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!

1 gallon paint can Pocket Rocket Heater

I needed to make something today… so I decided to make a “pocket rocket heater”. These are a small sized high air flow wood stove that sounds like a rocket as they suck so much air.

I decided to make mine “right” so I used an old, dried up paint can that was in the basement when I bought the house and some speghetti sauce cans. Ok, the “doing it right” ment I went out and bought vent pipe. I got a double walled gas water heater pipe, a 3″ to 4″ reducer, a variable elbow and a length of 4″ pipe. Dang is that stuff spendy! $40! Well, a bag of perlite is in there too.

I initially wanted to make a downdraft gravity fed unit, but that’s going to be really challenging to pull off in a paint can. So I made a simpler side feed unit.

Tin snips to cut out a whole in the side of a paint can.
Tin snips to cut out a whole in the side of a paint can.
A big hole for a speghetti sauce can for the wood inlet part.
A big hole for a speghetti sauce can for the wood inlet part.
The inside of the Pocket Rocket
The inside of the Pocket Rocket
Two cans intersect, so I cut a few tabs so they interface well
Two cans intersect, so I cut a few tabs so they interface well
This bit of can gets marked, cut and bent as well
This bit of can gets marked, cut and bent as well
Looking down, you can see that the 2 cans interface cleanly.
Looking down, you can see that the 2 cans interface cleanly.

Its not done, but I decided to fire it anyhow, if only using cleaning out the paint as my excuse. It needs a fire shelf so air can flow under the wood and then up through the fire. It also needs the fire area enclosed so I can insulate the can with the perlite.

It burns even when missing the fire shelf and the burn chamber not being enclosed inside the can.
It burns even when missing the fire shelf and the burn chamber not being enclosed inside the can.
The safest place to test the Pocket Rocket heater is on my grill.
The safest place to test the Pocket Rocket heater is on my grill.
It's tedious to keep feeding the wood. It needs the fire shelf to help it burn better too.
It's tedious to keep feeding the wood. It needs the fire shelf to help it burn better too.

I guess if you can insulate the burn chamber, these things can burn so hot that they burn clean. Just carbon dioxide and water. This is my goal. If I melt the stove pipe, its all in the name of science. Maybe next time I will get the right kind of pipe.

Hopefully tomorrow I can take it apart, see where it got hot, etc. and then finish the Pocket Rocket Heater. I want to add 1 more can to complete the burn chamber, and then pack perlite around it inside the can. I also want to set it up inside the garage so I can heat the garage. I will run it out one of my windows. Stove pipe out the upper part, flexable dryer vent for an air intake coming in the lower part.

I need one of those temperature guns so I can see what the temp gradient is on the stove pipe. I want to run enough length inside the garage that I actually can heat the garage.

Single serving formula and pocket changing kit

I got tired of putting a large formula container into the diaper bag so I measured out single servings into sections of a vacuum bag. I can rip open the number of packets needed to fix up a bottle the size I need.image

I also made a couple of these kits to keep in a coat pocket. They contain a diaper, two wipes, baby powder and formula. I can take care of the baby’s needs going in or coming out.
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Keychain box

The contents of my pocket I carry a lot of stuff in my pockets. This is the contents of my left front pocket. I am tired of sounding like a coffee can full of nuts and bolts rattling around every time I take a step. My keys rattle against each other, the little Altoids tin, the pill canister, my knife, etc. I took to carrying the Altoids Smalls tin as a catch-all box due to it’s small size. I’ve had in my pocket for probably 4 months now, so it’s getting pretty tired looking.


Keys and an Altoids Tin I drilled a couple of holes in each corner of the lid of the tin. I picked the lid as the keys will cover the embossed Altoids name. Space the holes as near as you can to the outside but leaving a space for the base to fit inside of the lid and not hit the nuts. I used a couple of 1/2″ #6-32 machine screws and nuts to bolt the keys to the lid. I would probably use some of those Chicago Screws as they are called if I had them. I faced the teeth of the keys in, so they didn’t snag in my packet. I use the keys in a specific order, so they are ordered outside in in the order of use. I thought about using thin plastic spacers, but it doesn’t seem to be needed for now. I just rotate the keys out that I need. There is enough clearance around the keys that they are easily usable.


Keys bolted to an Altoids tin as a keychain You can see that the small tin, with 8 keys bolted to the top isn’t any thicker then my Victornox Cybertool pocket knife. Granted, that’s a rather large knife to carry every day.


My keychain can now hold stuff I didn’t want the keys falling off my tin. I super glued the nuts to the bolts and to the tin as I don’t have any lock-tight. A Dremel will take the head of the bolt off if I can’t break the glue with a screwdriver & a wrench.
I put my headphones adapter for my cell phone in the tin. I also carry a 1 gig USB memory stick in it that I made a custom, waterproof housing using some casting resin.
I am going to put a small bit of cloth in the bottom and lid to quite the rattle down. I will also put in a cotton ball to fill the space and help silence the contents of the tin as well.

I am going to see how long this tin key-chain lasts.