Howdy all, long time lurker here. Signed up the other day to post some pictures from my first attempt at a rockety stove
I'm located in Australia and try as I might, I couldn't find a cheap source of pipe to make a rocket stove with. One place I found wanted $150 for stainless steel pipe!
So because I'd been looking at the mdula holey rocket
stove I decided to make one of them because I can buy clay and PVC pipe no worries.
Didn't have any sawdust so used vermiculite mixed into the clay (a task I would not wish to repeat any time soon!).
Once I worked out that wrapping thin cardboard around the pipes before putting clay on them would make it easier to remove the pipes when finished... everything went according to plan.
Waited a month for the "boot" as I called it to dry and the other day set a fire going for the first time!
The face was a little addition my mum suggested
Astute readers will notice that I didn't fire the clay before using it. That's because I didn't know anyone with a kiln! I figured it might be OK anyways and experimentation is half the fun of learning right?
Also I forgot to put in the grate I made before getting started, oops!
OK, so there I was, had a fire going and it was working REALLY well. Guess I had some niggling doubts in the back of my mind that it would actually work.
All of a sudden *POP*, the bloody side blew out!
Then in pretty rapid succession the other side and the front also popped.
So I think that I needed more than a month for all the water to be expunged from the clay. Some was still trapped in the middle there and got too hot, turned to steam and "escaped"!
In hindsight I could have set a bunch of small fires over a course of days to help dry things out slowly slowly. However where I joined the two pipes together was already cracking apart and darn-it, fire is awesome.
Have been reading about making refractory cement lately and thinking about trying out something with that next. Got some old pallets pulled apart to make the formwork. My dad reckons he knows someone with a roller, we can make our own tubing that way so there is another option.
At any rate, I have some leftover clay so will be repairing "boot" and letting it dry properly before another outing.
Gotta love experimenting!