Wood stoves in the shop?

My recent post about lemons got me thinking about the good old days when my workshop was heated by a wood-burning stove. These days, the fire department guys would go apoplectic over the idea. But back then I lived in rural Nevada and visits from fire inspectors were not so much of a concern.

We needn’t go into the issue of having a hot surface enclosing a roaring fire present in an environment in which the air is pretty much always filled with fine wood dust. Let’s just say that’s a given. But this was the only time that I had anything approaching a climate-controlled shop. No AC but at least in the winter I had heat. I used to go down to the shop, fire up the stove, put the gallon bottle of frozen glue under it and then take off for the local coffee shop for a half hour while things warmed up a bit.

What does this have to do with lemons? Should be obvious. The lemons, along with all of the fall down that normally piles up in the shop or out in the back provides a steady source of fuel. There were times when it was cold enough that my eye would fall on good material but I was usually able to resist that temptation. I’ll never forget the day I discovered Presto Logs …



  • Dan Levin says:

    In 2000, I bought a property in Deep River. On the property was a house and a barn that I ultimately turned into the dream shop. As the barn was full of junk, the first thing I did was rent a dumpster to get rid of the junk so I could start the necessary renovations. Almost the first thing that landed in the dumpster was an old wood stove that the former owner used to keep the building warm. Even though I had a million other things to think about, the thought of opening for business with a wood stove ablazin’ kept me awake at night! So instead I bought and had installed an oil burner that came enclosed in its own fireproof cabinet.

  • Paul Evans says:

    I too have been making fine furniture for over 20 years, and have basically retired. I still go out in the shop and make things to sell on E-Bay or relatives. For 10 years I relied on a gas furnace, but, with the cost of fuel, I installed an old wood burning stove. I did realize that I would need to keep the shop clean. What a good way to use up all those scraps that I have accumulated.I even enjoy a cup of tea, which I heat on top. I bet a lot of small shops may consider this. I would have preferred an outside stove, but they are way too expensive. You mentioned AC. I was able to pick up one from an AC contractor friend that was left over from a central AC installation. Now I enjoy working out there in the hot of the summer. At 80 years of life I am able to enjoy the time I spend in the shop now.

  • OH YES,
    Years ago (up north) we had a sawmill and heated the house with 15 full cords of wood per season.Now in Florida we heat the house with a gas fireplace and a gas stove in the shop.Also the shop has AC.We have a dust collection system so the place is clean and the building is insulated with foam.It’s great to get lazy as the years go on.

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