A Rocket Heater for an Old Farmhouse

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At the end of August 2018 ten of us descended on Ryann and Joy's house near Gettysburg, PA, USA for a weekend workshop of mud and rockety goodness. Even with a couple big old wood stoves their place has been difficult and expensive to heat. A living room (former garage) with a cold concrete floor and good circulation with the rest of the house has proved to be an ideal place for a rocket heater. We couldn't find anyone willing to deliver the sandy clay we needed so we rented an excavator and dug it out of the yard. My upright mortar mixer barely fits in the back of my Prius but it was big enough to keep up with our demand for mud. We used old bricks as a form, building the walls of the bench with them and then filling in behind them with sloppy cob, which speeds things up quite a bit. Even though it was hot outside we fired the rocket to help dry it as we went. We did end up having to go swimming to cool off but it was all great fun. Ryan and Joy report that it is keeping them toasty warm with a fraction of the wood they were using before. --Mud