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Thread: Simple Homestead Construction Methods

  1. #41
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Do you use firebricks or anything inside to keep from burning out the barrel?


  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Do you use firebricks or anything inside to keep from burning out the barrel?
    No I don't, but if you figure to have that barrel stove a long time they make some that are much thicker. You can tell them by the seem at top of barrel. The seam is about a half inch thick. I have never had one of those barrels burn out.

  3. #43
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    that's a nifty stove, have ya ever installed a baffle inside the stove?

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by randyt View Post
    that's a nifty stove, have ya ever installed a baffle inside the stove?
    No. I have used the double barrel stack robbers but when I was disappointed in the heat production I installed a second door in top barrel and had a great oven/smoker.

  5. #45
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    i've often wondered how well those double kits worked, don't sound like it's to good. great smoker though.

    i have heard that a baffle installed helps a lot with efficiency.

    i have a old oil barrel that i'm planning on making into a stove. i'd like to make a upright so it's more like a potbelly stove. this barrel is a little different than most, on the top it's stamped standard oil and marked 56 gallons, there's no ribs. the shape is just like a oak whiskey barrel except steel. that and the darn thing is galvanized, i'll just burn it off before using inside.

  6. #46

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    That's cool. I'm looking into something cheap and contained to use wood to boil down sap next spring. We are not allowed open fires, but an outside stove would be acceptable.

  7. #47
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    i was planning on tapping trees this spring but it got away from me and before i knew i wasn't ready. i'll be ready next year. i plan on using a 55 gallon drum for a sap boiling stove. i'm gonna lay the barrel on its side kinda dug into the ground a bit. i'll cut a door in one end, more or less just a opening, probably won't have a door.then on top which is really the side i'm gonna cut the side off so my sap tray will lay on top of the side. if my sap tray is 16 " wide i'll measure up on the side so when i cut it it'll be narrower than the sap tray. this will also put the sap tray in direct contact with the fire. i'm not gonna cut the entire side off. i'll leave 10 inches or so intact for a stove pipe. hope i explained it right. around here i can buy a barrel for 5 to 10 dollars so i wont have much in the cooker. i have a partial sheet of ss that i will fold up into a boiling tray. now i just need to get after it so i'll have it ready for next year.

  8. #48
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    AS, cool stove.
    Barrel stoves were a "must have" for 70's- 80's homesteaders.
    I think it was a matter of pride, ya know, like, "I did this stove for $30 bucks!"

    I built one and used it briefly, then sold it when I found a Box stove for the garage/shop.

    I found that they burned a lot of fuel, was either very hot and cooled down fast, tough to control.
    Vent damper in the pipe works pretty well, as well as a draft adjustment on the front.

    I see that in the pic. this must be a different kit, (more expensive?) as it does have draft control and clean out door. Early ones didn't have either.

    A layer of sand in the bottom helps with burn/rust out.
    An iron grate added also helps lift up the wood and help draft as well. ( I added one to my box stove, have burned down two in about 20 years)

    Seems that if you don't use the stove for a while, and don't have the ash cleaned out it, draws moisture and will rust out sides and bottom after it has been heated and re-heated.

    Have seen a couple that had a flat plate, cut in and welded on the top, so as to be used for a cooking surface.

    The maple syrup cookers some were also built out of a 200gal oil tank laid on it's side.

    As far as a viable stove, they still are very useful and good alternative to a $1500+ stove, and well worth the money.
    If the drum does burn out the fixtures are still re usable on several more drums.
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  9. #49

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    Agreed, they are not efficient compared to air tights but like you said they don't cost 1500 dollars either. Another advantage to them is when I have been ready to upgrade I have never had any problem selling them for 200 dollars. 4 times what I have into them compared to getting much less than what I paid for better stoves when I sold them. Which brings me to another point. I adhere to the economic principals of "The Richest Man in Babylon". It is about accumulating wealth. As far as I'm concerned it is the path to economic success for the homesteader.
    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 03-27-2010 at 04:08 PM.

  10. #50
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Well, it does beat the alternative of not being able to afford anything.

  11. #51
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    yea i can see that afford issue. buy a airtite and not being able to buy any thing else. but with a barrel stove there's money left over for a chainsaw, a mosin nagant, a case of ammo, etc. i'd stick with the barrel stove.

