A light rock stove?

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If you are new to this area then welcome - Please remember that although the same ultralight philosophy can be used in all environments that the specific gear and skill required will vary greatly. It is very dangerous to assume that you can just copy someone else's gear list, but you are encouraged to ask questions, learn and start reducing the pack weight and enjoying the freedom that comes.

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light backpacking base weight less than 9.1kg
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super-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 2.3kg
extreme-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 1.4kg

A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Tue 08 Jun, 2021 7:42 pm

Hi All Ultralighties, This little 125g fire blower unit can make a powerful cooking stove from found rocks. Does it qualify as an ultralight stove if you have no fuel to carry and have the sense not to carry the rocks? It can easily provide cooking for three people. So can the weight be divided by three?
Image
'
Here is another Dingo trick. On a very cold night, a hot stove rock can be wrapped up in an old 'space blanket' and spare clothing and used as a sleeping bag warmer. It can provide many hours of slow-release warmth. "That could qualify as 'extreme-ultralight backpacking, especially if you nicked off the rock from another person's stove."

I live in wet Gippsland and have designed the fire blower to blast a dragon fire gas flame from a few stodgy Gipplsland sticks. The assembled fire blower, shown below, has a single 18650 lithium-ion battery that will give about 3h of full power cooking time.
Image

"On a 3-week-long Hume and Hovell Trail walk, I twice extended this time to 6 days of comprehensive cooking for two and water sterilization for more people. I used a few more Dingo tricks to achieve this. They could be the subject of another post."

Image


Here are the fire blower parts ready to be packed up. They will fit inside a large mug. The silver blower tubes can be used to carry spare 18650 lithium-ion batteries if needed for longer trips.
Image

If there are no rocks or they are the exploding type, a hole in the ground will suffice.
Image

Shhhhh.... for decadent non-ultralight backpacking I make a roll-up titanium stove body to conveniently use with the fire blower, but it adds a shameful 100g.
Image

It is a tiny stove but it can cook a big dinner.
Image

Or you can cook dinner while making hot drinks and soups.
Image

Or make a hi-tech/low-tech hybrid stove.
Image

Oh oh ……I nearly forgot, it can also be used with a 5g alcohol burner. Now, who will carry that?
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Please see the link below where you can get lost…..in my maze of blower stoves that will blow your fire and...... your mind.

https://timtinker.com/blower-stoves-gallery-index/

Tim
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby Franco » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 9:05 am

To start a discussion...
If I understand correctly, what you have is a battery powered blower to use with a woodfire set up.
If so, I expect that it could be popular with bushcrafters and maybe car campers but many bushwalkers don't really take to cooking over a woodfire for different reasons.
One is that after walking about all day many can't be bothered looking for wood , finding rocks or digging a pit and then having to deal with a soot covered pot.
In fact , solo hikers often use 500-700 ml pots that are not exactly suitable for wood fires of any type.
As you pointed out, the weight would be negligeable for two or three and so it could be added to say a metho or gas set up . (if for example part of the trip is above tree level )
On the other hand, for an overnighter or a few days in a spot where wood is abundant and one has plenty of time to kill, building a wood fire can be fun but I suppose then there is plenty of time to kill .
Would be good to get some opinions on this.
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby craigprice » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 11:58 am

There was a design on zen diy stoves (risks wind forge) using a small fan decades eaerlier using thr small sqaure fan from the PC powered by a 9v battery - with a square tube made of a few layers of al foil, which he then connect to a windscreen which he used as the wood stove aka fire pit. I used it a few times but didnt like being dependent in a battery. But the fan sure did get the fire going and made it burn hot.
Unfortuantely most of thr sites that zen stoves refers to are now gone
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 1:03 pm

Hi Franco, Thanks for your comments and for starting the discussion. I was being a little provocative by putting the fire blower in the ultralight forum for my first posting there. MYOG might have been less inappropriate.

I would not agree with your characterisation of my device as 'cooking over a wood fire'. In the detailed post on my website, I even describe the joys of using my stoves, in seated comfort, beside a campfire. It makes cooking very much easier and safer than on a campfire. The charcoal and butt end scraps from the campfire make an endless supply of fuel.

The very first time that I took my prototype fire blower out on an overnight walk, I left it outside under an upturned bowl overnight. The next morning without any encouragement a fellow walker commandeered my delicate blower and instantly re-started the campfire for a bit of warmth and drying on a very cold morning.

