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How to make a mini rocket stove

April 11, 2011 | Rocket Stoves, Uncategorized | 21 comments | Author:

Rocket stoves have become a part of our lives at Milkwood Farm. They’re hyper energy efficient, can be built out of rubbish and result in more usable heat that any other wood-burning system we’ve come across. Big love.

It doesn’t take long to be besotted – everyone who needs a wash at our farm heats the water for their showers using our fabulous rocket-powered shower water heater, which works a treat. So now we’re graduating to using rocket stoves for that article of post-shower bliss, the hot cup of tea. Enter the mini rocket stove.

Mini rocket stove - the basic plan

Following on from the rocket powered shower (our rocket stove hot water system), we’ve been aching to try other types of rocket stoves.

This is our mark 1 model of a mini rocket stove, constructed by Milkwood interns Kade, Amelie, Bel and Chris. We got inspired when our friend Dan Harris-Pascal visited the farm recently with a mini rocket stove that he’d constructed, and made us a cuppa on it. We were sold!

Now all we needed was some tin cans, something to snip them with, and some ash to insulate the riser, to make our very own.



This rocket stove was good fun, easy, and very quick to make. The material costs were zero, as it was made out of rubbish. As such, it’s a great idea that could no doubt be improved apon, as it’s so easy to do. And the best bit – every time you need to test it, you get to make a cup of tea! This is our kind of technology.

Rocket stove resources:

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  • Samm April 11, 2011 at 9:53 am | Reply

    Is there anything u guys can’t do??!!? This is absolutely sensational… Big love alright!

  • Samantha Downing April 11, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply

    This is a lovely and simple design, thinking I’ll take these plans along on camping trips. And right on time too! This sudden turn to cold weather has got my mind turning to cheap, doable space heating solutions. Might have to try my hand at a larger one. Thanks.

    1. milkwoodkirsten April 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply

      Samantha, read up on “rocket mass heaters” (as opposed to rocket stoves) for space heating ideas? The book included in the post above has lots of ‘em :)

  • axel April 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Reply

    hey hey guys! just today i was researching about this matter, then i just check what you guy are up to and…boom….rocketing some good ideas! great!

    i should really come around and say hallo one of the next weeks!

    it’s olive picking time or to late already….i may come and help if not to late!

    my regards to you all


    1. milkwoodkirsten April 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply

      Hi Axel! Come to our open day on the 30th and eat porchetta with us!

  • Darren J. Doherty April 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Reply

    What a bloody ripper….I think I’ll make one of these for the camper van….and for out the block…Daz

  • Nick Huggins April 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Reply

    Awesome work Milkwooders! Im going to try to up scale it for heating at our new farm in Tarago in the southern highlands.

    1. milkwoodkirsten April 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Reply

      Thanks Nick! Have a look at the ianto evans book – it has a good plan for a rocket space heater?

  • rock creek April 19, 2011 at 4:38 am | Reply

    Possible to get printable plans for this version of the heater?

    1. milkwoodkirsten April 19, 2011 at 7:08 am | Reply

      Hiya, we made ours based on photos from the web – maybe you’ll have to make one yourself and sketch a plan from there? It only takes you 20 minutes to make it!

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  • Greg January 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply

    These work so well I’m amazed more people don’t use them. I used mine in suburban Sydney! They run off pencil-sized sticks – just the sort of things gumtrees drop all the time.

    Only disadvantages – you have to continuously monitor and feed them fuel and they make the bottom of your pots/pans/billies black.

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