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A bunch of bricks around a regular metal stove  RSS feed

 
Vlad Alba
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I like the idea of RMH, but I already have a cheap little metal wood stove. I watched Ernie and Erica's DVD but went away without the diagram I would have wanted to build one.

Anyway, I want to convert my little stove to a mass heater of sorts by bricking over it with regular bricks. Maybe the approach would be to make the first couple of brick courses mortar-free to avoid any potential heat/portland issue, then mortar over the final course for the sake of neatness?

Is this brilliant simplicity? Dangerously inept?

Ideas/thoughts?

It's going on a concrete foundation on the ground floor, so no worry there.
It's just a little ol heater, one of the cheapest and smallest out there.


 
Jeremiah wales
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As I read this. The thought of using firebricks standing on end comes to mind. They are about an inch thick. Would that be any better? Instead of a concrete slab on my furnace. I placed it a concrete board. thirty six inches wide and sixty inches deep.
 
Vlad Alba
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I guess I don't understand what you're talking about.

I was just meaning that I want to brick over my little stove. Cover it with bricks. Surround it with bricks, leaving the front door of the stove open and available but covering the top and sides.

I was wondering though if a firebrick would refract the heat rather than just soak it up. Also, I was wondering if firebricks are way expensive.

 
Vlad Alba
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So you're saying, pour a slab of concrete above the stove, using cement board as a form?
 
allen lumley
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Vlad Alba : I am trying to find you a couple of video sets Describing adding mass directly to a Metal stove, This will allow it to hold additional heat energy
for latter radiation to your preferred heated space and will make relighting that stove easier as well !

What it will not do is make you fire much hotter ( This would speed its eventual failure) or more efficient, though you can teach yourself to burn wood
more efficiently if you choose.

For the 1st video you need this link and one the page i send you to you need to scroll down to the 10th Video labeled at the top as "wood stove + Rocket
mass heater =hybrid'' *Link below :


http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp

Link to Kiko Denzers Hat for a woodstove :

http://www.handprintpress.com/authors/increase-wood-stove-efficiency-construction-details-videos/


For the good of the Crafts Big AL !


*While you are scrolling down the 1st article, pay attention to the number of free RMH stuff being given away NOW !

 
Vlad Alba
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Cool - good stuff
 
Larry Lile
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Vlad Alba wrote:I guess I don't understand what you're talking about.

I was just meaning that I want to brick over my little stove. Cover it with bricks. Surround it with bricks, leaving the front door of the stove open and available but covering the top and sides.

I was wondering though if a firebrick would refract the heat rather than just soak it up. Also, I was wondering if firebricks are way expensive.



Yes, firebricks are expansive, and no, you don't need firebricks. Any brick will do. Firebrick is for very high temperatures, inside the stove. I've seen several very successful installations where a conventional stove is used inside a brick archway or surrounded by a brick wall, and these structures can hold heat for days. It is a great idea.
 
John Weiland
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No doubt this has been done many times before, but just adding it to thread on bricks over existing stove.

Just a quick build with firebricks on top of a woodstove, with the idea of using the brick design as an oven as well as emanting heat once the fire has subsided. Included are 3 pairs of photos, with the first showing the bare stovetop along with the first bricks being laid down. The second pair of photos shows more bricks having been added and then a larger 20 in. long spanning hearth stone. The shown hearth stone is 1/2 of a 20 X 20 X 1.5 inch slab: The second half of this stone is currently being cut at a local counter-top shop to have a hole for the chimney pipe. It will be in two pieces so that it can just fit together on either side of the pipe and be adjacent to the more forward stone. In the third set of photos, the design is nearly complete. You can see in the second photo of this last set that I folded a piece of metal to serve as a crude oven door. This simply sits on top of the forward stone with the downward edge positioned in front of the oven opening so that heat can be retained. First test tonight will be cookies.....but by adding another layer of bricks, the oven can accommodate a baking dish with a chicken or eggplant or what-have-you. If interested, I can add the photos with the oven door/shroud in place. Going back to photo #1, it can be seen that a protective metal shroud attached to the back of the stove is bent at 90 degrees to direct rising heat back across the top of the stove. This design will help capture a lot of that and direct it into the oven cavity. With the other stone soon to arrive, heat from around the collar where the exhaust pipe joins the stove will be better captured as well.
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John Weiland
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Just adding a last pair of photos to the previous entry. The final slab "collaring" the stovepipe is in place.
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William Bronson
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Very nice! I have a pizza making rig for my grill made up of firebrick.
I spanned the top gap with a metal grill and put a layer of firebrick on top of that, but a solid mass would be better. What stone did you use,and where did you get it?
 
John Weiland
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@W. Bronson: "What stone did you use,and where did you get it?"

Yaahhhhh....ya know, I had that piece sitting around for so long, I've forgotten what type of stone it is. What I can tell you is that I got it from a brickyard that specializes in both large-scale brick projects as well as fancy fireplaces.....called Hebron Brick in Fargo, North Dakota. So when I bought it, I made sure it would be something that could withstand the heat. The whole slab upon purchase was 20 X 20" and was 1.5" thick. Since this was too big to use on the stove directly, I originally had them cut it in half and used just a half piece with other firebricks in a smaller design that was perched on the front half of the stove top. I finally got the motivation after several years to find a cutter to cut that pipe hole in the second half-piece and then in half again to fit the two pieces around the pipe. The slab looks and is textured a bit like limestone, but has some pink to it and may have quartz or granite within it. I did have to persevere in finding a cutter; many are countertop cutters and don't wan't to do little jobs like this, but if you're willing to pay a bit for the service or just get lucky with someone wanting to try something different, it will be a pretty fast job.

