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.
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.
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.
I built the same design from a Christmas popcorn tin (looks about 3 gallons) and tin cans taped together with aluminum heat tape, and used vermiculite as insulation, and only after a few uses the tin cans started to melt and fell apart.
I have replaced the tin cans with 4 inch heat duct and a rain gutter elbow feed tube, I have not tried to fire it up yet so I have no idea how well it will hold up. I know Lowes sells 6 inch steel stove pipe and elbows, this will be my next construction if my current one also melts
I tried some double walled gas water heater vent pipe and burnt out the inner wall in short order. Stay away from the galvanized stuff as we can generate so much heat in these little stoves that we can cook the zinc off and poison the space we are in.
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