  12. #52
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Ah, yes but never give up an opportunity to up grade, and make a little cash at the same time.
    Then yiu can have all that stuff, and the $1500 stove as well.
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  13. #53

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    SETTING BLOCK WITHOUT MORTAR

    The strength of block walls is in the bond beams (Cores filled with concrete and steel) not so much the block or mortar joints. I decided to set these block without mortar because I was going to fill each core for strength that bind each block in place and seal the wall with concrete to waterproof it anyway but method is simple enough for those without previous experience.

    Corner blocks are set in place and square of building is checked measuring cross corner.

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    As walls go up you will need to check with level to keep walls straight.

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    These small pieces of wood hold string line that is stretched from corner to corner to use as a guide to set blocks. Any place that sells block or concrete have them.

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    Using string line as guide set block close to it but not touching, that will push string line out making wall bow out when block is set to it. Also note gap between blocks. If blocks are set tight the corners will not work out and it is needed for a full 16 inch measurement the same as if using mortar.

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    I use a small hammer to knock off imperfections in block so it sets squarely in place.

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    Wall may begin to get wobbly depending on height of wall in which case I just fill some of the cores with concrete that bind the block together. Note that I am not filling the cores with the steel. I wait to pour them all at once prevent cold joints in reinforced bond beams.

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    The walls are then sealed with just a mixture of sand and cement for waterproofing. Less porous than block.

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    This project is going to be my root cellar with a sunken solar green house above it. It will be 12 feet in the ground when finished. I you live in area that requires building codes there are surface bonding additives that are simply strands of fiberglass you mix with sand and cement to spread outside wall. This binds loose block since foundation codes only call for a bond beam every 2’ 6”. Filling each core I did not need it.
    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 04-25-2011 at 01:31 PM.

  14. #54
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    very interesting. keep it coming.

  15. #55
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    What's the difference cost vs strength between the method you used and a poured concrete wall? It appears you poured the slab and footers. I would think setting forms vs. laying block would be a wash time wise. I don't think I've ever seen blocks set dry like that. I can't say I've seen bond seams used either.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    What's the difference cost vs strength between the method you used and a poured concrete wall? It appears you poured the slab and footers. I would think setting forms vs. laying block would be a wash time wise. I don't think I've ever seen blocks set dry like that. I can't say I've seen bond seams used either.
    Poured walls would be stonger at equal width and equal amounts of steel. The real question is block set with steel on 2 foot centers strong enough? Yes, I built my house next to it using conventional methods, mortar and codes, this is much stronger because I am going 4 feet deeper in the ground and I am using the wall as a heat sink. I have pictures of that but this post is about keeping it simple. Cost has to many variables depending on how much you do yourself? Are you making your own block? How much rock are you putting in forms? What you are missing is the manpower and equipment requirements. Note the only tools are a small mixer and a string line and for manpower just one old man with a bad back. This is a method for homesteaders that lack experience, manpower and equipment. Not filling cores with reinforcement is why places like Haiti are devistated by earth quakes. Most cores are filled at 2' 6" in the US. There are products like Q-bond which is for dry stacking and surface bonding block if you have the extra money and dealing with codes. This is a legitimate building method and the simplest one I have used.
    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 03-28-2010 at 10:11 AM.

  17. #57
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm not questioning your methods. I'm just interested in how they compare. You said earlier you have spent time working concrete so I figured you would know. Whether the mortar method is used here because of code or more out of tradition I can't tell you but I've never seen the method you used so I learned something really good today and I thank you for that. I'm just trying to understand.

  18. #58
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    AS - Is your re bar embedded in the foundation?
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  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    AS - Is your re bar embedded in the foundation?
    2 foot uprights are stabbed into footing while it is wet and then after block is set the steel for block is set in place. Rebar usually has 18 inch overlap to join it.

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Oh, I'm not questioning your methods. I'm just interested in how they compare. You said earlier you have spent time working concrete so I figured you would know. Whether the mortar method is used here because of code or more out of tradition I can't tell you but I've never seen the method you used so I learned something really good today and I thank you for that. I'm just trying to understand.
    It's just another way. Heres the store bought stuff.

    http://www.sakrete.com/products/prod...eBondingCement

    Mortar is better for larger jobs because it can stack higher before grouting.
    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 03-29-2010 at 12:15 AM.

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