Will gave me one of the nicest surprises just now. He is a wonderful scavenger, and when on a construction or handyman job, has a good eye for noticing what is stored in other people’s Quonsets and barns. At a recent job, he noticed a small, Swedish-style wood heating stove, new in the box. He bartered for it (he loves bartering). He installed it while I was gone, and when I came home, we had a cozy bedroom for the first time ever.
(My apologies on the drowsy lighting of the photo.) It is a Vogelzang brand…not particularly high quality, but serviceable. It is a sweet-feeling little stove (you can see by the size of the bricks and fire shovel that it is not very tall), and, like most wood stoves, has a temperament and personality. In spite of the appearance that one can effectively cook and or heat a pot or kettle on top, most of the heat radiates out the sides. (This picture was taken some months after installing the stove, and you can see where the sometimes extreme heat has faded the paint.) This stove takes a bit more babying on the draft creation, during ignition, than some do, and doesn’t burn heavy logs particularly well…but is a steady little workhorse, all the same. It tends to be a heavy feeder, and the fact that it does not shut down air intake as completely as many stoves do, can be a drawback when burning lumber with much sap (southern yellow pine makes an inferno). The slide on the front is the main air-intake, and if one needs to limit it further than the closed slide allows, a coin (quarter) or similar object can be placed over the hole on top of the slide. The cleaning process is easy, though it can be messy removing the firebricks lining the bottom of the burning chamber. (The bricks that are beneath the stove on the floor have since been removed, as they turned out to be unnecessary – not much heat goes out the bottom, even with a moderate load of wood.)
We burn mostly elm and pine scrap lumber here, and this means that the fire may need coaxing and feeding three or more times a night, as elm doesn’t burn well above a smolder on its own, and other available woods tend to disappear rather quickly. But this is doable.
All in all, I am happy with my beautiful little Christmas present, and am comforted by the fact that I can have a quiet – and warm – place in mid-winter to play my violin.