Relaxshax's Blog

Shedworking/shed-workshop in the snow…and a VEGETABLE HEATER UPDATE/Correction
December 19, 2010, 8:53 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Saw this one over on Alex Johnson’s 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


5 Comments so far
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How about a compost heated water system that also heated your little house by running pipes where you wanted the warmth? Very safe.

Comment by ginnee

yeah- you’d need a ton of compost though- and a consistent supply….not out of the question though. I had a post a little ways back on a 500 shower composting-set-up….so it is do-able….thanks ginnee

Comment by relaxshax

I’m playin with a tent stove in the micro homestead if you want to see the progress it’s doable also a boat stove small but spendy.I’m a little geeky about small wood heaters and cooking devices I like the micro sustainability aspect of them like composting toilets apropriate technologly 🙂

Comment by kevinsmicrohomestead

P.S. I really like the 500 shower composter to cool .

Comment by kevinsmicrohomestead

I also have a “Nordic Stove” in my VT cabin- it runs on gravity-fed #2 Kero- I should shoot a vid on that at some point- its TINY….and you can cook on the top of it….I just gotta tweak it next time I’m up there..

Comment by relaxshax

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