Woodstove Questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Phantomfyre, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    I have an opportunity to get a free woodstove, but I know NOTHING about them, except that they burn wood, :rolleyes: and I think it would be cool to have one, maybe for a summer kitchen outdoors to do canning on.
    It's described as, "antique, rusty, we think federal-style, square shape, been sitting outside for the winter."
    It is worth the hour drive (one way) to go get it? What questions should I ask of the current owner before I commit to taking it? What parts might I need for it to make it work, and how much would that cost? Anything else I should know or consider?

    Thank you for any suggestions and/or help! :worship:
    Diana
     
  2. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Free is a great price. Elbo grease should fix most everything if all of the parts are present. Even if it isn't destined for the kitchen, they make greatstoves for canning in a shed.
     

  3. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    Any free stove is probably worth a 2 hour drive....unless it doesn't do what you want it to do. then it's better going to someone who needs it for what it does. Some stoves are good for cooking, some for staying cool on the outside and just heating air, some for being efficient with wood, some are good radiant heaters, some for inserting in a fireplace and some are good for frustrating you, eating all your wood and making your house smell like smoke.
    If it's a federal airtight coal/wood stove, it's a very nice stove, but the top of it won't get very hot. It's not designed for cooking on...
    if it's a federal insert, the top won't get hot either...they are a double box constructed thing designed to hear air
    If you want to have a woodfired water boiling device for canning purposes and you're gonna do it outside, i would hesitate to recommend you get a nice stove only to leave it out in the rain.
    a cheap outdoor canner is to cut a 55 gallon drum in half lengthwise, forming 2 "troughs." set one trough on some bricks, put something flat in the bottom to set the jars on, fill it with water and light a fire under it. You can set something on top to help hold in the heat. Drums cost $0 to about $10. That'd fit the bill pretty well and will hold about as many jars as we want to make in any night, so it gets fired up only once.

    Do you plan to keep the stove under cover (like on a porch or in a shed)? Do you want to bring it inside to heat the house in the winter? Does your house have a fireplace? Masonry or prefab? Is there a "Thimble" into which you are supposed to put a stove pipe? Do you just want a woodstove for canning and maybe a bit of outside cooking?
    Perhaps if you answer some of these questions, we all could all recommend a stove that would meet all your needs.
    As far as the federal stove goes, I'd suggest you figure out what you want and then tell the current owner and see if s/he thinks their stove will work for you...hopefully they know enough about it to have some thoughts on the matter
     
  4. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    Thank you for the responses. This item was posted on Freecycling, and I didn't figure anyone would grab it too quickly, but I was wrong, and it's been taken. (I emailed the owner anyway to let them know that if the other person changes their mind, I'll take it!)

    My primary thought was to put the stove out on our covered porch and use it for summer cooking - mainly canning. I didn't even think about the fact that it might have been a heating stove and not a cooking stove. Shows how little I know about them...

    The barrel idea is great! And it's easily movable, so when I'm done, I can store it somewhere. If I wanted to get fancy, I could use the other half as a lid, if I welded on some hinges and a handle.

    I WOULD also like a better way to heat the house. We currently have an oil furnace, forced air. It works great, but, oh! The heating bill - ouch! We do have a masonry fireplace, but without an insert, I know it's probably just sucking the heat out of the house. It does have blowers on it, which helps, but still... I'm not sure about the "thimble" for the stove pipe - do you mean on/in the fireplace? I don't think so - it's just your average fireplace, I think. Should I be looking in the chimney for this?

    Cooking-wise, we currently have an electric stove - only because that's what was here when we bought the place last summer. I like gas better myself, but there's no gas service out here, so we'd have to get a tank, run lines, buy a gas stove, blah, blah, blah. So electric will have to do for now. I wouldn't mind a woodstove in the kitchen except for the heat in the summer, but my DH is actually the one who does the real cooking around here :eek: and I don't think he'd appreciate the extra work... :haha: (I garden, can, take care of the animals, etc., so it's a nice trade-off, since I'd rather be working outside than cooking!)

    I read an article about turning old oil tanks into wood stoves, and was eyeballing our oil tank in the basement, wondering when it'll need to be replaced... But that's not a real option right now.

    In summary, I want to try reduce costs and be more self sufficient by not using the electric stove in the house for canning and not using the oil furnace as much for heating. DH will freak if I make our primary cooking stove a wood stove, so the stove is really just for my canning, and if I can get a dual-purpose stove, one that's easy enough to move to bring it in for the winter to help with heating. I'm probably dreaming, right? Maybe 2 stoves is best for my needs - one for cooking and one for heating?

    Thanks again for your help!
    Diana
     
  5. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to put in a woodstove, spend the money and buy yourself a certified non-cataletic EPA stove.

    Not only will you use a lot less wood, but your insurance company won't laugh you out of the state.

    The EPA stoves often use HALF the wood used by an old style airtight. Do you really want to spend the next ten years cutting, carrying and stacking all that wood? What about the extra chimney cleanings that the EPA stove will prevent? You can buy a brand new EPA stove for $600 and a used one for half that.

    If you burn a lot of wood the stove will pay for itself the first year.

    Pete