The stove seen above is a fireplace insert being utilized as
a free-standing heat and cook stove. Placed directly on the
concrete floor creates a long-lasting, slow to
dissipate, thermal-assisted, heat source.
During the first winter out here, I almost cracked.
The cold was unbearable, and the former stove was inadequate in a
ways, least of which was its size that failed to create enough heat.
The photo below shows the side-view of the replacement stove, sitting
squarely on the concrete slab. It is 30degrees outside but holding your
had to the concrete
floor in this building, is warm to the touch.
Concrete becomes warmed by the stove resulting in less need to keep the
stove fully stocked with wood.
Larger than normal pieces
Unless cooking, or during times of needing a quick
increase, larger pieces of wood will save money during the
winter. Larger pieces, like whole unsplit logs will burn
all night, without your having to get up every 3 or 4 hours (to
feed more wood into the stove).
Smaller pieces require
more effort to fill a stove with more trips to gain enough wood to fill
the stove, and since smaller pieces have more exposed
area, the burn is quick, hot, and short-lived.
Typically, a firewood
vendor over-splits the wood for a number of reasons, least of which is
the fact that over-split wood gives the appearance of more wood since
more area is required to stack. Whereas, if your wood
supply is stout in larger pieces, you get more wood for your
When seeking to engineer your own stove to suit your own
safety is a factor you'd not want to dismiss.
Consider the advantages of an ash pan that
can be removed and dumped without requiring
that the door to the firebox be repeatedly opened to manually shovel
out the ash build-up. When opening
the door numerous times exposes the surrounding area
with more ash and toxic gases.
The fireplace seen below shows the tray beneath the firebox that is
simply pulled from the unit and carried outside to dump (later finding
its way to the garden).
Properly functioning damper
The stove shown within this webpage did not come with any
damper built into the unit. Without a damper, the heat
rushes up the chimney and is forever lost *but also without a damper
your life could also be lost as in the form of a chimney fire hazard!
Properly functioning draft control
When both the damper (seen above) and draft control (seen
both turned to their lowest setting, the wood burns little flame
allowing a long overnight burn. Caution should be taken to not close
the damper too much, otherwise gases will have no choice but to find a
way in the living area. Between the two controls,
one can tailor the heat.
Having a large open space requires much less work to deliver
to all areas.
As seen in the photo below, the dial is used to control the speed
of a couple of fans that are
incorporated into the stove's void. The void which surrounds the
firebox contains the hot air that the fans push into the living area.
The air chamber void is completely sealed from the actual
firebox, which is literally suspended in the stove making it a box in a
The old adage of just keeping it simple holds true with
your heat. Less parts needed equates to less money required
and less things that could go wrong.
In Ohio, the winters can hold a few bone-chilling days
outside. But thanks to an ample amount of capitalist junk mail,
which "legally" comes to us unsolicited,
kindling a fire to warm the inside is not a problem.
*Only the economically allowed corporations may enjoy this
If you, I, or the mom and pop store down the street send mail
unsolicited, we're going to jail.
Hence, the destruction of our once-great vibrant and
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