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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever built, or thought about :rolleyes: , building a woodburning cookstove? I've always wanted one, but the price of the nice ones are more than I have budgeted for my entire kitchen. I've seen Lehmans economy stoves, and they're still too dang pricey.

I could build one, if I could just get a close up look at all the parts. Unfortunately, it's a long distance drive to retailers of such stoves, and I wonder if they'd really be amenable to me taking a couple hundred shots with my digital camera and tape measure. A couple sheets of steel plate, some handmade hardware from the blacksmithing part of the barn (still to be built) and lots of welding rods, should do it... a couple hundred bucks, and lots of time, versus ~2 to 6K.

I've searched in the past for plans, with no luck. I've got lots of inspiration from the mha.net site, for built in ovens.

I've got free natural gas, but the well could run dry someday (it's been producing for 50 years :angel: ). I have at present, an inexhaustible supply of wood. ...just this morning, drove by an ancient red oak that fell over, with probably 3 cords of wood in it...
 

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Free gas beats cuttin' wood any day. My stove was handbuilt by a guy before I got trhe house. Did a nice job. Maybe I'll get some pix.
 

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Wood stoves are out of sight price wise. I've seen some on e-bay, but they're almost always hundreds of miles away...and my eye sight can't see cracks or other flaws from that distance! I hope you have good luck building/finding one.
 

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Hi,
I have a Sheepherder cook stove. It hasn't been hooked up but I have everything to do that. It was about $600.00 when I bought it. Is that too much for you? You can look it up online. I believe it is manufactured in Salt Lake City, Utah. There was a lot of good said about it.
 

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I hope you're not planning on using ANY homebuilt stove/unit in your home, shop or garage because if you have home owner's insurance, you won't have it any longer. Absolutely NO company will insure if you have a home built wood burning unit of any type. Further, if you have a claim and haven't declared that you have a wood burning unit, or if have incorrectly identified the unit or just plain neglected to mention the unit, you will have falsified your application and will be without coverage for your claim. It is not worth the risk if you are insured.


I know the cookstoves are very expensive, so I use a regular certified airtight. There isn't much that I can't cook on top of it. I cook all types of meats, soups, stews, many desserts etc on mine.

You can also hunt for an old stove-top oven to put on top if you want to bake on it. I use a new coleman propane camp stove oven which produces enough heat for rising bread, baking custards and casseroles, but seldom can I get it above 275 degrees. These are NOT attached to your stove, but just sit on top of it which will not decertify the unit (i.e. any modification or repair - exclusind gasketing and replacement glass - to a certified unit will decertify the stove). There were old fashioned ovens that sat on top of the old kerosene stoves, and I would love to locate one of these because it would likely do a great job. This type of oven is an item that you could make and not decertify your stove or affect your insurance.
 

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neolady said:
I hope you're not planning on using ANY homebuilt stove/unit in your home, shop or garage because if you have home owner's insurance, you won't have it any longer. Absolutely NO company will insure if you have a home built wood burning unit of any type. Further, if you have a claim and haven't declared that you have a wood burning unit, or if have incorrectly identified the unit or just plain neglected to mention the unit, you will have falsified your application and will be without coverage for your claim.
My goodness relax.

:)

We heat using two 55-gallon barrels stacked together with a kit from Northern Hydraulic. 200,000 btu and it works just fine, in our home. :)

No home insurance, but then we have never pursued getting home insurance here.
 

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ET1 SS said:
My goodness relax.

:)

We heat using two 55-gallon barrels stacked together with a kit from Northern Hydraulic. 200,000 btu and it works just fine, in our home. :)

No home insurance, but then we have never pursued getting home insurance here.
Insurance issue aside, barrels were never designed as burners, and the metal is insufficient to support that application. I pray you never have a fire, because these "barrel" burners are disastrous so many times.

Sorr - but I can't relax on this issue - I'm not speaking off the top of my head but from experience, training and qualifications. Barrel burners scare the cr*p out of me. But then, so do a few certified stoves I've seen or used
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep, the free gas will be used till there ain't no more. In the new home, there'll of course be a gas stove and range, but including space for a woodburner on one end. The kitchen will have stone exterior walls and slate interior walls and floors..... so there won't be too much that'd burn. Insurance? Don't have it, and doubtful will have any in the future.

If TSHTF, I'd shut the valve on the gas well, so danged yankees won't be getting any of 'my gas'! and it should last me forever... However, gas wells freeze off, floods wash away pipelines, trees bust pipe, cows step on pipe, etc... You don't know 'fun' till you own your own gas company...you can't just call someone to come fix your system...you have to put on your boots and get out and fix it yourself. IF somethin' happened to the well, and I was out of gas, I'd love to have a woodburning backup.

I've got a woodburning heatin' stove I built over ten years ago, made out of plate steel, lined with firebricks inside, and slate on top. Never had a problem (it's piped with free gas, so I don't have to actually chop wood to have the stove putting out heat).

Had insurance for about ten years... they Never came out to even look at the house..... did put in a claim, they denied it initially, I cancelled the policy, Then they paid!, but I didn't renew...

Also, if the gas does go off in the future, and I do need to burn wood, in a SHTF scenario, insurance won't exist anyhow...
 

