I have recently built three single-skin masonry heaters in Argentina using unfired bricks and would like to share some thoughts and an account of the experience.Â All three were based on the design presented by Alex Chernov at the 2012 MHA Annual Meeting at WildAcres, with minor modifications to accomodate brick sizes, hardware, and site considerations. I have spent the past 4 years living in the Patagonia region of Southern Argentina.Â Natural gas is cheap and widely distributed, but many people here, and in neighboring Chile, continue to live with wood fires as part of daily life for . . .
Jon and Flip Anderson have been working with Aprovecho Research Institute and building smokeless cookstoves in Haiti. They came up with this neat "rocket oven" design that answers some of the questions I get from folks about combining the dome oven design w/rocket technology. By simply using clay and organic matter and applying principles of mass and insulation they have created a beautiful, versatile, oven that can do significant baking w/very little fuel. For more about their work on developing business opportunities and helping with deforestation problems, goto www.RechoRoket.com. Here are . . .
Here's a little video showing the construction of a super-insulated restaurant oven. The "basket" design seems to be a pretty inexpensive and effective way to insulate -- not necessary for every oven, but for ones that really get regular use, I think it's worth it... It's a pretty big oven, too, so I opted for hand-made mud bricks instead of mud over a sand-form. For more details about the technique (including brick-making, as well as photos of how well the insulation protects the bamboo), there's an extensive post and pix about the Gathering Together Farm Oven, which was similarly (re)built. . . .