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Build a Rocket Stove

Rocket Stove Design

Lifehacker.com introduced me to IWillTry.org and the article about Building a Rocket Stove for Home Heating.

I was looking into propane heaters to heat my garage this winter for around $100.

Propane was going to be my preference based on Kerosene & Diesel heaters being far more harmful to breath in, and the idea of being able to easily remove the fuel source from the heater (just unhook the propane tank) versus having to leave kerosene or diesel inside the heater seemed far safer.

Dyna-Glo Propane Heater

However, after seeing a pretty cool video How To Build a Rocket Stove, I think I can tackle building one.

My Requirements:

  1. An inexpensive heater to warm my 2 car garage
  2. An inexpensive and easily available fuel source
  3. A portable heater to allow me to move it around the garage, or even outside

My Plan:

  1. Build a very simple Rocket Stove based on the design in the video above
  2. Use firebricks I can find instead of making my own like the video suggests (I don’t have a kiln!)
  3. Wrap the bricks in regular sheet metal like the video shows
  4. Light a fire in it and see if it burns correctly with just the bricks

If this all works, and the firebricks will serve the purpose then:

  1. Fill the sheet metal surround with Cob (a mixture of sawdust and clay that is used as insulation by a lot of these Rocket Stove people)
  2. Fabricate an exhaust system that will heat the cob and exhaust like the IWillTry.org design
  3. Build a base with rollers and/or handles to make it easily movable

My Point:

The necessity of the cob is that the rocket stove will heat up very quickly, but also cool down very quickly.

The cob absorbs, traps, and holds the heat very well which allows the rocket stove to warm it up, and then the cob radiates heat for quite a while even after the fire has gone out.

IWillTry.org points out that his room heats up fast and cools down fast because of the lack of an insulator on his Rocket Stove.

If this works I will have a dirt cheap heater for keeping me warm in my garage so I can work on my truck year round. If it burns clean enough then I might even be able to open the door to the house and heat it a little as well.

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