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Texican, I have read many of your postings and responses. I do respect your attitude about doing what you have written about. I also want to build a masonry stove. I suggest you look for a book by Ken Kern called 'The Masonry Stove'. It is more than 40 years old now, and it looks back in history several hundred years at the science and changes in wood burning devices. First, my insurance company has refused to insure my future home if I use one of the modern metal stoves. Second, development of wood burning stoves goes back hundreds of years. The new stuff does not follow the wisdom of the past. Wood is better both on energy supplied and chemicals exuded into your breathing space if you burn it hot rather than the slow burn of modern stoves. That creates a dilema in your part of the country. Such a device will heat your house, but make it a complication to cook on the stove during the hot summer. This is my dilema far north of you. My plan is to make the masonry stove for use outside. Fire brick and fire brick mortar are requirements for the fuel burning area. Fire brick mortar is available in my local cement contractor supply company as fire clay. It is not cheap, but if you buy the fire brick and build your own, it is far cheaper than the prices quoted above. You do not need metal, except perhaps for the hinges, door frames, and supports for the burning wood. Avoid it if possible. Third, make your own. It may do more than lessen your cost, it may provide future income opportunities. Good luck, please post details about your plan, progress, and hopefully photos. I will reciprocate. Happy New Day, each one is a gift. Gary
 

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Texican,

What kind of scrounger are you?

Ten years ago I bought a simple one at a thrift/garage sale for $5. A woman wanted it out of her garage. I brought an engine hoist over to lift it onto my truck. I used it in a cabin I owned at the time.

Two years ago I came across a real nice antique one at a thrift/garage sale for $200.
It was in a basement and would have to be brought up a long flight of stairs to get it out. I didn't buy it because I didn't have a use for it. It would have been good to resell tho.

The point I'm trying to make is that deals are around on wood burning cook stoves. In both of my encounters, people wanted them out asap. They also knew they are heavy, so they were selling them cheap.

RF
 

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I lined our barrels with a layer of fire-clay [refractory cement], which should extend the life of the barrels for a few years. I get the barrels for free from a local twinkie factory, and I have a dozen fresh barrels in the yard as replacements anytime that these burn through.

I also used 55-gallon drums for the black-water transfer station [a sealed pit with a sewage pump in it], I used another one for the grey-water transfer station, another one is a worm farm, a couple are out with the goats for their toys, and we have six plumbed together in the basement as a thermal-bank to hold the hot water for the radiant floor system.

I find 55-gallon steel drums to be wonderful devices, very useful in many applications.

As for using them to burn fuel and heat with; I fully expect them to burn-out sometime. I will let you know what year these finally burn-out and need to be replaced. I have only used them for one winter so far and during our summer clean-out and inspection of them, they show no signs of wear yet.

Since their cost is so low [the mounting hardware is heavy cast iron that should be re-usable through the working lives of many barrels, the refractory cement cost me $30, and the drums are free]; then I think that I am far ahead of folks who do pay thousands for a smaller woodstove.

:)
 

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ET1 SS said:
I lined our barrels with a layer of fire-clay [refractory cement], which should extend the life of the barrels for a few years. I get the barrels for free from a local twinkie factory, and I have a dozen fresh barrels in the yard as replacements anytime that these burn through.

I also used 55-gallon drums for the black-water transfer station [a sealed pit with a sewage pump in it], I used another one for the grey-water transfer station, another one is a worm farm, a couple are out with the goats for their toys, and we have six plumbed together in the basement as a thermal-bank to hold the hot water for the radiant floor system.

I find 55-gallon steel drums to be wonderful devices, very useful in many applications.

As for using them to burn fuel and heat with; I fully expect them to burn-out sometime. I will let you know what year these finally burn-out and need to be replaced. I have only used them for one winter so far and during our summer clean-out and inspection of them, they show no signs of wear yet.

Since their cost is so low [the mounting hardware is heavy cast iron that should be re-usable through the working lives of many barrels, the refractory cement cost me $30, and the drums are free]; then I think that I am far ahead of folks who do pay thousands for a smaller woodstove.

:)
I've used refractory cement in the bottom of a little cast iron, two burner, non-airtight stove. Not that I thought it would burn out, but we had it in an old trailer house which served as our deer camp. Needed to keep some heat away from the floor.

Made a heat-reflector for the wall, by screwing two pieces of 3/4" sheetrock to the wall, then screwed a piece of tin over that, but only placed screws on the edges. In the middle, between the sheetrock and the tin, I placed three 1/2" pieces of EMT as a seperator.

We used "Smoky Joe" for over twenty years, until we sold the camp...the new owner still uses it...
 

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We've done about everything listed above; masonery stove, barrel stove, no home owners insurance. I will post some pictures of the masonery stove. We were big fans of Ken Kern, so I am sure we read his book. We built this stove in 1979, out of necessity. As you can tell, we built with green lumber and the house was quite drafty. The stove worked great, if you were not in a hurry for heat, took a good 12 hours to get any significant heat, mostly out of the chimney.

We were very careful with the barrel stove, had it in the garage.

But I think some of you too quickly dismiss a few concerns pointed out here.

We have heated with wood every year since 1974. We currently have a store bought wood burning furnance. What ever brand Farm and Fleet used to sell, Johnson? In 2003 our home insurance carrier informed us we no longer would be covered because our primary heat source was a wood burner. So we had a heat pump installed as our "primary" :) heat source.
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