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I have an old house,built in 1922, that is in a sad state of repair. There is electric in the house and a hot water heater,indoor plumbing, but not a reliable heat source. The house sits on the outer edge of 25 acres and I would like to get a wood stove . The problem is that at 62 with a very limited budget I'm not sure what to do. There is a fireplace but I'm sure the existing chimney is in bad shape. The inside is about just big enough to fit 6'' pipe in. We will not use the upstairs so I'll need to heat about 1000 sq.ft. The house is in the Harrisonburg Va. area so winters can be mild to harsh. Any suggestions would be very helpful. All the wood stove stores want to sell the latest and greatest products and they are beyond our means.

Regards,

Farmer
 

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Gander Mountain website has some fairly economical wood stoves $250.00 - $320.00 range, I can't speak to their quality but it beats freezing. Below is a link to their barrel stove kit for roughly $50.00......You have to supply the steel barrel which is cheap, probably $10.00 - $15.00 you would also have to supply all of the chimney material which varies in price. Good luck and do the best you can to stay warm.

US Stove Company Barrel Stove Kit - Gander Mountain
 

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I was wondering this myself. I Can only find $200-$300 used small ones on Craigslist. Thanks for the link :) looks like I can buy a bigger one new than ones I'm finding. Now to start saving.

I DO have a steel 55 gallon drum or two I could use

Farmer: whatever you get, can you post how it works? I'm on a string tight budget, and can't afford to buy something that is a waste. Thanks :)
 

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Harbor Freight

Try Harbor Freight, either the stores or the website. They have one selling for $189.00 and they always have 20% discount coupons in the newspaper. And the quality I've seen in my local store seems to be pretty good. Give em a look. You also may want to check online and on youtube for plans for a rocket stove so you can make your own heater. Either way make sure to have a CO2 and smoke detector handy for safety. Good luck to you and welcome to the forum!

punch
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great article! and also thanks for the heads up on Harbor Freight. I'm in full research mode now. We hope to have a stove installed after the 1st. of the year. I may get a chimney expert to check the chimnet out before I buy the stove.
 

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I've seen quite few on Craigslist so you never know what you might find a good deal on used in your area.
 

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After searching Craigslist for the last month we just picked up a very nice one for $300 today.
 

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Having the chimney checked is a good move. In the "Roaring 20s" when your farmhouse was built, people who worked as masons did very good work because most people relied on fireplaces for warmth and cooking. You may get a pleasant surprise.

You might check local welding shops, and see if they will make you a nice wood burning stove. Many shops will make you one for less than you can buy one from a retailer, and it will last a long time. They often have scrap metal from other projects and can cut you a deal. Worth looking into anyway.
 

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Farmer, from your post, I gather that your house is a single story. Is that correct? If you inspect the inside of the chimney, you will likely find that it is not lined with the square liners. In the time since 1922, it may well have been capped, and since the products they used that long ago were not enough to deal with the heat even then, it would be my recommendation to simply use a double walled insulated chimney available at Lowes or Tractor Supply for between $100 - $200. The kit comes with the attaching materials, hardware and roof cone and cap, and sometimes they come with the insulated, but now a days they usually don't. You will need to also get the insulated double walled chimney, if they don't as well as the 6" stove pipe. Volelzang makes the cast iron belly stoves that run from $200 - $350, as well as the Frontiersmen. The Frontiersmen is a semi seal firebox and comes with a blower that preforms both as a draft blower and a warm air circulating fan. I heated my 1400sqft home with one until it was stolen while I was stationed elsewhere with the Coast Guard. I tell my wife that I want to think that someone wanted to stay warm, but, I realize that it was most likely sold for scrap to fund a meth habit. It sells for about $350. I think Northern Hardware sells them for $400. You need to check the local code Nazis, er I meant building code to see what is allowed. Usually if it is either EPA exempt or EPA approved the city will not object, unless you have a mobile home. You need to look up you current NFTP regulations to ensure that if your insurance ever finds out about it that they don't cancal, but if you have a fireplace, you likely have a masonary surface, and at most you would need to lay some backer board and paving bricks in whatever pattern you like, which is what I did. I also had to do it again now that we are installing a bigger one. If you use the less expensive model, the cast iron belly stove, it will not likely meet code, and more importantly, your insurance company will cease coverage. Even if everything you do is to perfect code, some insurance companies won't cover wood stoves. Sometimes I want to grab insurance people by their heads and ask them if they even know the flash point of wood. It is about the safest heating there is when you consider how explosive LP and Propane are, but I have had to change insurance companies. It isn't as expensive as I may have made it sound. I put the Frontiersmen in for about $700 including the stove, chimney kit, double insulated chimney pipes, stove pipes and mortar and backer board. I already had enough bricks. I spent about $800 including the bricks that the meth head broke up while I was gone, the stove (a Whistler), and stove pipes. It all depends on what you must hire out.
 

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Might be good to keep this thread going. I use a 55gal steel drum with welded legs, a cook top and a metal door with a gate lock. Whole thing is sitting on some concrete board same as you use for tile work. Works great (unless you have small kids) not because of burns it's just so much fun to put popcorn etc on it.
 

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I personally love wood stoves and fireplaces, but they are dangerous if not installed and operated properly. I just want to urge you to have it professionally installed and the chimney checked as well. Also don't keep anything remotely flammable within reach of it. I have a friend who died in a house fire last winter that was caused by their wood stove.
 
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