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 Hiya and thanks from Lancs

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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:51 pm

Hello all and thanks for the join and the forum in general.

My name is Paul and I'm another North West Englander.

I'm a welder/fabricator and sometimes blacksmith and general meddler with lots of other practical stuff.

I've had experience of fires since about the 2nd week of May 1963, just after I was born. Open coal fires in those days. I learned to build and light the fire by about five years old.

That progressed onto camp fires and scout fires and bonfires and pop-festival fires and eventually a coal fire in my own place (1983), which has since been upgraded to a room heater and central heating. It's a very good system that drives seven radiators and hot water but does take 100kg of coal per week to do so - although it would be constantly lit at that rate. But at least one 50kg sack anyway. It will burn wood, but it doesn't really like it and isn't designed for it and would consume barrows full per day.

In between and alongside I've had about 4 woodburners (burn coal too), including a small cottage range for a while. I had a 12kw Esse woodburner in the kitchen for about 10 years and got the room up to 100 degrees F on occasion, but I took it out five years ago as it got a little bit too scruffy for home. It's now installed at work. I've not had a burner at home since, except the main system. I miss one, as a back up and to burn wood and to be more instant heat.

I have a workshop, quite large (1600 sq feet), which is freezing cold because it's full of metal and detached premises. The Esse is a fearsome burner when going and does a good job, although it can never heat up the whole of such a large area. It's very warm nearby - when I light it.

I'm used to the cold and the severe cold because of the job and the premises so I don't moan much, but I still like tinkering with fires. On more than one occasion it's been down to minus 10C in the workshop but if I light the burner and the forge and spend all day at an anvil it's actually quite warm. Very Happy

Now I've got onto this rocket stove scene. About a year or so ago actually, but I just bookmarked it in my mind because of other stuff at the time (you know how it is). Now I've got back onto it, not least because of first t2h videos on YT and then pp1 videos - both last week.

I'm completely impressed and want to build......

I have a few questions and some ideas I've projected (which may be foolish) and various other things, but I'll read through all the topics first to see if it hasn't been covered.

I've got all the welding gear (MIG, TIG, Arc, Oxy-acet), burning gear, a coal forge, anvils, centre lathe, milling machine, saws, presses, etc. I should be able to fiddle around with various builds.

Thanks again. Sorry for the long intro...

Paul.
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caotropheus
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:16 pm

Welcome to the forum Paul Lancs.

You cannot post no pictures or videos during the first 7 days after joining the forum, but after that, we are be very interested in seeing details of your shop, machinery and tools...otherwise it never happened!
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:26 pm

Thanks Caotropheus.

I will post some pics after a week then. What do you want to see first?

Gosh there's a lot of threads here already. I've done a fair bit of reading.

I will begin a topic in the main section this evening (just home for 1/2 hour now), with a few thoughts and queries.

Thanks again.

Paul.
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gadily
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:40 am

welcome to the forums paul

im over the border in westyorkshire

as your finding out theres plenty of posts with plenty of information upon them also best thing is the people that are actually building there own heaters as well and posting there builds up

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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:04 am

Yes I've noticed that and it's good reading.

Where I'm up to in my mind, is (maybe) building a fearsome workshop one like ppotty1's - but I do have to be careful with that because of some flammable surroundings and because it would have to go too near the lathe (including the switchgear) - but I may be able to workaround that by deflection.

But really, I'm more interested in scaling down and building one that's more suitable for in the room of a dwelling - bedroom, kitchen, wherever.  A smaller one would be neither too hot, nor a large footprint or cumbersome size.  Also, it could then be made aesthetic with some ornamental work put into the ironwork.  Not that a large one couldn't either, but not usual to have a pretty fire just for a workshop.

Having said that, not to micro-size.  It's a case of the heat-exchanger being smaller.  I'm thinking of 13kg blue (butane) cylinder kind of size, rather than 47kg propane cylinder size.  Also, I've got a few stainless beer kegs, from 6.5 gallon - 9 gallon size.  Or a fabricated square (cube, rectangle) exchanger of similar smaller volume. I will be wondering then about corresponding scale-down for the firebox, rocket tube, exhaust (maybe) and so on.

Also, scaling down again for use in vehicles - campers, live-ins, etc.  I am aware of t2h's version using box-section.

Is there any specific thread on here that you know that deals with a smaller or medium sized example?  I'll keep looking around anyway - I've not read everything yet.

