If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work,
and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
Resources abound for rocket mass heater info: There are at least half-a-dozen forums in the English language and every other day I hear about a forum in another language…okay not that often, but people are talking out there. And because of their experimental, innovators nature, the best way to learn to build one is to play along. We highly recommend getting to sit on the bench of an RMH while it is purring away, experience its heat first-hand (or whatever part is touching it). Then too, a hands-on workshop, or a side-by-side build with a friend can’t be beat for really Gettting what is described in the book. Drop-down menu items here offer further wormholes for your researching pleasure.
Max Edelson, of Firespeaking, who is a craftsman-extraordinaire, a masonry stove builder, and quite versed in natural building, has been bringing the concept of rocket mass heaters to the Masonry Heaters Association, which is a well-honored organization of masonry stove builders. These are tradespeople steeped in a tradition of fire and art and craft. They love their traditions and their practices, so it takes a gentle yet ship-smart spirit like Max to walk in with a $150 stove idea that they actually perked up their ears to hear about! Recently Max went to the meeting of the MHA with Lasse Holmes, another fine craftsman, natural builder, beer brewer, and rocket mass heater builder, and together they introduced Lasse’s “Alaska-style stove.” Here is Max. Visit the MHA’s site for a wealth of knowledge.
Collaboration between Rocketeers and the Masonry Heaters Association continue. Lasse Holmes and Michael Salzman led the construction of a version of the Alaska Stove, which is detailed in Lasse’s contribution to the new edition of the book. The build was spontaneous and the design evolved from the “engine,” the side-loading, batch-style firebox that Lasse has adapted from Peter van den Berg’s work. (Peter’s also featured with a Case Study in the book, and goes by “peterberg” on Kirk Mobert’s forum.) Given the need to then connect to a down-draft and into a bench, Lasse and Max improvised the idea to use a cast iron cook top. This turned into a really nice design…. some great crepes were added to the menu of the annual pizza party. Click here for photos of this Alaska-style Rocket Mass Heater with Cooktop and Bench.