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Recho TiBwa

Rocket Stove Lesson Book
by Jon & Flip Anderson Mercy Corps volunteers Saint Marc, Haiti 2012 Dedicated to the people of TiBwa with thanks to Larry Winiarski

Chapters 1. Why Rocket Stoves are important 2. Science of Fire 3. Clay Mixture 4 Combustion Chamber 5. Fuel Feed & Air Intake 6. Molded Pot Skirt 7. Planting trees 8. Starting a fire 9. Mold dimensions & ideas 10. Troubleshooting


Recho TiBwa

3 Rock Fires

Cleaner emissions Less fuel Safer to use Cooks food fast

Are smokey Use lots of wood Are dangerous for children Require longer cooking time.


Improved Kitchen

Every day people gather wood to cook. They must go farther from home and use smaller pieces.

Recho TiBwa makes the kitchen a cleaner, safer, more beautiful place to prepare healthy meals for the family.


through the fire. hot fire.SCIENCE OF FIRE High heat causes gases to be released from wood. supplying oxygen necessary for a hot fire. An insulated combustion chamber heats and mixes oxygen & wood gases which clean emissions in the smoke. under the wood. Wood gases need oxygen and heat to burn clean. Rocket Stoves draw air in. 3 . and into the combustion chamber. Insulated combustion chambers concentrate heat so that a small flame becomes a big.

If the materials are not passed through a screen they will not mix well and will result in a stove that is not durable. Good clay should bend without breaking. Roll the moistened clay. Wet clay should be well mixed into a paste-like consistency without lumps. Using poor quality clay will result in a stove that degrades quickly from the high heat of the fire. 4 . PREPARING DRY CLAY PREPARING WET CLAY Dry clay needs to passed through a fine screen.TEST YOUR CLAY The first step in stove making is finding a good source of clay.

rice bran. 5 .horse manure and pumice. Small particles mix with clay better. Examples are: sawdust. heat-resistant materials. PREPARING INSULATION ASH WATER Pass through a fine screen no larger than 1/4”. or inexpensive and not used for human or animal feed. Use a gallon of wood ash which has not been leached by rain or water. free. Choose materials that are local.INSULATION PRINCIPLE #1 INSULATION MATERIAL Insulate around the fire using lightweight. Mix well with 3 or 4 gallons of water. Organic matter and clay become like a jacket holding in heat. making the stove stronger and last longer.

Use the ash water to moisten clay. Fruit pulp also strengthens the clay mixture. It will improve stove durability. 6 . Add water and mix and knead the moist clay and break up any lumps.Sugary syrup Strain ash water. Ash water improves durability of the clay. For 5 gallons of clay use one gallon rotting fruit (when available) or 2 cups sugar and mix with water. It should not be too wet or too dry. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Discard the ash residue. Poor mixing will result in an inferior stove. Clay Mixing Techniques Thoroughly combine clay and organic material before adding ash water or sugary syrup.

Then pack them into the molds.Form the clay into balls to further improve clay structure. 7 .

Buckets with a 10" diameter bottom are lighter and use less materials. 8 .PRINCIPLE #2 Put an insulated short chimney right above the fire to burn up the smoke and speed up the draft. Place the bucket bottom in first. 2 gaskets. 12" section of 4" PVC cut straight. then put in two gaskets and the PVC. Combustion chambers should be 8" tall to be able to clean emissions. These are the mold parts for the combustion chamber: bucket and bottom.

Slide a rod through the holes and pull the PVC out of the clay. Leave a 1” space from the top to help release the clay from the bucket when you turn it over later. Make sure the bucket and PVC don't rise up. Keep the PVC centered. 9 . The PVC should have two holes at one end. Pack the clay mixture firmly with a flat bottomed stick to remove air cavities.Wash and oil the PVC and bucket to keep if from sticking when removing. Smooth clay and keep it uniform and level.

turn the bucket over. 10 .

11 . Lift up the sides of the bucket while pushing down on the moveable bottom. The bucket will slide free.Press down on the removable bottom. Filling in the holes and smoothing the clay will make the stove more durable. Place the combustion chamber in shade to dry so it does not crack from drying too quickly. The 1” gap helps relieve the suction along the sides of the bucket. Now take off the bucket “bottom” and the other fittings.

