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Country Discussion Topics
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Retaining heat from wood stove
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CAH    Posted 12-12-2003 at 07:58:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am having trouble finding slabs of soapstone in my area. I want to lay them on top of the wood stove to retain the heat better. I have access to terra cotta tiles. Would they hold heat well. Has anyone tried using them?

RayP(MI)    Posted 12-12-2003 at 17:40:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Would bricks work? There're already rectangular, and could easily be piled to fit your space.

TimV    Posted 12-12-2003 at 12:17:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
CAH: There are many old fieldstone hearths and mantles around, particularly in old farmhouses. Most were built this way to take advantage of the heat-storing ability of the stone, which was usually whatever "grew" native to the area. As Deadcarp mentioned, many saunas are made this way as well. I built my sauna heater by making a frame from old roofing steel, then putting a box stove in the middle and filling the whole shebang with granite rocks from our sandpit. If you give it a couple of hours to "season", it will keep throwing heat long after the fire is out. Sure feels good when it's 30 below outside!

buck    Posted 12-12-2003 at 11:28:46       [Reply]  [No Email]

Don't know the type of stove you have but you may be preparing to burn out the top of your stove--just thinking

I wonder....    Posted 12-12-2003 at 11:10:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
if the thermal mass of soapstone is that much greater then other substances of the same density. I thought that the use of soapstone in stovemaking was as much because it was easier to work then say marble or granite. Point being that pretty much anything that is around the same density as soapstone will be as effective.

The slates in our slate/mortar hearth are warm to the touch for a good deal longer then the mortar they are bedded in.

Greg VT

deadcarp    Posted 12-12-2003 at 10:11:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
not sure what your setup or situation is or how appropriate this would be, but there's no shame atall in piling field stones around and over a heater stove. even maybe a metal mesh box of rocks on top works, or a dry-stacked brick shield behind the stove. the local finns do their saunas that way, and the sauna's the best place to warm up the next morning. once the rocks get real warm if you splash water on them, they'll pop and crack but nothing to worry about. most anything can become thermal mass - even dry sand. and of course keep the drapes closed in cold weather. :)

Paula    Posted 12-12-2003 at 10:04:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have the same theory (theory only at this point). I think brick or CMU would be denser than terra cotta tile and the idea here is to get high thermal mass to store and radiate heat. How about other stone than soapstone? How is field stone thermal mass compared to a concrete block or brick? Anyway, I think brick would be the next best thing to soapstone.


Les    Posted 12-12-2003 at 09:38:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't really know the specific answer to your question, except to say that any mass which is heated will eventually have to give off that heat. The more massive and the less conductive of heat that substance is, the better it will serve the purpose you want.

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