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Staci Kopcha

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since Nov 04, 2017
Western Washington State
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Recent posts by Staci Kopcha

Still firing and working on cob here.  Endless cob.
Start ups are going much better! Burning cleaner!
  Question on thickness of cob:

     I know top of manifold is about 5 and 6" above pipes, but:

      1: the rest of the manifold?
      2: fuel feed?
      3: res of pipes: is it 6" all the way?

Thank you!

Shane Call wrote:Would someone be willing to take a look at mine Ave ten me why the smoke is coming out of the feed tube?

Hi Shane,
  Not much experience here to pass on, but I can throw out some super basic ideas.
I am guessing not sufficient draft to pull the flames, so:

1)  Did the riser get primed?  Maybe too cold? Is it insulated?
2)  Check the critical dimensions:
          -is the CSA constant (same cross-sectional area)?
          -is the riser tall enough  (at least 3x the height of the fuel feed, according to "the book"?)

Hopefully some things to get you started before some of the more seasoned folks can chime in.
Best of luck!
3 days ago

Hi staci,
I will do and I will use this thread to report if that’s ok. I’ll be building in February once our heat starts to drop.
You will be a seasoned expert by then so you can help me I hope.

Hi Dan,
  I will look forward to it!
3 days ago

Satamax Antone wrote:Stacy, a bit of history. 

Great synopsis!  I appreciate it.
6 days ago
Hi, a few questions/concerns, if you please.

General: (for concept understanding)

1) Is  a "batch system" a system that has a horizontal fuel feed, unlike the vertical of the "J" system?  (if so, is there a benefit of one vs the other?)
2)  in a "bell system", "bell" is basically a manifold? You make manifold like things to eliminate ducting? Do you get to eliminate cob as well?? ;)

3) for a J-tube burn, once the kindling and small pieces are going steady, do you just fill the entire box and let it go?  Or, do you keep adding as the front line of wood falls?

My build:

  Been doing a burn every day.  Seems to be hit/miss for an easy start. Still perfecting technique. A day on which I feel I have perfected it, is followed by a taxing ignition.

1) I am concerned still by the cool to touch temp. of the second run pipe.  I was adding another layer of cob/rock and noticed that this pipe ended up being slightly higher ( yet level) than the first run pipe (due to messing with it at the time of stove pipe attachment), would this create some uneven gradient to cause resistance?  OR maybe it just needs to finish drying?  (I had a fan on it today).

2) today, the burn resulted in a very smoky chimney exhaust. Very stinky outside.  This is something I REALLY (save the earth, clean burn, and I get a headache) want to avoid, so I hope to better understand why this would be so I can do my best to avoid it.  I can't think of how I did anything different from my previous burns, except perhaps wood lottery was different.  (I have such a varied mix).  It definitely was burning slower toward the end today and the last bit of log just took its slow sweet stinky time .  I believe green wood can give smoke, but I am fairly confident in my lack of green wood, but of course could be mistaken.  Anyways, any thoughts on getting the cleanest, hottest  burn possible, would be appreciated!

3) Is there an ideal length of wood?  My husband cut most (miter saw) about 13", so they seem to hit and inch or so above the burn tunnel entrance, but set pretty low in.  We also have lots of short /end pieces- can those go in?

1 week ago

I have the plans for (and am going to use) Mat Walkers super hot J made from duraboard.

I am an eternal entrepreneur so I'm (always) looking to figure out an easy way to build a core, manifold and bell in one easy (ish) to ship package. I think I have it.
I just need to run it for a year

I was unfamiliar with the duraboard/Walkertoves- pretty neat!  I hope that you post your build, I will be interested in seeing it.  Future upgrades
1 week ago

Daniel Hatfield II wrote:

"Daniel Hatfield:  I think I jumped to conclusions and it is turning out to be a good system for our little house.  What type of space are you needing to heat?"

430 square feet. it will be straight on a wall (not L shaped) because of the layout.
This is in my studio/office. if I make it look nice I get to build one in our living room.
I'm worried about the draft now as it will effectively be shorter without all those turns.
I want to keep it as simple as possible for my first indoor build.

Ernie and Erica have a nice little one, no "L" .  (link below)  I haven't seen the plans, but it is a single short bench on an 8" system. Curious about the layout.  Anyways, it may be another option and save you the cost of some of the ducting that was $$/hard to get in your area.
AND it looks "nice:, so it may pave way to the living room.
1 week ago

Update:  I think it is okay on draft!!!  I can leave all of the plunger/bell/whatnot to you more adept folk.  (huge sigh of relief!)

Daniel Hatfield:  I think I jumped to conclusions and it is turning out to be a good system for our little house.  What type of space are you needing to heat?

Matthew Goheen: great suggestion for the furnace fan, thank you!.  Unfortunately, the fan control option was never hooked up to our in house thermostat control (furnace is in basement). I am sure it is fixable, but after 10 years here, it is still so. 
1 week ago
  I fired it up again today and let it run for a solid two hours.  Getting a bit warmer, through the first duct- still cool at second.

Some things of note:

1) a HUGE win: I turned off our house  heater today (forced air, gas) as it was warm in the day and forgot to turn it back on in the evening, and YET the house temperature at 8 pm was 66 F ( I usually keep it set at 64 anyways, cheap) AND then IT WENT UP to 67-  ALL because of this charming heater in our playroom!!!  Speaks much for what it will do for our normally cold and drafty house this winter!!  I am thrilled!!

2) In pictures, you can see the cob drying nicely on areas around the barrel and on the manifold (light grey), in contrast to the dark grey of the bench.

3) Already warming our butts after a hard day of cutting, moving, stacking wood.

4) Rabbit and kid approved.
1 week ago
Thanks for all of the feedback!!!You guys are so awesome!

Clarification:  The sound/waves, that I heard was not a steady thing- just a few times.  Sounded like strong gust of wind wind, except instead of air being blown, it was a  suction of the fire down the burn tunnel.

Thomas reminds me that patience is not my strong point and problem solving/trouble shooting is a favored activity.
I will fire up my baby dragon again today, diet heavy in pallet wood.  And practice "wait and see".
Planning to have a family wood sorting/cutting party today. Woo hoo! Where is the forum on motivating kids? ;)

1 week ago