Thanks.
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T2H
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:17 am

So glad to have you with us Paul, sounds like to me your shop is a bit of heaven!

Will be neat to see what you come up with, I like the idea of heating individual rooms because most of us if we have several rooms we spend most of our time in one or two.

No need to heat the entire house using up fuel.
Cheers

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gadily
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:55 am

thats one thing i will mention its fine warming a room up but everytime you need to get wood go make a drink you lose your heat in that room to the other rooms

if you have a cold spot in the house you can end up warming twice the distance than if you was actually warming the outside wall in the first place

as you have the essa system how come your not running it on its central heating system unless you only have the cooker side of it even the essa system can be upgraded to the new way however it already runs on secondary air and its where rocket burners do come from

however the essa system can be made much better nowadays as technology has caught up to it the one thing i will say its been done already however it lost its central heating system due to the change as ive seen it and read up on it already but it did get better heat at the hob side of it

ive used 13kg bottles but i had problems with it i had to go up to the mid size of gas bottle however i will note ive tried t2h dyno v system small and compact 17"L x 17"w x 6" h and ive also tested the fire extinguisher one good heat small and compact however i needed a longer burn time

im now trying another build type soon to be finished and tested a 12"h x 9"w x 12"L with a 9"x9"x12" firebox i think it can be used in multi usage so its going to be interesting to see if it will do it or not

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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:25 pm

Nay Gadily Very Happy

If you make a rocket stove heater, you don't need to keep going out for wood. A nice log basket as part of the scene will set you up for a long evening within. And then if you have a nice plate for a kettle and the makings nearby you don't need to go out to make a drink either.

You might have to dangle the milk out the window, on a string, to keep that cool. Very Happy

Anyway, if you leave the room, you close the door.

It's only like having a standard woodburner in a separate room, aside from main heating systems (which are often gas). I know a few people with a small independent burner in a kitchen or a study-type of room and I miss my burner in the kitchen too (though it was too powerful for that room on full burn).

One good thing about my main coal fired central heating system is that I can burn some wood (say a couple of buckets), on full air draught and while it might not quite (though it would in summer) kick in the radiators for a short while, it would give me a good half tank of hot water. Two hours solid wood burning would make the water scalding. So I can burn a bit of wood, or minimal coal and do half the job - loads of hot water. For heating a separate room, just for spring and autumn mainly and again on minimal fuel (free wood), a rocket heater seems absolutely ideal.

In a year's time, I might be ripping the coal fire out and installing a rocket burner as a main system and plumbing into the existing central heating. Who knows? Very Happy
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:43 pm

@ Gadily

My Esse wood burner (will burn coal too on a removable grate) is mainly just a burner, not a cooker and it has no boiler. It's just a stand-alone wood burning stove. It does have a generous oval cooking plate on the top which will boil a four-pint kettle very quickly. That's now at work, stand-alone on a 6 inch diameter vertical flue (that it shares with the forge hood -that itself runs smokeless after five minutes anyway). It used to be in my kitchen as a corner piece. But it eventually got a bit scruffy on the enamel and I then changed my guttering outside (to plastic so I had to remove the flue), so I decided to retire it.... to work.

My coal fire that drives the central heating is only really good for coal (smokeless coal too) and needs that intense heat over hours to really drive the radiators continually - obviously. Burning wood is not efficient really, there is smoke produced. On full draught it will roar away and power the radiators and roaring wood makes particularly scalding hot water (though 12 hours solid coal burning does too), but burning wood at that rate needs a re-fill every 15 minutes, which is just too much consumption and hassle. For a couple of fireboxes of roaring wood, just for hot water, it's still very good, but longer than that is masses of wood needed - or coal as designed for.

What I need, is another burner in the kitchen or a study room (which I could convert). But what I really need is a rocket stove heater instead. Two logs per night. Yes.

Plus, I would like to advise and help other people I know.

Cheers anyway and you too, T2H.
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:48 am

the thanks goes to satamax for uploading there changes and posting about it in the first place





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caotropheus
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:26 am

Paul Lancs wrote:
Thanks Caotropheus.

I will post some pics after a week then.  What do you want to see first?

Paul.

The answer to this question is a bit difficult!  I suppose we want to see everything, to start with!...


Last edited by caotropheus on Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:26 am

Lol, I'm sure you do.

I've just made a new stand for a second anvil I've got and hope to have it mounted and secured this weekend, so I'll no doubt be taking photos. I might show you that.