I've used it so far for cookies and a casserole. As you might imagine, there is a heat gradient within the oven due to the pipe area being hotter than the front of the oven. Not a big deal if you rotate the pan within the oven occasionally, but if anyone has suggestions for evening out the heat within the oven, I'd be curious. Thanks!
 
Simon Kenny
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I did it with my yurt stove just to store and slowly release heat. It makes a noticeable difference.
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Vlad Alba
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Cool!
 
Rob Irish
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Go for it!

We've got a fairly big kitchen stove with half of the top that we weren't using for cooking on. We piled up lots of firebricks we had out the back for RMH building. The bricks now capture heat and warmth remains from the stove half a day longer than before.

I don't know anything about heat and portland though. Thought about using a clay mix instead?
 
Glenn Herbert
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Heat + portland = don't.

Portland starts to break down above something like 5-600 F, and if heated rapidly can spall off bits which might be dangerous if the surface is in the open.
 
Tim Malacarne
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You are thinking right, if you mean to add thermal mass to your stove. I agree, any type of brick will do, but they probably ought to be dry, or reasonably so... The nice thing about dry stacking them would be that you can adjust the # of bricks fairly easily.

I have a thin wall wood burner out in the shop with a protective heat sink. It's a brick wall, 2 bricks thick, it works well. Good luck!
 
David Livingston
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I wasnt thinking of putting bricks round the stove but instead round the chimney pipe coming out the back to try to collect some of the heat going up the chimney any thoughts out there ?
Will it be worth the effort. I will put a pic on next week .
 
Glenn Herbert
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Any mass fitted tightly around the chimney pipe will actually decrease the radiation from the chimney, leaving the gases hotter. If the bricks are loosely stacked so air can flow between them, you could trap the heat there. All you could do in that spot is save some heat for later, not increase the total heat into the space. It might be worth doing if the fire is cold for long periods.
 
Vlad Alba
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I was looking at this stove in particular as a good one for such a project:

http://www.walltentshop.com/woodcampstoves.html

It looks like it's well built and it's not expensive. With the added mass of bricks to either side and on top of the stove, I think it would work really well--

Little wood stoves can be absurdly expensive.

Would there be any problem with using a stove like this daily?






 
Glenn Herbert
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The big thing about that stove seems to be the good airtight features, which are nice if you are trying to have a long slow fire (which will be inefficient and smoky). This is not so important if you want to have short hot fires and store the heat with bricks or whatever around the stove. My feeling (untested) is that pretty much any small old woodstove that can be surrounded with bricks will do about as well in your situation as a new one that doesn't have high-tech reburners or catalysts. If this new one is the best deal you can find, go for it!
 
Glenn Herbert
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Note that 12 gauge steel is not very thick. It is appropriate for a portable camping stove, but if used hard and surrounded tightly with bricks it could easily get so hot it warps badly or starts to burn out in some spots. You would need to be sure air could circulate freely between the bricks and the stove body, and not pile bricks directly on the top without airspaces.
 
Laura Sweany
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So Glenn - what would you use as a spacer to set the bricks on so that there is a bit of air flow between metal and mass materials?
 
Vlad Alba
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I was thinking of just using something long, probably a long plate of steel bridging from one side of the brick to the other side of the brick, so that no mass was directly on top of the stove. I'm thinking that an inch would be a good amount of spacing.

I'm moderately concerned that the presence of the mass would reflect the heat back on the stove, heat that would normally be sent away from the stove, and this might lead to problems for the stove. But, it's steel, and I don't think I will be pressing the stove to such temperatures that should cause a problem there. Probably just one of those things that seems hazy until you do it or see it done, and then it's fine.

 
Glenn Herbert
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I've been away for two weeks +, but the inch space from the steel plate sounds like it should be good, especially if it was set up to allow air currents to flow and remove heat from the steel surfaces. Even thin well-spaced brick pieces in contact with the steel would not cause major hot spots or damage, as the metal conducts heat well enough to equalize over small distances.
 
Vlad Alba
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here's what i have going at present. I aim to change the brick configuration a bit, stacking higher in the back and lower in the front, with a kind of parabolic bit of brick-arc just behind the stovepipe to redirect that heat forward.

let me know what you think. if you have ideas for better configuration let me know.

(the metal plate spanning above the stove top is aluminum i got from a salvage place. aluminum is awesome for spreading heat, and it takes the load of bricks no problem.)



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it's like a hybrid stove
 
Roy Clarke
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I layed bricks loose around the stove fully covering both sides and as much as possible of the back. 50 bricks in all. After an evenings burning, the bricks get hot enough to store noticable heat until morning (about 6 hours). The kettles sit on the top of the stove so we have hot drinks permanently available, and water for washing-up. When they boil they are moved onto trivets.

Note it is now perfectly safe to store logs between the bricks and the opening. The logs can dry properly if they got rained on.

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Kettles are on trivets
 
Sarah Houlihan
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Any thoughts on using home made clay or cob bricks for this project?
 
Glenn Herbert
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Clay/cob bricks would work, but of course they would be easier to damage if exposed to traffic or handling. I wouldn't put them near the door or other access points without a facing or outer layer of something more durable.
 
frank li
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I saw this article in one of my favorite mags about ten years ago. Good tech. Best short advice ive seen on the topic, permies will probably wrinkle a nose at "firebags" we do not burn plastic, paper or other trash in the hearth or at all. Also the alternative to used motor oil or wd-40 for stove maintenance, is veggie oil. We use organic canola oil at low temps and organic soybean oil at warm temps for bar and chain lube in electric and gas chainsaws and are moving away from gas totally, with cordless chainsaws.

Also, an outdoor air combustion intake for the stove was the best thing we have done here to reduce consumption.

http://www.backwoodshome.com/better-wood-heating/
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