It makes an alternative to cooking over a fire. Yes, it uses wood as the fuel and in tiny quantities that would not sustain a conventional fire. You would no more call a wood-fired steam engine a fire.
It is in the league of the many natural-draft ultralight wood stoves that use sticks for fuel such as the Caldera that is used by 'let's say light backpackers' as this forum definition of below 4.5kg is rather strict.
https://www.traildesigns.com/products/caldera-cone-system

I playfully describe how the stove can be used with rocks or a hole in the ground, but a 50-100g roll titanium stove body can be used to make it more convenient if you get so exhausted by your walking or skiing that becomes a chore.

I find that the end of an active trekking day is a great time to relax, socialise, rehydrate and enjoy the fun of cooking and sharing. I am not a solo trekker and mostly share my 900g tent with someone (Or is it a 450g tent if shared?). Then invariably we share tent set-up, water collection etc and alternating primary responsibility for shared evening meals. It can be very pleasant and efficient and starting the wood stove is the easiest task. It is usually done first to make hot drinks for rehydration and relaxation while everything else is done.

On this basis, I used the stove every evening on a three-week-long walk along the Hume & Hovell trail (big tiring days for the first week until we gained out trail toughness). Our tent was up, our sleeping bags were out for an airing, we had hot water to share and our dinner was always ready way before those using a Jetboil and carrying fuel. The stove can be a joy to use if you have the right attitude and enjoy a fire. It definitely is no chore. For me, it brings satisfaction from sparingly using an infinite resource of fallen little sticks for fuel as an alternative to mined or manufactured fuels. I also have the satisfaction of never needing to carry an empty, or worse a half-empty fuel container home. The weight of my device would probably be equal to the weight of fuel gas that most people carry home.

Please note these significant differences between a blower stove and a campfire:

    The blower makes the combustion much hotter and cleaner,
    The cooking pot/s are stable and easy to handle and string can be done while still cooking,
    The heat is focused on the stove bottom only,
    The fuel can be long sticks that need minimal preparation,
    Will easily burn damp or wet wood,
    The startup is almost instant and full cooking power will be reached within a couple of minutes,
    The stove will hold fire and simmer for long periods (15min) with the blower removed,
    Re-establishing full power is again almost instant,
    Uses only a small fraction of the wood fuel used in a small campfire, so wood collection should not be a chore.

Regarding your comment about solo walkers using 500-700ml pots that are not suitable for use with fires. My roll-up titanium stove fits inside a 700ml mug that can be used for cooking (as shown in the post). This is a perfect match.

Thanks again for starting the discussion, Tim
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 2:04 pm

craigprice wrote:There was a design on zen diy stoves (risks wind forge) using a small fan decades eaerlier using thr small sqaure fan from the PC powered by a 9v battery - with a square tube made of a few layers of al foil, which he then connect to a windscreen which he used as the wood stove aka fire pit. I used it a few times but didnt like being dependent in a battery. But the fan sure did get the fire going and made it burn hot.
Unfortuantely most of thr sites that zen stoves refers to are now gone


Hi Craigprice, Thanks for your comments. I like the Zen stove site, but the information, as you suggest, is somewhat dated. Nevertheless, it is still good for generating ideas. I have offered my design for listing a couple of times over the years, but they have not replied. Maybe it is a Zombie site.

My first blower stove was a gasifier 'Wood Gas Camp Stove'. The web page is now dead, as probably is the product. Here is a photo.
Image

Apart from weighing 650g, it was impractical for serious camping cooking. It burnt brilliantly hot when first lit from the top. Fuel preparation was tedious, it could hold very little fuel. When that fuel ran out it behaved badly (as it should) when more fuel was added. I describe this in my website post on the development of my blower stoves as they evolved from my simple natural draft tin can or 'Chamber Pot Stoves'. It did spure me on to do much better and that is what I think I can decisively claim. If anyone is interested, I tell the development story here:
https://timtinker.com/ultralight-blower-stove-development/

I don't pretending to in any way invent the blower stove. I just consider that my stoves have a simplicity, 'a certain sort of minimalist nothing', that makes them: especially powerful, compact, lightweight, robust, flexible and easy to use with soggy, crude damp or even wet long fallen bush sticks with minimal preparation. 'Perfect for the lazy wood stove backpacking user with green credentials."
Thanks,Tim
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby craigprice » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 5:01 pm

for wood stoves i am still using my diy gassifier - made from a 4in coles italian diam tomato tin outer and dole sliced pineapple tin inner (i use the tomatoea in pasta sauce and pineapple for dessert). With the stainless steel mesh for the top spacer (thats critical to ensure full gas burn - see my other post). Weight of finished unit 105g. Made a few and gave them away for free - materials cost $6. Takes me 30 mins to make a new one. Design as per zen stoves, intense angler, etc, and its really just a bushbuddy diy copy (had one of those too) and this is just a derivation of jim falks gassifier. I use a large freezer bag when cool as a stove cover to avoid messing up my gear. And they last a season. Who cares that they rust out - i just make a new one. And i can put a toaks 500-650ml cup on it too. And it works fine in the rain. And below 5C(something that gas cannister stoves dont do!!).