But I might start a rocket stove this weekend so there's that too.
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:55 pm

Ya Paul anything diy that your into man will be great to see.
Looking forward to your posts.
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:25 pm

Thanks T2H

Gosh then, I've read a lot of stuff now and watched quite a few more You Tubes.

I'm not saying I'm confused but there are even more ideas and little questions I have.  I've almost started a 'My Thoughts' thread several times but then I read something else and find it's been covered or it's an extension to an idea.  I will try to sort my wording out this evening and begin a fresh thread.  I've been dithering on the sidelines going on about welding safety and temperature charts...!

My initial thoughts now are the difference and choice and possibilities regarding a J type burner tube or an L type tube - that is - a longer horizontal section.  Is that more forgiving on the elbow of the piece - at the hot-spot if you like?

For a build I am still leaning on the side of Ppottys example.  I am wondering about this design but with more of an L than a J in the tubing.  This would then thrust the firebox further away from the exchanger due to the longer horizontal.  They would then be more separated but the horizontal between them could of course be easily insulated.  

I'm only really thinking of that to relieve burn-out potential in the elbow of the pipe (and at the heel too I suspect) but that sounds as if I'm trying to reduce the temperature  - which of course I don't want to do.  Also it seems foolish from the point of view of enlarging the overall footprint.

I understand that if the tube is concrete (or brick?) this isn't an issue (we hope) but at least for an initial build I will find it quicker and easier to go for a metal pipe. This seems a bit silly though - building one set to fail eventually.

I have got though, you see, a long length of plain steel pipe of 10mm wall thickness. Very heavy pipe indeed then. But it's only 105mm bore diameter (125mm OD). For a quicker and easier first build however, the pipe is there (doing nothing otherwise) and if I scale down the exchanger (smaller gas cylinder, beer keg, or self-build box) then I would need to scale down the tube anyway. Would a 105mm bore tube (just over 4 inches) suffice in a smaller diameter exchanger? Plus it won't be a long length required and I could make it so that replacement of this pipe isn't too difficult when needed.

Everything is weldable too. I'm a welder by first inclination, so this seems comfortable to me.

I will repeat this again in my main starter thread later.  I want to put the ideas and questions in order and in some sort of grouping.

Thanks anyway.
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gadily
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:45 am

if you want a tester unit then please do build one as its the best way to learn what is going on in the first place

i did exact same i built one for now for the coming winter and to see how it works now i understand it enough im going to make my own up now just some parts will be copied others wont be

if you do build one please do it in ss not in steel 2 years worth via ppottys welded one is ok for a tester unit just use a gas bottle medium to large

but i will be honest im going the way of the perlite and c1700 cement mix on this new build

you also have to remember what heat you build up in your firebox or within your metal is slowing your system down on going smokeless

changing to different steel is an alternative secondary fire chamber and vortex flue 3mm 4 3/4" for firebox chamber and 2mm for 4" flue vortex ppottys uses bigger 6" for both

works on a 9" x 9" x 9" firebox mines ss on m build not steel and it still expands with the heat from the firebox as mines bowed out now that ive used it alot more
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:51 pm

Thanks Gadily. I've been busy for a week which is why I haven't replied.

I understand what you're saying about using stainless for the burn tube but the situation is - I don't have any SS other than some off-cuts of thin sheet. I've certainly no SS pipe at all. I'm not going out buying any - it would be frightfully expensive for a new piece of decent wall-thickness SS pipe up to 6" diameter. In any case, even SS pipe has a finite life, so it would be foolish to spend good money on something destined to wear out fairly quickly.

On the other hand, the piece of 10mm wall plain steel pipe (105mm ID) is something I've had lying about for years. Plus it's about 12 feet long or more, so in theory, there are a few burn tubes in it. I wouldn't like to buy this piece new either (these days) but I grabbed it from a scrapyard over 10 years ago - for no particular reason other than knowing it would come in useful one day..... Maybe that day has arrived. Very Happy

It would be no big loss and in fact not really a loss at all if I used a piece of it for a rocket stove (burn tube) and it burnt out in 6 months. I would still have a long length remaining for another tube - but really, it would have served its experimental purpose by then and, if all else works well, I would be looking by then to cast a concrete pipe and replace with that. If I do use a piece and fabricate the entire stove around it, I will try to make it so that removal and replacement is as simple as possible - in other words, the position of any welds and clamp brackets to facilitate easy (or easier) knock-down.

