August 17, 2022

Masonry Stove Project

Replacing our soapstone wood stove with a wood masonry heater is a project that started to pop up on this year's project lists.

Considering the technicalities of the project, it's something we know we have to get right. The challenges so far are finding/developing a design to fit our woodstove alcove, and sourcing materials. Some, we just can't find locally.

The alcove we have to work with.

Hearth drawn out on graph paper (click to enlarge)

Drying in the bricks to explore possibilities.
We'll have to put the stove back before it gets cold.

So, we're further along than we were at the beginning of the year. We're glad to have made some small progress, but aren't impatient about it because some projects, like this one, can't be rushed. 

Masonry Stove Project © August 2022


daisy g said...

No doubt y'all will take the time needed to do it right.

Ed said...

It would take some getting used too. I like that direct warm air source that stoves provide. But it would admittedly be nice to not have to chop so much wood or stoke the fire quite so often.

Mama Pea said...

Masonry stoves have been used in Europe for centuries so I'm sure yours will be all you hope for when finished and in operation. Wonder why more of us wood-burning people here in the U.S. don't have them? We've collected plans for one for years . . . but have never progressed to the point you and Dan have!

Granny Sue said...

What an interesting project. If my husband had heard of these stoves back when we burned wood, I am sure he would have been building one, since he's a brickmason. Now, we are spoiled with our free gas.

Leigh said...

Daisy, it never pays to be in a rush!

Ed, our soapstone stove is slow to heat the room, because of the soapstone sides, top, and bottom. So in a way, we're used to the slower heating concept. The soapstone retains heat for awhile, but it isn't as efficient as a masonry heater! One option for getting quicker heat into the room is to put a cast iron cooktop over the firebox. That's a definite possibility we're looking into, but it complicates the design. Hence taking our time!

Mama Pea, indeed they have been used in Europe for centuries, and with great effect! I learned from Geoff Lawton that they used to use a version of it in rural China, where the thermal mass doubled as a bed! Most of the information we find is from folks wanting to build it for you. But there are a lot of DIYers on, so that's my go to for the best information.

Sue, hello and welcome! How interesting that your husband was a brick mason. My husband would love to pick his brain! But free gas, wow! That's enough to spoil anyone. :)

Goatldi said...

What a gem of an example of post it and more questions will come. My first is directed to Granny Sue "free gas???" I couldn't find a way to access you privately but would love to hear where that happens.

Leigh I love the idea of the thermal mass doubling as a bed. I believe I actually read that somewhere before. Maybe on your blog post with a mention of this project before? I love anything that can provide several uses.

As always will wait for the outcome and those projects that will fill your time until this one comes round again.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, more than one use is the way to go! Many of this type stove makes a bench for a thermal mass. Cover with cushions and you have warm seating all winter!

Fundy Blue said...

People like you, Leigh, who do thing like this amaze me. You are inspiring! Good luck with your project.

Leigh said...

Thanks Fundy! It's a big one!

Chris said...

So excited that you're making this change. It's uses less wood and holds the heat longer.