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Thread: Tiny Tot stove

  1. #1
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    Default Tiny Tot stove

    For about a year I have had a Tiny Tot stove, intending to install it into Whimbrel.

    I finally completed the job. Last weekend Maria and I stayed on board for the night. It was delightful.
    I started the fire with dried sticks and paper, and soon added hardwood charcoal. Regular but not frequent feeding (approximately 6, 10 pm and 2 and 6 am....it did not need relighting... ever), kept the cabin nicely warm throughout the night, and for breakfast.

    This is not the first time I have installed a stove, either solid fuel or oil fired, but I just want to say how satisfying this has been. I am really impressed with the performance. I have not had good experiences with charcoal before, but I know I would have been more occupied with feeding sticks than I was with the charcoal. All in all a resounding success.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Reminds me of my tiny tots-for the first few years of their lives anyway. Who's turn is it to feed him this time???

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    John,
    Getting 4 hours burntime per load of charcoal is fantastic. Are you running a manual damper on your exhaust stack? On my Bolger Microtrawler I installed a Dickinson solid fuel heater with a barometric damper on it's stack and can get no more then 2 hours burn time on my heater, with hardwood or Kingsford charcoal.

    Either way, there sure is something comforting watching that little heater bring some warmth and cheer to the cabin!

    Take Care,
    Mike
    Last edited by M. J. Notigan; 10-27-2012 at 09:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    How about sharing some pics of the install?




    Steven

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    I'll try with some pics but it won't be tonight...I have them on my phone. not with me here. I have not been really successful with photos at the best of times.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Cruising without a solid fuel stove is to miss one of the sport's great pleasures. I had a Lunenburg Foundry "Gift" stove in my first Bolger Black Skimmer, and a Ratelco Cole Stove in my Rhodes Ranger 28; both were wonderful. It helps to have a damper in the stack. I burned mostly charcoal, but also wood when I could get it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    The folks at Fatsco Stove Co. would be interested in some photos, as they are trying to get the Tiny Tots and Midget stoves back out into the marketplace. I have had three tiny Tots, one with a cook top and searail, and have had a Chummy for the last 20 years. I recently have been in contact with Fatsco at fatsco.com and have been able to order parts for my Chummy to keep it going for awhile longer...They have whole stoves and parts available

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Hey John

    Our climate demands a drying heat for our boats at least 6-7 months of the year; personally I can use it year round. Accolade originally had a gas engine, and perhaps a wood galley range, although I'm not sure of that. Since her conversion to a diesel engine, the oil-fired stove made more sense. I found an old dickenson pacific and we are working out the operating procedures as I type; rather a pleasant task.

    I've often thought a little woodburner would be handy for those cooler summer eves but I'm not sure about hauling charcoal about for the extended seasons. How much charcoal would you burn in a 24 hour period? / Jim

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Hello Chas,
    I have used a Dickenson Pacific in my old powerboat for years great stove and economical. Any help or advice you want let me know. Where are you? We are in Nanaimo.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Back in Campbell River for the winter, then points north, God willin'. I could always use a good bread recipe. / Jim

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Here are a couple of photos.... The smoke head is actually about 6 inches higher than shown......There is an atmospheric damper facing away from the camera immediately above the stove. Behind the stove is a lined bin for stove fuel. I keep the sea swing stove there when not in use as well, more out of the way.



    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    I don't think I'd recommend wood or charcoal for a liveaboard, simply because carrying fuel becomes such an issue. Those diesel stoves are great.
    I am seldom out for more than a week, more often for a few days. I have not done that much with this stove yet, but based on the limited data, I'd guess < 2.5 days of continuous burning per bag, if the weather is not too cold. Cruising on boats with solid fuel heaters before I think I really only kept fires for perhaps 6 hours in the evening and 2 hours in the morning. I'd probably carry 2 bags for a week, and heat 8 to 10 hours per day, during the cooler parts of the year.

    I intend to try some other fuels such as pellets or presto-logs as well.

