Urban Homesteading - Masonary Heat

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by lkytsplt, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. lkytsplt

    lkytsplt New Member

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    Folks,

    I'm very interested in constructing a masonary heater in my home. There are very serious budget issues - so please no Scandanavian imports please.

    If anyone has seen plans and built a good working model, let me know. If you are building one, now and live in the northeast, I may be inclinded to help to gather the experience and sample some home cooking.

    Let me know,

    David

    btw....any other urban homesteaders out there.......
     
  2. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    David,
    See if you can find a copy of "Ken Kern's Masonry Stove" book. It has excellent do it yourself instructions and several plans.
     

  3. lkytsplt

    lkytsplt New Member

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    thanks....I just did a google search on him, great jumping off point.
     
  4. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    illinois but i have a homestead building in missou
    Somewhere I have a book on cabin building that included a chapter on a homemade masonry heater. Book was from the 60s or 70s. I will try to dig it out and find the chapter but basically it was a barrel stove inside a big brick box in the basement. The brick structure rose up through the first floor and formed a sort of square stove with a metal top plate. It had benches all around and you could sit on the top to and stay warm but not get burned. It was all made of scavenged junk. The fire could be fed from the basement or the first floor.
    It was mighty ingenious. If I can find the book I will post the info but thats the basic idea. Seems to me there was a lot of sand in the base too.
     
  5. Ayastigi

    Ayastigi Member

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    What stones are in your area? Normally most sand stone are good conductors for heat and retain that heat for a considerable amount of time. Flint or chert is not so good. When i built my small log cabin, I built a cob and stone masonry heater in it and it would pretty much run you out of there, but I had the door open part of the time too, so that helped. Cob worked really well and would retain heat and disperse heat good as long as it isnt too thick, and cob was free and so was the stone. Of course you have to watch any stones for water retention as they could blow up. And the cob will crack at first under that much heat and I had to do touch up on the facial part, but that was easy and actually fun to do.
     
  6. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    "... and it would pretty much run you out of there ..."

    So, it would get super hot?
     
  7. lkytsplt

    lkytsplt New Member

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    I appreciate your help....this sounds like what I may need for my house. I have removed the plaster/lath around an old chimmny on an interior wall and would like to build against it beginning in the basement.

    Let me know what magazines or periodicals you might searching.......thanks.
     
  8. Ayastigi

    Ayastigi Member

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    It was a small cabin, and it would get hot because of me leaving the door open at times, but a masonry heater is not normally used for that. It heats up the material that is around it and then that material slowly lets the heat out over time. I had read an article one time, cant find it now, been years, but.. in a modern home with modern insulation, the house I believe was around 1800 sq ft., it kept the house comfy for a couple days off of one lighting in freezing weather. If that helps any. I think it would work great for strawbale or even a cob home.
     
  9. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

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    build yourself a brick oven, that way you'll not only have a great bread oven, but a source of heat as well.Mine stays warm for 24 hours -after the fire has gone out and I've baked several batches of bread
     
  10. henk

    henk Well-Known Member

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    The Netherlands, EU
    hi David,

    you could build a finoven/kakelugnen yourself:
    http://www.dataphone.se/~ncteknik/We_are_setting_up_a_Swedish_ceramic_stove.html

    however you might chose a more angular design since the rounded tiles will be hard te get in the states. The basic construction materials shoulnd cost that much. I dont know how happy your home insurance will be with such a homebuild heater.

    As an alternative you could look into companies that build stoves from fireproof concrete. I know iover here in Holland several companies that build these together with their clients, these cost between 1500 and 2200 euro including labor and materials ( http://www.de12ambachten.nl/fotos/3tegelkachels.jpg ). For these stoves there are building plans/instructions, they cost about 20 euro (and are in dutch ;) )

    good luck,

    Henk
     
  11. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    I have built two masonry furnaces and really think very highly of them. Here is a URL to order a CD with plans and building instructions I have gleaned over the years. It is quite thurough and graphics intensive.
    http://www.singingfalls.com/masonry_furnace.html
    And here is a picture of the one I am using currently. Just scroll down to the furnace image.
    http://www.singingfalls.com/homestead.html
    The first furnace was located in our Montana log home (1800 square feet). Our current home is very small by comparison and we still thought the space was worth sparing.
     
  12. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ox,
    Nice web site and beautiful homestead!
    Does your cd include information for heating water and outdoor stoves?
     
  13. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    Thank you sir!

    There is some information on the CD concerning a water preheat system but not much on outside burners. The main technology discussed is in-house "masonry mass-radiant heat" and ways to maximize efficiency. The water preheat system basically eliminates the warming oven normally attached to a Russian Style furnaces (pitchka or grubka). This space is instead filled with a copper coil and sand as a preconditioner for the water heater. In our Montana design we also preheated the combustion air by making it pass underground before reaching the furnace. Worked great.