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Need help building a rocket stove.

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself Projects, Construction, Etc.' started by tonstwo, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Nov 29, 2012
    tonstwo

    tonstwo Sustainable Newbie

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    Hi guys, this is my first post here, and I need help.

    I've built a very small rocket stove and I think I may have done something wrong, since the outer part of the stove heats up and I don't think it's supposed to, and it's generating much smoke. I haven't taken much time playing with it and trying to figure out the best way to burn wood.

    I made the rocket stove out of metal cans, and ash+soil+cement for the insulation. I think something's wrong with the insulation. This is my first try though, and mistakes do happen. But I sure would like to have a working, efficient and preferably self-feeding rocket stove. I also prefer it to be movable (if not portable), so laying bricks won't do.

    I live in the Philippines by the way.
  2. Nov 29, 2012
    k15n1

    k15n1 Lovin' The Homestead

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    There are some tricks... Look to see what others have done. Even looking at youbtube videos for approximate dimensions can help. I had problems in the past with an undersized air intake. Doesn't seem like it should matter, but it did. Luck.
  3. Nov 29, 2012
    tonstwo

    tonstwo Sustainable Newbie

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    Is it relative to the size of the rest of the stove or does it just have to be big enough?
  4. Nov 29, 2012
    ~gd

    ~gd Lovin' The Homestead

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    It is relative to the size of the fire and to a lessor extent the quality of the fuel. The fact that you are getting a smokey burn makes me think it is starved for air.
  5. Nov 29, 2012
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Almost Self-Reliant

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    I have not built one, but I can imagine that if I did I'd be in the same position you are, tonstwo.

    Youtube resources have been mentioned. Here's a couple of Youtube vids by a guy who's spent a lot of time working out practical design details:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6ValmUnjz4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRLR07GRgvQ
    You can comment on Youtube videos, and often the person who posted the video will respond to your comment (or question).

    There are quite a few others who have posted vids about rocket stoves, of course.

    We have a member here at SufficientSelf - Paul Wheaton - who is very interested in rocket stoves. He's posted many videos, but here is one of his videos on Youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfKHVoCY2so
    Paul is partial to built-in designs with a lot of thermal mass, such as mortared stone. Still, he's a guy who probably knows a lot that might be helpful to you - and some of the info from built-ins might be transferable to your questions. You could try messaging Paul here at SS.
  6. Nov 29, 2012
    k15n1

    k15n1 Lovin' The Homestead

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    The exhaust must be adequate height and correct diameter. Too big and you don't get a good draft because the thermal gradient is not uniform in cross-section. Too small and you're limited by fluid dynamics. If it isn't a tall enough chimney it won't draw either. Too long of a chimney and it's hard to start.

    Don't worry, you'll get it.
  7. Nov 30, 2012
    tonstwo

    tonstwo Sustainable Newbie

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    Never thought that it would involve so much measuring, planning and science (now makes sense since it's supposed to be very efficient). Guess I wasn't thinking logically. Thanks guys, I'll have to do a bit more reading on this.
  8. Nov 30, 2012
    k15n1

    k15n1 Lovin' The Homestead

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    Reading certainly has its place, but some of it is empirical and you'll figure it out by trying.
  9. Jan 4, 2013
    k15n1

    k15n1 Lovin' The Homestead

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    Any luck?
  10. Feb 2, 2013
    EvoQ

    EvoQ Enjoys Recycling

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    If you are getting allot of smoke then you have your Air/Fuel Mixture way off. The whole purpose of a Rocket stove is to Burn the Fuel(wood) at a very high temperature. Hence there should be little if any smoke. Just like a car that runs either Rich (too much Fuel, not enough sir) or Lean(too much air, not enough fuel). It's as simple as that, I would be willing to bet that you are not allowing enough air into the combustion chamber quick enough causing lots of Smoke. If we had a picture of your project we could better help you decide a fix. Take a picture and post it up so we can get an idea of what is going on with your design.

    :cool:

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