    I don't take the big charcoal bag on the boat. It takes about 10 minutes to half-fill a bunch of paper lunch bags with charcoal and take those on board. I do not handle the stuff on board at all. I merely feed the whole bag, or dump it in when necessary. The paper bag is a good fire starter or restarter.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Hi M.J.Notigan,
    See the link below for some idea of the performance of different sorts of charcoal. Kingsford appears to be the least efficient for our purposes, but quite reasonable for a barbeque.

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/burntimetest/lumpcompare.htm

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    I have been a fan of Tiny Tot Stoves for over fifty years. I once had one in my split window VW bus that would drive us out of the camper if we burned coal. The stack would turn cherry red from the extra BTU's the coal afforded. We camped at ski areas in those days! Now I have one for my office in the boat shop and one that I just bought to install in our H28 "Bright Star". The dry heat will be welcome on damp afternoons when returning from Catalina Island in S. CA. I like bagged briquets but even better are pressed sawdust log rounds for fuel as they are clean and burn clean leaving almost no ash.
    Cheers,
    Jay

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    Hi M.J.Notigan,
    See the link below for some idea of the performance of different sorts of charcoal. Kingsford appears to be the least efficient for our purposes, but quite reasonable for a barbeque.

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/burntimetest/lumpcompare.htm
    Hi John,
    Thanks for the great link! I've used both the Royal Oak (sold here in NJ at Walmart) and Kingsford and found those findings to be about what I experienced. In addition I found the Royal Oak to throw off sparks when refreshing the charcoal with a new load, not good cause I have the tile door in the up position, exposing the grated front grill (I like the ambience the flaming and glowing embers give!). In my seat of the pants feel, the Royal Oak gave off a more hotter burn with less ash compared to the Kingsford.

    I've tried pellet stove fuel in my Dickinson, despite what Dickinson says about using manufactured wood. Now I know why they don't recommend that stuff; when it takes off it burns like a blow torch. I found I can safely get away with 2 small margarine sized containers worth of the pellets. 3 containers worth and I was looking at the stack glowing a bright orange red along with the sides of the heater. Never again! After my last episode with pellets burning out of control I learned to stick with charcoal or small peices of hardwood cut to size. I'm curious to know what binder is used to make up those pellets!

    Take Care,
    Mike

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    I had a stove burn out of control once with presto-logs (manufactured wood products) I had over stoked it and though I had a flue damper, a gale of wind outside had the stove cherry for about an hour. Fire extinguisher in hand and carefull application of water spray to the deck penetration prevented disaster.
    I recommend an atmopheric (barometric) damper in the flue and careful draft control. With the bar-damper I have run my Dickenson Pacific for months through the winter including strong and gusty gales with no worries.
    The Tiny Tot is not airtight enough to actually shut down a vigorous fire but it is close, and better than the "Little Cod" of the story above. Careful addition of fuel is part of the safety margin.
    My Dad had a "little cod" (different boat and different little cod) in his Herreshof Cat Yawl. A lot of stove for a little boat. You only wanted a tiny fire in the corner to keep warm. I would feed a stick about every 15 minutes throughout the evening, when I used her as a residence in Vancouver, while doing training during November and December in 1990.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Quote Originally Posted by M. J. Notigan View Post
    .... I'm curious to know what binder is used to make up those pellets!

    Take Care,
    Mike
    I'm pretty sure the pellets are just formed with heat and pressure. No binder.


