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Fishy's Rocket Mass Heater Build - Part 1


Should have part 2 up in a few weeks. THANK YOU again, Twelve-Oh-One. This vid's for you!

Anybody want to use a free trial of the editing site I used? If you use this link to get your free trial, I get more free editing sessions, and it is much more versatile than the youtube editor. Use this link to get one free HD video for yourself, and one for me! Thanks!


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I love it,

Send me your email address and I'll send you shipping instructions to my house, after it is finished of course. Don't worry about the shipping costs, I'll pay you one day. Tell Mark how much I'll use it and appreciate it. Again, thanks Fishy.

cold winter hot spring :D

Cool vid, cool song. THANK YOU!!!

Part 2

Please, FIRE that baby up!!


Lets burn that fatty now!

Cyril's picture

BUMP for knowledge.

BUMP for knowledge.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture

Thank you for posting this!

Thank you for posting this!

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Hey that looks familiar like

Hey that looks familiar like deja vu or something... ;)

End The Fat
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That guy laying the bricks...

He's a handsome fellow, is he not?

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Video feedback

I'd like to learn more about this rocket mass heater and how it works. Any links?

Bit of feedback on the video itself, the editing is too heavy. I found that I developed a headache from the transitions between clips, because it darkens the scene too much for me to comfortably see the actual content, and when the white grid appeared my eyes had to readjust for brightness. It's kinda like being in a well-lit room, and then a fog of night falls, which turns to day in a second, and then clears away only to come back again. The effect is that I only saw half of the actual video content over the full video length.

The music might've been too loud, and some audio commentary could've made a good guide as to what you were actually doing.

Video editing should always come second to the content you want to show, and should never be the highlight. You need to think about your audience's experience of the video: they're here for the project, not the FX.

The build and raw video itself is good stuff. The video editting just needs some improvement. :)

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RMH details


If you get serious, I can email you a pdf with specs, too.

Sorry about the editing, I am really no videographer at all. I wanted to show each step of the process, but often as not, I was covered in concrete or mud myself so I just took short clips. I wanted to put that song to it, and youtube only lets you pick from their music files so I had to learn a new editing program. The white grid lines are what drives me nuts, I do not even know why they are there. I am going to try to program suggested below for my next video, and I am going to try to get good at it. We want to produce a series of high quality educational videos, so it is definitely time to up my game.

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Cheering you on the way!

Good luck with your videos! Learning something new one step at a time...

I believe in the freedom to be what we choose to be.

I'm a big Renewable Energy fan

I'm a big Renewable Energy fan (mainly windmills and solar). But I hadn't encountered the "rocket" systems before. Thanks enormously for bringing it to my attention.

I did a bit of web searching and found a bunch of good stuff on how they work and how to build them. Beautiful.

- Similar combustion efficiency to a pellet stove, but far better heat capture.
- Natural draft instead of forced draft by electric fans.
- Manual feed instead of electric auger, but batch, requiring no more (indeed, even less) attention than setting a fireplace fire.
- Thermal mass heat storage so a single fire heats for a day or more.
- No power or control requirements beyond setting and starting a fire every day or three if the house is getting too cool.

One thing that really impressed me is the hack of getting a high draft from a couple feet of "indoor stack", rather than an external chimney, by running a counter-current coaxial heat exchanger with extra heat added by the afterburner combustion on the inner, upward-flowing gasses and heat extraction from the outer, downwind, side of the flow. Cute! A pure-fluidic/convection heat-engine to pump the air and deliver the partially cooled result back down to the level of the fire for horizontal exhaust after nearly all the remaining heat is extracted from the fully-combusted exhaust. Extreme temperature differences produce a strong draft with only a couple feet of rise.

And of course:
- Cooking surface on the top of the heat exchanger/engine.
- Practically free but for labor. (Made of mud, firebrick, maybe some flue pipe, and a 55 galon "oil drum" or similar.

I'll be very interested in:
- Ash cleanout.
- Smoke from initial startup and how to avoid it.
- Longevity and failure modes of that "oil-drum" outer heat-exchanger wall.

My eventual retirement home is currently heated by solar and propane, with a gas forced-air furnace for main, a milliwatt-stat/pilot-light propane stove for backup (in case of power outage), and south-facing solar windows (which are fine for daytime but we have too low thermal mass for store for night or overcast days). I'd been thinking of moving my pellet stove there and getting a pellet mill to fuel off the annual weed crop and home-generated electricity. But this system looks like a GREAT "after a hypothetical fall of civilization" alternative. B-)

= = = =
"Obama’s Economists: ‘Stimulus’ Has Cost $278,000 per Job."

That means: For each job "created or saved" about five were destroyed.

