My wife started raking leaves in the back yard today. I figured that means I ought to make the composter I’ve been talking about making for a while now. I’ve accumulated 3 regular pallets and one long ‘double’ pallet in the last year.
This is also a chance to use my tools. I love my tools.
I ‘decked’ the pallet that will face the yard with some scrap wood from a shipping crate I took apart for lumber. The scrap boards where too wide for some of the gaps so I split a bit off with a hatchet – no cutting these nail ridden scraps!
I put it together behind the garage so its out of the way visually yet easy to get to.
I still need to face it and add more slats on the inside so the compost won’t fall out.
So maybe this weekend I will be finishing this off. Not sure if I will put posts in front and slide the boards down in front of the pallets or maybe put nailers on the face and then some inside and slide the boards inside.
Tonight I moved my paint can rocket heater into the garage. I wanted to give it a try in a non-windy space. It set up surprisingly quick once I found the right height spacer to set it on, some weights. It did take two tries to light it, but I tried to light it with very little paper without pre-heating it to get it to draft first.
I spent some time fiddling with wrapping it with bits of metal I had laying around trying to get it to shed some heat into the room. It did manage to warm up the garage 20 degrees, so not to bad!
I think it worked well enough to justify getting some proper stove pipe instead of the heat ducting and experiment some more. I would like to figure out how to get it to dump more heat into the room. I’ve an idea about wrapping the exhaust in a bit of ducting and maybe forcing air around the duct, maybe with an internal warm-air chimney. I would also like to bring in a fresh air intake from outside, which should significantly help with the heating properties of the device.
I think I need an IR thermometer to really do a good job tweaking this heater. Oh well. Time to raid the kitchen for the meat thermometer I guess.
This weekend I fiddled with my Rocket Heater some more. I put an outer chimney around the existing chimney so I can pull the exhaust down, then out the side, and currently am running it right back up. The elbow I am using I can adjust so I can run the exhaust any direction.
It surprised me how well this worked, pulling the exhaust down. The amount of heat coming off the top of the outer stack was amazing!
I will be playing with this some more in the near future.
So yesterday, I got to play outside a bit more. I worked on my Pocket Rocket Heater some more. I tore it apart, to see where it got hot, and where it did not and to add 1 more can to complete a burn chamber. I also insulated it with perlite.
I couldn’t find my baling wire (old timers will tell you it’s duct tape 1.0) so I used a bit of floral wire. Not as sturdy, and I expect it to be too light, so a good burn will melt it enough that it will break, but this is just a test unit, right?
I also poured perlite all around the inside cans to insulate the stove burn chamber area. Of course, I forgot to take a photo of this step. Bummer.
I am quite happy with how it all works. I like fire, and I like making things from junk.
My future plans for this particular unit is to either run a longish near horizontal 4″ exhaust out a window or maybe do the full on inverted chimney. This involves a 2nd, much larger chimney placed around the current one with a cap on top. A horizontal exhaust is then attached to the bottom of the outer chimney to vent the gasses. This allows the whole thing more time to release more air into the space that it occupies. It’s worth trying to play with, that’s for sure!