How To Use Wood Stoves (And Use Them Safe!)

Author of "How to Build an Oil Barrel Stove", Wik takes the reader through the steps of using and maintaining a wood burning stove.

| November/December 1977

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    How to make s fuzz stick to use as a substitute for paper when starting a fire.
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    The Blunts' draft-spoiler system. A draft corrector is installed in the first vertical section of stovepipe leading from the stove, an elbow replacing the swiveling flap. A joint of slovepipe runs to within three inches of hte floor and the swiveling flap or a damper is inserted in the bottom of the pipe. Replacement air enters through a hole cut in the floor under the stove.
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    A refinement of the draft spoiler in Fig. This system is independent of hte stove damper, and no air is drawn through the room.
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    How to use a draft corrector as a spoiler in order to make the fire burn more slowly
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    A fire can be held overnight in any reasonably tight. This fire is just taking off after lying dormant for more than eight hours. Smoke is rising and there are brilliant, hot coals under the logs on the right. The somewhat leaky door had been sealed all night with a foil closure pad.
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    Two of the stages in setting an overnight fire. In Drawing A the foundation is laid. In Drawing B it's all tucked in and the damper is closed.

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From Wood Stoves: How to Make and Use Them by Ole Wik, copyright 1977 by the author. Reprinted with the permission of Ole Wilk and of Alaska Northwest Publishing Company, Anchorage, Alaska, and available in paperback ($5 95) from any good bookstore or from Mother's Bookshelf.

In 1976, veteran arctic outdoorsman Ole Wik wrote How to Build an Oil Barrel Stove... and that worthy book-which found an enthusiastic readership-now appears as just one chapter of Ole's latest effort: Wood Stoves: How to Make and Use Them.

Ole's lived in the Alaskan bush, "where self-sufficiency is still a way of life", for 12 years, "always with homemade wood stoves", and he writes with great authority on the subjects of building one's own stove or making an existing one perform exactly as you want it to.

The following excerpts from Ole's new book-which may be the only one ever published on the design and construction of wood-burning stoves-will give you a good idea of the thoroughness and precision with which Ole Wik puts his ideas across. Read on and learn ... and remember: There's so much more wood stove wisdom where this came from!


Keeping a fire in a wood stove is like having a pet in the house with you. A fire needs your attention at regular intervals, and is in danger of either dying or running amok if your judgment slips. You have to feed it the right things at the appropriate times, and you have to carry its waste products out of the house. In return it will work for you, cooking your meals and heating your water and living space.

The kind of experience you have with your fire depends entirely upon your equipment and fuel and how you use them. Your fire may be a gentle, dependable, obedient servant, doing what you want it to do when you want it done ... or it may be capricious and stubborn, misbehaving continually, a source of frequent irritation.

10/1/2014 10:36:54 AM

Wood stoves are an amazing thing to have as they offer you a more comfortable form of heat. Propane and gas heat just doesn't feel the same as a good wood stove's heat. I recently decided to purchase a wood cook stove and went with the Kitchen Queen Wood Cook Stove. It is amazing and has so many great features. The company I purchased it from offered great prices and customer service. I recommend anyone interested in wood cook stoves takes a look at this link



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