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Thread: Wood stove time again

  1. #1
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    Default Wood stove time again

    Some of you may remember that I got a wood stove installed last year. I got it usable on the first day of the year, but over the summer made some improvements such as replacing some bits with new, and buttoning up my ceiling with a piece of sheet steel. It's now as close as I can make it to bullet proof.

    First fire last night, and one of the improvements has worked out so nicely I feel compelled to tell ya'll. I'd wanted to put a stone top on it. It's an air-tight welded sheet metal stove lined with fire brick. It's older, but still works well...a good heater that with a full load will burn ten hours. But, a stone top...So I called around to various stone places looking for advice. Avoid granite, too frangible, soapstone is traditional, works well etc. Then I hit on it. Since I moved into this place fourteen years back there has been a large slab of gray slate leaning against a utility pole. So, what about slate? I asked one guy down Bucksport way who had made a headstone for my brother, and he said slate would be ideal. It's basically a dense laminate, and resists cracking from heating and cooling very well. So, I took a closer look at the slab, and lo and behold it was the perfect shape and size to cover the top...rustically. It's roughly four inches thick in the center, with wing ledges on either end tapering to perhaps inch and a half. It's roughness nicely offsets the rather industrial look of the stove. I was a bit worried about weight, but took a good look at the floor framing, and with my usual "by guess and by god" calculations figured it would be just fine.

    Any hoo, built a small fire last night around eight, and that slab of stone is still warm closing in on noon. Beautiful addition to my winter heating rig! A sort of poor man's Russian fire place, if you know what that is. Life is good, and I'm a minor genius.

    I'll save for another time the story of getting a 150 lb. slab of slate up my narrow front steps to the top of the stove. That's a good one!

    Find joy, amidst all the yanking and pulling in your life, in simple blessings, every day.
    So many questions, so little time.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    I have guys in my house as I type this finishing up the stove pipe to the stove they installed on Tuesday. It's a Blaze King Ashford 3.0. They say in the shoulder season it can burn for 36 hours with a full load. I of course have yet to test that out but I look forward to wood heat and seeing how efficient it is, if it will heat the house on it's own, how best to arrange the inside doors in the house to best disperse the heat etc. A slate is a good idea. Not sure my wife would buy into it though.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Nice stove, Sailor. I rented a house years ago that had an Ashford stove, but I don't remember the model. Spray-on oven cleaner easily cleans the inside of the window when it gets all cruddy.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Thanks for the idea. I have an old pool table top, broken across the middle, sitting in the garden somewhere. A steel plate stove sitting in the shed. And a new room I'm about to build. They might all come together.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    We just cleaned ours out for the summer. Last fire a fortnight ago but that was an overnight affair for a sick friend.
    I'll sweep the chimney next week.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Cleaned my flue last week.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    I would be careful of slate. Slate can hold water between the laminations.
    Jim McGee

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Two dry cords stacked under a shed roof

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    In my shop in Stewiacke, I had an airtight wood stove. My engineering skills might have got a trifle carried away. At the exit of the stove was an exaust gas pyrometer. Within the base of the stack, was a temperature sensor that, while a fire was on, I maintained a temperature just above 212 F, 100C, which tended not to create creasote. On the outside of the stack, I added another temperature sensor. This was NOT to be over 125 F. As I learned in fire school, after a prolonged exposure to "elevated heat", there is a chance of spontanious combustion. Loved the shop, miss it dearly.

    Dumah
    Duct tape can't fix stupid but it will muffle the sound

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    We just cleaned ours out for the summer. Last fire a fortnight ago but that was an overnight affair for a sick friend.
    I'll sweep the chimney next week.
    Must be a bit warmer where you are than where we are. Still burning here.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Anyone have any idea if concrete would survive if one made a concrete cap to put on the stove?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    I have a stack of slate roofing shingles that I use as a fire barrier/heat shield for torch welding and brazing next to flammable (wood) surfaces. These are relatively thin shingles and after exposure to direct flame from a torch the strength is significantly reduced, enough that they can be crumbled in my hands about like sugar candy?
    As a heat sink on top of a metal stove slate will be excellent, but I wouldn't rely on it as the actual sides or top of the stove with direct exposure to flame.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsub86 View Post
    Anyone have any idea if concrete would survive if one made a concrete cap to put on the stove?
    They use concrete for nuclear reactors don't they?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    We lived in Upstate New York, in the Winter of the White Death, with only wood heat. The antique round oak stove warmed the house, but ate wood like paper, so I switched to a Shenandoah stove. Here in the Ozarks we have a new Shenandoah in the garage/shop, and it works just fine and toasty.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Onya Isahmael sounds like you're having fun. If the slate didnt let go the first time chances are it never will

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Nice stove, Sailor. I rented a house years ago that had an Ashford stove, but I don't remember the model. Spray-on oven cleaner easily cleans the inside of the window when it gets all cruddy.

    Or just rub it with a wad of newspaper.
    We don't know how lucky we are....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Lordy, saints a blazin', Sailor...36 hrs! How big's the firebox? I'd known modern stoves had become more efficient, but...wow! If I throttle this one back I can stretch it to twelve.

    I'm a cheap(um, thrifty) fellow by nature, and have owned this one for twenty five years. I've looked at more modern stoves, but haven't seen any that burned that long.

    Gotta love a wood fire, though ask me again mid-winter after my shoulder kinks up again.
    Last edited by ishmael; 10-13-2017 at 04:20 AM.
    So many questions, so little time.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    They use concrete for nuclear reactors don't they?
    In my last house I had a "Bakers oven", made in Australia by Nektre, these have a firebox and an oven, and to help the heating of the house over a full day I put a concrete paving slab on top of it, that heated while the fire was running and held heat for a good 12 hours after the fire went out.

    Incidentally bread baked in that oven seemed much nicer than the same recipe baked in an electric oven.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    oldsub,

    I'd think concrete would work fine. Might want to heat it slowly a few times to drive off any residual moisture.

    Dumah,

    Like I mentioned, my "engineering" such as it is, is more seat of the pants. HOT fire at least once a day, and that seems to work well. I'll leave a ladder up and sweep the chimney once or twice this winter. I found that last winter I didn't get much creosote except at the joint between the stove and the pipe where there's an elbow which slows down the smoke. I wonder how more modern stoves achieve such high efficiency rates? There must be some sort of convoluted baffles for the smoke? Wonder how that works out re smudge inside?

    Canoe,

    My geology is a bit rusty, but I'm pretty sure slate comes in different flavors. Roofing slate is by its nature more easily separable along the joint lines? Hence, good for making shingles? Dunno, but it sounds good. This stuff is very dense, so I'm not worried about it coming apart.

    I have a feeling it's going to be a cold snowy winter 'round these parts. Happy heating everyone!
    So many questions, so little time.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    My thought regarding the concrete was that it would be easier to make a heat sink for the stove than it would be to find stone and cut it to fit properly. I may try it.

    Randy

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Wood stove time again

    This thread has made me realise that I need to remove the wheelbarrow of firewood off my verandah. I havent used my woodfire for a couple of weeks.

    I'm having a think about that concrete on top of the stove for next winter.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

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