Sky Huddleston

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since Mar 03, 2016
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Mechanical engineer with a passion for energy and technological advancement. I'm the co-founder of Liberator Rocket Heaters and we're working on a lot of cool projects.
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Recent posts by Sky Huddleston

Dave Lotte wrote:

Sky Huddleston wrote: Without doing something akin to this, the project may be too difficult to take on using the specific natural materials Paul wants.

I have done a variety of projects in my time,  and have a couple of friends who look at me and ask
" how do you do that ??? "
May i suggest the same thing that i tell them ?
Start small, and with each victory - it builds up your confidence and knowledge base for the next one.
Don't try to build a 7 foot round door all at once - build a 2 foot round test first.  Same materials, same thickness, just .... smaller.   Call it a doggy door.

I have also met people who never get past the planning stages as well,  the project just .... stalls ...
go out and do the mini.  😁

Right now I don't have time to commit to that. I have multiple development contracts for rocket stove based gas turbine engines and another contract for the development of Bourke engine technology. The round door project is basically going to have to take not more than 3 weeks, tops.

If there are any carpenters on the forum that I can pay to build the door according to design blueprints please let me know.
2 months ago
Updates and further deliberations.

After more consideration of construction and design, I've concluded that the hardest component to this is actually the mating surface the door fits into. The structural support frame, if it could be made square, would be very easy. So too would the actual round door itself. But if the door is to mate against a corresponding round frame, then that makes it 10 times harder easily. This makes me wonder if we could use a square timber frame for the structural support, a round door, and use cob or adobe or similar to actually create the mating area/seam for the door. Without doing something akin to this, the project may be too difficult to take on using the specific natural materials Paul wants.

What are everyone elses thoughts on that?
2 months ago
So I have this rough model of the frame. The weight of the frame alone is going to be over 600 pounds. This will easily be the most difficult carpentry project I've ever taken on. I'm really liking the idea of hinging it at the top and using chain to open and close it.

We're going to need to figure out how to attach it to the foundation. Concrete would be ideal here due to the weight involved. Those vertical beams are 8.5" X 6"
2 months ago
Hello Everyone!

Its been a while since I've done any serious wood working, hopefully the last ten years spent welding and machining will carry over to working with wood.

After a little deliberations, I think the largest challenge to this whole project boils down to the shear size and weight of the door, being necessary to have a minimum 6' diameter to comfortably step through, which causes deflection of the hinges as the load levers down. This necessitates not only extremely rigid hinges, but an equally stout frame to support this moving, swinging mass. The intertial moments acting upon the hinges are very high. This creates a another consideration, the accuracy of the mating flanges. Because of the inherently higher deflection owed to the greater elastic properties of natural materials such as wood, setting the hinges in such a way that the door seals properly will prove to be difficult. Not to mention swelling and contraction with seasonal cycles of humidity and temperature! An adjustment mechanism would almost certainly be needed, the probability that anyone could get this dead-nut right the first time is very low.

There is a way to balance the loads and forces, however. If we hinge the door at the top, and use a steel cable or chain to open and close the door, this allows the forces to bi distributed equally and assures a good and accurate fit for a good seal/closure of the door. This eliminates the need to engineer a heavy duty and adjustible steel hinge pins and system that can adjust for lash and deflection, and allows for a more symmetric and easier design and construction of the door frame. Speaking of the frame, it will prove to be a greater challenge than the door itself. The door is basically a wooden disc, all the engineering and design is in the frame and hinge system.

As crazy as it sounds, using wood in this way presents even more challenges than an engineered material such as steel. A hydraulic blast door or bank vault door would be just as approachable to me as this project, but I will do what I can to see to it that my promise to Paul is fulfilled.

So if it pleases the crowd, what are everyones thoughts on hinging the door at the TOP rather than the side? The only downside I can think of is that if the hinge or lifting chains or their attachment points fail, the door could fall and cause injury, however the same could be side of a conventionally side-hinged door (albeit I don't suspect the fall would be as violent). This could be mitigated using a torsion or tension spring so that the weight of the door itself will large be lifted by the spring, creating a balance between the spring force and gravity, with human strength being used only to open or shut the door. This is how rolling garage doors function, they have a torsion spring that does 95% of the lifting.
2 months ago
About 3-4 months ago we received a purchase order from Albania for 105 of our Gen 2 rocket heaters.

