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on February 1, 2014
If... and I mean if... you were as scared by this year's storms as I was, then you need this book... we use propane, which went to $4.19 a gallon this week. But seriously, what good is a full tank of Propane when the damn furnace runs on electricity? And several people were without that for a while, all over this country, and in places that usually don't lose power? Also, the cold damn near crippled us across the US. Walmarts were stripped bare several times in the last 3 months, and we have Tornado season, (Spring and Fall), always just around the corner... I have built several rocket mass heaters for backups, and this Spring will be retro-fitting my home, (house, garage, and barn each), with the house unit being installed in the basement for when the storms get worse, and they will. I highly recommend the YouTube videos by "Erica and Ernie Wisner" about "Fire" and "Rocket Mass Heaters" as well, if only to complete the necessary information and working details that are necessary to update the information in this book, but you CAN use the book to make a working unit, even if it's you first time! Trust your feelings Luke, but do the extra research! Have fun, be safe! Make sure to check out the vids for Rocket Mass Heater fails as well, it ALWAYS comes back to someone trying to make one out of all metel, and they never work. Firebrick for the inside is the way to go... just saying.
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on August 11, 2011
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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on March 17, 2013
This is a neat idea. However, a homemade rocket mass heater is a personal creation and not many people will go to the trouble. Also some people, while they may like the efficiency of the design, may not like the space it requires or the looks of it. If the core of this design was commercially available, more people would be interested in having one including me. Little mention is made about cleanout. I have an outdoor wood-burning furnace and I regularly must clean out the creosote buildup. The book makes no mention of creosote which is present in all wood and condenses out of the exhaust gases. Creosote can be in the form of liquid, solid, and ash (all different forms at the same time in various parts of trhe exhaust system...a big problem, especially in a long exhaust system, as in this design). I suspect that the creosote problem is the elephant in the room that limits the use of this design.
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on November 29, 2013
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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on March 20, 2014
I now heat my 800 square foot, three car garage on scrap tree limbs I pick up from the wood line behind my home. This 20x40 foot garage stays nice and warm during the winter on just two loads of scrap in my pickup truck. Well written and easy to understand. Easily built from "junk" scrap and minimal purchase from hardware store. Excellent information and illustrations.
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on October 22, 2011
For anyone who wants to learn about one of the most economical , efficient ,non-polluting methods of Heat and Cooking -Rocket Stoves is the Future here now to build and use. These Authors have online groups to get advice and even class gatherings , since these books came out small manufacturers have produced these and now available to buy online even. I plan to use one in a greenhouse with pex pipes in gravel floor with water heated from a Rocket Stove or piped in floor exhaust , which is about 95% steam ! So investigate and enjoy putting in a few pieces of wood or other and sleep thru the night -yes amazing and still not known well .
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on October 3, 2012
There was enough in here, that, alongside videos and experimentation and common sense, one is able to embark on the trip! I've now made part of my prototype in the garage, and am gathering the items I need to go on to the fully fledged dude in the house. The design is one of many, and I have seen all sorts online, but the drawbacks are clearly laid out, and the book fairly systematically takes you through as much of what is effectively an organic and personal process for each individual person & house (you learn as you go along, and your design is unique to you, and to the materials you gather, and the way you pet 'em together.) Hence the book is not perfect technical writing, but enough of a hand-rail to give me the confidence to take a deep breath, start knocking holes through walls in our house, to start finding a way to fit it on top of parque floor, and more problems that are unique to our house. The dangers and pitfalls are also explored, and prevention is better than cure top tips are given to prevent problems down the line. There might be other better books out there, but I've spent enough on this one to not feel I need to buy another one, but to now just go for it, and make some mistakes.
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on October 9, 2012
Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves You can build is awesome. It is full of helpful information. It provides a good argument for living a little greener and more efficiently. I was impressed with the detailed instruction and helpful drawings. The pictures were inspirational too. The company behind the book is top-notch, very customer oriented, going beyond the necessity of the situation. I would not hesitate to buy any other product from this company/publisher.
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on October 22, 2009
This is an entertaining, well written book, funny in places, and informative. It tells you all about how to build a wood-fired room heater that happens to also be a couch or window seat. It is a little difficult for me to envision how I would integrate this into my current home, but in my case, the same could be said for a conventional woodstove or fireplace. If your brain isn't petrified yet, and you are still building your dreamhouse in your head, or you are just curious about alternative technology, I highly reccommend this book.
Roger
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on February 25, 2013
I have not used this book to build my own "Rocket Mass Heater" yet, but I love the concept and if I ever build a home or a get away cabin, I would want to incorporate this crude but valuable technology. If you want to be prepared for extended times without electricity, or if you just want to reduce your heating bills and be more self sufficient, then you need to read this book!
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