Monday, September 15, 2008

Wood Stove in a Wood


Sustainable living on a small scale
Part One of Two
(Part Two I will show the installation)

I indicated in a recent post that I would take a look at some wood burning and multi fuel stoves. Here is a first post in that line.

My good friend Brendan and I recently helped a mutual friend to purchase and install a tiny wood-burning stove in a mobile home in a small wood deep in rural County Kerry.

The required specifications for the stove were:

1. It should be a physically small wood stove to fit into a small space.
2. It should be able to burn mainly wood but other fuels too.
3. It should be capable of giving a reasonable level of heat to a moderate size mobile, and
4. It should have a moderate level of efficiency.
5. Along with all of that, it should to be very reasonably priced, as our friend was on a very tight budget.

Our friend, as I said, lives in a small wood, and hopes to provide 100% heat along with some hot water and some cooking all fuelled completely by the surrounding timbers.

The Search.

Initially, I spend quite some time scouring Ebay and Google looking for suitable small stoves. Most were physically too large, and many were way too expensive.

Luckily I happened upon a small English business called Canvas and Cast, which sells yurts and other tents plus the stoves that can be used in them. The proprietor Mark Lawrence was most helpful initially with giving a good price, and later with advice and suggestions for installing the stove.

"PipSqueak" stove photo supplied by Canvas&Cast
Photo does not show how really tiny this stove is.

The Found Stove.

The stove in question is called the “Pipsqueak”. And pipsqueak indeed it is. It is the tiniest cast iron stove I have ever seen.

Could such a tiny thing actually work and provide useful levels of heat for a small space I asked myself and others?

Mark assured me that there are a good number of these stoves in satisfactory use and the customers are happy.

Well, I took a chance and ordered this little “Pipsqueak” stove. Carriage from the UK was proving to be very expensive even for such a tiny stove and weighing only 20Kgs. But Brendan, my businessman friend stepped in with an offer to use his contract rate couriers.

Price - are you asking?

The "Pipsqueak" is available from Mark from Stg£115 - the fancy coloured enamelled ones being a bit more expensive.

Tiny Flue Pipe for a tiny Stove.

Flue pipe was proving to be another problem. Mark was very helpful and offered a good discount on his stainless steel 80mm flue, that is just 3 inches!. But again, as with the stove, shipping was going to be a large additional cost.

Eventually we sourced some very nice black enamelled pipe in Sligo and the carriage costs were very modest.

RĂ¼diger Trautmann of Solar Energy Ireland came to the rescue and was very helpful. He provided some very nice heavy quality matt black enamelled 80mm flue pipe at reasonable cost, and the carriage worked out at only €11.

The contact details:

Reg. No. IE 5722437L
Knockminna, Ballymote, Co. Sligo, Ireland
T: +353 (0)71 9183219
F: +353 (0)71 9183651

Mark Lawrence
Canvas and Cast
Canada Hill
TQ12 6AF
Tel: 01626 363507


A note on the stove since writing this piece. The firebox of the stove is obviously tiny - like the stove itself. This however is a disadvantage because the fire will not stay burning for long without being re-fuelled. In fact it needs re-fuelling, when burning wood, every 40 minutes or so. With peat or coal it will go for longer.  A larger stove on peat or coal could give heat for most of the night - but not this little baby. This little stove would keep you busy constantly. Feed me - feed me now!!


No comments: