John Abacene

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since Oct 07, 2010
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Recent posts by John Abacene

I have been toying with this concept for about 3-5 years now, not having the chance yet to build it. But with all this info we all toss back and forth over the volleyball net of this forum, I continue to grow in my confidence that this is a great concept, naturally practical and efficient, and even work-saving. It is a concept worth all efforts put into it, as I think it is the best thing since the Ben Franklin stove.

First, where the wood comes into any burn chamber is really not too important. It could simply be a proper size and shape hole in the side. Anything further is improvement on a theme.
If designed so, that hole of whatever sort could/would also act as your intake of fresh air. There are various ways and mechanisms for tightening the tolerance and space around a log as it goes into the burn chamber.
- and along that like of thought, if you design cleaverly enough to produce an especially strong draft and intake, you could utilize that like the vacuum system on a car engine to do things.
The simplest of which, if nothing else, would be simply to suck up the debris that would inevitably collect under this feed system from the logs.
Brancjing up from that, there might be potential for central home vacuum - start the fire raging, vaccum the floors, the dirt is instantly removed and incinerated. - No bags or filters to change!

Onto my main intended point here -
In my own concept, one of the best utilizations for this would be if instead of the average wood pile, you have a large rack on which you put the logs.
There would of course be work in putting the logs anywhere anyway, but once on the rack, when you need the next log, all you have to do is turn a log to get it to roll off onto the feed and fgo back into the house!
So if it's horrid weather out, or its late at night, or you're busy with something else, or you're just being lazy, putting the next log on is quick and easy.

The design I am working on would actually be one, and inherent part of the structure itself. In constructing the home/building vent tubes are laid into the floors, walls and ceiling. It owuld be essentially air-tight.
Being a part of the fireplace/ventilation system, they could both warm and cool the structure whenever needed.
(Yes, there would be circulation/fresh air/etc.) This would all be done in a very rounded adobe/shotcrete type of construction. The right material for the vent tubes could mean that they could be used as framing superstructure, serving two purposes and saving materials/costs
The vent tubes in the ceiling take freash air and the the waste heat up there, and go back and open end at the far corners of the building, where it would naturally otherwise be the colder places.
Nearby, in other logical locations would be the vent tubes that go under the floor, taking the warmer air to warm the floor on the way to the burn chamber.
At the burn chamber, there would be 2 or three different kinds of tubing or channels around in circles both the base and the chimney of the burn chamber, the largest being for heating air, another for heating water, and possibly a third for something else. The air-tight system would use the draft up the chimney to work the system, and drawing in fresh air for circulation.
In this design, the various vent tubes could be switched, reverse the flow, individually regulated or closed by the most curious system you may have ever heard of, but one that would work like a charm!

I have redesigned this many times, and continually, and the funny thing is the question of how to implement such venting and regulation, and flow control, etc.... What hardware??? - NO hardware! lol...
Nomex and fiberglass Pillows ! These would not be exposed to fire ever, but considering the nature of this beast, would seem to make some sense.
In the construction of the building, quite rounded in various ways, very organic looking, the walls and/or ceiling might have ribs from the vent tubes and superstructure, and where the vent tubes meet would be a little hole, looking much like the hollow of a tree. There would be a pillow or two there, maybe attached with cords, that you could stuff into this spot or that spot to direct the flow of warm or cool air or shut it off to a particular spot.
Some few vent tubes could have a particular route for effect, like one dedicated to the bathroom, so that air from there would be taken directly out and not recirculated to any extent. - Like a 'fart' fan', lol... - but silent!
There could be a small vent tube, or system of tubes that could take fresh air from outside and instead bring it right to a particular spot, like above the bed.
If I can figure out the best, best, best way to make this, these vent tubes themselves could BE THE superstructure, overwhich abobe/shotcrete would be formed.
I have also accounted for and designed the system to work without any fire.

I have been studying the RMH and other types of rocket stoves/concepts. This whole concept I have just explained is very similar in function. You are maximizing draft, and utilizing it to do work, such as giving your fireplace its own bellows in effect, almost turning it into a blast furnace. I would simply suggest that tubes or channels or chambers around all burn chambers or hot hardware/areas to heat water and air, etc. and also using it to run a ventilation system for the whole structure would make the best and most use of that heat. You could also actually use that heat to COOL a building, if done right.

This log conveyor is the next logical step to the concept. I you use wood, you are going to have to move logs. But this saves cutting those logs into small chunks, which saves hours of labor, fuel and wear and tear on chainsaws and other tools, and if your are sick or thw eather is bad, getting more wood could literally take only seconds.

I can't remember if the other autors here have covered this, but I think the best place for most of this, especially the feed system itelf, should be outside the building.
You have a rack of logs, and a thing of wheels, rollers, or belt that is the feed stystem, the fireplace/etc. being on the other side of the wall, inside the building.
No firewood inside the home. No firewood associated debris, dirt, insects, etc. All that gets incinerated with the logs.

Also, where the feed system goes into the building, you could have a little door underneath, at ground level, where you could use a broom to sweep log debris into the burn chamber to use as kindling or just to get rid of it and put it to immediate use.

Also, personally, I am working on a system that would include the use of fryolator/deep fryer oil as a secondary, tertiary, or simultaneous fuel to accent the wood, and could also be used when needed as fire starter if you ever let the fire go out in the burn chamber. I am not persuing it with much gusto though, as most places do sell thier fryolator oil, whereas in the past many places actually had to pay to have it removed, and were glad to give it away.

I am also wondering that if you can make woodgrain alcohol with these same concepts, which would produce yet another resource or fuel back into the system.
- (No, that would not be the most efficient thing, but if you can find and use any waste heat to do it, then it would be beneficial and productive.

Ok, I wrote a small novel here.... Do I get a gold star??? lol...

10 years ago

Roy Hinkley wrote:

For automated feed I decided to go with some kind of gravity driven system for simplicity.
I tried various configurations before that always resulted in some smoke up the feed tube or tray and after a few failed tries I made a chute that was canted at about 50-55deg, that results in a 4 x 5.5 inch tube about 6" long with a tray that extends another 8-10 inches that the wood sits on. I left the wood chute at 4 x 4 with the other section below as an air feed just like the shelf in a typical rocket stove. Instead of sucking all the air past the wood I think the air flow underneath creates a sort of venturi effect and a constant low pressure at the base of the wood feed chute.
Strangely, when the air tube was not parallel with the feed chute it didn't work nearly as well. I'm experimenting with tapering the air tube to increase the velocity but the cold weather has me hibernating just now.

The pics are poor and as soon as it warms up a bit I'll test some more to get the best configuration I can and weld it up and the clamps won't be in the way. I also made the whole feed tube hinged to make cleaning and initial lighting up easier.
More stove pics in that album if you want a better picture of the whole thing.

Functionally, the conveyor belt would be an excellent idea, the only problem is the width. Now if you want a real serious furnace going, that wide a conveyer belt will stoke enough to heat a large building!
Like you may have had in mind, something on a much smaller scale, improvised would be good. One other likely hazard to deal with is the fact that in prolonged use of such a system, the works would almost certainly get jammed up with debris and dirt from the wood being handled. The idea is sound, it is how to put together something that will work like that without needing much maintenance. Your rollers/wheels/bearings would have to be both as out-of-the-way (under?) as possible, and also as generally covered and protected as well - that's the trick.

Skateboard Trucks/Wheels !!!
I have considered the wheels and trucks from skateboards. Lay a skateboard down upside down, and you will see that most size logs would rest well on them, generally speaking.
Skateboard trucks/wheels are built to hold weight, obviously must not have too much of a problem with dirt and debris, and are easy and cheap to find, especially if you check out thrift stores, yard salkes, Ebay, etc.
They would also easily handle the somewhat more or less irregular shape of various logs with thier inherent pseudo-suspension? (?)
In this case, I would think to use skateboard trucks/wheels in pairs, opposed and at 45 degrees to each other, essentially holding the log slightly above and slightly between them, to hold the log securely as it passes.
They would be easy and cheap to service or replace if/when necessary.

10 years ago
That book has been out of date for over two years last I saw - contacted the guy a couple years ago, he said he would have a new edition out that coming October - and didn't.
10 years ago
The reason you supposedly can't get the iodine crystals (here) is because they had become notorious for use in making illegal drugs, not because of any safety concern about the Iodine itself. The crystals can still be purchsed from overseas.

Iodine does have minor radiation, and that is what causes or helps the Iodine to impregnate things. Think about this: Why would Iodine change the color of the glass bottle? It is because the glass has become impregnated in some way. Just leaking out of the bottle would not do that. It would act like anything else leaking out, it would be affected by gravity, and would coat the bottom of something unless it had enough volume to fill a container. The idione is not a liquid filling the glass jar or filling the Tupperware container I had it in. It is doing something else. There are only two ways to have the effect I have witnessed: #1 It sublimated directly from a solid to a gas, and that Iodone gas could have filled the container, almost universally filling and tinting it. - But I'm pretty certain that is not something Iodine does, and if it did, it would be well known. Also, if it were sublimating nd just leaking out, then later when the Tupperware container was sittting open for unknown amount of days, it would have "leaked" out of that readily, with no obstruction whatsoever. #2: EXPOSURE, consisting of, or aided by Iodine's natural radiation.
The Glass of the Polar Pure jar was penetrated and in doing so, impregnated; the same happened to the Tupperware container. At a later time, when I had my sunglasses in the Tupperware case I had made, any 'leaking' Iodine would have gone its way, out into the air or whatever, freely dispersed and all but gone. That is not what happened. My sunglasses were later "exposed" to the Iodine that had impregnated the Tupperware container, and also became impregnated. This is not a case of something just "leaking" out, this is about things altered by EXPOSURE in close proximity.
10 years ago
NOTE: I tried to find a forum for water in general and could not, this was as close as I could find - shouldn't there be a forum regarding various water related matters ?

Ok, this is primarily about iodine and its effects, but also about water purification and possibly anti-radiation potential. Here's the story:
Once upon a time I had a bottle of Polar Pure in my gear

(No longer available here in the USA)
- Interesting note: My jar was BLUE when I got it, Iodine turned the color, like in the included photo...
I kept it in an odd Tupperware container. It had been sitting for maybe over a year or even more. When I went through my gear, I found that the Tupperware container, normally a semi-transparent white-ish had turned almost completely 'iodine' colored! Some unknown time later, I then used that same Tupperware container to make a covered sunglasses holder. Not much later, when I took my sunglasses out of the container, they too had been similarly affected. They were black, but had a discernible tint to them, especially when putting them on and seeing through the lenses, which now had the tint, and interestingly, things looked a bit different, and it even seemed that some details or colors or what-not were a little more visible. I am not sure how long this continued or if it has been permanent, since the sunglasses broke later, and the Tupperware container is somewhat permanently covered so that I cannot see.

Here's where I find particular interest in this phenomenon:
This was caused by the Iodine crystals in the polar pure jar, which is made of glass with a metal lid - no liquid to leak or anything like that.
This was essentially caused by the iodine radiation as far as I can figure - and that's the reason why I am posting this. I did some net searching and have found pretty much nothing about this kind of phenomenon.
I just purchase some tiny glass vials

and will be getting some new Iodine Crystals to put in them. One project is for long-term water storage: I will put or hang the tiny sealed vial of Iodine Crystals in the water container to keep the water purified over time, without having to put any Iodine itself into the water. If this works, I will get the benefit of iodine purification without tainting the water, as the Iodine radiation is what does the trick, but will do it through the sealed glass vial! What I am also wondering though, is if I could hang another tiny vial from a neck chain and get the Iodine benefit against Fukishima or other radiation, without causing myself and health hazards. I think knowledgeable input/replies to this subject might be very valuable ! Thank you.

10 years ago
Joe Woodall : Simple, common-sense advice. Useful and appreciated.

I was actually hoping to build with shot-crete/concrete. However, since you refer to masonry construction, and I can hope that you know more than a little about it, one method I was thinking of using was a form of masonry.
What this would be is casting large custom concrete "bricks" in place to form the wall, likely bonding to previous bricks/castings as each sets. That wall would likely be between 8 inches to 12 inches thick.
The plan would be to cast as large a "brick" as I can pour, either from a cement mixer, or from a mostly full 55 gallon drum (approx. 45-50 gallons at a time, per brick/pour)
- Any thoughts as to advantages/disadvantages/complications with doing it this way?

