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127 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on self-drafting rocket stoves...
How can one rightly deduct a star when the book in question performs it's intended purpose and confirms to the reader whether its subject is the right solution for them? Any author can tell you that some particular choice solves all the world's problems, but it is less common to find a book which actually tells the reader the downsides of its subject and how to determine...
Published on January 15, 2007 by Robert A Brookshire

versus
56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming and dated
After getting my Rocket Mass Heater book in the mail, I quickly opened it up to find that it is by now far surpassed by more current information available on the web. A current site called 'I will try' provides better graphic representations of the end product. Though more on the engineering side, it definitely stays away from the earthy save the world environmentalist...
Published on July 8, 2012 by ronemtz


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127 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on self-drafting rocket stoves..., January 15, 2007
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This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
How can one rightly deduct a star when the book in question performs it's intended purpose and confirms to the reader whether its subject is the right solution for them? Any author can tell you that some particular choice solves all the world's problems, but it is less common to find a book which actually tells the reader the downsides of its subject and how to determine whether it suits your particular need and personality or not. In that regard, then, this book certainly succeeds. It tells the reader exactly what is involved in the construction, what kind of performance to expect, and how much maintenance is realistically involved. That seems worthy of an addition star to me, even if I never build a rocket stove. Would you drop a star from a book about sky diving because you decided you didn't want to jump out of an airplane?

This book does a fine job of explaining the concepts of "rocket" style wood stove design and construction. This 2nd edition also includes reports from individual designers and users, which I tend to find very valuable as it grounds the material in real-world applications. The book covers all important concepts in detail and admirably explains which dimensions are important and which are less so. I found the step-by-step pictures to be invaluable to helping the reader actually build their own stove, but I also found some of the descriptions and associated diagrams to be confusing. A few things that were included in diagrams were not well explained or at least not well understood by this reader without multiple readings. To the authors' credit, however, some of the details are difficult to describe with words. I also found that while the authors do a good job of telling the reader the potential dangers of a positive-pressure flue system, they didn't describe their own methods for sealing metal duct systems.

In short, this book would be extremely valuable to those contemplating a wood heating system of any type, but it is a must for those seeking 90% efficiency from a wood-burning appliance for home heating. Masonry heaters can often match this efficiency (see The Book of Masonry Stoves for more), but they start at about US$10,000 and typically require advanced masonry skills. I have a personal affection for masonry heaters with glass viewing doors and top ovens, but a rocket stove is much more accessible for a do-it-yourselfer and is more versatile to fit both fast radiant and slow mass heating needs. Whole-house masonry heaters can't heat up quickly, which could matter to people that are away from home for long periods. Rocket stoves can heat you up rapidly while still offering substantial heat storage, if you build them to do so. They are certainly worth your consideration and this book is written by the world's foremost fiddlers with Rocket Stoves. This 2nd edition still comes across as a work in progress, but Rocket Stoves already have proven themselves to be long-term, efficient solutions to many heating needs. With this book in hand, virtually anyone can build their own heating solution powered by a renewable resource.
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155 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars $40?, September 8, 2007
This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
A quick google search will get you this book direct from the author for $15+$ shipping. Or online in pdf for $10.

Enjoy!
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Impressive Improvement on a Great Book - Buy This Book!, September 5, 2006
This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
A couple of years ago I was intrigued by the idea of building a rocket stove after reading about them in Ianto Evans' The Hand Sculpted House. When I read the first little rocket stove book I was very impressed. This second edition with a brand new title is even better! The old edition was written in a clear and comfortable way that made a novice like me feel like I could build one competently. This edition has far more text, new applications for the technology, and has excellent color photos and many more illustrations. The details are much clearer. I'm thoroughly enjoying the rocket stove/cob bench now in my office. If you're interested in natural building, saving resources (including money) this book is a must have.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming and dated, July 8, 2012
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This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
After getting my Rocket Mass Heater book in the mail, I quickly opened it up to find that it is by now far surpassed by more current information available on the web. A current site called 'I will try' provides better graphic representations of the end product. Though more on the engineering side, it definitely stays away from the earthy save the world environmentalist leanings. Additionally, other sites show rocket heater models that are clearly more aesthetically contemporary.