Here is a setup with easy ash cleanout


“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus


You sound like my husband. I am not an idiot, except on things that I am an idiot... like understanding what part of the heater is doing what.
Our ash clean out is hard to see in the video. If you look at the part where just the firebrick is done, the opening on the left is does not have a full "floor." There is a gap, about 1 to 2 inches between the end brick and the last "floor" brick where ash can be pulled from the burn chamber onto the floor in front of the stove. Well, I'll put a pan there, but you get what I mean...
There is another clean out that will be on the flue end, at the first angle we will put a "T" in, and make a clean out of one part of the "T." To get the stove burning properly, you can cheat and stuff a little burning paper in that clean out to get things drafting faster. If you are concerned about smoke, some people put the stove outside and run the flue inside and build the mass over it, then run the end back outside.
I have seen some reports of drum and burn chamber pipe failure, some people build the whole thing out of brick, but that gets a lot more expensive unless you can salvage the brick.
Thanks for posting. That is why I do these silly videos - I KNOW there are people out there looking for the same answers we are. I share what I figure out, others share what they figure out, maybe somehow we will get this all figured out...

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Fishy you are shining Love here


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Looking forward to trying this myself in the near future.

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I Like It Fishy!

Good Ole American Ingenuity...The music was Ok..No complaints..

Will wait for part 2..

If anyone wants a T-shirt

I just made a new logo and put it on a T-shirt at Zazzle, we will make a couple bucks off each shirt. It is hard to read at the link, it says "Idaho Aquaponics" and "Food Solutions."

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Thanks Fishy

I'm not sure what it was but I can see it now. Thanks again.

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

Wait? So what are you doing

Wait? So what are you doing exactly? Building a rocket base?

And you should use Microsoft Movie Maker as opposed to the crappy YouTube editor. The Microsoft app is free and it does HD:

Yes. I've had enough of this planet, I am outta here...

It is a hillbilly wood gassifier. It uses small branches, so you don't have to cut trees down for fuel, just trim them. The flame gets drafted sideways through the burn chamber, then the hot gasses go up the pipe inside the barrel. When they hit the top of the barrel, they collect and ignite again, creating a second, hotter burn. You wind up using 1/4 to 1/5 the wood a conventional wood stove burns, and the emissions are much cleaner. What you see here is the "rocket" half, the "mass" is what we will show in part two, it is how you utilize all that heat efficiently.
Youtube is what I know how to use, they would not let me put my song with it. I found the other place, and it let me do what I wanted to get done at least. I'll sure check out that link, the site I found wants a $5 a month subscription and free would be much better. Thanks.

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YouTube is a hosting service.

YouTube is a hosting service. All they do is provide the content. Just like NBC, ABC, CBS or FOX. They don't make any of the programming... someone else makes it... they just play it for the masses through their network.

YouTube is the same way.

What you were talking about was actually making the movie. Movie Maker (a Microsoft program) works quite well for the beginner -- although it may take you 20 - 30 minutes to kind of figure it out.

You can cut clips, splice clips together, add text, add music overlays -- whatever you need.

It's quite easy actually.

Youtube creates content

They started in 2008 - just in time for the presidential elections. They created a channel called CitizenTube that had extensive Google-approved content on all the presidential candidates except one. In response to outrage over the omission, they posted a blurb that said essentially, "And then there's this kook who has no chance."

Ĵīɣȩ Ɖåđşŏń

"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

You underestimate the oldness of the dog, or the dogness of the

old, or something... I'll give it a try but I LIKE that youtube hardly has any options - less decisions! lol! But, we are about to try to start making seriously educational videos, so I'd better get seriously better at videography and editing.

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It's easy. Open the

It's easy.

Open the application.
Click the open button at the top and select your video.

The video will open and process

There is an edit button a the top that will allow you to add Titles or text. You can put your cursor anywhere on the video and click split -- this will split the video into two or more parts. You can then delete those parts by selecting the clip and just pressing the delete button.

It's simple.. it really is.

Very nice!

We would love to build one someday. (although if the trowel was missing, my stone/brick mason husband would have had a fit):) I will still use my wood cookstove, however, as I wouldn't want to do without that homemade sourdough bread cooked in it. We are thinking of moving to a colder climate, and would need more than a cookstove, and it looks like a rocket mass heater would be just the thing. Looking forward to hearing more about yours!

Love the song!

And also seeing how this goes together...thanks, fishy! (Is that band local to you?)

Looking forward to pt.2. -:)



It is our well driller - lol!

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Not even a comment on that song?

It is my "go to work" tune, thought folks here would love it.

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TwelveOhOne's picture


Very nice video! I really enjoyed the 30 degree angle remark -- the best part is sharing the knowledge so that it can be duplicated elsewhere. Very much looking forward to part 2!

The music was great, too, do they have a site and could you provide a link?

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