October 4, 2021

Outdoor Kitchen: Wood Cookstove Firebox Side

Continued from here

Something unique about the wood cookstove Dan is building, is that the oven and the firebox are on different sides of the stove. The firebox is on the front, and the oven is on the back (or vice versa, depending on one's viewpoint.) Why the designer made it that way is unknown; maybe because his house was an open design and having the firebox on the living room side enabled easier feeding of the fire. I don't know. The original design had a fire viewing window at the back of the firebox. A nice feature, but unnecessary for us. We might could have put the doors on the same side, but making too many changes to an untried design didn't seem like a good idea. The plans were confusing enough as it was. On the bright side, having the firebox where it is will make it easier to toss in a little more wood to maintain cooking or baking heat.

Anyway, I hope that answers a question that might pop unto your mind as you look at my pictures. Now, on to the progress.

More on the construction of the firebox and core here.

Checking the fit of the firebox door.

The photo above shows a unique feature of the batch box firebox design. The tubular steel beneath the door is the secondary air intake. The primary intake is the slot in the door. In this design, the tube fits into a channel in the bottom of the firebox (see photo below) and channels air to the back of the firebox. This is part of the core design and results in a very clean burn of the firewood. 

Brickwork for front finished.

Close-up at a different angle.

Another question you might have (I would, if I was you) is, why is the door set so far back? Why isn't the door flush with the front brick face of the stove? That is the result of poorly written plans, and why I'm not linking to them. The plans were mostly a series of layered schematics, with little to no explanation of what was going on. Equally unfortunate, the recommended videos showed stoves with something different than the plans. It was both confusing and frustrating, and why this was almost an abandoned project! 

Firebox door in place without the 2ndary air channel.

The next step will be the stovetop, and that has become another adventure in creativity. I have to hand it to Dan. He's ordinarily quite willing to modify something as he sees fit, but this stove had him stumped. He finally decided to plow ahead in hopes that it worked out. It will still work as a cookstove, but its heat efficiency as a batch box stove remains to be seen.

Dan will also admit he isn't very satisfied with the brickwork, but I think he was at the point where he just wanted to get it done. He has found a masonry series on YouTube that has restored his enthusiasm for brick laying, so expect more brickwork projects sometime in the not too distant future. 

18 comments:

daisy g said...

Looking good!

Ed said...

When I get plans like yours, where I'm not sure how things actually work, I generally draw them up using free web CAD software and that usually helps me figure things out. But it can eat up a lot of time so one has to balance it out.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I am sure even if it just works as an oven, it will be more than rewarding. And if nothing else, Dan has been able to restore his enthusiasm about a particular project type. That is not a small thing.

Goatldi said...

As long as it is functional and serves it purpose all is not lost. Looking forward to baking post of the future.

Leigh said...

Thanks, Daisy!

Leigh said...

Ed, that's a really good idea. CAD software would be wonderful, except for the learning curve! I'd be the one to have to learn it because Dan doesn't care much for computers. But it might be worth it because we'd like to replace our soapstone stove in the living room with a different model masonry stove; one that we'll likely have to design for ourselves. I'll have to look into that software.

Leigh said...

TB, he's feeling better about it by just getting it this far. I'm confident it will be good for cooking, and we'll probably figure out what could have been done better. Since it's outside, as long as it cooks, the rest will be okay.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, that's what I say! He's getting ready to start on the top, and then we'll be able to take it for a test spin.

wyomingheart said...

Oh, Leigh! I am very excited for you! I am very impressed with the brick work, and the energy used in this creativity! Well, well done homesteaders! I am as excited as you, to see how well it performs! Great post and thank you for sharing!

Glen Filthie said...

I think Dan is his own worst critic! My grandad was a bricklayer, of the kind with skills that made it look easy. It was really deceiving to watch him work.

The trick is to leave a lucky penny embedded somewhere in the mortar.
😉👍

Michelle said...

I would think the door is inset to protect it from the elements/keep precipitation out.

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, we're getting pretty excited about it now that it's getting close to done. The top is next, then we can light the first fire!

Leigh said...

Glen, good to hear from you! The sign of a truly skilled craftsman is making it look easy! I'll have to tell Dan about the penny. :)

Leigh said...

Michelle, that's a great idea! I suspect you're probably right. That's what I'll tell people from now on. :)

Rosalea said...

Looking so good! The day of the first fire will be exciting! Good on Dan, for ploughing forward despite the less than perfect plans.

Leigh said...

Rosalea, thanks! We're really curious as to how well it works.

Julene said...

That stove is a work of art from what I see! You are a faithful homesteader and encouragement to those of us looking on. Julene

Leigh said...

Julene,thank you!