    Thanks for the pics.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    I had a stove burn out of control once with presto-logs (manufactured wood products) I had over stoked it and though I had a flue damper, a gale of wind outside had the stove cherry for about an hour. Fire extinguisher in hand and carefull application of water spray to the deck penetration prevented disaster.
    I recommend an atmopheric (barometric) damper in the flue and careful draft control. With the bar-damper I have run my Dickenson Pacific for months through the winter including strong and gusty gales with no worries.
    The Tiny Tot is not airtight enough to actually shut down a vigorous fire but it is close, and better than the "Little Cod" of the story above. Careful addition of fuel is part of the safety margin.
    My Dad had a "little cod" (different boat and different little cod) in his Herreshof Cat Yawl. A lot of stove for a little boat. You only wanted a tiny fire in the corner to keep warm. I would feed a stick about every 15 minutes throughout the evening, when I used her as a residence in Vancouver, while doing training during November and December in 1990.
    Having also experienced a runaway burn in a wood stove although not one of these, I recommend a bucket of sand or soil to pour into the firebox. It works and works quickly to stop all airflow.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    We only have really used wood in our Tiny Tot/Chummy stoves, mostly because I am nearly always producing small bits of wood through projects or through cutting wood for the woodstove at home. I fill up the woodbox under the stove and it can last about a week of use in moderately cold temps. A walk on the beach can usually fill it up in a short time. When we lived on board we always used paper plates three or four at a time; then peeled off the the dirty top one or two, rolled them into a tight spiral, and used them to start the wood. It worked well, and if it is windy it is best to get a draft going fast so you don't get smoked out. I was still using a kerosene cookstove at the time, and used a squirt bottle with alcohol to start it; this squirt bottle was also very handy to get the paper plates going quickly.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Sand is good in this instance.....I did not have sand........I had a ABC Dry Chem extinguisher. these make a hell of a mess when used. I was trying to avoid it if possible. I was close to using it near the beginning, but was able to hold on......I learned a few lessons that night.....

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    For those who have experience with the Tiny Tot, is it sufficient to heat a 11 x 17 x 6.5 foot cabin? This is the main cabin of a 35 foot sailboat.

    Thanks

    Mike
    Last edited by mwybo; 11-17-2012 at 05:39 PM. Reason: typo

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    I used to cruise a bit on the William Garden Bullfrog, A big, wide, and deep 30 foot cutter. It was equiped with a tiny tot and that did a splendid job of keeping the entire boat warm and toasty. The burn time left a bit to be desired, but it was a lovely comforting dry heat, perfect for a game of cribbage with a few glasses of port, a session of telling lies and it would make bacon and eggs in the morning while it took off the chill. It would only run for a few hours before feeding, we always brought bags of hardwood cut-offs from the boat shop, and supplemented that with charcoal.
    Note, this was not Montreal... It was San Fransico Bay in the winter and the temperature rarely dipped much below 40°F.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Wow Gardens Bullfrog !! I always liked that one. Mind you I almost decided to build Wenda once upon a time as well.
    Any solid fuel stove will need to be fed regularly. I have never had one that would ....say burn through the night on one stoking, even damped down. Damping down too much really increases the production of CO and also the danger. I was worried that the tiny tot would require a lot of tending but, using hardwood charcoal this was not the case. Once I had a good fire, I could stoke the burner full and leave it, (with the air supply, set something less than half) for about 3.5 to 4 hours before needing stoking again. Wood would burn just fine but need more tending probably. I have used wood chunks in other small marine solid fuel burners and always needed more tending, certainly good enough for a few glasses of port and a story or three. I have just bought a package of pressed wood fibre bricks to try in the stove. I am guessing a little less efficient then the charcoal, but will see.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    A bucket of sand near the stove is good. But most important, even if you only burn natural wood but especially if you burn charcoal is

    INSTALL A CARBON MONOXIDE METER in the boat. Do that this afternoon.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Thanks for the response, the boat is not in Montreal but rather Nova Scotia, which is warmer than Montreal but not by a whole lot ! No winter live aboard plans, just spring/summer/fall cruising in the Maritimes.

    Gilberj, did you purchase the deck iron and the smokehead from Navigator Stove Works or can tou recommend another source ^

    Thanks.