My biggest problems again, would be the technicalities of paying for a well, and other annoying technicalities of building code/dept. Of course: Location, Location, Location. But I really have my heart set on either Oregon/Pacific Northwest or Arizona. I found only one place where building codes are few, Greenlee County, on the eastern border of the State, but the whole county seems to be a copper mine, with almost no land available, much less affordable.

I cannot live where there is any real humidity, because I would be absolutely miserable. I would prefer not to live in places with likelihood of tornadoes or flooding, etc. which really limits where I could go.
It really comes down to "getting away with" build something perfectly safe, extremely solid, durable, and very long lasting - but as many 'permies' know, building with any unconventional or uncommon method can be problematic.
In my case, especially where S. Oregon/Klamath County is concerned, its really about defeating not only the building codes/dept. but as I have discovered, its really about a certain clique' there, where there is a deliberate effort to either keep people out that they even think they don't like, or keeping people out altogether for some reason. Just look up "Klamath forest estates" for a starting point of the general area, scan around using google earth, and you will see that there are very, very, VERY few homes or anything out there, despite very low land prices. I could get 5 acres for $3,000 - $5,000, and often without even document, etc fees. But it seems the only way to build there would be to have a whole lot of money to get everything built at once, and to have an attorney on retainer. - This is after having communication with various people, including local representatives, real estate agents, the building code department, etc. In fact, I cannot even get anyone to give me names or contact info for those responsible for the local codes, whom I would presume to be the county board of supervisors, whom I cannot even find in a net search.
There is something real fishy and possibly under-handed going on there I think.
10 years ago
I have no problem with building safe and solid. What I would build would not only exceed any safety regulation or concern, but would likely last a few hundred years at least.
The problem is that I want to be able to buy/haul my own water for the first year or two. The building codes I am running into require me to have a well dug before anything.
That is not just expensive, but unnecessary, disrespectful of my freedom and property rights, and dictating without reason.
If I can have and provide water, separate water for fire and emergency, etc, then I have water, period.
It is no longer about building codes and safety, its about bureaucratic dictatorship. I don't respect it, and if I ever go forward, it will be my determination and joy to tie those code enforcement bureaucrats up in miles of red tape and go in circles around them to cause them the headaches and aggravation they have already caused me, and make them feel helpless to do their presumed jobs as they have made me feel trying to do what should be relatively simple.

How did our ancestors survive ?
You would think it impossible by the standards of the last few years. Well, Man survived for eons without them, our ancestors survived without them, and with our modern understanding and methods of building and everything else, we can survive without them. To think otherwise is to deny history and reality itself.
I want the same freedom my fathers had, and my forefathers had. I live by no less a Constitution than they did. I should at least be able to build a lousy shed !!!
10 years ago
I know there are such places, fewer by the year, but surely SOMEONE out there might have some actual list or map or something...
If that person can post what they have, it would be very helpful to a lot of folks in the Permies !

One clue is something called the "Limited Density Rural Dwellings' program"

Another is the "K" building Code - Class K is a relaxed construction standard intended for use by owner-builders for Limited Density Rural Dwellings, which is approved by the State.
To qualify, properties must be zoned for a size of one acre or larger and the structure cannot exceed 2 stories (a half-story is where the ceiling height is less than 7 (something).
One big difference in Class K from the standard code is that all inspections are waived except the final inspection! In other words, the structure is only inspected after it is completed.
Class K came about because many people in the County built homes and appurtenant structures without permits. There needed to be a way to get these structures permitted without having to tear them down.
10 years ago
Unfortunately, - especially regarding Washington/PNW, since 2007 in most cases, those counties that will allow a shed under 200 sq. feet have a string of prerequisites, including a well, a septic system and a house first being built in that order. So you need a shed to safely store the materials or tools to build that house, septic system, well, or anything else? - out of luck. Gotta go into debt building everything else first, cart-before-the-horse.
That is what has been stopping me in Klamath County, OR, or in AZ. Not sure where I can go where I can just build a safe, solid structure out of concrete/shotcrete... I REALLY wanted to build in the Pacific Northwest or AZ, but its looking like that is just not going to happen. Really ticks me off too. My father, his father, and on back had a shot at the American dream, but these lousy bureaucrats the last generation or so have flushed it right down the drain!
10 years ago