Even though SS pipe has been used in some builds, it will have only been thin section (1 - 2mm?) and, stainless or not, that is very thin for any continuous heat application. Where in any case does anyone suddenly come by large bore stainless pipe in thick wall section? I doubt there's much of that kind of stuff just lying around. Most stainless pipe one tends to come by is usually thin wall ducting and similar. In fact I can't say I've ever physically seen really heavy-wall stainless pipe (drawn and seamless). It will be horrendously expensive and not the kind of stuff you tend to find scrapped in yards.

I'm not sure anyway that 10mm section of plain steel pipe will burn out that quickly. I will hedge a bet that 10mm mild steel will outlast 1 or 2mm stainless. As they say in similar respects - there's no substitute for cubic inches.

If I do use a piece of that heavy steel pipe, I could also pad out the elbow (and heel or all of the bend area) with extra material - beads of weld. That's probably going too far though. I'll think about that as I progress. Certainly in the 'elbow' area of the bend, right in the root, I could reinforce and thicken up that area with a few beads of weld.

I've built a few small coal forges and am operating one at the moment. The sunken fire-pot is 10mm plate steel and has been operating for months for hours per day and is virtually unscathed so far. The up-draughting air pipe (tuyere) is just black iron pipe with a drilled cap end. That's been operating for months too, though I do expect to replace the caps periodically (but I've not inspected mine for months, lol - it's always covered with coal).

Basically, I'm just looking to use what I've got, like we all do, without rushing out spending lots of money. I will use a gas cylinder as the exchanger (already have several) and have enough bits of plate and bar to fabricate the firebox and all the other bits. If I perfect it, then I wouldn't mind spending a bit of money making a second one, or a fancier one, but at this stage.....

Anyway, thanks again. I haven't made any progress so far because of being busy on other stuff, but I'm looking to make a start asap. I'm using that heavy steel pipe, I know I am. It's crying out to be used. Very Happy
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:39 pm

Hi Guys

I forgot to put up some pics of some of my stuff, but now I presume I am permitted to do so.  Let's see if I can get this picture loading to work then.







Hope that's worked.  Here are a couple of pics of the lathe.  Holbrook C13, made in England in 1953.  Came from the Royal Ordnance Factory at Eccles, Lancs in 1989.
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:45 pm

Here's something my daughter bought me for my last birthday.



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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:01 pm

Blacksmithing.  A couple of the anvils, one of the fire and a couple of bottle openers I made.


















I have a lot more forge and smithing pictures, but they're all on a memory stick, currently at work (I think - gulp)
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:32 am

Hi Paul and welcome to the forum. Some great looking kit there!
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:46 am

Thanks pp

A few more pics for you.












Two of the MIG welder and two of the TIG. One of the flow meter and regulator on the MIG.
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:45 pm

I am drooling over your work shop and tools!
Nice rams head bottle opener, very cool.

Do you have a youtube channel?
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:25 pm

Thanks a lot T2H

No, unfortunately I don't have a YT channel. I have an account there (Google+ now is it not?) but not a channel for videos. It's one of the things I haven't gotten onto or pursued.

To be honest, cameras and film is one of the things I've never known much about, not even back in the pre-digital and pre-internet days, which I know was far more complicated, but not now either. I can take pics with my phone and that's about it. I should develop some skills there and learn about it, but ..... phew - I've learned loads of things and have loads going on. Now I'm learning about Rocket Stoves and my head is full of this at the moment. Very Happy

Maybe I will - soon(ish).
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Paul Lancs



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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:12 pm

Here's a tip I got from Welding Tips & Tricks recently. I've been welding for 30 years and I never thought of this one. I tried to post this last night, but the picture wouldn't transfer off my phone for some reason. Standard computer glitch I suppose.

It's just a stripped, old jump-lead that was surplus. Great for extra contact in the welding circuit, especially when you have some slightly rusty or painted surfaces that might not make good electrical contact with the welding bench.



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caotropheus
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya and thanks from Lancs   Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:13 am

Mr. Lancs, you have a very nice place over there. I wish I could have an indoors working space the size you have. I have been thinking for a couple of years on buying a lathe and a mill, but I am not going to do it because I have no space where to put more big tools...Beside that, I work outside and store the tools inside the 12 m2 shed!

Nice stake anvil...
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