    Mike

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    The Tiny Tot will do just fine; we had one on our 48' Alden cutter in the main saloon and it kept at least the saloon pretty toasty. I have also had one in my last two boats; the 1930 Crosby sloop was 21 feet and the Tiny Tot was almost too much for it, but it was just right for the 1936 cutter Rogue, although we now have a larger version. This was also in SF Bay and Ca. coast, but I remember being below with it keeping us all warm, when I went up to tie off some banging halyards. To my surprise, there were 8" snow drifts on the windward side of the cabin and it was coming down pretty good! We had no idea what we were missing...thanks to our Tiny Tot. This was in 1974 aboard Elan, the Alden cutter, 1936 by Casey.
    As far as deck irons, the bronze one from Shipmate is the only substantial one I know of, but pricy. Dickenson makes a SS one, but it is less stout but way cheaper. I found out that you can get the Dickenson at Sears online for about 70 bucks. Also Fisherman supply up in Seattle carries them plus ss stove pipe and elbows, and three different smokeheads.
    We always have burned hardwood chunks in our stoves, and that has worked pretty well...they don't burn too long because of the size of the firebox, but if the choice is between being cold or getting up to feed the hungry black god in the corner...well, I choose warmth.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Quote Originally Posted by mwybo View Post
    Thanks for the response, the boat is not in Montreal but rather Nova Scotia, which is warmer than Montreal but not by a whole lot ! No winter live aboard plans, just spring/summer/fall cruising in the Maritimes
    Mike
    I think the Tiny Tot will be perfect.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    I got my deck penetration and the complete flue from Dickinson. a bit of straight pipe, two elbows, an atmospheric damper (absolutely necessary) the penetration itself, and the smoke head.
    The Tiny Tot will be completely suitable for Maritime's spring , summer and fall, Your boats cabin is not really much larger than mine.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    I've posted this before, but the Tiny Tot has a long history.
    Before the automobile the milk truck was a closed horsedrawn wagon full of ice. A mobile icebox. Life for the milkman was grim unless he walked along with his horse which was efficent because the horse would learn the route, stop at the right houses and the man could skip across yards carrying many bottles in a wire basket to speed up the deliverys. But there were days when the tops would pop off the frozen milk bottles and if it stayed that cold for long the bottles would break (I remember this). So the milkman would ride inside for the longer passages and make a little fire in the stove.
    Those little Tiny Tot heaters were made and marketed for milk trucks a hundred years ago...
    I sort of want to buy another one just to have it, they are a beautiful thing.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Neat story. I remember a horse drawn milk wagon, though I do not remember a stove.
    Last edited by gilberj; 11-20-2012 at 01:27 PM.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Nice set-up, John. That does look cosy and clean.

    "I recommend an atmopheric (barometric) damper in the flue and careful draft control. With the bar-damper I have run my Dickenson Pacific for months through the winter including strong and gusty gales with no worries."

    LOL. I've got to this point recently. It's howling across the docks here for the third day in a row and with my setup that actually seem to beat my fire down a bit. The diesel range seems to like it's draft steady also.

    Spent a couple of nice days in Nanaimo in early Oct. There's a LOT of wake at Newcastle Island on a long weekend. We recovered at Boho Bay on Lasqueti, a good place to wait out strong northwesterlies. Now the gales of November are upon us, with a passion. / Jim

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Hi Jim, To bad you didn't drop me a line. We could have consulted over a beverage or two. Dickinson's have atmospheric dampers for all the usual sizes. What sort of boat are you on. Perhaps I saw you when you were here.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    Andrew at Navigator (sardine maker) recommended Idaho Energy Logs for use in his stoves. These pressed sawdust logs have no binder and are extremely dense. I've tried a few at home.

    Easy to size by just tapping a log anywhere with a hatchet. You can make little thin rounds for 'kindling', and crumple some for starting the fire. These are also legal to cross into Canada with, since they don't likely contain living bugs, plants, eggs or seeds (which makes them good shipmates too).

    Andrew says that although they burn hotter than most hardwoods, they don't burn hot enough to hurt the stove, as can happen with hard coal. They burn very clean and produce little ash. And, it's mill waste!

    If I burned alot the price might be an issue. About $1.17 each by the pallet (240 logs, 1900 lbs.). We can get them here in the PNW.
    Last edited by KAIROS; 11-19-2012 at 01:06 AM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Tiny Tot stove

    The pressed wood blocks I bought the other day do not chop or split easily. The "presto logs" I used years ago could be easily chopped into little rounds. I will have to run these through the saw to get them sized for the tiny tot, which detracts from the attraction as a fuel source. I have not yet burned them in the stove, as you might have guessed. I will let you know.

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