Let there be heat!

We are beyond excited to say that we now have heat in the tiny cabin! As of last week, the wood stove and chimney were successfully installed, allowing us to heat up and dry out both the cabin and ourselves.

We were fortunate to find our wood burning stove on Craigslist for a great price and we couldn’t be happier with it. It’s the small yet mighty Jøtul f602- just a few pieces of firewood will raise the temperature of the cabin by about ten degrees and keep it there for several hours. Of course it helps that the house is well insulated and also small-scale.

As far as installing the stove pipe goes, let’s just say that we learned SO MUCH in this process. We actually sourced everything through a local stove store because some things are just not able to ship to Alaska, and we were thankful for the advice and guidance of the shop owner. We ended up paying more than we would have liked for the chimney/stove pipe, but at least we have the peace of mind of knowing that we did everything the right way with the best parts. I guess you really don’t want to mess around where fire is concerned 😉

Anyways, the plan was this: to have the stove on the ground floor, near the door, with the chimney extending straight up through the ceiling, through the second story, then finally through the roof. We ended up using double walled pipe for the first story pipe which fed into a ceiling support box and transitioned to class A pipe, which then ran through the second story, through the roof (through a special box that we built to keep the insulation >2 inches away from the pipe) and then out into the wide wide world! Here is the play by play in pictures. Also, the cement blocks under the stove are only temporary- we have grand plans to make a custom hearth out of our stones from our creek.

Figuring out where to cut the hole in the ceiling using a plumb bob.
Our home made plumb bob: a nail tied to a piece of string
This is the ceiling support box. It supports the weight of the chimney while making sure that combustibles are at least 2 inches away from the pipe
Pipe for the first story- complete!
This is the custom box we built that allows the pipe to safely pass through the roof and insulation. The class A chimney pipe has a minimum clearance of 2″ from combustibles and this box provides just over 2″ of air space around all sides of the pipe. We added some scrap metal on the sides where the rafter is for a little extra protection and peace of mind.
Cutting a hole in your beautiful, water proof roof is absolutely terrifying. We started by drilling a pilot hole…
And finished it up with a sawzall
Yep, there is a gaping hole in the roof
Mark was having one of those days where ya might as well cut a hole in the roof
And the pipe is through! We didn’t get any photos of it from up top, but it extendes 2.5 feet up above the roof, is topped with a rain cap, and there is special metal roof flashing, a storm collar, and a boat load of heat resistant silicone around the opening in the roof to make it water tight.
We also had an additional storm collar on top of the ceiling support box to prevent stuff from falling down into the box and catching fire
Everything works great! This stove is such a champ
The cook plate on the top of the stove is excellent for heating water for tea and will serve us well this winter for melting snow, heating water for showers, and even for cooking! We are also constructing a heat shield to protect the wall from the radiant heat behind the stove: it will consist of 1/4″ cement board and extra metal roofing. And yeah, we have the custom hearth in the works too.

And just like that, our house went from cool and damp to warm and cozy. Funny story- over the course of the summer we have become so accustomed to living in 50 degree temps that anything over 60 degrees feels too hot for us. When the wood stove took the indoor temperature all the way up to 70 degrees one night, we both had to put on shorts! It’s all relative, I guess. Anyways, now that the fall rains are here, we are so thankful to have a warm and dry space to live in. The next big project we’re working on is creating our off-grid electrical system using solar energy. So get amped for the next post!


3 thoughts on “Let there be heat!

  1. As I have said a million times….you two are amazing. You have done excellent work and must be very proud of yourselves. I am so glad that you now have heat as winter descends!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As folks who have lived for many years in Maine with only wood heat, our advice would be to make a bigger hearth when you make your hearth out of rocks, ‘cuz when that burning piece of wood tumbles out on the floor when you are shifting them around to add a fresh piece, you want that safety factor working for you. Get a good pair of fire gloves and have a fire extinguisher handy.

    You two rock!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s