Masonry stoves, per Samuel Clements....

Optimist

NMR. 11/04/2020
Brass Subscriber
#1
Mark Twain on the Masonry Heater (Kachelofen)

“Take the German stove, for instance – where can you find it outside of German countries? I am sure I have never seen it where German was not the language of the region. Yet it is by long odds the best stove and the most convenient and economical that has yet been invented. To the uninstructed stranger it promises nothing; but he will soon find that it is a masterly performer, for all that. It has a little bit of a door which you couldn’t get your head in – a door which seems foolishly out of proportion to the rest of the edifice; yet the door is right, for it is not necessary that bulky fuel shall enter it. Small-sized fuel is used, and marvelously little of that. The door opens into a tiny cavern which would not hold more fuel than a baby could fetch in its arms. The process of firing is quick and simple. At half past seven on a cold morning the tender brings a small basketful of slender pine sticks – say a modified armful – and puts half of these in, lights them with a match, and closes the door. They burn out in ten or twelve minutes. He then puts in the rest and locks the door, and carries off the key. The work is done. He will not come again until next morning.


All day long and until past midnight all parts of the room will be delightfully warm and comfortable, and there will be no headaches and no sense of closeness or oppression. In an American room, whether heated by steam, hot water, or open fires, the neighborhood of the register or the fireplace is warmest – the heat is not equally diffused throughout the room; but in a German room one is comfortable in one part of it as in another. Nothing is gained or lost by being near the stove. Its surface is not hot; you can put your hand on it anywhere and not get burnt. Consider these things. One firing is enough for the day; the cost is next to nothing; the heat produced is the same all day, instead of too hot and too cold by turns; one may absorb himself in his business in peace; he does not need to feel any anxieties of solicitudes about the fire; his whole day is a realized dream of bodily comfort.


America could adopt this stove, but does America do it? The American wood stove, of whatsoever breed, it is a terror. There can be no tranquility of mind where it is. It requires more attention than a baby. It has to be fed every little while, it has to be watched all the time; and for all reward you are roasted half your time and frozen the other half. It warms no part of the room but its own part; it breeds headaches and suffocation, and makes one’s skin feel dry and feverish; and when your wood bill comes in you think you have been supporting a volcano.” — From Europe and Elsewhere, published posthumously in 1923.
Now that ought to give a feller thinking of his comfort grounds for considerable deliberation. I know it has for me....
 

Optimist

NMR. 11/04/2020
Brass Subscriber
#3
Yep. On the same page with you. But I expect the door will be a bit larger than the one Clements was talking about in the one I'm building. I may want to be able to do a bit of heat treating and case hardening in one corner of this thing.
 
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HandLoad

Mourning for America
Brass Subscriber
#4
You are Starting to THINK like an ENGINEER. 240!!!😁😈😁😈😁

Only thing You can do to get more Net Heat, is to preheat Air into the firebox, and get every bit of the Heat outta the flue gas.
 

Optimist

NMR. 11/04/2020
Brass Subscriber
#6
Mine generally goes HTF. W is for theoreticians.... H is for mechanics. Engineers generally used to be mechanics till the rheumatiz got 'em, or they got moved into the front office when their vision went....

And HL, the preheat in the foundary I worked in one summer was the most complex brickwork I ever saw in my life. It went through the exhaust wall and sucked the air in from a set of the biggest, heaviest built doors I ever saw in my life. Only thing I ever saw to compete with it was the wind belt in a big cupola furnace that was used to make iron.
 
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Optimist

NMR. 11/04/2020
Brass Subscriber
#7
Fellow on another board has given me to think. He uses the old Dakota fire hole for some forms of camping. I got to thinking about the general uses thereof, and looked at the Swedish Torch as a way to fuel the thing. The Swedish Magnum Fire Hole is something that is going to get tried this weekend....
 

HandLoad

Mourning for America
Brass Subscriber
#8
On Board Ship, there are many different strategies used for inlet air preheat. Funnest One was a Huuuuge Disc of Ceramic Honeycomb. One side was in the Exhaust Stack. Flue Gases went through the honeycomb, heating it to near incandescence. But, the Disc was rotating! After it was glowing hot, the Ceramic Honeycomb was rotated into the intake air, giving up the stored Heat! Called an Economiser.
 

Optimist

NMR. 11/04/2020
Brass Subscriber
#9
Such used to be common in the steam era. Given the relatively low efficiency of a lot of early steam units, anything that gave an improvement got tried. We have a lot better materials tech now than they had then....
 

Optimist

NMR. 11/04/2020
Brass Subscriber
#10
I got to thinking about the general uses thereof, and looked at the Swedish Torch as a way to fuel the thing. The Swedish Magnum Fire Hole is something that is going to get tried this weekend....
Dug the pit and started the vent. Been too rainy to get the vent into place. Split four torches. I do think this one is going to make a superior cooking platform.