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The Cabin Stove at Rob and Mal’s

The Cabin Stove at Rob and Mals

This heater was built as part of the Sustainable Shelter Workshop Series at Aprovecho. It completely turned around the residents’ experience of their home in winter time. Their previous propane heater provided a “wet” heat that also didn’t reach the outlying bedrooms causing mold issues. The design is a Cabin Stove with heated bench. The design borrows from both the tradition of masonry cookstoves as well as the modern phenomenon of rocket mass heaters with heated cob benches.






The Harlan Cabin Stove

The Cabin Stove @ Harlan

The Harlan Cabin Stove was built during a two-day workshop in December 2015. While I am very happy with it architecturally, itis an iteration of the design that shows it still needs some fine tuning.

I suspect that we need to tighten the gap beneath the metal of the cooktop in order to get more heat to rub off on the cooktop and provide immediate heat. Also, it is likely that reducing the thickness of the cook plate from the current 3/8″ to 5/16″ or 1/4″ will provide more response.

This iteration demonstrates that the so-called “Sidewinder” combustion box still needs tweaking. There is a lot of mass around the fire before it hits the cooktop. Using insulative refractory materials out of the wear zone is one possible improvement. Burning wood in our current wood stove at home as well as a recent repair on a state of the art German kacheloven firebox is solidifying my understanding of the differences between an underfire “oxidizing” air source and side and over-fire air which is good once gasification has been reached. Our next iteration will be in our own shop and I will try to combine both elements. Stay tuned.

The complete masonry plans for this stove are currently offered for sale as The Cabin Stove Plan Set. As this is an open-source development project, the price of the plans actually serves as a pledge of support in helping us to continue to develop this “cookstove” / “masonry heater” hybrid. You can think of a purchase as helping to buy bricks, coffee and welding wire for the next iteration we will build and to have time to document step-by-step photos. Go for it!