The British port authorities blocked the shipment from going through their country, even though they were not the intended customers, because they weren't tested/certified to meet European safety code standards.

The French port authorities did the same.

The Albanians investigated taking the cargo through Constantinople on account of the Muslim world not giving a flying hoot about those bureaucratic hindrances, but no insurance company would cover that shipment on account of there being a 50% cargo loss rate through the region (thieves).

So they just threw their hands up, said to heck with it, its obvious that European governments want their people to freeze to death, and so freeze to death they will. Not my choice of words.

Michael Cox wrote:I truly don't see any kind of corporate troll behaviour in that reddit thread. Instead I see people talking at cross purposes, who when they have misunderstood what is being discussed have reached erroneous conclusions. And then as is the nature of social media they have voted according to what they perceive. In this case they thought they were dealing with a snake-oil salesman, and voted accordingly. But this is because of the fundamental disconnect between the language of the two "sides".

People who are promoting new technologies, especially where they make grand claims for benefits, need to work hard to fine tune their message to make it palatable by the audience they are speaking to.  Here Paul chose to approach a demographic he was unfamiliar with, and who were unfamiliar with the ideas he was discussing. And he went in heavy on the benefits, as he sees them, but left them just with increased scepticism.

The spate of down voting is a natural consequence of the circumstances, and not a grand conspiracy.

My fear is that talking about it as an us-against-them conspiracy may excuse "us" from actually addressing the communication problem properly. And if we collectively don't learn how to communicate these ideas in an way that is palatable then we will remain stuck.

Thats fine and all, and is a scientific perspective that I respect and I fully recognize can be useful. However, I do want to emphasize that malicious actors have been for decades feigning incompetency and ignorance to shirk responsibility and accountability for their actions. This way if it blows up in their face, they can claim good intentions despite knowing full well what they are/were doing, and its completely non-falsifiable in most cases. So I've adopted a different model that emphasizes personal responsibility and accountability for everyone. Which is simple. The intentions do not matter, only the outcomes. If somebody has well intentions but their miscalculation leads to horrendous outcomes, they are just as responsible for those outcomes as if they did so maliciously. Its not perfect, but this way everyone has to take a little extra time to think, consult, and plan before acting. It emphasizes personal responsibility and culpability for ones own actions above all else, because actions speak louder than words. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then action is worth a million.
Most people will only take action when the pain of inaction exceeds the pain of action. When they start to get cold, they will start to do some research. Until then, like touching fire, they are going to have to learn the hard way. When they do, we will be here for them.

Freyda Black wrote:Will you be posting information on how one would go about intetgrating this heater with thermal mass? And do you feel it would work in a smallish yurt or dome shaped structure say about 20' across for heating and cooking?
Thanks for making this technology available!

Integration into thermal mass is outlined in our owners manual. I have attached it as a PDF so everyone can see how this particular heater is integrated into thermal mass.

Chris "Uncle Mud" also did a lot of work in figuring out various ways Liberator Rocket Heaters can be integrated into thermal mass and has an excellent video series on the subject.
1 year ago

Meadow Cern wrote:I'm so pumped by this, because it's just a step away from RMH's getting manufactured, then legal systems being available in Canada next and also approved through insurance companies. I can't wait. Every rural home should have one, IMO.  Right now many of us cannot insure our homes if there is a homemade RMH because it is not an "approved" system. This is a game changer. Thank you and kudos to you guys!!!

We are in production now and are taking orders. We do have backorders we need to fulfill first, so we're looking at 3-5 months out to ship if you place your order now. The website to get one if you want one is

Thank you all so much for your support throughout this entire process!
1 year ago

Jim Roberge wrote:Patiently waiting since 1/3/2022 for The heater to arrive. I have been harvesting some nasty evasive bamboo growing along the river banks. Hoping to see how  Sky’s heater handles it as a fuel source.

We have 50 heaters on the factory floor crated and awaiting to be shipped, and another 24 in production. We are producing approximately 12 heaters a week, so things are finally catching up.
1 year ago