Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:33 am

Ha ha, no, no church for me. I'm just here on my own.

We have been saving time by not screening the clay. It's very pure already and letting it soak for 5 minutes gets it mixable. It took some time at first to get good measurements for how much water to add to how much material, but now that we have some many cores made we have it down to a science. We also seem to be able to make a slightly wetter mixture than I'm used to back home which is great because it makes mixing and packing easier.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby hpmer » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:10 pm

I just barely cover the clay in my bucket with the water and then use that combined mix as my "clay" unit when adding ash, etc. So my 5:1 mix is 5 units of dry ash to 1 unit of waterlogged clay. So technically it is even more than that since I add 2 units of water to the watered down clay to turn it into a clay slip before adding the ash.

I'm with you on the wetter mixture. It does take longer to dry out but is so much easier to mix and pack. In a test I did, I added water to a container of ash and the compression was only 20% or so when fully saturated, so i don't think it negatively affects the mix if a bit too much water is added and, since it makes things so much easier to work with, it was an easy decision for me.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:00 pm

Now that we have our materials and measures figured out, we add water to the clay, let it sit for 10 minutes or so (drink some tea) and mix it, then add the ash and have a final product. Even the ash has some stray bits of charcoal still in it. There will also be stray leaves or grass but it’s holding up well. We’re on a roll now with two different crews of locals making a stove every 3 days. 1 ½ rice bags of ash and 1 ½ rice bags of clay make a core from 10 tomato sauce cans, a square form for the core, and a small drum that has been slit down the side and is held together with banding wire as a form for the riser; the forms totally reusable (aside from the cans). The guys have taken several orders for stoves now and are building quickly. Totally awesome. It’s like the cans and the drum are meant to make rockets because they are the perfect size. Next week the crew is going to another village and planning to build a stove there, and they also have a request for a stove from way up north from a guy who was visiting.

Here is what has turned into our basic stove for the people here:
Image
Probably not the best picture but you get the idea. That bigger pot actually fits the well on the right and there is another smaller diameter but deeper pot that fits the left hole directly above the heat riser. This is a can stove as described as above, with mud blocks forming the side walls, cemented with clay/sand. It was dug into the ground about 15cm because the women like to sit low when they cook. You can see how the kitchen there is pretty primitive and the walls are smoked out from decades of open fires.

I met Peace Corps volunteer from the other side of the country deep in the bush and he is pretty stoked about the stoves too. He’s a medical worker and definitely seeing the effects of life-long open fire cooking on the lungs of the people in his village. He has even less access to materials than we do but pretty optimistic that something can work.

There’s a few of us still working on the beast. We had the massive oven built and I jumped the gun on letting it dry properly and it collapsed on us. Upon further inspection, the failure was actually the base supporting the oven. The cob was applied vertically onto the heatriser instead of packing layers horizontally and building up. That area slumped and the oven went with it. Oh well, that’s the beauty of building with earth- we’ll put it back up tomorrow.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby hpmer » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:28 pm

Orders for more stoves ?!?!? That's great. I hope you get some sort of commission on each sale, you know like an intellectual property right or something :)
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby matt walker » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:33 pm

So, so great Manny. That photo of the cook stove, man, that makes my month!! Good job man.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby hpmer » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:38 pm

So, are the locals noticing a decrease in the amount of fuel they are using to do their typical tasks? I suppose less/no smoke is benefit enough, but I'll bet they're happy to be burning less wood, too.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby Bobwieser » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:02 pm

Nice job there Manny, you are improving the lives of many with all of your work and passing on your knowledge of rockets. I hope you have the resources there for some home brew for the end of the day.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:55 pm

hpmer wrote:Orders for more stoves ?!?!? That's great. I hope you get some sort of commission on each sale, you know like an intellectual property right or something :)


Yes, I am getting a commission of 1 grain of rice for each stove. I've gotten a great advance in my commission in the form of 3 meals a day! :lol:
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:20 pm

Thanks for the support again, guys. This really is an awesome project in so many ways. All I'm really doing with the rockets is teaching some basic ideas which have been developed through the community on this forum and a couple others... Nothing innovative in my work really, so thanks to everyone that is building and contributing in the forum.

Hpmer, I have a comprehensive forestry component going as part of this project, and yeah they are for sure noticing a major decrease in wood usage, not to mention the ability to use more scrap wood and palm leaves rather than major hardwood. What's funny is that this is really secondary- the thing that really has the people sold on these things are that the cook food so quickly compared to open fires and the fact that we use a form to arrive at a final product that is less crude and somewhat square and finished. The cultural components are so important.

Bob, they make palm wine here fresh every day. On the first day it is pretty mild and rather bad and by three days it's clean and dangerous. I take what I can get but the second day stuff is alright!
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:34 pm

Here are a couple of our latest works in progress:
Image

A larger one with a "griddle in the middle" should be finished tomorrow. Just need to plaster it and build up the chimney:
Image

And the behemoth oven rebuilt, slowly drying out. Three pots, a griddle, and a 3' x 4' institutional black oven:
Image
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