried drying it out under a heat blanket for about a week and it helped some. Picked up some oak, walnut, cherry, and locust from another supplier. Drier, but probably still not dry enough. It was not until I started mixing in some 5 year old 2x4 scraps with the hardwood that I was able to achieve the higher temps. It still doesn't seem like I'm getting it nearly hot enough. It taking about 3-4 hour burns to even get the mass warm ( it's dry). I feel like I have a good build, but not getting the full benefit. Any thoughts? I'm including some pics.
4 years ago
Getting close to completion and my wife is still hanging on - barely. Almost halfway done with bench. Sealed up the bench platform seams and manifold exhaust with hi-temp sealer and triple taped all joints with 350degree duct tape. First course of block laid,starting on second. Will not be quitting my day job to lay block anytime soon. Scored big on my mass! A guy I know gave me a yard of high quality CA6 for free. Everything here is frozen, but this guy had it inside. High clay content and packs really tight. Was able to fill up almost half of my bench. Hooked it up this morning and fired it up as I was laying the mass. It was hard to start, but within 10 minutes had it roaring. I was surprised how much hotter the duct was with mass surrounding it. Kind of exciting! Hopefully I'll be able get my hands on more CA6 with the thaw coming this weekend. Going remix some cob today and start filling in around the barrel base. And with the thaw coming, hopefully my roofer can come this weekend and I can finish my stack. Will keep updating!
4 years ago
On vacation and finally building my bench. On the downside, winter decided to show up in central Illinois this week. 5-7" of snow with sub-zero temps oh, why didn't I get on this sooner?! The bench is coming along well and I'm looking into using cam-6, which is used for road underlayment @ about $8/yard. I'm still planning on using urbanite under the duct, filled in with cob to reduce air gaps. I have it raised up on brick rows, Bonny style, to tap into passive air flow. The hollow cores on the block that I'm using for containment, I'm going to fill with either cob or vermiculite- (I got the block CHEAP). My exhaust configuration should be a winner as I'll have the vertical stack through the roofline. But since old man winter decided to show up, I might have to wait. The roofer down the street who was going to do it this week says ill have to wait till the temps get to at least 25 degrees to do the flashing. In the meantime I might just run a temporary stack out of the upstairs window and just pack the space around the duct with rock wool to keep from freezing or burning my barn down. Will post further updates and pics!





4 years ago