Friday, April 8, 2016

Goodbye, Rocket Mass Heater

Last weekend, we demolished the rocket mass stove. It felt good, really, despite the disappointment and the wasted effort of building it.  It's hard to love a giant stove made of dirt in the warm spring weather anyway, so remembering the struggles we had to use it without filling the house with smoke kept our spirits up as we lugged buckets of rubble from the house.   

Before we started I said I wanted to take one last picture and Brandon suggested I title the photo "Death of a Hippy Dream".  I'm sure the concept of the rocket mass stove is sound.  I've read enough stories from satisfied users to believe that it's real thing, not just an on-line conspiracy to trick hippies into a lot of exercise, but we did not pull it off.  Something, probably more than one thing, was wrong with our design.  As much as I hate to admit defeat, it defeated us.  It didn't break our spirits though.  

Busting up the cob was kind of fun.  We used a hammer and a chisel and it didn't take many strikes for it to crumble.  

We designated some buckets for the rocks and bits of rubble embedded in the cob, and others for the now dry cob, and hauled it all outside.  

 Hey Brandon, say "I love Rocket Mass Heaters!"  No?  

To celebrate the final moments of my rocket mass dreams, I tried a bottle of our newest brew while we worked, the Lucky Leap Year Beer, and I was very impressed with our brew skills, again.  We might not be good cob stove designers, but we can brew a good beer!  

We worked for several hours on Saturday and managed to deconstruct the entire bench up to the barrel.  Taking a cob stove apart is much faster than building one.  

Once again, this project has coated everything with dust.  My goodness, we used a lot of bricks!  My muscles are still sore from carrying those buckets of dirt and rocks.  

On Sunday morning, we were anxious to remove the last of the dirt from the house, and demolished the perlite and clay cylinder the surrounded the fire brick heat riser.  

We dumped all that perlite in one of the places that the chicken coop was parked so I can begin to work it into our clay soil for the garden.  Buying perlite was one of the expenses of this project, but it won't go to waste.  

We made piles of the block, brick, rocks, rubble, and cob.  The straw and the sand in the cob were materials we had to buy for the project, as was the metal duct work, but all the other stuff was gathered for free.  We should have plenty of material for an outdoor bread/pizza oven, and maybe even the wood fired hot tub I've been threatening Brandon with.  Doesn't a rocket stove hot tub sound like fun?  

Almost gone!  I can't believe it came apart so fast.  

Nothing left but a pile of dirt.  Goodbye, Rocket Mass Heater.  


Anonymous said...

Awwww. Sniff. Glad it wasn't too tough a job to demolish. Rocket Mass hot tub sounds great!! I think we should try that also!

rain said...

Demolishing it wasn't hard, especially compared to mixing all that cob. I think we have enough cob for the rocket hot tub and a pizza oven. Lots of fun projects to look forward to.

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