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Rocket Stove as Heater


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#1 Tim McCoy

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:26 AM

I know that winter may soon be over for some of us, but was wondering if anyone has experience using a rocket stove to heat their shop/work area? Below's a link to a UK blacksmith that offers rocket stoves. Seems like they could be an efficient and cheap way to get heat where there is no other way without having to rely entirely on your forge. Especially if your spending time doing cold work. Just wanted to hear from some of you before gathering the stuff to put one together. All comments appreciated!


http://www.rocketstoves.co.uk/
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#2 Sam Salvati

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:42 AM

Dang that's cool, thanks Tim. I'd love to get more detail on the guts of one of those, like to build one myself.

#3 John B

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:54 AM

The guy who makes and markets those is a member on here, he may step in with a few words of advice for you.

#4 Dean Aggett

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:14 AM

Thank you for the link to my DK Rocket Stoves web site, The stoves are all jig built to maintain the high efficiency and smoke free running, as you can imagine a stove this small burning so well so as not to produce smoke and stay lit is a tricky thing it took nine months of R and D to get right.the fire in these burns at a very high temperature due to the balance of primary and a pre heated secondary air system flowing at the right rate to consume the wood fuel almost completely, its like magic to watch http://www.youtube.c...?v=WEzGFegRTwU. hope you enjoy.

#5 Greenbeast

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:26 AM

what do you think they will be like for keeping a 'shop warm? as opposed to cooking on?

and does the fire require a lot of upkeep (not convenient when busy working)?

#6 eric sprado

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:34 AM

Aprovecho,a non profit organization in Cottage Grove Oregon,developed what they called a rocket stove years ago that was made from tin cans with a pair of tin snips. Not as nice as Dean's stove for sure but I do have the plans if anybody wants to make a neat LITTLE camp stove. If you visit Aprovecho's web site they also have a larger stove in production for Third World countries to use that don't have much fuel.
These may not be in the same class as the DK stoves but they are probably worth a look for folks who live near Oregon..

#7 WayneCoe

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:50 AM

I'd be concerned about carbon monoxide if using in doors.

#8 Pat Roy

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:59 AM

I can't believe anyone would consider trying to use this as a heat source for a building. It's a cooking stove as the advertisement says. Unless you put a hood over it with a smoke pipe, you will kill yourself with CO.
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#9 arcc

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:18 AM

Aprovecho,a non profit organization in Cottage Grove Oregon,developed what they called a rocket stove years ago that was made from tin cans with a pair of tin snips. Not as nice as Dean's stove for sure but I do have the plans if anybody wants to make a neat LITTLE camp stove. If you visit Aprovecho's web site they also have a larger stove in production for Third World countries to use that don't have much fuel.
These may not be in the same class as the DK stoves but they are probably worth a look for folks who live near Oregon..


I worked with Dr. Larry Winiarski(Who invented them) when he come to Sifat for years building Rocket Stoves. They are extremely easy to build, however I don't think they would work good as a heater if made for cooking. The better insulated they are the better they work. One thing they can be used is what we called a saw dust heater. Using the rocket stove principle and some old coffee cans, you can set a heater that burns only sawdust and stays hot for hours. I still wouldn't quite use it indoors though.
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#10 Greenbeast

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:32 AM

I'd be concerned about carbon monoxide if using in doors.

I can't believe anyone would consider trying to use this as a heat source for a building. It's a cooking stove as the advertisement says. Unless you put a hood over it with a smoke pipe, you will kill yourself with CO.


well obviously!

but does the functioning of it preclude the use of a flue?

#11 Drewed

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:08 AM

Not possible. It may not produce visible smoke, but burning wood produces CO.

#12 Greenbeast

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:32 AM

i don't understand, humans have been burning wood for heat for thousands of years, in fact in open fires indoors for hundreds of years.

shall we go back and tell them it's not a good idea?

#13 ThomasPowers

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:35 AM

Greenbeast; how much air flow were in those "houses" back when there were open fires? Modern houses tend to be quite different so using an example from centuries earlier is not a good analogy.
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#14 Greenbeast

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:43 AM

not a good comparison with modern houses but the original question (and my follow up) was for workshop heat

#15 Greenbeast

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:55 AM

It could be that they don't take to a flue very well, or that they require more fire maintenance than a closed woodburning stove using large logs, in which case this'll all be moot!

#16 John B

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:01 AM

Pot belly wood stoves or Chimeneres(?) radiate heat, the rocket stoves cook on top of the flue so extending it would not be as useful for surface area to radiate heat,

Right tool for the job seems to spring to mind here.

#17 Greenbeast

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:58 AM

Pot belly wood stoves or Chimeneres(?) radiate heat, the rocket stoves cook on top of the flue so extending it would not be as useful for surface area to radiate heat,

Right tool for the job seems to spring to mind here.


fair enough!

i will track down a used wood stove for next winter

#18 ThomasPowers

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:04 PM

In the states you can buy kits to modify a 55 gallon Drum ("oil drum", "oil barrel"), into a wood stove. Adding a second one above it with the flues offset from end to end can help the heating capacity a lot as well. They don't have great longevity, usually a couple of years; but the kit pieces can be then transferred to a new one.

I know several folks that use them in their shop and then unhook them and move them to storage during the summer.
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#19 John B

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:31 PM

fair enough! i will track down a used wood stove for next winter


Simple enough to make one from a gas cylinder just take care when cutting through, make sure gas is gone

Plenty of info on You tube, some of it good.

#20 Glenn

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:32 PM

I have been studying this and other burners for a while now. The rocket stove is (as I understand it) designed to be used as a cooking fire, burn small amounts of wood, in a small fire, at a very high temperature therefore very little or no smoke. This is vastly more efficient than an open camp fire. They are made even more efficient by surrounding the cooking pot with a heat shield and keeping the heat in contact with not only the bottom but also the sides of the container. These work well outside or in extremely open mud huts in 3rd world countries, and other areas where the buildings are not "tight" and leak vast amounts of outside air.

The next refinement is a rocket stove mass heater where the rocket stove is used to burn the wood in small fires at a very high temperature and the exhaust gasses are then directed through a long pipe system (many times horz) to heat up a mass structure and finally exit the building through a chimney. I can not see where this would create enough draft to work, or any way to clean out the long pipe system of ash etc. But they are being used and seem to work.

A similar system is used with a multi-path chimney mass where the chimney gasses are run through a system of openings to heat a mass of brick and mortar. The idea on both is to extract as much heat from the exhaust as possible and store it in the earth, mortar and brick or other mass.

The drum stove has been around quite a while, from WW2 at least. Remember the 55 gallon drum heater in the series M*A*S*H from the Korean War era. These were single drums in a upright configuration.

The single drum wood stove horz (on its side not standing up)is a better arrangement as it burns the wood in the front and pre-heats the remainder of the log. It holds the heat into the stove longer and allows more heat to radiate from the drum. The second drum holds the heat into the stove even longer and allows more heat to how radiate from both drums. The second drum almost doubles the heat output of the stove.

Once up to operating temperature the double drum stove (my stove, my location, my wood source), there is very little or no smoke from the chimney. I have used a double barrel stove for over 20 years and am on the second set of drums. Like all fires, it is alive and must have constant attention in order to be safe.

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