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Old 10-03-2015, 09:29 AM   #11
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It strikes me that working wood for a small stove and charging a small stove sufficiently to keep a space warm would be a Zen experience.

I'm frankly more concerned about storing wood (assuming one's skoolie rolls) than the processing demands....but my schedule is more compatible with that work than is 'typical'.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:57 AM   #12
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I just asked the manufacturer if these stoves were rated to burn coal but have not heard back yet. That would turn up the run time as well as heat output.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:16 AM   #13
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I'm frankly more concerned about storing wood (assuming one's skoolie rolls) than the processing demands....but my schedule is more compatible with that work than is 'typical'.
ME TOO!


I was looking into making the paper briquette thing. Basically you gather paper pulp it put it into a tube or log form press it, dry it, and then burn it. I know you will always be able to find a stack of weekly freebie papers somewhere along the way.
That and there is always the pellet basket option. Sure you won't be able to heat for free but it will still be far far far cheaper than even LP gas.

I don't see why the Mini 12 couldn't it has a fire brick inside.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:55 PM   #14
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Small fires can be built in large stoves without any trouble. You just need to get the right stove, and learn how to use it.

My big 30 inch long by 16 inch wide stove in my shed is a great example.
To build a small fire efficiently, I let the ashes block off most of the cast iron grate.
I then only clear the ashes from a small 6 inch by 6 inch section of the grate and build the small fire. This ensures the air must pass through the fire, VS around the fire if I had cleared the entire grate.

As it got colder outside, I would clear the ashes a larger spot in the grate, and build a larger fire.

That stove will take a 24 inch long chunk of wood. This means 30% less cutting VS 16 inch wood.

The stove I custom build for my Four Season Prime will still take 24 inch wood, but will also be 24 inches wide. The little bit of extra space is well worth the burn time.

Walls and fire shields can be made from metal and insulated with rock wool. Then you can have a nice large stove sitting in the same space as a small stove.

My new custom made stove will load from a door on the outside of the bus. Ashes will also be removed from the outside through a bin in the belly of the bus. The stove will still have a nice glass door on the inside of the bus for the natural light, romantic glow, and for the occasional poke in the night time.

To prevent ash from entering the living space when the inside glass door is opened, I will turn on my fresh air intake fan to pressurize the interior of the bus.

Living in my shed last winter in the -40 C has taught me a ton about live in a small space with wood / coal heat. Number one is the mess needs to stay outside. Air born ashes from tending the fire, cleaning the ash pan, ect are deadly to the health, and make everything in the bus a gross mess. Coal ashes are even worse than wood.

Also the ash pans on most stoves are a joke. Far too small, and I would never consider a stove that does not have a ash pan. Scooping the ash with a shovel just makes the mess worse. Stoves without a ash pan are a poorly made gimmick.

At the coldest point last winter living in the shed, I was emptying the ash pan twice a day. Again no good. This is why I will have a steel bin in the belly of the bus on wheels that will take 200 pounds of ashes, and be safely wheeled and dumped. Carrying hot ashes is seriously dangerous and messy.

I feel more of us need to build the stove into our bus as a permanent appliance. Once you start thinking that way, the possibility's are endless.

One more thing to add is minimum clearances. The are simply a waste of space. We are building in a metal structure, not wood. Use rock wool, and set that stove 2 inches from the wall. After all, most the room needed for a stove is the clearances around it from combustible materials. If you use non combustible materials, you don't need to waste that space. This is part of why my kitchen counters, cupboards, and all other interior storage will be made of formed steel, not wood.

My stove will have the kitchen sink on one side, and my bathtub on the other. I love feeling the heat of a wood stove while taking a bath on a cold day.

Nat
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:02 PM   #15
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Having the fire go out in the middle of the night sucks when it is below freezing.
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:13 AM   #16
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I want to reiterate, I USED TO SELL STOVES, I know about stoves in general. Also No I don't think those tiny ones would be the most ideal stove in a cold climate.

What I really want is a wood stove rated for about 600 sqft with a viewing window, but you either get tiny boat stoves or huge (for a bus) 1500 sqft jobs. I would love a tiny pellet stove but those just don't exist.

<<<NOW THAT IS A PELLET STOVE!
I just don't know if I want to build that myself, assuming I can even find the plans. Ignore his crackpot ramblings at the end of the video.

I think I will end up making a pellet burning basket for the tiny guy, fill it to the brim choke it down and go to bed.

Having pellets makes sense as I remember while working at the hearth store we would occasionally get a bag that split open and if they got wet they would turn back into the sawdust from which they came. If you are going to have a composting toilet having pellets is a convent way of keeping a crap load of sawdust on hand in a small space.

