Caitlyn Pierce

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since Nov 18, 2017
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Recent posts by Caitlyn Pierce

Glenn Herbert wrote:For permanent installations I would avoid the pebble style; however for the lighter possibly temporary situation you face, it might be a reasonable choice.



I did see on one of Matt's videos that these can be put into trailers IF they would be there a year or more and deconstructed (more laboriously) than the pebble style.

I am also contemplating that with a pebble style, it looks VERY difficult to get a full size oven and a stovetop (in use at the same time), while Matt's is already set up for exactly all three needs at once, even though it is not as lightweight. I do have a friend that can gift us a stovetop for Matt's design, if that's what we end up going with.
Thank you so much for your time, patience, and wise contributions, Glenn! I am learning a lot and willing to learn more. Thank you!

About the support - that will need to be balanced on the other side of the mobile home from the RMH, right? So that it's not unbalanced within the flooring supports?

Thank you everyone for helping a newbie with a willingness to learn and a lot of questions, even if she is limited on researching time!
1 year ago
Ha! I have been watching this video and where you say you strongly discourage the use of pebbles... this is why I am asking a lot of questions and taking much more time than I hoped I could get by with. Normally, I am a researcher and take LONG stretches of time to make anything because I want to make sure it's perfected. I tried to go a quick and dirty route with the RMH simply because it is winter and these systems do look somewhat forgiving.
It is clearer that this is like anything else and I am going to be drawn into researching amounts no one else I know in my every day life would research most anything.
So... perhaps not a pebble RMH. More research. Thank you! This video is very informative. Again, thank you for putting out so much for free to inform and help, Matt!
1 year ago

Matt Walker wrote:It's a hollow bench, otherwise known as a bell.  Here's a video that explains it all.




Thank you! I have only had a few hours to look through your website and it's pretty wonderful to realize you have been so generous, that I cannot have seen all the videos or gone over all the information, yet!! I did get to more videos last night, but not this one. I will watch it today. Thank you so much!
1 year ago

P Mike wrote:I'm giving up on this thread.  Caitlyn, you either need to follow plans exactly and/or get someone more qualified to engineer it for you.  I seriously doubt a novice could do a custom design just from a few tips on an internet forum if they don't have the experience.  Unfortunately the correspondence here does not seem to be up to the level needed to complete this task safely and appropriately.  



Thank you for ducking out when you know your limit is reached to respond to a newbie with grace. :) I don't mind following instructions. I don't mind playing with things. I am just in question asking stage right now and see there are a lot of variations even within the category of "rocket stove," so I am wading through what can and cannot be done and I don't have more than an hour or two a day for researching, with homeschooling, cooking from scratch, and keeping up with 3 children under 6, which might make me sound hasty or sloppy with questions or inadequate with the time I've invested in watching videos or reading websites. Thank you for the time you have given already - it has been valuable - and I hope you have a good holiday.
1 year ago

Burra Maluca wrote:Here's the link - Matt Walker's Tiny House Cookstove and Heater



I looked at this... I do not want to spend $85 to find this out, and after 45 minutes of watching some videos and looking over his website, I cannot see the answer. Is the mass filled with anything surrounding ducting? Or is it just the brick? I question if I could still build the mass with a wooden box and fill with pebbles, but make the rocket stove/oven the way he has?
1 year ago

Glenn Herbert wrote:The 40 psf design live load is what the entire floor system must be able to withstand with minimal deflection, without added support. If there is added support in the form of blocks below the mass area, the original structure is not being asked to hold all of it. Floors are required to be able to support a concentrated 200 lb load at any one inch diameter spot on the floor, so as long as the joists are supported, the flooring should be able to transfer the load to the joists and then to the new blocks. (Cornell Legal Information Institute)



Okay... so, I am trying to understand all of this and am still wrapping my mind around it! My husband and I priced the 6" ducting, HVAC tape (and aluminum tape, which has a higher heat toleration), and the bendable duct joins. We didn't have time to price everything, so that's it.
I wanted to ask about the foundation support, because that's the first thing we'll be doing over Christmas break. Is this just cement blocks and some wood for "shims"? How far apart should these be from one another, if we will be doing a RMH with the mass?
I am going to do the mass without the stones and pea gravel until spring/summer, for cost reasons. Without the gravel, will this hold heat and radiate still, just to a lesser degree?
1 year ago

Glenn Herbert wrote:Matt Walker's cookstove does everything you want, but would be too big a job to do right now without major outside help.



Glenn, can you direct me to Matt Walker's cookstove? Thank you!
1 year ago

Galadriel Freden wrote:I wanted to chime in with some suggestions for keeping warm in the interim.  Maybe you already know these things.