12 . wood. Begin packing clay around the center mold. Rub oil on the center mold to help the clay release. Fill the box part of mold to the scored line with clay mixture and then level the mixture.FUEL/AIR FEED Place a piece of cardboard. The center mold sits on top of the lower layer of clay. The top of the center mold needs to stay level with top of the box and stay centered between the sides. set in place. The scored line in the box should be down near the bottom. begin filling. Make sure the center mold is centered between the vertical lines on the end of the box. Coat inside of box with oil. or tin on the ground.

Shaking it a little from side to side will help loosen the box. Use a stick to make sure the top of the center block stays centered and the same height as the sides of the box. Attention to detail will make a stove base that works well and is durable.Tamp the clay with a flat ended stick to make sure the clay is properly packed and without air cavities. 13 . Pull up on the handles on the side of the box to remove the outside mold.

14 . not smoke. Heat and burn the tips of the sticks as they enter the fire to make flame. Air flows in through the grate to give wood tips lots oxygen to make a hot fire. You may need to rock it back and forth a little to get it to release. Fill in any holes and smooth the clay to make the Fuel/Air Feed last longer. Keep a space between the sticks and the back of stove to allow more air flow.Slide the center mold out. The Fuel/Air Feed is now ready to dry in a shady location. PRINCIPLE #3 PRINCIPLE #4 Use a grate under the fire.

Use 4 or 5 pieces of rebar for the grate. Sticks rest on a short piece of tin which sets on rebar. The tin creates the air intake tunnel as well as a place to remove ash. Use straight rebar cut into 6" lengths. no more than 1/2" apart to keep coals from falling before they turn to ash. FUEL/AIR FEED A piece of tin will be placed on 3 pieces of rebar that are spaced farther apart. Place rebar in the back of the fuel/air feed to allow air to flow under and into the burning sticks. The grate will burn out so use thick rebar. The rebar that supports the tin can be thinner as the fire will not be as hot as at the grate. 15 .

Avoid allowing too much extra air above the fire to cool it. A piece of tin on the ledge at the front of the fuel/air intake will hold the sticks and create a space for air to enter below. PRINCIPLE #6 DON'T Too little draft being pulled into the fire will result in smoke and excess charcoal. Use a grate and allow air to flow below the tin or the ash will build up. fast draft from under the fire. 16 . Remove ash when it blocks airflow. DON'T let the tin get pushed onto the grate or the airflow will be blocked. Stick tips need air from below. up through the coals.PRINCIPLE #5 Maintain a good. Keep the grate and airflow open.

17 . from the fire. Fast moving air through the grate works like a forge. increasing the fire heat. Air flowing in over the sticks keeps the smoke flowing up the combustion chamber and not out the front where it blackens the stove. POT SKIRT PRINCIPLE #8 Place a piece of tin or brick on top of the fuel feed to bring in more air above the sticks and keep smoke from discoloring the stove.PRINCIPLE #7 Caption High and low heat are created by how many sticks are pushed into the fire. to and around pot. Concentrate the heat flow path. Pot skirts increase heat transfer by directing hot gases along the sides of the cooking pot.

Make sure the PVC stays in place. Be sure to pack the clay mixture in tight to capture the shape of the ring fitting. Pack with clay mixture and press firmly. There is a gasket and a short piece of 4" PVC in the bottom of the tub. Moisten the inside of the tub and line with plastic so the clay mixture will slip out easily. 18 . This is what the mold for the pot skirt looks like.MOLDED POT SKIRT (TOP) This tub has sloped sides and a bottom the same diameter as the 5 gallon bucket mold for the Rocket Stove combustion chamber. Pack the mixture up to the top of the PVC.

Fill in any air cavities and smooth. Pack and smooth. put a board on top of the tub and holding to the handles. The fittings allow them to interlock and hold in place.Set the pot on top of the PVC and make sure it is centered. If you don't. turn the tub over to release the new pot skirt. Make sure the gap between the cooking pot and tub is the same all around. the pot will rise up above the PVC. place the pot skirt on top of combustion chamber. It's important to put some weight in the pot while packing in the clay mixture. Remove the pot. 19 . Once they've dried a little.

heat transfer to the pot will diminish and heat will be wasted. A small fire can have a BIG impact if you use a properly sized pot skirt to transfer all the heat to the cooking pot.PRINCIPLE #9 Keep air flow unrestricted by maintaining constant cross sectional area through the stove. PRINCIPLE #10 Maximize heat transfer to the pot with properly sized gaps. 20 . If the gap is too large.

