Gerry Parent

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since Jan 12, 2017
Gerry likes ...
building rocket stoves woodworking
Penticton, Canada
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Recent posts by Gerry Parent

Dan,   I'm glad you've found a system that works for you. Also, I know some people only harvest during certain phases of the moon too, so as they say, "if the shoe fits".
Each area has its own flowering times (yarrow here just started to bloom last week) and can't say if I've ever seen a second bloom in the fall but interesting that it does in your neck of the woods. I chew on a leaf from time to time and have felt a very slight bit of numbness from it (sure tastes like medicine though!) but have never needed it for an actual tooth ache.... and hope I never do but its good to know these things. I'll give the root a try on my next outing.  
1 week ago

Dan Boone wrote:Today while driving home I noticed that the bright white yarrow flowers were turning grey-ish, which is a sign that I was about to lose my harvest window.  As far as I know I could harvest yarrow root at any time during the summer season, but once the flowers completely drop, it becomes so much harder to find the plants among the other tall grasses and weeds, it's almost a fools' errand as far as harvesting enough.  Last year I left it too long and did not make a harvest or get a batch of tincture laid by.  So I had promised myself not to make the same mistake this year!

Thank you Dan for this post. The pictures and descriptions are great. From my understanding though, aren't the roots most potent once the plant is finished flowering and putting all its remaining energy into them? I know you said its hard to find them without the flower but perhaps a flag of some sort could be used to mark their location instead?
1 week ago
Hello Star,   Not sure if you've seen Matt Walkers cook stove before:   Cookstove  Not sure if he's worked in a method of heating water with it as well (except in a pot on top) but I know many people have been happy with it and he has been very generous with his time to help you with your build.
1 week ago
Antonio,  Good work, but don't let your observations stop there. Go around to different places and collect some soil samples and see how they differ. So much can be learned by doing such a simple test. Then if your real ambitious, go to List of Dr. RedHawk's Epic Soil Series Threads and begin to go down the rabbit hole even further.
1 week ago

Mark Tamp wrote:How do the L-tube works? The fire is directly on the bottom of the heat riser? Or you don't put the wood all the way in?

Are there any recommended dimensions or a good specific design for a small L-tube?

Yes, the fire is generally at the bottom of the heat riser.
An L tube means you will constantly be pushing the wood in as it burns away whereas a J tube helps reduce the amount of tending by gravity feeding the wood in as it burns. Something to consider if you go the L route.
Both 6" and 8" are the most popular sizes for a RMH. Not sure what sizes people use for an L tube.
1 week ago
Bryant,      Doesn't silt (which is very fine sand) separate out rather quickly 5-10 min. whereas clay is much finer and separates out hours or even days later? If so, then wouldn't it be safe to say that if a soil sample stratifies out (when the water becomes clear) in less than 10 minutes its a good indicator that you have no clay?
1 week ago
Mark,   Seeing as you are using it just for cooking with nothing to slow or add friction to the exhaust (barrel or mass), the burn tunnel can be shorter without any problems. The ratios are mostly guidelines as there are so many factors with every build that can affect what you can get away with in modifying them.
Have you considered a square tube rather than round? This is what I used for my first RMH build and had an ash tray (made from a recycled cooking oil can) and a metal grate that I made from 1/2" rebar that worked quite well.
1 week ago
Great video Sergei... Thank you for the herb walk, I had fun and was a good review with some new tidbits I had not known or had forgotten.
1 week ago
Hi Mark,   Welcome to the forums.  The ratio 1:2:4 is broken down as follows :   1 means feed tube, 2 means burn chamber and 4 means heat riser. Since all the photos (minus the top middle) one doesn't have a burn chamber, the ratio is kind of irrelevant from the start. I don't have any experience with making a modified L tube like these ones but I do know that I've heard several people complain that they don't consistently feed the wood very well at a 45 degree angle - The wood doesn't slide good and gets caught up more easily than a 90 degree feed tube.
Perhaps someone with more experience with making one can chime in to help you.
1 week ago
Hello Rodney,   Thank you for your post. To get right down to it, the straw part does not have to be just that, it could be any fibrous material strong enough to provide tensile strength that the other two materials don't have. Straw is mainly used as its usually locally available and inexpensive to purchase in the quantities needed even for a small house, but really it can be any long dried grass. As long as you can pull and twist it (when dried) without it breaking very easy, than its probably a good candidate. A little searching around in fields or abandoned sites might turn up some good stuff.
As for the sand, if you can't find any on your property or don't want to dig an ugly hole, maybe someone in the area is digging a foundation, doing road work or construction that would like to get rid of it.  Just make sure that for cob, the sand is not round in texture (like beach sand) but rather angular and more coarse so that there is good surface area to bind the particles together making for a stronger wall.
The Cob Builders Handbook by Becky Bee or The Hand Sculpted House by Ianto Evans/Cob Cottage Company are awesome books on the subject and worth looking into.
2 weeks ago