The gassifiers are the only lightweight wood stoves to use with aussie eucalyptus woods to burn the oils released by the primary burn - or you will get is heaps of smoke.

The fan forced such as the design you made are the only alternatives to get a hot enough to burn off the euca oil, and pack smaller if you use foil for the stove ala the risk forge design, but you still rely on the battery. If thats ok then yours is the best choice.
Last edited by craigprice on Sat 12 Jun, 2021 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby craigprice » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 5:38 pm

Wrt the complaint about soot on the pot noted by franco - yeah i see this a lot. I grew up in the era where we just lived with it.
Just get a cheapo aluminum billy 1 quart billy and forget it. Steelo can take off all the black but who cares. Use a freezer bag cover and forget. And if you who have concerns about aluminum cookware, then spend rhe $$$ and buy the Ti version.
But dont be afraid to put yr pot on a flame, fire, or wood stove. It will get black - but it doesnt hurt it and you can put it in a pot cover when you pack it out. And the black soot-oil residue it does clean off thr pot easily if you are worried.
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby craigprice » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 6:09 pm

P.s. i also own and use - a fissure, a bushbuddy, and a una in addtion to my own diy
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby BarryK » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 6:48 pm

telemarktim wrote:I playfully describe how the stove can be used with rocks or a hole in the ground, but a 50-100g roll titanium stove body can be used to make it more convenient if you get so exhausted by your walking or skiing that becomes a chore.


I ordered something on impulse on Aliexpress about a week ago:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32986209563.html

...bought both, the 150mm and the 190mm high wind shields. They weigh only 13g and 15g.

The reason is, had this vague thought about using it as a wood stove, as the actual body of the stove, not just a wind shield.

Of course, it will have very limited strength to hold up a pot or mug, but I latched onto the idea that it might be doable. Have some wild ideas how it might be constructed.

I wasn't thinking of an air blower at the time, that was before I saw this forum thread.

Note, I do already have one of these that I bought years ago, a different vendor and only 110mm high. I did use it, as its intended purpose, as a wind shield for my meths stove. Will keep it for that purpose, as it fits into my titanium pot, along with the stove.
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 9:08 pm

craigprice wrote:Wrt the complaint about soot on the pot noted by franco - yeah i see this a lot. I grew up in the era where we just lived with it.
Just get a cheapo aluminum billy 1 quart billy and forget it. Steelo can take off all the black but who cares. Use a freezer bag cover and forget. And if you who have concerns about aluminum cookware, then spend rhe $$$ and buy the Ti version.
But dont be afraid to put yr pot on a flame, fire, or wood stove. It will get black - but it doesnt hurt it and you can put it in a pot cover when you pack it out. And the black soot-oil residue it does clean off thr pot easily if you are worried.


Craigprice, I agree. I also oil the outside of my pots and this makes the soot removal much easier. Have you also noticed that stainless steel or titanium deposits less soot than aluminium? However, the hard-anodized non-stick pot compensates by releasing soot quite easily when oiled. My blower stoves from cave-man to titanium roll up just soot up on the bottom and it is much less than on a campfire. Yep, Just clean it up when home.Tim
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 9:23 pm

BarryK wrote:
telemarktim wrote:I playfully describe how the stove can be used with rocks or a hole in the ground, but a 50-100g roll titanium stove body can be used to make it more convenient if you get so exhausted by your walking or skiing that becomes a chore.


I ordered something on impulse on Aliexpress about a week ago:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32986209563.html

...bought both, the 150mm and the 190mm high wind shields. They weigh only 13g and 15g.

The reason is, had this vague thought about using it as a wood stove, as the actual body of the stove, not just a wind shield.

Of course, it will have very limited strength to hold up a pot or mug, but I latched onto the idea that it might be doable. Have some wild ideas how it might be constructed.

