We are very lucky to have a son and father team here at Wild Gardens that can make just about anything! It doesn't hurt that both of them are artists and general contractors with mad skills. Julian, Madrona and I are leaving in two days to go the eastside of the Cascades for Thanksgiving camping trip...in the snow. Julian is an elk hunter and I am wilderness guide/ethnobotanist who desperately needs a break from the regular routine. Last year Julian was out in VERY cold conditions and thought this year we would go with luxury. Also, we have our 6 year old daughter with us that we would like to prevent turning into a popsicle. For the last couple of weeks I have listened to mysterious machines out behind our house and would occasional see sparks and bright flashes of light…what was he up too?
Of course I already knew but it was fun to see him in his mad scientist creator mode. When Julian and his dad Chris start a project, there is very little that will stop them. He created this beautiful multi-functional rocket stove out of almost all recycled items. Julian's grandfather, Nick Iacobazzi, who was a ship welder who taught Julian to weld when he was a child-so he affectionately named the stove "Nick". Julian feels that his Nono was there is spirit to help him build it.
A rocket stove is a special stove that burns 70% more efficient than a regular wood stove and burns with significantly less smoke.
Julian used a welder, angle grinder and plasma cutter for this project. He says you don't need an plasma cutter but it makes it go much faster
Here are some of it’s many features:
The stove bodies (upper and lower) are made out of an old air compressor tanks. There are also telescoping racks for drying clothes and other wet things on.
One of the most artistic parts of this stove is the handle on the feeder body part of the stove...made from a shotgun handle! Also, below you may notice a warming platform which was made out of steel plates for food and drinks.
One of Julian's most creative part of this stove is the way he dealt with heat coming off the bottom of the stove. We will have this in a expedition tent and do not want heat to be wasted when its in the low 20's. He created a stove to use the excess heat coming off the 'rocket part of the stove to create an oven. The handle of the oven was a spare open-end wrench that Julian had in his vast collection of tools.
One of the last but VERY useful features is the general shape and size of the top of the stove. Its perfect for a pot, frying pan and can boil water very quickly. We are very excited to use this on our trip and will share more pictures in this article when we get back!