Rocket stoves are easy to carry around as a small camp stove whenever you’re out. They are efficient and burn for a long time, so you need less fuel to keep the fire alive.
The log rocket stove has limited uses, but it’s the easiest and fasted to make.
First, we will need to get all the necessary items to make this:
- A piece of log (the diameter of the wood will determine for how long you can reuse it)
- A wax crayon
- A drill with a flat wood drill bit, size 35
- A stove grill or anything that is flat enough to sustain the pots (I will also use a piece of an old engine that I painted with heat-resistant spray paint.)
- Heat-resistant spray paint (optional)
Step One: Drilling Out the Inside of the Log
First, attach the drill bit to the drill and carve a hole on top of the log, drilling down as far as you can.
After the hole has been drilled, measure its depth and then drill a hole on the side of the log according to the depth. Remember, the two holes should meet, forming an L shape.
Step Two: Secure the stove grill
Based on the size of your stove’s burner grate, draw a circle onto the top of the log and hammer nails into the base, following the lines of the circle that were previously drawn. This will serve as our base for the grate.
Place it onto the nails, and your first rocket stove is done. I tried it with engine parts that I found around my house from an old rusty engine. I just spray painted it with heat-resistant spray paint.
Related: 12 Woodworking Projects for Preppers and Homesteaders
Step Three: Trying It Out and Tips on How to Light It
Log rocket stoves work by lighting the inside of the log on fire. This is initially quite difficult, but once accomplished, it will give it a slow but long-lasting burn. Use something that burns fast and with big flames. Woods that make resin are perfect for this. Because of this, I used pine needles and stuffed them down both holes. Make sure that you leave enough space for the fire to breath.
After enough coals were collected in the middle of the log and it had a small but stable flame, I started adding small twigs and wood chips to the fire to help it burn even better.
After a while, the fire crept up the log and started burning better inside.
You can actually see how the inside is just covered in flames. The wood won’t heat up outside, so you can hold it and carry it, but I wouldn’t recommend this as you could disturb the fire and it could die down or you could burn yourself.
I put some water in a cup onto the fire to demonstrate that it actually works. A couple of minutes and the water was boiling.
With this stove, you can heat up a whole meal for a family, of course, that is, if you have enough time and patience. But if one is too slow, why not go bigger and use four at the same time?
With four of these, I was able to fry the bacon and the sausages faster than I actually thought I would be able to. They generate great amounts of heat and will burn for hours.
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Very clever. One should prepare several of these just in case electricity is not available when needed.
Interesting, but I’ll stick with my stove made from a #10 can and a couple soup cans. I wont have to try and extinguish a burning log when Im done cooking.
nice photos and instructions to build the heating of so many more items. Nice website. Like to get started asap. Thank you.
If you cut your log so that it is double the length of your bit, then drill the hole from both directions, so that the top hole and the bottom hole connect and put the side hole at the bottom you will get a hotter flame as the draw is longer. This is a slightly different take on the Swedish torch/Canadian candle idea. If you use the Swedish torch principle where you make four cuts in the log you don’t have to have a top. You can put your pan or pot right on the top of the log. This will make a fire that will last all night. There are several u-tube videos showing how to make a Swedish torch.
Bit extenders willl allow you to drill deeper holes. they come in different links and work great with 1/4″ drill shafts is your hole size is larger than the female end of the bit extender.
You are right, Sir! I forgot all about bit extenders. Duhh!
If you have a brace and auger bits, you can make holes even if the lights have gone out. I believe this idea has more uses than the Swedish torch.
So what is the wax crayon used for??? I read the article four  times and it says nothing about a wax crayon.
for drawing the circle in witch to place ya nails
While it was not mentioned,it was used to draw the outline on top of the log.
Using concrete post hole forms called Sonatube you can easily make a much more permanent version of a rocket stove that should last for years.
I don’t know, Moose. I once paid a guy to clean out my garage, which he understood to mean, “Burn everything.” I was gone for 4 hours and the 14′ X 14″ Sonotube was ashes when I returned. (Along with almost everything else.) He wasn’t stupid, but he was crazy.
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Very clear instructions, thanks! It looks like it’s pretty smoky. Is a rocket stove intended only for outside?
You sure wouldn’t use a rocket stove inside unless you happen to have a very old fashioned house with an indoor fireplace and a chimney that exits to the outside. Carbon monoxide kills efficiently and silently. The whole idea behind the rocket stove is that it is very efficient, burns fuel completely extracting all the btu’s contained in the fuel and because the combustion is so complete, it burns without much smoke when it gets going. I don’t think the Swedish torch falls into the rocket stove category. In my opinion, for whatever that is worth, it doesn’t allow sufficient air to enter the combustion chamber to allow for complete combustion. That’s why you see so much smoke in the pictures. The rocket stoves I have seen and the ones I own have more air vents to allow more oxygen to enter the combustion chamber. The Swedish torch was designed, I believe, to burn slowly so that one could have a fire all night without having to get up to add wood to the fire to keep it going. At night, except for the smell, smoke isn’t a problem. with a small fire, the light can be easily shielded. In any event, while a great many writers talk about the danger of the odor of smoke alerting B.G.s to your location, I think there will be so much fire around and so much smoke that a little more in the neighborhood won’t be noticeable. Obviously, if you are miles from anywhere and are all alone in the big outdoors with no fires for miles around, the smoke from your fire will can attract unwanted attention, but in an urban area with fires raging unchecked, a little campfire will go unnoticed.
Now if you are frying bacon that a whole ‘nuther story. That will draw all kinds of folks to your campfire.
Bacon livers everywhere will be drawn to your fire!
“lovers. Bacon lovers!”
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LCC you are correct …… THIS is NOT a TRUE Rocket Stove …….which has basically TWO chambers and will reach temps of 2000 degrees ……. YUP ! 2000 ….. that temp actually burns off the bad gasses producing the Co2 and water vapor exhausted .
What is the preferred way to put out the fire when you’re done cooking?
Put a metal bucket over it. That will also create charcoal which you can scrape off to purify your water.
Thanks for that last bit. It seems a bit of work for a single-use item. I wasn’t sure if you could easily smother the log or not.
LCC ….. YUP … AGAIN …….That bucket would set up the second “chamber ” and would in effect provide that high heat area…….. not real sure on the survivability on a “bucket” unless it is SS ……
The flame will be snuffed before the bucket even gets hot. It may smolder and smoke for a while and turn the inside of the bucket black but you should get years of service out of any old 5-gallon steel bucket.
Just plug up the lower hole with a branch or rock. Smothers the fire.
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Incredibly clever. One should put together a number of these just in circumstance electricity is unavailable when needed. Every man need a Rocket Stove 😉
That’s a 35mm spade bit? My mind translated it as 3.5″, but that sounds too wide for a spade bit. 1-3/8″ to 1-1/2″ bit should work, I take it, if I’m translating better now 🙂
35 mm is approximately 1 3/8″.
I have one better and it’s portable. You can even do more than one for a ‘multi-burner.’
Bricks. You’ll need to have 25 bricks and 2 half bricks for each ‘burner.’ Your choice if it’s assembled on or off a suitable platform.
using 3 brick and a half brick make your first layer (square.) The hole should be in the center. Do the same on the next level only make the hole on a different side (preferably not the opposite side.) Then continue up with the levels. Yes, a brick will hang over the open spot but the next level will support it. The bottom is your draft hole and the 2nd level hole is where you place your wood (twigs and sticks.) Another brick can be used to support your wood and another as a damper to control the heat by closing off the vent on the first level. Using an old gas stove grate is optimal for setting cookware on top.
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Less work and no traces once I’m gone.
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