Even tinkerers have heroes. One of mine is Pekka Leskela. The soft-spoken Swedish stove designer and builder embodies much of what I aspire to be. innovating, inventing, experimenting…. you know, tinkering. All in the service of inspiring others to do their own designs.
The concept for this project comes from one of Pekka’s designs that can be seen on this this YouTube video Pekka has a YouTube channel that is awesome. A tinker’s delight.
Horizontal Rocket Stove
I have long been fascinated by the concept of the rocket stove. The principle of these stoves is simple, by insulating the firebox – often by surrounding it with mass – a hotter fire and more complete combustion can be achieved. Many of the designs out there are so efficient that you can cook a whole meal with just a handful of wood.
Unfortunately, many of the small “camp stove” designs suffer from the same drawback: namely that the only way to utilize the heat from the stove is to place your pot or pan over the opening where the exhaust gasses escape – in essence on top of the chimney.
Anyone who has ever Had to deal with a sooty pot knows what a hassle it can be. Thus I am drawn more to designs that use rocket stove principles but provide an actual stove top on which to cook.
Several of Pekka’s designs tackle this problem. By building a stove where the hot burning gasses circulate under a stove top before exiting up a flue Pekka creates stoves that don’t require you to stand with your head over the chimney to cook your meal.
In diagram it looks like this:
The design I came up with centers around a curiously shaped piece of stainless steel that I thought would make a good cooking surface.
I drilled a hole for a 4 inch stove pipe and then put together the rest of the stove to fit this cooktop assembly. The sequence went as follows:
ceramic tile base.
Top Cooking plate
So that’s the design. Will it work? Stay tuned.