Mike Dinsmoor

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since Dec 01, 2014
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Recent posts by Mike Dinsmoor

All that work in the video making a mold and he pours in bagged concrete.

What you want to do is GFRC. It will be stronger, lighter, denser and no holes to fill in. Spray on the face coat then hand pack in the backer.

GFRC does not use the coarse aggregate you find in common concrete. It is a 50/50 mix of cement/sand with other ingredients...alkoli resist fiber, pozolin, polymer, plasticizer, etc....
1 week ago
I have been thinking about ways to move heat around to other parts of the house. I use to not like the idea of using water and thought about running air ducts to the far areas from the heater. From all the research I have done, I now believe water is one of the best options. If I was doing a new construction, I would insulated the bottom and sides of the cement pad and bury PEX inside it. Water is such a good carrier of heat and takes a very small amount of energy to move around. It uses less energy then moving air around.

The other factor to consider is Hydronic heating is code and proven if that matters to your area.

One concern with running a heater under a floor would be long term viability on the cement from the heat separating out the chemically bonded water. Also, there would be the clean out maintenance. It all just seems overly complicated for something that could be done with just moving some water around in some tubing.

Still, it is a very interesting idea. I can see the benefit for a primitive era.
3 weeks ago
Do you have any clay in your subsoil? You would be surprised at how well local clay works as a fireclay substitute. My subsoil in my own backyard has amazing clay that would definitely pass as fire clay. It has lots of alumina and very little iron. I have made allot clay using the water extraction method from the sub soil in my own back yard. You can also check out construction sites and riverbanks, etc.....
4 months ago
If you want to learn about building a clean wood burner, read up on thermal oxidizers. Also, the 3 T's of combustion efficiency - Time, Temperature and Turbulence. Metal wood stoves are at the lower end of the spectrum on temperature and time so they are not the best option.

The US EPA regulated wood stove emissions. They do not regulated masonry heaters because they burn so clean.

5 months ago
All that effort with the cement and foam and all you get is a crumbly mess down the road. I say just buy some ceramic fiber board or blanket and call it good.
5 months ago
I think history has shown its very safe with a bell batch box system. Same with rockets and bells. That is assuming that your build is correct and your doing good hot burns. I don't know the mechanism but it looks like build up in the bells is not a problem. Hopefully someone else can chime in with a tear down experience.

Think about this, the EPA does not regulate Masonry Heaters because they believe they burn to cleanly.

I don't want to come across like wood stoves are very horrible, they have their purpose. I personally just don't like them.
5 months ago

John Harrison wrote:Interesting points Gents - I've not started building the bell yet, maybe more research is required first...



If your looking for good research, read up on thermal oxidizers and their use on emissions remediation.
5 months ago
I personally don't think wood stoves are clean enough for use with a bell. They just don't get hot enough and have to short of a burn time for their lower temps. All those complex wood gas compounds don't get broken down all the way and will recondense in the bell. That is one reason why wood stoves must have a warm flue all the way out or they get build up. Its the wood stove dirty little secret.

You could completely insulate the wood stove for higher combustion heat, then insulated the inside of the pipe running to the bell for a longer burn time and then maybe it would work. Congrats, you just made another batch box with a nice looking outer metal shell.

If I remember correctly, creosote has a 90% decomposition rate at 1400F for .5 seconds. That does not include burn(oxidation) time. That is just what is needed to break it down so it will burn. My numbers may be off a bit but you get the point.

I'm done with metal box wood stoves, they are obsolete in my opinion.

Remember the 3 T's of efficient combustion;
Time
Temperature
Turbulence

Wood stoves are lacking in two of these.

5 months ago
Retired 2 stage furnaces are a good source of heat exchangers. Contact an independent HVAC installer and see if they can save you a condensing furnace. I got one that had a stainless steel heat exchanger for the secondary condensing stage. It is very sturdy and I am hoping to use it after the first bell on my heater for heating incoming air. I have not decided yet if it will be for all air or just secondary.

One side affect of heating air is you are getting less oxygen per cubic foot of air because of the expansion from heating. The heat is necessary for secondary air to maintain combustion but not necessarily needed for primary air. Heating the primary air may contribute to increased pyrolysis making more demand for secondary air.

I think the idea has potential.
7 months ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Mike; It is recommended (common) to raise both core and mass.  I suspect that it would take many years, but your transition area will at times get  400-500 F temps.  Wood burns at 456 F  ... below that temp,  pyrolysis happens , a slow change in the chemical composition of the wood which  lower's  the burn temp down possibly burning your wood floor.    1.5" cement pad with rockwool "sounds" like it could handle that just fine... but i wonder?
If it were me I would put that cement board up on flat bricks and space the whole thing up ... never have to worry that way.



At this point I am changing my design to include an air gap under the bench as well as under the firebox. Im not sure if I even want to store wood under the fire box at this point LOL. I am assuming that this air gap needs to be open to the room and not covered up for aesthetics??? I'm glad this post came up. Question now is, how to support the cob up off the ground. I'm guessing everyone is using a cement slab??? Wish I was building on a slab, reinforcing the sub floor is a big project on its own.
8 months ago