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Saw this one over on Alex Johnson’s http://www.shedworking.co.uk which is a great site for sheddin’, tiny guest houses, and more. He’s also the author of a cool book by the same name, and he (input/interview) wise will be part of my new book- now DONE- and coming out Fall 2011 through The Lyons Press.
Also, update-wise, on the Vegetable Oil Heater– after going back and forth in my head on some revised designs I had, I don’t think I’m going to include it (the sketch and designs) in the next book. With the design being based around fire, I just don’t want anyone miscalculating, doing something stupid, and getting hurt. I also was messin’ around with the design some more the other day, and to up the heat factor, I added a multi-wick apparatus to the burn chamber. Well, the result was that things worked TOO well, got too hot, and the small dish of olive oil, much like a grease fire, ignited, and NOT just the 4 wicks. Since the chamber and heater’s body was built well enough, this didn’t pose a problem and I simply let the fuel/oil burn itself out- but in a situation where the design has been misbuilt, or left unattended, I fear someone might get hurt- even if all at their own risk- as you/they had already been warned. I have a large, thorough warning on the design-page in the old book, but still…I just want to get the word out there, even though my design should clearly/hopefully be construed as experimental. We’ll have more on this, and perhaps a corrected video real soon.
A contained-oil chamber (unexposed to the flame) might be the answer- I’m also messing with building a taller burn chamber so that if the oil catches and the fire is bigger/stronger than anticipated, you still won’t be overheating the “roof” and flue of your little heater.
Tent stoves- some of them as as cheap as $80- still seem the best option for me- OR, a few candles within this existing burn chamber/design- you’d be surprised at how much heat just a few candles give off.
All in all, the main thing to keep in mind is safety. And ALWAYS have a carbon monoxide detector on hand- with WORKING batteries- always check em!
-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
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