A stove tool makes it easy to find the correct height. Make sure the stove top is beveled and pot rests are at the proper height to allow hot gases to leave the combustion chamber without slowing down. Rebar will work well for pot rests.POT SKIRT Use the stove tool to form the correct cross sectional area and height of pot rests. They should be set 1" back from the edge of combustion chamber. These pot rests are way too high and will result in wasted heat. Make sure the pot rests are packed tight. TOO HIGH While the clay is still soft. insert rocks or rebar for pot rests. 21 . The stove tool is placed into a combustion chamber to determine the pot rest height.

cut it. RechoRoket. The stove tool pattern is found on www. Cut the tin and you have your own stove tool.. Work your way around the combustion chamber with the stove tool as shown and you will come pretty close to getting the pot supports equidistance apart.STOVE TOOL This handy stove tool can help you know how high the pot rests must be and how to form the correct cross sectional area slope on the pot skirt.. and. com Print it. 22 . trace it onto a piece of tin.

Trees like Leucana and Moringa can be trimmed into a hedge and used as animal feed. The dried branches can be used as fuel for Rocket Stoves. fuel wood trees. Seeds can be planted along the contour. will help hold the soil in place and replace trees that are being cut. Fruit trees. You need to do it. On garden land. lumber trees.TREE PLANTING Rocket Stoves will save wood but there is a need to plant trees as well. You can do it too. Racius is a man from Limbe who established forests in poor soil by planting tree seeds at the base of banan plants. an A-frame can be used to find the contour of the land. 23 .

The first fires in a new Rocket Stove will be more difficult to light because the clay will still be a little moist. In wet weather once you are finished cooking the meal. 24 . Fan the fire.FIRE STARTING Place dried corn husks or paper on the grate. push them forward so the tips rest over the grate. Light the fire and then add larger twigs and sticks. Be sure to clean the ash from under the grate and tin before starting a fire. place the wood for the next meal on top of the warm stove so it will dry out. As the sticks burn. The stove will also be a little smokey until it dries out. On top of those place twigs and small slivers of wood.

DIMENSIONS Fuel/Air Feed Box: 16. Fuel/Air Feed top section: 4. once you calculate how much to cut off.75" x 13" x 4.75" Base fill line 2" Sanding inside of box and center mold will help clay release. 25 . Painting will also help.5" COMBUSTION CHAMBER 4" PVC -14" (cut straight) 5 gal bucket 10" dia.25" x 11.25" bottom section: 4" x 13" x 1.5" x 7. base 1" cut from bucket bottom Buckets can be purchased from Christ Seul Espoir Pepe in Saint Marc 3722-7911 Cut the bucket bottom with a hack saw. It's easier to measure from the bottom up.

He says the stoves will save enough trees for the birds to have a place to build their nests. Check with Mercy Corps Saint Marc to find out where to find these tubs. 26 .Molded Skirt The tubs need to be the size of a 5 gallon bucket at their base. The PVC will fit inside the fitting. Put 2 screws thru the top and then 6 from the bottom. If you make a quality stove it should be worth more money. ARTWORK If you are making stoves to sell it would be a good idea to have a mark or logo that identifies your stove. The fitting in the tub should match the height of the fitting in the bucket. Guy puts birds on his stoves.

or a mountain This design was made by tracing around a leaf that was pinned onto the stove. This turbulence fin soaked up water from the combustion chamber. The tin was pushed too far forward and was blocking the grate.These birds were made by tracing around a paper cutout. got soggy and broke. They need to be cooked. It was not fired enough. 27 . A tree design would be nice to see. TROUBLE SHOOTING The charcoal build up on the piece of tin was a sign of problem.

There are two problems here: the clay is a type that disintegrates when heated. The rebar does not make a grate. Also the manure is too large so there is poor mixing of the ingredients. 28 . This soil was so poor the top didn't even survive coming out of the mold. The combustion chamber would be white if the stove was working properly. This stove will choke with charcoal and ash. Soil that doesn't stick together won't make a durable stove. The turbulence fins are put in too flat and are blocking the air flow.

The soot on the outside of this combustion was a sign that something was blocking the air flow. Trouble shooting is an important of stove building and maintenance. 29 . This problem was corrected by installing rebar bent in over the combustion chamber. Such a problem can be corrected by cutting away clay from the inside of the skirt. It is the pot. The pot blocked the air flow as you can see from the soot. There should be a gap of 3/8" (1 cm). This stove is smokey because the pot is too small to fit on the pot rests and is choking the fire.

Cover the kitchen area with tin or plastic so the stoves stay dry. 30 . This will make it so a cook doesn't have to bend over so far to put wood in the fire.Stoves must be protected from rain. Build a base under the stove to keep the bottom dry.