An Evening In The Cob Studio.

David's picture

My what warm weather we are having! So far, all winter long it has been pretty mild. Not a whole lot of snow and just a handful of cold snaps. I'm not complaining at all, but I'm just not so sure it's a good thing to have such strange weather. Generally, after February is when things start warming up. It's either going to be an extra early Spring, or a really late Winter. But since the weather was especially mild today, Phoenix and I decided to head out to the cob studio and get working on the flooring.

I went ahead and decided to keep going with the old hardwood flooring. I did, however, begin to install it with the paint side down. The first few sticks were laid down with the paint side up. I put these in a while back and decided to just leave them as they were. Without any interior walls in this studio, there is nothing that designates 'room' usage (ie. bedroom; dining; kitchen). Of course room designation isn't at all necessary, but the paint at the kitchen area may serve as a visual space divider.

So down they went. Along with the flooring, I also put the insulation in the floor. Just some straw packed underneath the flooring, between the floor joists. I'd lay down about 6 sticks of flooring and then pack in some insulation, and do another six. While I was working on this, Phoenix was watching a movie in the loft. It was all working out pretty well up until Phoenix fell asleep. She was clothed pretty warmly, and snuggled down in her fuzzy chair so I could see how easy it would be to doze off, even if it was 0 Deg.C. But with her asleep, I couldn't go to the barn and get some more flooring, which put an end to my progress on the floor. So I went on ahead and got to installing the pocket rocket.

It wasn't much of an 'install' really. I just set the table down, put the stove on top, connected the flue pipe together, and ran it out the loft window. But it was all ready to go. I had seasoned the stove a few days ago by rubbing it down with oil. I'll probably have to do this each time I light the stove, at least until it gets fully seasoned. Heck, it may not even last that long. I also had purchased a couple of 4" aluminum ducting. Yeah, it's aluminum, but they are at the tail end of the flue so hopefully at that height, they won't get hot enough to melt. The flue terminated just outside the window, so I'll need to get one more to really put it where it needs to go.

Just as I was cleaning up, Phoenix woke up and it was time to go inside the house. I really wanted to get the flooring completed, but maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, Patricia had gotten home from work, and I showed her my progress. She was pretty excited, and liked how it looked. So much so that she insisted on eating supper in the cob studio. I didn't need any coaxing on that notion, and was equally eager to fire up the pocket rocket. With the addition of the two lengths of ducting, I wasn't sure if it would still draft in the correct direction. And there was no better time than the present to find out.

We brought our food inside, along with a few candles, a small portable lamp and a bucket of kindling/wood. I used the same method as the last time I lit it. I packed in some birch bark, through the feed tube and directly under the flue pipe. And with a quick touch of a match, it was ablaze. I threw in some wood shavings, some thin kindling, and then some larger pieces of wood. I can see why it's called a rocket, because the sound the fire makes as it gets pulled down, over and up, is very much like a rocket. And I'll tell you what, I have never had such a quick light with the more conventional type wood stove. This thing took off and never looked back. Immediately, the heat was pouring out. And to my relief, the smoke went straight up the flue and out the building. With the fire roaring at our backs, we sat and ate a nice meal in our little cob studio for the first time. It was very nice.

Now, the studio never really heated up. But I never expected it to because there are still too many openings in the walls to hold the heat. It was nice and toasty next to the cherry red bucket, but at about half way through the room you could start making rings with your breath. But even so, I have no worries that this little unit, once the walls are all sealed up, could adequately heat this studio. I also need to add one more length of flue and a spark arrester. As it sits now, it is just to close to the roof over hang for me. And I noticed a number of sparks bursting into the air.

Here are a few pictures of the pocket rocket and flooring. Enjoy!


Rick's picture

Looks pretty cozy in there!

How fast do you think it will heat up the entire room once all the sealing is done?

By Rick
David's picture

I imagine it will heat up pretty quick. The bucket was glowing red and was putting out loads of heat, and the space is pretty small. The rocket definitely needs something around it to absorb the heat though. The heat was almost instant, but it cooled off pretty dang fast too once the fire died down. I stacked a few masonry bricks around the bucket to help hold some heat, but I haven't tested them yet. I'm also thinking of adding a 'cooking' surface to the bucket. As it sits now, all it can do is produce heat. With a cooking surface, I may be able to heat/boil water with it. Heck, maybe even cook on it if I can make that work.

But yeah, with all the openings in the building, even if we had the fire burning all day, I don't think it would get at all warm on the opposite side of the room.

By David