Peter Sedgwick

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since Sep 06, 2019
Artist and designer form New York. Now living, with my wife and two dogs, in the mountains of Hokkaido Japan. We're working on an old farm house and a large piece of wild land, as we prepare for our first winter in the woods. Interested in expanding my understanding of wind, water, earth and sunshine through experimentation and communicating with people with similar interests. The only rule I hold true is "if it works, it works". Keep the dream alive in the fun forest... Cheers and beers, Peter
Toyoura Hokkaido
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Recent posts by Peter Sedgwick

Thought of the day,

Legend has it, Pablo Escobar once torched $2 million in crisp USD banknotes just to keep the family warm. Probably would have saved a few bucks if he had know about rock mass technology.

Happy New Years! Keep warm...🔥🤓🔥
3 weeks ago
Hangin out on our RMH. Finally got a chance to finish these hand painted kicks, just in time for the holidays. Keep kickin...

1 month ago
House, in the near by town, went up yesterday because someone put some winter clothing, to dry, too close to their karosene heater.

Bit of a wake up call. Really have to be careful.

1 month ago

Gerry Parent wrote:To me, the linguistics of the term "fly ash" would mean ash that flies, but when I looked it up, there is another description: fly ash Not sure if it has to be ash from burning coal or if it can also be from wood?
I know Donkey (Kirk Mobert) has used quite a bit in his builds (as well as for a mortar). I have used it some too but don't have enough experience to say how well it performs.

Also, have you checked your vertical exhaust pipe for the amount of 'fuzz' coating that might be on there?

As I think Thomas pointed out earlier, the brown drippies that come out of the pipe are mostly from the bench drying out and will go away when it dries out completely as you have witnessed. As for creosote buildup, I don't think you have any concern. I don't think the fuzz counts as creosote. The thicker black tar-like substance that will still burn if ignited is at least my definition of what creosote is.

Thanks for that Gerry.

Did a bit of searching myself. Found this video.


Listening to it on the way to the mountain this morning. This guy’s explanation is fantastic and his tone of voice just makes you want to like him.

Think there are a great number of takeaways here that could really benefit the sustainable natural building process.

If you have a bit of time have a listen.

Cheers, Peter
1 month ago
Great way to put it Gerry.

Super easy to understand your explanation of what’s happening. Lightest particles rising to the top and settling last.

So the light ash is what’s known as “fly ash” is that correct? I hear this term used quite a bit. I even read about it being used for the replication of Roman Concert and in other recipes for geopolymers etc.

At present, our system does not appear to be producing dangerous levels of creosote it’s safe to say? Anything we should watch out for?

The drippy brown stuff that showed up on the exit flue before does not seem to be getting any worse. I cleaned the original build up off after taking the photo we posted about a month ago. Since then nothing has reappeared.

Will probably try to inspect the end of the horizontal flue pipe, near the end of the half barrel in the spring. It’s a long ways away from the manifold so feel there is little chance of any dangerously high levels of ash rapidly accumulating any time soon.

Will keep posting and updating.

Thanks again, Peter and family...
1 month ago

Satamax Antone wrote:Looking at the brownish color of the barrel's ashes. I would insulate a smidge more the heat riser.

Hey, Satamax,

Thanks for the input🛢🔬🛢

Happy to do that. Out of curiosity, what is it about the color that indicates that more insulation is a good idea?

Also, we have lots of perlite left over, so if I could use that, it would be great. Think I remember you and many others advising  to use “fire clay”. We have only used the clay soil, well sifted, from our property on the whole build so far. It seems to be holding up well inside the burn barrel.

Can we make a mix of perlite/our clay and use hardware cloth as a structural support to hold the mix?

Any other tips or advice would be extremely helpful.

Thanks in advance, Peter and family🙏🏼
1 month ago

Gerry Parent wrote:The one area that would help to clean as well would be the inside surface of the barrel, unless you want it to radiate a little less heat into the room and more into the bench.
Otherwise, looks quite normal/healthy to me. Its nice that you have so much room to allow the ash to stay where it is so that there is no problems with it restricting draft.

Cool Gerry!

Yeah, I as this is our first heater I don’t have anything to gauge it against. Glad to hear you think it looks normal. It seems to be functioning well. Like I said, we cleaned the ash of the lip of the heat riser. We haven’t noticed a difference in performance either way. Did notice however that the ash that has settled on the floor around the base of the manifold etc is substantial lighter and fluffier than the ash we clean out of the burn box everyday. Wasn’t really expecting it to be so light. Seems like would have a lot of insulation value if left undisputed. (In moderation I would imagine. Doesn’t look like very much is making its way deep inside the half barrel bench area, but hard to tell as I can only try to judge based on what I can see from the manifold side of the large transition hole.

1 month ago
Hey folks,

Here are images of our first look under the hood since we started burning. Few points:

1. Burning for 6 weeks straight everyday for about 12-18 hours

2. Originally burning old off cuts of hard and soft wood. Some of the wood burned was treated old wood from rafters that had tar on them. Now only well seasoned hard wood.

3. Ash inside manifold is extremely light and fluffy

4. No damage to the standard metal wire ties holding the riser together.

5. 1cm ash build up on lip of riser

We pretty much left all the ash as it is and only removed the ash which had settled on the lip of the riser. Figured it would act as added insulation and didn’t see it as an issue. (could be wrong)

Plan to keep burning as is and take the barrel off periodically to examine.

Have a look and please let us know what you think. Curious to know what the dragon is saying. Also, feel free to ask for more specifics if needed.

Thanks in advance, Peter and team


1 month ago

Gerry Parent wrote:Second the motion Thomas!   As long as you know that there's always more to learn, a 'title' should never slow you down as long as the ego doesn't get in you own way.

On another note, I got around to modifying the wood carrier, by enlarging the holes around the handles....mucho betta!

That looks awesome Gerry!

Now that you have a blank white canvas, maybe time to add a little art work to it.

1 month ago

thomas rubino wrote:Peter;  With all due respect you and Mimi are Journeyman rocket scientists!   Your not fooling anyone about being a novice... that was months ago!
Next year after you consult on all your neighbors new RMH'S and start planning / ? construction on your first batch box, You will become a master builder !  
Well OK , might take a day or two longer than a year but you are well on the way!  

Thanks Thomas!

Never much for titles, myself. Believe the real “sensei” here is the rocket. Each time you light it and add wood, it speaks to you. As a student, my job is to decipher what it’s saying.

The batch box is probably the next logical step, for sure. Spending time lying on our warm j-tube bench and reading about batch box builds as we speak.

Many more questions and answers to come...

1 month ago