Recycled pallet composter

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.

Recycling can full of yard gatherings ready to be put in the compost pile
Recycling can full of yard gatherings ready to be put in the compost pile

This is also a chance to use my tools. I love my tools.

Hatchet and mallet, hammer and saw, air nailers and compressor. The whole gamut of tool tech!
Hatchet and mallet, hammer and saw, air nailers and compressor. The whole gamut of tool tech!

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!

Filling in the gaps
Filling in the gaps
I used the hatchet to split scrap boards to fill the gaps that where too narrow
I used the hatchet to split scrap boards to fill the gaps that where too narrow

 

I put it together behind the garage so its out of the way visually yet easy to get to.

 

Trying to make it look nice-ish....
Trying to make it look nice-ish....
come around and it kinda looks a bit worse
come around and it kinda looks a bit worse
That is a huge compost bin!
That is a huge compost bin!

 

I still need to face it and add more slats on the inside so the compost won’t fall out.

 

A full garbage can didn't make a dent!
A full garbage can didn't make a dent!

 

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..

Rocket heater moved into the garage

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.

Fire! I like fire!
Fire! I like fire!

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!

Just trying to get some heavier metal to pull heat off the ducting.
Just trying to get some heavier metal to pull heat off the ducting.

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.

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Troubleshooting WP

this is a test

My WordPress wigged out on me for some reason. It looks like a plugin wasn’t compatible with the latest WordPress and made every direct-link page a 404 page.

Annoying!

It appears to be fixed now, but if you have any problems with anything on this site, please let me know, thanks!.

Pocket Rocket Heater

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.

Rocket Heater
Rocket Heater

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. .

Phase two of the Paint Can Pocket Rocket Experiement

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.

The 4 cans, wire and perlite to rebuild the Pocket Rocket Stove
The 4 cans, wire and perlite to rebuild the Pocket Rocket Stove
The cans all come together to form a single burn chamber
The cans all come together to form a single burn chamber

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.

With the lid back on, I now have an insulated Pocket Rocket Stove
With the lid back on, I now have an insulated Pocket Rocket Stove
The wood tray is KEY to the workings of this stove, it allows the air to come in from underneith and thus through the fire
The wood tray is KEY to the workings of this stove, it allows the air to come in from underneith and thus through the fire
The wood sits on top of the wood tray.
The wood sits on top of the wood tray.
Shiney!
Shiney!
The whole unit as it currently exists.
The whole unit as it currently exists.

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!.