Mart Hale

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since Feb 21, 2010
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tiny house food preservation cooking rocket stoves homestead
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Recent posts by Mart Hale

>>  Pure silica sand (pool filter sand) I have tested and does some amazing stuff. Definitely more pricey but well worth it. Good for the smaller projects.


My neighbor told me that there is a difference between the sand you buy verses the sand in my ground.       I have been testing the sand from my ground, as it is free, and I want to know what free sand can do....

1 week ago


Interesting take on sand battery,   PDF attached....

Very useful to compare the heat ability, and how fast the meterial can release that heat...


For those of you who build rocket stoves you already know how well cob holds heat in the PDF it spells that out.
1 week ago

William Bronson wrote: What is the power source?
Solar or wood?




Oh one other thing....  I highly recommend this channel as this guy goes where very few have gone before.....




Well worth watching his refractory projects as he has tons of inside information from the real world.
1 week ago

William Bronson wrote: What is the power source?
Solar or wood?
Are you storing heat for space heating,cooking,bathing and or cleaning?

I hope to see what you do with these materials.
I have often  imagined laminating refractory cement with rockwool, ceramic insulation,  fiberglass welding blankets, or carbon felt, to make up the riser, bells or fireboxes of a rocket stove.
You probably have the wherewithal to test ideas like this.

Right now it sounds like a hyper insulated oven.
Maybe take a look at Vela Creations on Instructibles.
https://www.instructables.com/search?q=velacreations+&projects=all

They have used cloth, wire and cement to build everything from water tanks, to roofs to something they call rapidobe, which is very much like what you described.
They tend to add latex to their mix to enhance bonding beween layers and sections and for waterproofing.
They refer to their overall technique as latex concrete.

Thinkenstein is another maker in this space.
He calls his technique nylon-cement:
https://www.instructables.com/search?q=thinkenstein+nylon-cement&projects=all

John Annesley offers his technique for burlap-crete here:

https://annesley.wordpress.com/burlap-crete-explained/

Petrified Hessian is an old name for these ideas, flying concrete is a newer name given to this technique.



>>  What is the power source?

As o now I have a single heating element running off 3   260 watt solar panels ( really each puts out 220 watts )  

I wish to upgrade this to use 4,000  watts of solar...      I have wired and tested my 240 V   hot plates with direct to PV with good success...      But as I thought about it I was thinking of snagging a heating element out of a stove for the oven, or use one out of a dish washer......      I was thinking something in the likes of putting the hot plates on the bottom of the 55 gal barrel  laying on it's side like a rocket oven, only super insulated with the sand....

As I think about it,    I could put the solo stove in this setup and use it as a black oven like the one I have on my porch,  I  could multi function this as a black oven /    solar powered oven or thermal storage.


>>  Solar or wood?

Might do both...    the solo stove I am using now works awesome with no chimney in my version of my rocket oven..


>>  Are you storing heat for space heating,cooking,bathing and or cleaning?

Good question.....       Since I don't know the temps this will generate with the super insulation I am not sure what  my target will be....     I was thinking in the lines of a sand cob oven,    I have a friend who built one of this design and it works great for him......

I already am using a portion of my solar for hot water heating and it is done in about 4 hours on a sunny day....    I just have tons of solar and I have been looking for better ways of using it,  thermal storage seemed like a good direction to go so I have been making proto types to see what is possible.        Since the hot plate has been heating up to over 600 deg for months with my present setup, I have decided to get rid of the fiberglass insulation and switch to using 2 - 3 feet of sand for insulation as I have more sand than I need here in Florida, and sand can handle the heat with no problems.         After I switch to the new setup,   I can then get temp ranges and adjust as needed.        

