At Last! The Rocket Stove Construction Begins

Part One: The Mock Up

First of all, this whole idea we got from Ianto Evans, stove-master and co-founder of The Cob Cottage Company in Coquille, Oregon.

Here is where we begin. This is our mock-up furnace. It’s for an 8″ stove pipe system. After we mortar it together, we will up-end a 55-gallon steel drum over the stack.

It took a couple tries to get it just right.

We build a fire in the feed, or fire box and got air is drawn through the J-shaped chamber and up the flue.

The test fire

It will meet the barrel and be forced downward through the stove pipe, which will be embedded in “thermal batteries” where the heat will be held and slowly released.

Rockin heat

Thermal batteries will be formed into benches and a bed. I’m excited to say goodbye to cold sheets. But I get ahead of myself.


The Coffee Nook


Our first batch of cob for the season started the coffee nook. The large, opening, SSE-facing window will be set in a small wall of cob atop a salvaged marble sill. In front of that, a fir slab counter. The foot of the bed (nest-shaped and heated from the exhaust of the rocket stove) will serve as a bench. A”coffee rocket” will be built right into the wall next to the window. So, sliding out if bed for a cup of coffee is that: just a slink under the covers to emerge in the other side, light up the rocket, and grind the beans.

Foundations Rock!


Second Course, same as the first!

This is the lowest section of the foundation. We will step it up as we make our way around.

We rethought the earthen mortar idea and took good advice from Ianto Evans at The Cob Cottage Company (The Hand-sculpted House, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2002) and using 9 parts sand, 1 part Portland cement. We’d love to stay away from cement altogether, but neither of us has built a house before, so we’ll go with the novice approach.