The book alludes to a pilot hole but leaves a gap there. There is another reference to the pilot being associated with a post incinerator clean-out incorporated in addition to the one in the fire box. Does it help with draft? Does it help post chamber combustion? Not clear.

It is really a tiny book that can be skimmed in 7-10 minutes. Graphics are a bit too comic bookish. It just needs to be updated to present more sophisticated presentation and transfer of information.

It is a good primer but you are quickly left wanting to hear the rest of the story.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book!!!, January 21, 2008
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This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
most fun book I have ever bought! ordered the book, had it two days later with a handwritten note from the author. read it 5 or 6 times in 2 days, then built a test stove in the front yard in about an hour. My kids and I were shouting and dancing as it started roaring and shooting clean hot air out the top! COMPLETE COMBUSTION! its was great! We may never build one in the house, but we sure learned a lot about combustion, and heating options. I would highly recomend it, even just as a interesting read!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cover to Cover, April 14, 2008
This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
I read this book cover to cover and it was an excellent read for a DIY'er such as me. I purchased the book based upon my interest in the subject of comfort heating and the title. It was fun to read about the successes and pitfalls of those who have built this type of heater. Unfortunately, where I live in Southern California wood burning in fire places and heaters has been banned by the Air Quality Management District. So clearly something like this would have to be a bootleg project as you couldn't get a building permit for it. But then again some things are worth doing and this project would be one of them. I think it would be great for a future home or a cabin. However, I wouldn't be willing to modify my current home to install on.

The book itself was very informative and I believe it accomplishes its purpose to inform and inspire someone to tackle a project such as this if you have an interest in such things. Some of the drawings were a little quirky and I realize there is no exact science to it yet that can be referred to. However, for those willing to take the time and tinker with the project I think it will work well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars rocket mass heaters, May 27, 2013
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This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
If your looking for a step by step, diy, how to guide this book is not for you! It is filled with ideas more then anything else. Just do your research on youtube you'll be much farther ahead. And this book sold for 18 dollars new, I would be willing to pay twice that much if the authors would have included some actual plans.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT INFORMATIVE BOOK, September 27, 2006
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This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
I gotta subtract one star because I had such high hopes for actually building the stove and this stove is not for me.

The book is very informative, has some good photos and easily explains the step-by-step process to build the stove.

This would be a great stove for a person who has no other commitments in his life. I suppose all wood stoves are to some extent labor intensive, but the Rocket Stove seems to require a significant time investment to monitor, stoke and clean. The are significant savings to be had(money and wood used) here if you have the time.

I may build the Rocket Stove hot tub.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book for Do It Yourself Types, August 11, 2011
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This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
The Rocket heater is an interesting concept, fairly well presented in the book.

This type of heater is not for everyone, and the authors describe the pros and cons of this type of heater well enough that one should be able to decide if this type heater is useful for their application.

This is very much a handbook for a work in progress-- a do it yourselfer can typically build one of these heaters, but don't try to hand off construction to the typical hired mason, it is not that type of book.

The illustrations and pictures adequately present the concepts-- one illustration that would be helpful to add is a 3D projection drawing, which would work better than parsing several 2D drawings to get the feel of the in-the-round barrel contra flow of the exhaust smoke traveling up from the inner stack and down the sides.

I'd like to build a Rocket mass heater... but the people I live with don't seem to like a work in progress 55 gallon drum rocket stove for heating a house (the heater installed instead will be a conventional Finnish mass masonry heater, at considerably more expense).

Overall the book is a worthwhile text on a heater option that may work for those who are willing and able to build their own. Even if you don't build one, you learn something new-- always a good thing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little short on exact dimensions, November 29, 2013
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This review is from: Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build (Paperback)
I wish it had more information, like how about exact measurements for a small test design. Something like the burn tunnel should be sixteen inches long and the height of the heat riser should be X. It just left me wishing for more information.
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Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build
Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build by Ianto Evans (Paperback - April 1, 2006)
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