I have been watching tech ingredients and he was using  ice melt chemical as a liquid dehumidifier in his AC system.....      Only thing was he was using heat to remove the moisture from the liquid desicant he was playing with.......     I was thinking why not use this setup to  make a dehumidfier  for the first stage,   then the second stage combine with evaportive cooling  for a AC unit......        as he was doing....        A de humidifier sure would be handy here in Florida, and if I could combine that with evap cooling for AC it would be even better, but this as I think about it is risky, as I don't know if the time, money, energy I would put into such a system is worth it........    But my mind likes an EMP proof AC unit idea for backup.....

A more reasonable approach is to take the excess dc,   and buy a mini split that runs directly off DC,   but that may not be EMP proof....     sigh...

Why am I storing heat?      Mainly because I have all of this excess energy after my batteries are fully charged and I hate to see it do zero for me.          I could buy more battery storage  ( which I should consider before buying a mini split )    but storing energy in thermal mass is cheap,   I have the materials and if the sand insulation idea works, I could scale up even bigger...    A trip to Salvation army would get me many bed sheets  for my experiments.....

Thank you for the links I will check them out..










1 week ago


I have been thinking about how I could build a wall to hold in sand for insulation for my sand battery.     I was thinking about 2 feet of sand all the way around my design,     I will need to do some trial runs but I am thinking this would give me enough of a form that would hold the sand in place, or.....    the chopped up styrofoam......

I am thinking with this design I could use chicken wire,   then cloth,  then cement for a durable outer skin to contain the sand...     Far cheaper then about anything else I could imagine and most durable.

The basic design Idea I have is to use cloth + cement to make an outer skin for a 2 - 3 foot sand insulation.     I am thinking  of   making a square box 3 feet high   filled with dry sand.       On top of this I put a 55 gal barrel   on it's side with  2 feet of sand all the way around it.        Then I  use more concrete +  cloth to make  a  skin for the upper  level and I then fill this with  2 - 3 feet of sand all the way around, so that I have the opening of the barrel  exposed,   I then make an Air crete door that fits around the mouth of the barrel to act like a door.           Over all of this I cover with a tarp so that the sand remains dry.

As I think about it I could put up the cement cloth as the skin form, then  re-enforce, or make the shape I want with chicken wire,  then use  cement cloth  to form the skin........   to hold in the sand.

1 week ago
I was about to dig into this subject, but I just could not handle it....
2 weeks ago

William Bronson wrote:I love what your doing here.
It reminds me of some of the work Sean of Edible Acres using a wate trough and a bubbler.

I skimmed the video but I couldn't find the part that mentions what he used for a timer.
Can you elaborate on that?



My setup is a bit elaborate, as I  hacked a wifi power strip and reflashed it with tasmoto flash rom so that I control it with an open source program called Domoticz..       ( all geek talk I know )

But the job is normally done by  Tower Gardens with a mechanical timer,   which are simple enough to find.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/BN-LINK-Indoor-24-Hour-Mechanical-Outlet-Timer-3-Prong-2-Pack/690886176?athbdg=L1600&from=/search

I have built a bubbler propagation   they also work  quite well.      I used to use that with stevia.

2 weeks ago

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Coolness!

Arre you using green or hardwood cuttings?



A bit of both.    I think I have started up to 1 inch thick.     As small as 1/4 inch...

2 weeks ago
Those that are familiar with "Tower gardens"     will know my method of starting mulberry cuttings.
https://www.towergarden.com/us/en/home


The difference is I do this either with aquaponic water, and or hydroponic solution as used in the kratky hydroponic method.


I have a large black pipe that I cut holes in large enough to put cut piece from a pool noodle.

In the top of this pipe I put a 1 gal milk jug,  in the bottom of which I cut many 1/4 inch holes for the water to come out like a shower below the milk jug,  

I then take a pump which I warp in a loose cloth   like bug netting to prevent clots  and I feed the water from below up to the top of the pipe, then I let the water cascade down from the milk jug.

Then I have this system setup on a 10 min on, 10 min off timer that runs the pump and I run it 24/7 this way....

https://youtu.be/5VMlcasPe9M




If you have a 3d printer you can make your own this way,  but I have found it faster to use irrigation pipe.

2 weeks ago