FIRE ~ Rocket Stove & Earth Oven 2017

Rocket Stove - fired up!

The FIRE CLASS on JANUARY 27 & 28, 2018 will  be similar to this 2017 class !  

January  28 & 29, 2017  Sat 10a-5p   Sun 10-4p
Strawbale Studio, outside Oxford, Michigan USA   Instructor, Deanne Bednar

Do you love fire … and are curious about many different natural ways to heat and cook?  Especially interested in Rocket Stoves and Earth Ovens ?
Then this is the class for you ! 

This unique & practical workshop focuses on creating useful heat efficiently from local materials.  Fee includes a copy of the new edition of the Rocket Mass Heater Book, Tour buildings & Stoves on site, Hands-on experiences, Principles of construction, Code and more. This class is limited to 15 students so register now. See class agenda below.  Click on link to the Blog post and pics from last Rocket Stove Workshop !

Early Bird Special: $125 for both days if prepaid by Jan 15th.  $150 thereafter, with RSVP, if there is room.
One Day Price:  Saturday or Sunday only $80/$90 with RSVP. if there is room.
Some Worktrade Scholarships available.

 Bring a bag lunches.  Supper/breakfast provided if you stay overnight.


Tube on the left brings air underneath the pile. The 2 tubes on the right contain insulated pex tubes ~  hot supply and cold return.

Day 1  Arrive at 9:30 a.  Class starts at 10a.  See a Rocket Mass Heater, Rocket Mass Cooker, Hay Box Cooker, Rumford Fireplace and Pocket Rocket, the Earth Oven and the old Compost Furnace system,  Learn the principles of Rocket Stove construction. Q & A.    We will fire some of these stoves up, and discuss the principles of how they work and are constructed.  Then we will construct a mock up the combustion unit of a Rocket Stove, using bricks. You will learn to identify and locate appropriate soil and make earthen mortar and Cob used in the construction and shaping of the stoves and benches. Evening: a choice of Bonfire or browsing the Resource Library.

Day 2  Arrive 9:30a.  Class 10 – 5p  Get hands-on experience making and applying Cob, Finish Plaster and oils,  design & construct a Cob Model of a stove to take home, and watch the latest videos from Ernie & Erica, Rocket Stove experts.

AGENDA – Subject to Change

Day 1

Constructing a Mock-up of the Combustion Unit


Introductions – our interest and background in fire and rocket stoves. Distribute Handouts & Rocket Stove Books.  Insulative Cooking, overview. Start up the Rocket Stove, Tour of Fire Devices on the Land.
Evolution of fire efficiency and design.  Class on the Principles of Rocket Stoves and Code considerations.


Make Cob and Earth Mortar in the Red Shed, make small cob bricks. Discuss various applications of Rocket Stoves. Tour the Kids’ Cottage, see the Rocket Mass Heater under construction.
Build a Mock-up of the Rocket Stove Combustion Unit and fire it up.

Day 2 ~

DSCF5536 - Copy

Set up the Hay Box Insulative Cooker with food that will be ready for lunch.
Meet in the Red Shed. Keep Rocket Stove going. Review principles. Make cob and begin the sculpting of  a small model from mini bricks and cob to take home. Heat Lunch on the Rocket Mass Heater Heat Exchange Barrel.  Try out the mini oven.


Experience Rumford Fireplace, Haybox Cooker, Biolite Stove, Pocket Rocket Stove. Continue with Model-making. View select video clips by Ernie & Erica.

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Hands-on Activities

Mock-up of the Combustion Unit
Mix Cob & Earth Mortar (learn to identify proper soil, and where to find it)
Make Cob mini-bricks, Construct a small model
Opportunity to split wood.

Principles you will learn

How fire and Rocket Stoves work (and don’t work).
Order of construction of a Rocket Mass Heater
Code Considerations.

About Rocket Stoves 

Putline of Principles of Rocket Stoves & Fire

Rocket Stove fire DSC03566 (2)

Why Rocket Stoves?

Significant Features of Rocket Mass Heaters

Combustion & Fire

How Wood Burns

How Heat Moves




Types of wood (what works and what doesn’t)

Draft Works the Stove




Rocket Stoves are Different

The Three T’s

A happy group on the Rocket Stove - Potluck tour 7-2014

Comfort Through Stored Heat

The Thermal Battery.

Dimentia & Proportia

Relative Proportions of Burn Tunnel, Heat Riser & Feed Tube

Designing & Siting Your Stove & Thermal Battery. Code Considerations – Resource person: Chris McClellan