I wasn't thinking of an air blower at the time, that was before I saw this forum thread.

Note, I do already have one of these that I bought years ago, a different vendor and only 110mm high. I did use it, as its intended purpose, as a wind shield for my meths stove. Will keep it for that purpose, as it fits into my titanium pot, along with the stove.


BarryK, I think you will be able to 'fold' strength into it. If you keep it squat (about twice the thickness of your sticks) and make a bridge across the fuel opening. It will be a fun challenge. Tim
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby craigprice » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 10:11 am

Hi Tim
Re the oil - yes same - or if you put a dob of detergent on the bottom and smear it all around and up the sides that works too. It goes black with soot and looks messy but A cheap green scourer and some water removes it all quickly.

I’ve found that the pots clean in order from best to least: stainless steel, aluminium, then titanium. With stainless it just breaks off easily and it’s as new after. With aluminium and a steelo it comes off pretty quick and easy too - it scours the surface clean. Almost as new with scoured patina. With Ti again need steelo and bit more effort - the surface is as new but usually with some slight discolouration in hard to get to areas eg handle flaps.

Btw I only clean up when I get home and am putting the gear back into order - not out in the field. Part of the routine of cleaning drying inspecting and putting the kit back in order.
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 11:25 am

craigprice wrote:Hi Tim
Re the oil - yes same - or if you put a dob of detergent on the bottom and smear it all around and up the sides that works too. It goes black with soot and looks messy but A cheap green scourer and some water removes it all quickly.

I’ve found that the pots clean in order from best to least: stainless steel, aluminium, then titanium. With stainless steel, it just breaks off easily and it’s as new after. With aluminium and a steelo it comes off pretty quick and easy too - it scours the surface clean. Almost as new with scoured patina. With Ti again need steelo and bit more effort - the surface is as new but usually with some slight discolouration in hard to get to areas eg handle flaps.

Btw I only clean up when I get home and am putting the gear back into order - not out in the field. Part of the routine of cleaning drying inspecting and putting the kit back in order.


Hi Craig, I agree !000% with you, but I put the hard shiny anodised aluminium on top of the cleaning list (if pre-coated with oil). However, unlike the SS it discolours progressively and will not survive harsh pot scrubbers. During that cleanup routine at home, I also oil my stove parts whether made of mild steel (tin plate), SS or titanium. It seems to greatly extend the hours/years of high-temperature service. It also ensures that they are dry. If the stove gets wet during camping, I oil it immediately with an olive oil cloth that I keep in the kit. Some of the cloth can be bandicooted to be used as an incendiary fire starter in desperation in terrible bad weather. Rain, oil and a blower flame make for exciting combustion. Enough to make a pyromaniac heart Tim glow!

Does anyone use those cheap paper-thin SS bowls as cooking pots (~68g for a~1L pot)? I do and they are just great for big amounts of water for hot drinks and simmer soups for shared cooking. So thin they will dent if dropped on rocks. But hey, the same dent can be pushed out with a strong thumbnail or the end of a stick. They need a DIY lid and I have a truly ultralight solution for that including lay-flat handles. Is it worth starting another topic, maybe in MYOG, as the true ultralighties would not know about 1L pots and having a generous quantity of hot water to do a proper wash up occasionally! Probably only take one pair of undies!
I haven't got a photo of the pot, but here is its lid, so ultralight that it needs a pebble to hold it down.
Image
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby craigprice » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 1:31 pm

Um yeah - I’m interested in this - what are you using and where do you get them from. Most ss pots I’ve seen are either too heavy or too expensive. If at that weight I could be re-invigorated to but a bunch and start tinkering in the workshop with new stove designs. That’s as close as you get to Ti!
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 2:12 pm

craigprice wrote:Um yeah - I’m interested in this - what are you using and where do you get them from. Most ss pots I’ve seen are either too heavy or too expensive. If at that weight I could be re-invigorated to but a bunch and start tinkering in the workshop with new stove designs. That’s as close as you get to Ti!


Hi Craig, Thanks for your encouragement. Where do I start? Should it be MYOG or Ultralighties? No one from the Ultralighties has attacked me yet for inappropriate posting. So maybe the rule book just scared me off. The subject of the post topic will I expect be a mix of 'off-the-shelf' or more correctly 'off-the-boat-from-China' and of course recycled rubbish and the opportunity shop.

You will be delighted to hear, abundant, very cheap and versatile.

