Rich Points

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since Dec 29, 2017
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Recent posts by Rich Points

Hey Ryan,
I'm a lonely permie in Gladwin county, probably an hour and half south of you.  I've been living with my dad here for the past 2 years.  I'm also a transplant from Southeast MI.

Since the day after thanksgiving I've been fervently working on building a Rocket Mass Heater in a pole barn.  It's a slow process.  I've learned that if you build a RMH in an uninsulated building you might as well just use a "traditional" wood stove.  I finally have the walls insulated where the RMH heater will sit.  Yesterday I did a dry fit layout and will be installing the chimney in the next few days.  My goal is to have the heater built by the end of the month but I don't know if that's realistic.  I hope to boil down some Maple syrup this spring.

Aside from that I'm obsessed with permaculture.  I've been sheet mulching, composting, worm farming, brewing up compost tea and living frugally.

But like I said it's a lonely endeavor.  Most folks around here don't know what permaculture is and are outright ignorant/skeptical of it's potential.  I've tried to find permaculture people in the area through social media and craigslist but have come up short.

If you're ever passing through the area feel free to stop by.  I'd love to show you around our homestead and talk permaculture.

Rich
1 month ago
Wow thanks for all the feedback everyone!  Sounds like if I get a couple of loads of pea gravel and spread it in the affected areas it'd be good to go.

I'll try to do this in late spring or early summer.

thanks again!
Rich
1 month ago
Hey All,
I'm in mid central lower Michigan and we have lots and lots of sand.  We have 12 acres with sandy roadways and paths throughout.  We recently had a thaw and everything turned into a muddy mess with puddles all around.

I've been learning about building soil with mulch like woodchips and other organic matter.  I know this would help buffer the excess water but it might not be a good idea for a roadway/path.  I've been thinking about spreading charcoal in the worst affected areas.  

What can I do to prevent this wet muddy mess?

Thanks!
Rich
1 month ago
I've been composting for years and recently discovered charcoal and biochar.  I made up a bunch of charcoal which I'll sprinkle on my compost pile in the warmer months.  Right now my piles are frozen and I'm not turning them; I'll resume in the spring.

Meanwhile I'm collecting my daily coffee grounds and adding a bit of crushed, pre moistened charcoal to the bucket.  My hope is to catch some of the nitrogen off gassing from the coffee in the charcoal thus "activating it" and turning it into biochar.  I figure I'll have a five gallon bucket of the stuff by the time spring comes along and plan to turn it into my leaf mold compost pile to finish it off.

One question I have is what is the shelf life of spent coffee grounds?  My gut tells me that a lot of the nitrogen will quickly off gas but I haven't been able to verify this.  

Does this sound like a good use of charcoal and coffee?

Thanks
Rich
1 month ago
I just went to my "other" local reuse center and picked up 5 chunks of ugly marred up marble slabs for $20 bucks.  It's 1 5/8" thick and the longest one is 7ft long.  I think they'll be awesome heat sinks!  

So my plan is to build a shell out of bricks and mortar and line the inside with this marble.  I don't have enough to go all the way around but I do have some sandstone that I could use to fill in the gaps.   I plan to fill the remaining voids with pea gravel and/or sand.  I wish I could do cob but I'm in a sandy section of Michigan...

It looks like I'm gonna have to cut 4 inches of 2 of the lengths.  I've never cut marble before, a quick search suggests it's as simple as a diamond tipped blade.  I hope it's as simple as that...



2 months ago
So my local reuse center currently has a bunch of used marble counter top bits and pieces.  I suspect it was donated by a company that installs counter tops.  Anyway the pieces are irregular in shape, size, color and condition.  It got me thinking it might be cool to fill my mass with some of this, perhaps put a layer down below the pipes.

I don't know the thermal qualities of Marble compared to the field stones I was planning to use.  As a laymen it seems that the marble would perform better as a thermal mass than the stones; but I have no idea what I'm talking about, hence this post...

Anyone use marble in their build?

Thanks
Rich
2 months ago
Hey All,
I'm getting closer to finally building my RMH.  My mass will be "framed in" using bricks, I'll fill the void of the mass with 8 inch pipes and pea gravel.  Cob is not an option for this build.  For the top of the mass I'm looking and making a 2 inch thick concrete countertop type thingy.

Here's a youtube detailing the process of making a concrete countertop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUAPO8otVrY

I'm posting here to see if anyone out there has done this.  And is there any reason why I would not want to do this?

Any and all feedback is appreciated.
Thanks
Rich
2 months ago
Hey All,
I'm getting ready to purchase the most expensive part of my RMH build, the roof kit and double walled exit flu.  I've done some shopping around online and locally but I'm still kinda confused as to what I need.

I've found kits like this but I'm not sure if I need all of the pieces.
https://www.amazon.com/SELKIRK-208621-8-Inch-Pitched-Ceiling/dp/B007W86DGI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543851244&sr=8-1&keywords=8+inch+stove+pipe+roof+kit

Should I consider just buying the pieces individually?

Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Thanks!
Rich
2 months ago

One question I have is what specifically are you trying to measure in the riser?


I'm just trying to get a sense of the heater I build, it's not a scientific inquiry per se.  It's my understanding that the top of the heat riser will see the hottest temperatures.  

Our land has Maple, Oak, Poplar and White and Red Pine.  It'll be cool to know what temps these various woods burn.  

by the way this is the sensor and amplifier I ordered

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009HW44F4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SK8NDAI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Anyway the parts are in the mail.  Can't wait to get it wired up and coded.

My stove build is still weeks/months out but I'll have this ready to go!

Thanks!
Rich
3 months ago
I'm interested in boiling down a small batch of Maple syrup next spring and it seems like the barrel of  RMH would work nicely.

Anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks
Rich
3 months ago