Thursday, March 31, 2016

Estufas Mejoradas

Clean burning wood cookstoves

We love solar cooking and promote it whenever we can, but the truth is that wood and twigs and dung  fuel will continue to be the primary means of cooking on Taquile. Lung irritation is common. I have sat in smoky kitchens where I had to hunch down to a meter above the floor level to breathe under the layer of smoke that filled the room. The answer is simple: Chimneys

Three meters of flexible galvanized metal will make two chimneys 2.5 meters high with a generous Chinese cap:

Yarn and a nail make an effective compass.
Fredy had a riveting tool that made assembling the chimney quick and, well, someone easy.
Silvano, Sam and Fredy with 2 chimneys and the ceramic base.
We purchased two of these ceramic foundations. It was difficult to find them with the chimney hole designed in.
lovely terra cotta

The stove is then finished with an air and ash metal floor.
We made the holes too small, darn.
First stove was installed in Grandma Josefa's kitchen where both Edith and Juana Luz are staying, going to school on Taquile while their parents build boats in Puno. This stove replaced the previous smoky stove where the walls and ceiling of the cooking alcove were covered with soot.
a very dirty smokey job

Second installation was for Asunta. Instead of installing it in the old sooty kitchen, they decided to make a new kitchen in a room that was already constructed. Asunta's father, Felipe, has taken a course in estufas mejoradas or better stoves and knows lots of details that we missed on Josefas's stove. In addition, building it in a new clean space was a pleasure.

Chimney installed; Felipe lays out the ceramic foundation
The mud layer closest to the fire is mixed with sifted dung for insulation.
finished with adobe
Final coat is smooth adobe. Armado finished the job with pride of ownership.

Tested when it was wet, small changes, and waited only one day to actually cook.

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