Maybe send me a PM to guide me about the most appropriate forum to start the topic in. What about 'Cheap ultralight, nesting, pots, pans and lids'. Nothing provocative there! I think it would be good to get it right from the start, as I expect it will have interest forever once started.
Thanks, Tim
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby crollsurf » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 8:56 pm

Took me a while to get what this blower was all about. Not UL and probably not Bushcraft either, but the idea of getting a fire started and pointing the blower at the fire to get it raging while setting up camp is a great idea. If I could buy one for canoeing, I'd drag it along for sure. Could also be useful for handling condensation in a tent.

Regarding heating rocks, (sorry to digress) but I was reading about Aboriginal rock circles in Vic the other day and couldn't help but think they weren't designed as a wind break but to radiate heat later in the night/early morning. So next level when it comes to using rocks to keep warm.
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 10:18 pm

crollsurf wrote:Took me a while to get what this blower was all about. Not UL and probably not Bushcraft either, but the idea of getting a fire started and pointing the blower at the fire to get it raging while setting up camp is a great idea. If I could buy one for canoeing, I'd drag it along for sure. Could also be useful for handling condensation in a tent.

Regarding heating rocks, (sorry to digress) but I was reading about Aboriginal rock circles in Vic the other day and couldn't help but think they weren't designed as a wind break but to radiate heat later in the night/early morning. So next level when it comes to using rocks to keep warm.


Hi Crollsurf, I am glad that you dig the blower idea. I still say it's UL if shared between two or three people with no fuel to carry. But that is just a matter of definition. There are very few ways of burning a single piece of wood, but the blower can make it happen:
Image

It is always in my bush kit. It gets used for every campfire startup under difficult conditions. It just loves taking damp charcoal up to 1,000C+ in a very short time.

Digression is is the essence of original thought. I think you are probably right about Aboriginals using rocks and soil and sand for heating. On cold nights it would make total sense to do so and as we are discovering they were more resourceful than our history books have told. Their massive constructed eel farms in the Western District is an example.

I don't think that the hot rocks will solve the condensation problem because find that they only work by being well insulated and slowly providing heat directly to our bodies or bloodstream in a sleeping bag or under a possum skin rug. There is not enough heat in the rock to keep a tent warm, let alone keep condensation and icicles at bay in the wee hours of the morning. A tent stove will.

I am working on another topic about overnight body heating when there are no rocks while camping on snow. Keep a lookout. It lasts all night. For an extra test this morning, I put it in another family members bed while they were having a morning sleep-in. They said it was still pleasantly warming. Imagine that on a cold night! It only weighs 33g and many people carry one anyway or another purpose. Now I am off-topic, but the blower would be the source of heat so maybe I'm not.

I would be delighted to arrange a blower for you, I presume you already use and manage 18650 lithium ion batteries? Please send me a PM and we can discuss what you need.
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Re: A light rock stove?

Postby telemarktim » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 10:53 pm

telemarktim wrote:
BarryK wrote:
telemarktim wrote:I playfully describe how the stove can be used with rocks or a hole in the ground, but a 50-100g roll titanium stove body can be used to make it more convenient if you get so exhausted by your walking or skiing that becomes a chore.


I ordered something on impulse on Aliexpress about a week ago:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32986209563.html

...bought both, the 150mm and the 190mm high wind shields. They weigh only 13g and 15g.

The reason is, had this vague thought about using it as a wood stove, as the actual body of the stove, not just a wind shield.

Of course, it will have very limited strength to hold up a pot or mug, but I latched onto the idea that it might be doable. Have some wild ideas how it might be constructed.

I wasn't thinking of an air blower at the time, that was before I saw this forum thread.



Note, I do already have one of these that I bought years ago, a different vendor and only 110mm high. I did use it, as its intended purpose, as a wind shield for my meths stove. Will keep it for that purpose, as it fits into my titanium pot, along with the stove.


BarryK, I think you will be able to 'fold' strength into it. If you keep it squat (about twice the thickness of your sticks) and make a bridge across the fuel opening. It will be a fun challenge. Tim


Hi again BarryK, I had another thought about your 'vaguely thought about stove'. You could do your testing/prototyping with tin can sheet metal. It is quite light and sturdy. This 35g one can support any pot that you or I will be prepared to carry. Add a few more grams for the disk and the stove can become a leave no trace stove if rocks or a suitable pad of soil or gravel is used. Carry a little more weight and save your green credentials.

Image


For more details and operational photos please see my post on these most basic 'Poor Student Stoves'
https://timtinker.com/ultralight-blower-stove/

Tim
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