If your fire is too small you will not get the catalytic burner or the secondary burn chamber hot enough to engage. Producing smoke and making burn officials and some parks very mad at you. Not to mention the wasted BTUs.

I will have a back up propane heater, and probably one of these things in the bedroom area.
Eco Heater Electric Space Heater NA400S

For dealing with hot ash metal bucket with a couple inches of water, there is none better (aside from the vacuum cleaners made for hot ash) If you can get a coal hod as they are easy to sweep into and clean out. You can also take the ash slurry make lye and then make lye soap.

I am also thinking about getting some stone cut to make a stone cubby, or a glass fiber reinforced concrete stove surround. I will burn that bridge when we get there.

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Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post


One more thing to add is minimum clearances. The are simply a waste of space. We are building in a metal structure, not wood. Use rock wool, and set that stove 2 inches from the wall. After all, most the room needed for a stove is the clearances around it from combustible materials. If you use non combustible materials, you don't need to waste that space. This is part of why my kitchen counters, cupboards, and all other interior storage will be made of formed steel, not wood.

Ture I still have to wrap my mind around that steel bus won't catch on fire like a normal home would. Those tiny stoves use 3" pellet vent pipe which is insulated, so it has low clearances. However it also means you won't get as much heat off the vent pipe.
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:29 AM   #17
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IMO

Selling stoves and using one to keep from freezing to death are two vary different things.

If you truly understand the workings of a wood stove, you don't need plans to build one.

Also any stove that does not have a fire grate in the bottom will not work as well as one that does. Air needs to pass through a fire, not pass over a fire.

There is no need for catalytic burners. Just more junk added to stoves to try to pass emissions set by third party's.

Pellet stoves need electricity. That makes them not practical for simple off grid use.

Cement board does a poor job of insulating heat from the material behind it. It's just too dense, and adds way more weight than necessary. Two layers of steel with a few inches of rock wood between will do far better for less than half the weight.

My friend uses rock wool in his metal melting forge. The inner fire box is glowing white hot, while the outside skin of painted roofing tin still has not gotten hot enough to burn the paint off. Six inches of rock wool is all that separates the two layers.

Dropping hot ashes into a metal pail with water in the bottom just makes a bigger mess. The heat causes the water to flash boil, giving off steam that quickly rises, carrying a plumb of ash and other crap with it. This quickly spreads throughout the living space, contaminating everything.

Nat
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Selling stoves and using one to keep from freezing to death are two vary different things.

True, I should also point out former boy scout avid winter camper not concerned about freezing to death.

If you truly understand the workings of a wood stove, you don't need plans to build one.

A simple low efficiency bubba'd one, no you do not need plans for that. A pancake rocket pellet stove with no moving parts...

Also any stove that does not have a fire grate in the bottom will not work as well as one that does. Air needs to pass through a fire, not pass over a fire.

and... cut sections of perforated angle iron will do that job expertly

There is no need for catalytic burners. Just more junk added to stoves to try to pass emissions set by third party's.

If you want to burn in the USA and not get a ticket for burning on a non burn day you sure as hell do!

Pellet stoves need electricity. That makes them not practical for simple off grid use.
Go watch that video of the horizontal pancake rocket pellet stove, no moving parts! Yes in general they do use electricity but far far less than most other heating devices. Buying the pellets that is the crazy part for being off grid.

Cement board does a poor job of insulating heat from the material behind it. (then why do glass blowers use it almost exclusively?)It's just too dense, and adds way more weight than necessary. Two layers of steel with a few inches of rock wood between will do far better for less than half the weight.
Glass fiber reinforced concrete is not cement board. Yes it is extra weight thats the point, because it is also low conductive thermal mass. Weight is your friend when it comes to radiant heating and a inch air gap for air to flow around and heat up is the idea.

My friend uses rock wool in his metal melting forge. The inner fire box is glowing white hot, while the outside skin of painted roofing tin still has not gotten hot enough to burn the paint off. Six inches of rock wool is all that separates the two layers.
I get what you are saying about the insulation power of rock wool. heating up a slab of stone or stone like material would be a better use of resources than heating up rock wool fibers.

Dropping hot ashes into a metal pail with water in the bottom just makes a bigger mess. The heat causes the water to flash boil, giving off steam that quickly rises, carrying a plumb of ash and other crap with it. This quickly spreads throughout the living space, contaminating everything.

