Masonry Heater, Wood-Fired Oven and Fireplace Hardware

cob cottage masonry heater door

masonry heater, oven, russian heater firebox door

barrel oven metal parts

In our family’s effort to continue to move towards a land-based livelihood, we are fabricating metal components for masonry heaters, wood-fired ovens and joinery for custom construction in our shop at home.  We are very interested in finding clients who are interested in developing custom solutions for their projects.  Through the Masonry Heater Association of North America, we have obtained very favorable shipping rates which makes it reasonable for us to ship to anywhere in North America.  Support local craftsmanship!  Contact us! We’d love to discuss your project with you.

More about the Wood-Fired Barrel Oven Kit by Firespeaking!

Masonry Heaters

If you are interested in heating your home with wood, masonry heating is an excellent choice.  While they may look like conventional fireplaces…. masonry heaters have channels inside them that absorb much more of the heat generated by the fire and then give that heat off into the space they are heating over a longer period of time.  They are amongst the cleanest and most efficient wood-burning appliances.  A well-designed masonry heater is sized so that a 2-3 hour fire in the evening supplies enough heat to the space for it to stay warm until the next evening when it is fired.

Take a look at the heaters that we have made in our masonry heater portfolio!

This masonry heater is designed into the center of a home and works as a normal fireplace until a damper is closed and the hot gases are forced through channels in the stone masonry which absorb and store the heat inside the building. The heater also serves as an oven, heats water and is a spiral staircase to the second floor.

Masonry heaters are part of a tried and true tradition that dates back centuries in Europe.  They are slowly gaining popularity in North America as knowledge about this clean-burning, easy and beautiful way of heating homes with wood becomes available and more and more of them are built.  They are also a part of a cultural renewal that recognizes the importance of craftsmanship and site-specific design as opposed to industrial manufacturing.

Firespeaking is proud to be a member of the Masonry Heater Association of North America.  We are especially interested in combining the sophistication of the internal engineering of masonry heaters with the beautiful and comforting look and finishing possibilities that natural building has to offer.  We are interested in working with owner-builders and creative architects to seamlessly design these heaters into the aesthetic and functionality of their home.

Please contact us if you are interested in discussing and exploring further this option for your life.

The following two photos are of masonry heaters constructed by colleague Holger Laerad and exemplify the kind of integration into homes that we would like to achieve with our heaters:

(photos included with Holger’s Permission)

What’s a Masonry Heater? (from MHA website)


The main thing that distinguishes a masonry heater is the ability to store a large amount of heat. This means that you can rapidly burn a large charge of wood without overheating your house. The heat is stored in the masonry thermal mass, and then slowly radiates into your house for the next 18 to 24 hours.

If you burn wood fairly rapidly, it is a clean fuel. If you try to burn it too slowly, the fire will change from flaming to smoldering combustion. The burning process is incomplete and produces tars. Atmospheric pollution increases dramatically. This is important if you are planning an energy-efficient house. The average energy demand of your house will be quite low. For most of the time, it may require only 1 to 2 kW of heat. For most conventional woodstoves, this is below their “critical burn rate”, or the point where they start to smolder.

Masonry heaters fill the bill perfectly. If you need even a very small amount of heat, such as between seasons when you simply want to take off the chill, you simply burn a smaller fuel charge–yet you still burn it quickly. The large surface is never too hot to touch. You have a premium radiant heating system with a comfort level that simply cannot be equaled by convection or forced air systems.

Take a look at the heaters that we have made in our masonry heater portfolio!

More Resources on Masonry Heaters:


Other Masons Doing Inspiring Work:

The Wood-Fired Barrel Oven

The book Build Your Own Barrel Oven is now available!
Click here to find out more and order yours today!

THE “BARREL” OVEN is a very practical and wood-efficient oven which can be built at very low cost using mostly natural and recycled materials.   The oven is sometimes also called a “mixed” oven because the heat generated by the wood burned cooks both by directly transferring heat into the cooking chamber as well as by retaining heat in the oven’s mass and slowly returning that heat to the inside of the oven.  For these reasons, this oven is much more practical to use and requires much less wood to do the same amount of baking as in the retained-heat mass ovens and traditional domed earthen ovens.  It allows for quite a bit more spontaneity too since you can be baking just 15 minutes after lighting your fire.  The firebox and the inside of the oven are sealed off from each other so the baking chamber is always clean of ash and carbon-black.

This is the kind of oven that you can easily cook for large groups of people with, run a cottage-industry scale bakery or a farmer’s market booth several times a week with.  Another great feature of this oven is that all the operational parts of the oven can face indoors while the bulk of the oven can be outside.

We have both built as well as cooked for our communities and for large gatherings with these ovens and are convinced of their great functionality.  We know of only two ovens of this style built in North America so far (they are very popular in South America) so we are very excited for more of these to be built!

Some links:

Oven in Comunidad Rio Azul, El Bolsón, Patagonia, Argentina…

Drawing for oven to be constructed in a weekend-workshop, August 2010, Duvall, WA…

Oven we built for gathering “Manos En La Tierra” in October 2008…
Eva and Max were part of the prep team who went into the sight, about an hour’s walk into the jungle of Catamarca, Argentina to build infrastructure for a collaborative gathering of 200 people to explore positive and creative solutions.  Within a couple of days and with only found objects and materials, we built this oven….

Our friend Al built the wonderful “train stove” you see pictured with the oven that easily cooked meals for very large numbers of people…

The Ortega family hired us to design an outdoor kitchen/gathering space that included a barrel oven at its heart.  Here are the preliminary drawings and how the oven and kitchen turned out…

Oven built by our friends- Damian and Sylvia, Tandil, Argentina

Metalwork for the Barrel Oven

Firespeaking can provide you with all the metal working for you to create a state of the art wood-fired oven of this kind.  We can ship you these parts anywhere in North America and will be happy to provide follow-up support and consultation for the construction process.

The Barrel Oven Kit!!

More specific information about the Barrel Oven Kit including current pricing and ordering information….

Note: the door is weighted to close without need of a latch and the whole front face is actually an insulated sandwich of metal and ceramic wool insulation.

As mentioned, we are currently in the process of writing a booklet on the construction of this kind of oven due out this winter.  Please let us know if you are interested in receiving an update when the book is ready.  Please contact us if you are interested in having one of the ovens built at your home, in your community, at your school, in a collective bakery, etc.


Order your Build Your Own Barrel Oven Book Today!