  • Wrap up with scarves and hats inside.  It may seem strange, but it really helps to conserve body heat.  Wear a hat to bed!
  • Everyone gets a hot water bottle for both day and night time use.  If it's cold during the day, I'll keep one on my lap as I knit/read/etc.  I take it to bed with me in our unheated bedroom.  My son too, but his dad doesn't usually need one, although he sometimes borrows one of ours.  I refresh it with hot (not boiling) water from our electric kettle as needed.
  • Go out during the day to a heated public/community space like the local library.  Or make a visit to a different neighbor every day.  Anywhere warmer than home
  • Go out for a brisk walk;  I walk my son to and from school every day and am warm for the next hour at least.  Send the kids out to play a rough/noisy/vigorous game.  Hide and seek?  Tag?
  • Have hot meals if possible.  I eat a hot breakfast and dinner, but really notice a cold lunch in a cold house.  Breakfast for me is scrambled eggs, and dinner is usually in the slow cooker, so not a huge time commitment either way.  I need to figure out a quick hot lunch, I think.
  • Warm up in a hot bath right before bed;  for us, it's more of a soak than anything, as we're no-poo (no shampoo) and mostly no-soap.  Usually my son gets in first, then me, then my husband.  We don't empty the bath until the last person's done--although if we get in and it's too cool, we'll let a little out then add more hot.  In the summer when we actually get sweaty/dirty we take our own showers/baths, but in winter the water stays pretty clear especially without shampoo and soap in it.  I don't let my long hair get wet (I've gotten to the point where I only wash my hair with water about once or twice a month) unless the house is warm too--but short will dry quickly enough.  I guess blow drying is an option.

  • I recently built my very first RMH (a batch box with masonry bell) myself;  my husband was recovering from surgery and my son is seven, so I really did it all by myself, complete novice that I am.  It's not pretty, and it took me three weeks and some frustration, but if I could do it, I'm sure you can too.  




    Is there some way to give people big, warm fuzzy hearts here?? I love this all the way through. Thank you for taking time to write and tell me all of that goodness! I am also partial to your username - I actually did name my son Aragorn.
    1 year ago
    Thank you so much for all your dialogue and responses so far!! I have been reading them and chewing on the information and trying to sort through it.
    A friend loaned us a radiant space heater, I've been keeping the fans on in the house to circulate warmth, and putting blankets over the curtains on windows at night and our home has been deliciously warm - warmer than when our forced air heater was working very well. It's warmer at much lower temps and stays warmer longer... It's definitely a convincing sell for a RMH, which will be less work and probably less risky than an oven being turned off and on all day.

    I definitely want to start with securing my foundation. It is a single-wide mobile home in a trailer park, on a dirt floor and cement blocks as uhhh... "support?" This means we cannot put in a cement foundation here. We will have to basically do whatever they did at the Fisher-Price House... I want to understand that section of the video a LOT better. My husband can help do this when he is home on the weekends. If I give him information and directions, he gets a LOT done, but I need to make sure to get it to him before he starts working, as he is open to the information and works very well from it before, but... not in the midst of working. So I am hesitant to get started until I understand as much as possible to successfully reinforce under the mobile home.

    I want a pebble-style because my husband and I would like to eventually build a hobbit hole in the ground somewhere, and gift this mobile home to someone who needs it, which means they may not like a rocket heater/stove and a pebble style will make for easier removal. This also removes the idea of doing a RMH from outside and coming in somehow. I adore the one in the Fisher-Price House and the only thing that will need to be changed is the topper for the mass, because I cannot find affordable-to-us granite, even on Craigslist, right now. I do wonder if that could just be a huge plywood sheet until the rocks and pea gravel go in - but I don't suppose that would help hold heat very well!

    Our plan is to go up through the roof for the smoke stack/exhaust, as in the videos we watched it seemed the wall didn't work too well on their models and they'd always go to a roof one anyway. It also looks so lovely!

    I am a pretty determined person - I could list many things, but the one that rises to the top of my mind is clipping my own tongue tie with sterilized scissors and doing bodywork on myself before and after for weeks, so that I could function better. I took a video of it, so that people could see it's not an impossible thing to be done. Most of my friend's still think they could never do it themselves!
    That said because I can will myself to do many difficult and sometimes painful things knowing there is a good end in it. I also know my limits in which something is dangerous and will not cross it - when I've been B12 deficient with body numbness and mind haze, I choose not to drive. I won't lift things that I know are too heavy (like a core by myself or even with just 1 or 2 other people). But I can do a lot on my own and thrive off of the feeling of doing challenging things that are for good ends.
    My parents offered to get the part for our heater, but I resisted letting them know the part because I WANT this RMH and I know we won't rush to it if the forced air is working....
    So reinforcing the floor is an absolute must, right away for me. It looks like aside from the terror of going under the mobile home, dark and cobwebby, I could reinforce myself, if needed? I think my husband can do it in a day or so, with my help from outside the trailer?

    We go to a Mennonite church and there is a source of help there, along with belonging to a local Buy Nothing gift economy group on Facebook... I think we will have muscles and construction experience when the day comes to put in the core. I am hoping!!

    I do like the idea of breaking this down into little projects.
    We are sticking with as much wood as possible for this, for cost and weight reasons, so the mass will definitely have to be wooden like in the Fisher Price House.

    I think right now I HAVE to take time to watch the shippable core so I even know what materials I will need for probably the most expensive aspect!

    Thank you so much for your help!
    1 year ago

    P Mike wrote:


    I'm thinking that it might make sense to just start with a rocket stove and skip the "mass" part of it at least for now.  The reason being that it best matches the above goals.  You might want to start with the hardest part (and could be the most expensive part) which could be figuring out how to safely install a flue/stack/exhaust to go through the roof (or wall).  There are some youtube videos on this.  



    So, this would work well as a heater for the winter, too, even without the mass that radiates? Would it need to be fed more frequently? I've been impressed with the small bundle of wood that lasted for several days' warmth in the RMH. If I can still use that little wood for heating in a rocket stove, I would be very happy, as I would rather not get rid of our table from where it currently rests.

    Thank you for your time, P Mike!
    1 year ago