Ok clearly you were never a boy scout or worked in a hearth store. You want to get the silicate ash in first leaving the coals behind use the little rake thing to move glowing to one side take the powdery stuff and mix a paste first them scrape the rest into the bucket. Or add water slowly to the pan after you have some ash in it make the paste then scoop the rest in both methods work one just requires a separate pitcher of water. I had to clean and run about 7-10 fireplaces and stoves at the same time in the shop so one stove in a bus isn't a challenge to me.

Nat
Ash pans were almost always a joke, great for the person who uses the stove once a month. Ash lips on the other hand now those are helpful to keep ashes from spilling all over the place.

Nat I get what you want to say you are of the classic, wanting to burn free wood collected from dead fall in a simple metal box, environment be damned. Cool we don't agree on this one. If you had a higher efficiency stove you would have less smoldering ashes and more fine white powered ash.

I don't want to spend the winter in places where freezing to death is even an option. Two weeks sure, a month... maybe, all winter NOPE! My house has wheels they are a very important part of my heating and cooling system.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:51 AM   #19
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Thank you for this detailed discussion.

I grew up without running water, nothing but wood heat, grew our own food, walked 15 miles a day hunting, and lived off the land. Every time you say boy scout I chuckle. I lived the Real deal. Boy scouts pretend a few days here and there to live the way I did.

I have owned and used enough wood stoves to build a good working stove. No bubba'd one being built by me.

My stoves don't spew smoke out the chimney. I don't know why you think you need a
catalytic burner. Secondary air can be introduced into a firebox in a simple way without a bunch of extra junk in the stove.
In my nice large fire box, I pull the hot coals to the front, load the new wood to the back, close the bottom air feed, and open the front secondary air. What you get is the wood at the back being super heated, releasing wood gas, and the gas passes over the coals heading to the front on its way to the chimney. When the gas passes the secondary air inlet, it ignights, dancing a nice blue flame that looks like a natural gas flame. Nice clean burn.

Angle iron burn grate made from mild steel will not last any amount of time with the internal combustion temperatures I see in my stove. Thick cast iron, or stainless steel is the only material that will stand up to this kind of heat without burning out in a short time.

Glass blowers are using the reinforced high heat cement to retain the heat, much like in a pizza oven. In our wood stoves, that is the fire bricks inside. Without retaining heat inside the fire chamber, you will get a cold burn.

For actual insulating, you need air pockets. Mass does not insulate. It holds the heat, then transmits it to the material next to it. So, for moving your stove closer to combustibles, rock wool and layered steel still rules.

If you want to store the heat from a burn after the stove burns out, use a metal water tank. Vent it to the outside with a simple pipe in case it boils. Hot water is always useful, and unlike cement, soapstone, ect, the water can be drained so your not driving all over the place with all that extra weight in the bus.
In a non moving home, fixed thermal mass is fine (cement, soap stone, steel, ect), but not in a moving home.

When living in -40 C, you don't have time to mess around making sure you only get cold fully burned ashes when cleaning out the stove. My stove only went out 4 times last winter. When it's time to clean the stove, 90% of everything needs to go. Most of the time that includes hot coals with the fine burned ash.

I just don't want to live with shoveling ash anymore, period. It's not necessary, and far too messy. If you lived with wood heat as long as I have, you would understand what I'm trying to say. Your boy scout weekend warrior is funny. Cleaning ashes from stoves in a hearth store is no comparison to cleaning ashes from a stove in a tiny space like a bus. If the ash mixes with the air in a commercial store, the large space and the air handler unit looks after it. In a small bus, you sit there and breath the dust for hours, watching it settle and cling to everything you own including your bed. Yuk.

For anyone that will be moving to a hotter climate in winter, a wood stove is a waste of space. You can get the heat you need from other free sources like solar thermal heating. Nothing to buy, no mess, ect.

Wood stoves are for people that need real BTU to keep from freezing to death.

Nat
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:44 PM   #20
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There is no need for catalytic burners. Just more junk added to stoves to try to pass emissions set by third party's.
That's not exactly true. Proper catalytic wood stoves work on the same principle as a gasifier. There is a considerable amount of unused fuel that escapes the burning process in the form of gas. Catalytic stoves with a secondary burn are able to use the remaining unused fuel and convert the majority of it in to additional heat.

A gasifier showing how much excess energy normal burn misses out on

This is what I really have my heart set on. I just don't live in a cold climate full time so there's no urgency and I have lots of other stuff to buy before a $4.5k wood stove.

Kimberly Wood Stove




Annnd finally my plan is to run several of these around the outside over the woodstove. In addition to helping evenly distribute heat (I'll have to dig up my plan diagrams), it will help offset my energy draw down over night.

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