Last week we heard about Payan Ole-MoiYoi's Kenya Stove Kickstarter project. This week we take a peek into the studio at ADX in SE Portland, where he's been experimenting with fabricating a prototype stove. Perched here next to Payan at the ADX studio, the cookstove looks like a little buddy, as if it might follow him around or come to life. The design will likely change once he gets people to test it in their home kitchens in Kenya.
2 of 9
The Woodchipper Machine.
It doesn't look very mobile, but the woodchipper will be traveling to Kenya. Payan built this prototype with bolts so that he can disassemble it and transport it to Kenya for testing in the field. He'll fit it into three suitcases, none coming to more than 70 lbs.
3 of 9
Inside the Woodchipper.
When you take off the top of the woodchipper, you can see the sharp blades that cut the wood into uniformly sized chips (with no "fines," which would clog the stove). Kids, keep away!
4 of 9
Camp stove: the pieces before assembly.
Simple cylinders and discs of steel. The machines at ADX allow them to be bent and welded into a camp stove to burn wood.
5 of 9
High tech tools? Not always.
Payan cuts perforated metal into a circle which will be part of the camp stove. He uses simple methods and manual tools as part of the process of making the stoves that will be a "dividend" for those who invest at a certain level in the Kenya cookstove Kickstarter project.
6 of 9
Pressing the perforated metal disk.
Part of the trick of developing any prototype is making the tools needed to produce it. In a classic chicken-and-egg situation, elaborate tools usually can't be fabricated until the designer is certain they're needed for larger scale production runs. Working at ADX helps, though, since anyone can become a member, use the space and the huge array of tools on hand. Membership at about $150/month compares to renting a workspace and buying one's own tools. In Seattle, Payan and a friend spent $1000/month to rent a workshop – and tools were not included!
7 of 9
Rolling the metal.
Another step in the prototype fabrication process. Note the goggles Payan is wearing: he knows that safety comes first. Many of the styles sported by those at ADX will probably prove to be trendsetting, however. Time will tell.
8 of 9
Sparks fly: spot welding.
ADX has a MIG welder for big jobs, but sometimes only a handheld spot welder will do the trick.
9 of 9
Now, time to assemble the cookstove.
No instructions necessary when 1. It's not from IKEA, and 2. You're the designer and the maker. Such are the advantages of working at ADX on your own original project. Payan's finished camp stove measures about 6 x 5 inches, weighs 600 grams, and is designed to burn dry sticks, wood chips, wood pellets.