Just back from a weekend trip up to the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, and between board meetings, was able to join in with the community’s annual open house and Village Fair. Many, many interesting things going on, but one of my favorites (given my interest in appropriate technology) was a stand selling popcorn popped on a rocket stove.
I’m really intrigued by this beautifully simple concept, created by Dr. Larry Winiarski. The stove was designed for clean cooking in the developing world (where wood smoke fires cause millions of deaths, as well as a huge contribution to deforestation), but strikes me as a tempting project for the DIY-er (even with limited skills — shoot, I’m even thinking about trying this out). I started doing a little research when I got home and discovered that there’s a kind of “open source” movement around the rocket stove: many people have shared their designs for these super efficient, super clean wood-burning stoves.
7 DIY Rocket Stove Plans To Consider
Looking for an alternative to the traditional outdoor barbecue grill, or even for heating your home (at least partially), I came across a number of plans that look eminently practical for the weekend tinkerer.
Very Simple 16-Brick Rocket Stove
This one requires no more than stacking some bricks… though I’m guessing they would need to be made of a material like adobe (for the insulative properties). That the stove’s creator, Dr. Winiarski, putting this one together.
Single-Pot DIY Rocket Stove
For this plan, you will need just a few more materials from the Aprovecho Research Center, but it’s still pretty simple. With materials that can either be found around the house or that are pretty accessible, this plan makes sure you’re ready to make a stove wherever and whenever.
DIY Brick Rocket Stove
If you’re interested in something closer to the look of a conventional barbecue grill, this plan by the folks at Root Simple may be just the ticket. It’s a bit more involved than stacking bricks, but likely still within most of our skill sets.
Steel Drum Rocket Stove Heater
Welding is definitely beyond my abilities, but if you’re handy with a torch (or know someone who is), check out this DIY rocket stove for indoor heating. Of course, make sure to follow the author’s safety precautions for operation, and consider his suggestion that such a stove could have implications for your homeowner’s insurance. (via Lifehacker)
The Tin Can Rocket Stove
Yep, still looking around, and came across another really simple plan for a rocket stove made from tin cans. Jim Bonham, who made the video, has another one with some updates, and another (shorter) one on some of the safety issues involved in making this particular stove.
The “4 Block” Rocket Stove
This one’s even easier than the 16-brick stove at the top, and (at the time of the video’s publication two years ago) cost just over $5. Want a permanent stove in the back yard that takes five minutes to construct? This is the plan you want…
Know of other practical DIY rocket stove plans? Let us know about them in the comments.