Intro to Masonry Heating

Learn the basics of masonry heater construction with a combination of classroom learning and hands-on building. Masonry heaters are efficient wood-burning stoves for home heating, distinguished by their substantial mass when compared to a woodstove, which allows for rapid burning of a large wood load combined with a slow release of the resultant heat. 

The other key features are a firebox with doors to regulate air intake and raise combustion temperatures, specific geometry that favors clean combustion, and the use of internal channels to harvest heat before it escapes to the chimney. A typical masonry heater will radiate heat for 12-18 hours after the fire has gone out. For wood-burners, masonry heaters are a liberation from the drudgery of continually loading and tending to a fire. Compared to woodstoves, they are safer, more efficient, and produce a gentler form of heat.   

Masonry heater technology dates back hundreds of years and has distinct origins in northern Europe as well as Asia. In North America, the craft has been developing over more than 40 years to address the particular needs of our continent. We will cover the basics of combustion, discuss the various design "families" (Russian, Finnish, etc), review materials, and get hands-on with skills, techniques, and tools by building a small and simple demonstration unit. 

This one-day session is a good lead-in to the Outdoor Earthen Bake Oven course. 

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