The Deadwood Rocket Stove as a Convection Heater

By Beverly Sandlin

With heating bills skyrocketing I have cut back my thermostat and need an inexpensive auxiliary source of heat. When I was playing around with cooking on the Deadwood indoors, I decided to try making it into a convection heater like we posted a little while back.

I am unbelievable impressed with the Deadwood as a convection heater and have set it up in my living room on a semi-permanent basis – until spring – with Mylar reflective backing and beneath.

SAFETY FIRST!carbon monoxide detector

fire extinquishersI do have a carbon monoxide detector in the home – if you don’t have one, BUY ONE as people are killed every year by deadly, odorless, carbon monoxide fumes.

And I do have fire extinguishers at hand. Baking soda extinguishes fires too.

I set it up in a safe, out of the traffic pattern place where I can see it at all times – in front of the TV.

And to help radiate the heat outward I put up a Mylar sheet behind and under it.

deadwood in front of tv

So, these are the parts I used for my convection heater:

One cleaned out spaghetti can to get height.the parts

One cleaned out soup can for the rubbing alcohol plus 10 cotton balls fuel. I was using 70% rubbing alcohol, but Wyzyrd mentioned that there is 90% for only a few pennies more.

can for heaterOne mushroom can with both sides cut out.

A metal rod, long bolt, or whatever, thin enough to fit through the grate.

Two Terra cotta pots.

 

 

Assembly:

Get the fuel can ready to go and close grate.

fire

Slide metal down through the hole in the small terra cotta pot, through the grate and INTO the can of alcohol. That is what I did because it fit, but it could hang above, in or beside the fire can. The metal conducts the heat quickly, and plugs the hole of the first pot.

M step 1

You can then light the fire through the grate with the BBQ lighter.

M step 2

Now put the open ended mushroom can (or whatever you have that works (My top pot was so big I needed the lift.) on top of the small pot and set the big pot on it being sure to leave room for oxygen to get to the fire.

M step 3

Within two minutes I was not able to touch the outside pot! Heat was flowing out both from underneath it, radiating from around it, AND funneling directly out the hole on the top.

That gave me the idea that this could also act as a masonry heating unit. A masonry heater works by building up a hot fire quickly, heating the rock/masonry, letting the fire die out and letting the masonry radiate the stored heat. We have a post on an off grid rocket masonry heater HERE.

parts with masonry

So I put a terra cotta pot on top filled with rock (In my case, fossilized rock that I had in the garage.) and yes it worked! When the fire went out in 20 minutes, the rocks were hot and radiated warmth for several hours afterward! I put two candles in it and it heated for several hours, not as hot but very nice.

Masonry heater overview

How can I see improvements in the future? Because the metal on the stove gets very hot, I can see taking off the legs and building a little brick (fire brick – or OLD bricks – that is meant to be heated and reheated) enclosure around it because the metal would heat the brick. At that point it would be ready to heat at a moments notice AND you would have the option of cooking on it too. Ready for cold weather emergencies and removable in the warm months for camping, grilling outside, etc.

Again you want a safe for indoor use fuel like sterno, Cohglans Camp Heat, a Nuwick survival candle, fuel tablets, etc.  Check out our advertisers on the sidebar or if you go to Amazon please click through the sidebar emblem as Rourke will get a few cents and you won’t pay anymore.

But now for the cost of just one Deadwood Stove you have not only a rocket stove that you can use outdoors and camping that replaces a grill, but also a rocket indoor stove and heater! Pile bricks or rocks around it and you have a thermal mass heater. If you live in a fairly temperate climate, or a small space, for the cost of your choice of indoor fuel you could heat a small trailer house, cabin, or room for pocket change!

I am even more impressed now with my Deadwood Stove than when I first bought it with the added versatility – indoor cook stove and room heater! All self-contained and super safe!cast iron thermalmass

And, coming up, it even has the potential to produce up to 5 watts of electricity – enough to charge a cell phone.

This YouTube video was shared by GrammaMary. I tried it and it does work – with OLD cast iron. I first tried it with my newer Lodge cast iron and it just didn’t heat up. FYI if you add water it will add humidity to the air and not only make it feel warmer but also take out the “snaps” – static electricity.

 

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