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Rocket Mass Heater

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A Rocket Mass Heater is a wood-fired heating system with a thermal mass that stores heat and slowly releases it over time. The "rocket" refers to the insulated, j-shaped combustion chamber which burns small-diameter wood fuel at such a high heat that the creosote and smoke combust. 


The J-Tube rocket core. Made out of ceramic fiber board, an insulating refractory material

Clay, sand, straw, brick, metal barrels, ceramic fiber board, chimney, stovepipe.

Picture by Alanis Vulpis, 2021



Chimney is installed. Bricks are laid in outline of combustion area and the area for the thermal mass. The mortar is just clay, sand, water. 


Another layer of brick is added. Combustion are gets packed with a mixture of perlite and clay. The thermal mass are gets a base of a cob mixture with extra straw for insulation. "Clean-outs" are placed. 


Chimney entrance is extended to encourage hot gas to travel further down the bench before leaving out the chimney.


Rocket core is placed in the combustion area. The cardboard circle shows the future placement of the barrel. 


Half-barrels are placed over the area that will be the thermal mass bench. Hot gasses with travel through the hole into the combustion chamber, into the bench to be absorbed by the thermal mass (cob) then will fall to the bottom and go up the chimney. 


Half barrels fully enclose thermal mass-area. And manifold gets built up. 


Bench and combustion chamber are fully enclosed. Now the mass gets added on. 


A warm place to sleep!


Applying finish plaster of clay, horse manure, wheat paste, powdered milk, cattail fluff, and iron oxide in Fall of 2021


The bench gets sculpted and tiled. 

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The Rocket Mass Heater after a long, full winter of heating. 

Picture by Alanis Vulpis, 2021

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Inlaying found and handmade ceramic tiles.

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Complete as of December 2021!

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