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Rocket Mass Heaters -aka- Rocket Stoves

Superefficient, Ultra Low Emission Woodstoves You Can Build Yourself

Ianto Evans, Leslie Jackson

Summary: Superefficient, ultra low emmission wood fired heaters you can build for yourself in a weekend for less than a hundred dollars.

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Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson, Cob Cottage Company. 3rd Edition, 2014. 7x10, 120 pages. ISBN 0966373847. $10.00 download from



Here is a superefficient wood fired heater you can build for yourself in a weekend for less than a hundred dollars. This book explains in detail exactly how to build one, then how to use it in a range of applications.

We discuss materials: where to find them, what to pay and how to make use of found and recycled parts. The section on fire and fuels is thorough but simple; we tried to keep away from numbers wherever possible.

There are success stories, case studies, references and where to find further information, all heavily illustrated. Home heating can be expensive both in capital equipment and in running costs. If we heat by gas, oil or electricity we are supporting a big corporation and impoverishing ourselves.

By building an extra efficient heating system you will be one more big step off the treadmill and your move to self-sufficiency and true wealth. Good luck with your stove!

—From the Introduction by Ianto Evans


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Publisher's Review

This little book is about a revolutionary concept in wood burning stoves that ensures almost completely clean combustion with high efficiency use of the heat produced. Rocket Stoves are still experimental in that probably fewer than a hundred were in regular use by early 2004, but some have performed well, daily, for more than a decade.

They save a lot of fuel, and completely rearrange our concepts of house heating, of wood burning, and of dependency on coal, oil, hydro or nuclear power for our comfort. Rocket Stoves can be built at home by relatively unskilled people. Rocket Stoves are the ultimate in efficiency, reducing wood to carbon dioxide and water vapor, with a little ash. Coupled with heat storage in a cob bench bed or floor they provide gentle heat for up to two days without an all night smoldering fire that poisons the neighbors and heats mainly the sky. They are quite safe for small children as there are no dangerously hot surfaces.

Rocket stoves work by burning wood in a completely new way then providing almost all their heat for cooking, toasting, baking, or heating water or people. They keep you snug. Previously unskilled people can build them of local and recycled materials at almost no cost. Rocket Stoves incorporate the heat storage of a $10,000 mass stove, the convenience of a woodfired cookstove, the efficiency of a pellet furnace and limitless flexibility in design, all without moving parts, fans or motors. Here, for the first time, is published the story of the Rocket Stove, with theories and detailed descriptions and illustrations of how we and some of our friends have built successful models.

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The Authors

Ianto Evans

Ianto Evans is an applied ecologist, landscape architect, inventor, writer and teacher, with building experience on six continents. He teaches ecological building and has consulted to USAID, World Bank, US Peace Corps and several foreign governments on improved cook stoves, fuel supplies and kitchen technology. Ianto developed the Lorena stove in the 1970¹s in Guatemala‹the first really successful widespread self-help cook stove. He has thirty years experience with research promoting and building woodfired stoves. He was a founder of Aprovecho Institute, Cob Cottage Company and the North American School of Natural Building.

Leslie Jackson

Leslie Jackson is a natural builder, an educator and a musician. She is an independent publisher, helping writers by playing several roles (from collaborator to editor and from coordinator to layout designer) in order to see a book evolve from the dream to the shelf. Between book projects, she gives workshops in Rocket Stoves and natural building subjects and consults for the local natural building community. Leslie lives at the juncture between high and low tech in Oakland, Ca.



See also: put together a collection of photos, videos and other helpful information about the workings of this technology.


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Keywords: Wood heat, natural building, Ianto Evans, plaster, adobe, earth, mass stove, barro, chiminea