How to own a wood stove


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I'm gearing up my little 400 sq ft shop to be heated with a small wood stove this winter and thought I'd ask some advice since this will be my time first owning one.  I think even a small stove would be enough for the shop, as I'll have a fan on it.  I just need it to be long enough to take in unpredictable lengths of firewood.  I've got a small log splitter so I can control the thickness you could say, just not the length.  I've got a couple free sources of wood, just have to take it as is.


I'd like the top flue pipe to turn 90 deg parallel to the floor very soon after exiting the top, and then exit through a 1/2" sheet of plywood that serves as the wall behind it.


First, what kind of clearance do I need to keep away from the plywood wall it's nearest to and exiting through?

Can I put the stove closer to that plywood wall if I put a sheet of say corrugated metal roofing between it and the wall?

What's the cheapest way to frankenstein my exhaust pipes together, including the through wall piece?

Does the pipe needs to be a certain length in order to create a good updraft?

What size stove should I look for, length wise?

And lastly, any and all extra advice appreciated.

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Lots of yes answers. Tin or tile can allow tighter air gaps. Battery chainsaws from Asia are cheap enough these days, don’t over worry about length. Each stove manufacturer should specify length, diameter, and allowable bends. Your town may also want exhaust to be a certain number of feet above horizontal objects for snow etc. Check there for codes. The want to minimize the off gassing that settles. Box stores sell double wall pipe. They make collars that slide together from opposite sides of the wall that hold the gaps correctly. 

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Yeap.  Definitely glad I asked.  I suspected it was more of an undertaking than just cutting the hole and running some pipe through.  Thanks for all the info.  Just ran into this gem of an idea on youtube.  My shop has never been heated in the winter before so now the temp is gonna fluctuate a lot faster than my tools are used to seeing.  And since nothing can go on top or above the stove I'm gonna reinforce the stove support and stack a boat load of bricks up there and see how it goes.  Surprised I hadn't seen this idea somewhere before now.


I wonder how stacking a bricks between the stove and shop wall would reduce heat to the wall.


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The brick will help retain the the heat. Think of it like a fly wheel. The stove will  warm the brick or stone and the stone will release the stored heat slowly. It will help leasen the extreme temperature swings.  Most stoves have fire brick inside the burn chamber to help protect the floor from the heat. If your stove doesn't I think it would be wise to put some fire brick in it or at least a few inches of sand.The fire brick will help the metal last longer. The bricks in the picture would gain more heat if they were placed on the sides rather than the bottom.   Make sure and leave air space for the stove to breath, don't place the bricks up against the stove or your likely to overheat the metal.   Keep in mind, that same mass will take a while to warm up. 
You haven't mentioned were you live or how often you use the shop. Both are important when sizing a stove.  Is the shop insulated?   If you have to deal with weeks of sub zero and you only use the shop on the weekend, all that mass is going to hold sub zero much longer as well. Or if you live down south like me one small fire a day holds my 600 sq ft insulated shop at mid 60s or better. 
I have about 3 feet of cinderblock on 2 sides of my stove.  I also store all my metal clamps and and scrap metal in the same corner as my stove. All that metal hanging around might as well do some good. 
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  • 4 weeks later...

Shop heating with wood/pellet stoves: Best better to check with your insurance agent. Some will provide coverage, others will not. 

About 5 years ago I checked with several carriers about increasing my homeowner’s policy coverage and the coverage for my detached shop. Several asked if I had any type of wood/pellet burning stove or fireplace in the shop. If I did, they would decline coverage. Was told the same several years earlier when we first moved into the new house and shop.

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  • 1 month later...

Installing a wood stove is a simple thing to do. But you have to do it correctly. There are clearances that need to be followed you will find them specifically from the wood stove manufacturer. And depending on your area their are codes that must be followed for safe operation ( not burning down your shop or killing your self with carbon monoxide poisoning) 

in the area that you live will be a code that states all clearances and procedures that are a search of your county installing a wood stove

Some areas require you to have a permit and an inspection done. As far as insurance requirements it’s up to individual insurance companies. 
Just be smart about this follow the guidelines and be safe. 

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