Wood stove adventures

Okay, I forgot to take a camera with me this time, so we’ll have to make do with my humble scrawlings …

So, this weekend I set up my lovely wood stove. Easier said than done!

First of all, there is a birch tree that had a lot of its twigs hanging right where the stove pipe has to go (as in all German construction trailers, there is a readymade hole in the wall for a stove).

Unfortunately this meant that I had to saw off the entire top of the birch. :o( Many branches still remain, so I suppose it will be okay.

Since my ladder was a bit too short, it was a bit awkward … (yes, I drew myself as a piggy):

It felt like it took hours, and since I had to saw from below, gravity was my enemy and my saw got stuck all the time … Also, I had to tie the ladder to the tree to keep it from falling over, but it was still shaking disturbingly, as the birch isn’t very big. Yeah, and the sawdust fell right into my face. At some point I said, “You know what?! I GIVE UP. I’ll pull it down with a §%&#ing ROPE.” Even if this meant a less healthy wound for the birch. :o(

So I slung a rope around the top that I’d been trying to saw off, and it came down surprisingly easily. In the end there was just a piece of maybe 5 mm that I’d had yet to saw. Lucky for the birch! I hope it’ll be okay.
Also, I hope the old ladies who once walked past and looked at it and marvelled, “Oooh, it’s a willow tree!”, won’t be too sad that it’s missing part of its crown now …

The branches I sawed off will get a new life as next year’s firewood and as part of the potential hedgiepiggle hideout I’ve built behind the greenhouse.

Anyway, once that was done, I could set up the chimney. This drawing isn’t quite to scale:

There is a 1 m pipe on the outside, and a section with a 90 degree bend that has a hatch for cleaning. The 1 m pipe has nicely cancerogenous rockwool insulation around it. I sealed up the ends, where the rockwool is exposed, with special stove and chimney gook (which I also used to seal the seams in the pipes).
The pipe is secured to the trailer with two metal bands screwed to pieces of wood, which in turn are screwed to the trailer with those massive screws that go all the way to the inside and are anchored on the inside with extra pieces of wood. The shorter metal band stems from the owners of the place, who must have had a really short chimney if that was enough. I added the longer band, and now it should withstand the Brandenburg storms …

I was thinking of getting a taller pipe, but I am very glad I stuck with 1 m. More than that would have been hard to handle and even harder to secure.

When I lit the stove it breathed okay. It also works nicely to cook on the stove.

None of the casseroles that came with my fully furnished trailer actually have lids. But I have the perfect remedy … When I asked Ainur to bring me one of these silicone piggy-lids from Japan back in 2005, because I just had to have it, little did I know what extraordinarily good use it would come to five years later!

You can easily get sauna-like temperatures with this stove in this small space. I really didn’t mind at all – it was so nice to not be cold and to get a hot meal for the first time ever since I’ve had this place.

In the morning after the sauna heating, it was still not pneumonia-inducingly cold nine hours after I’d stopped adding fuel.

This is what the whole setup looks like. The room looks bigger than it is because I can’t draw – in fact, the stove is standing almost in the middle of the room:

I gravely underestimated how much tile glue gook I would need, so as of now I only put up tiles in the crucial parts above the pipe.
On top of the stove in this drawing are some stones that help store heat. Later I’ll probably coat the indoor part of the pipe with clay, which will also help store heat.
To the right is some fuel. In a tin barrel there are dry little twigs that are really good for starting the fire (collected by the owners when they were here – I should start collecting more twigs for next year). In a paper bag there are coal briquettes that I’m a bit wary of using, since I’ve only ever used wood. In front of it is a bag with paper and cardboard for lighting the fire, and in the front is a stash of wood.
From one of the massive screws hangs the chimney sweeping brush.

I have to confess that I actually didn’t believe that I could set up a wood stove like this. I just pretended that I did. But now I did it!!! Wheee! Take that, me!

After that was all done, I spent all Sunday making a “lasagna garden”. The soil is very sandy, so preparing compost like this directly on the earth might be a good idea. We’ll see how it goes …

The hardest part may have been cutting grass/hay for the composting material. I refuse to use the lawn mowers (after a traumatizing summer job in Urjala, Finland), and the grass is too long anyway, so I had to use a mini-scythe that was lying around there. That meant a lot of bending down, so at the end of the day it was like this …

My neighbours aren’t there much now that it’s cold, but one of them popped by today. When he saw that I’d raked the leaves on the path in front of my garden (to get composting material), he immediately started raking his leaves, too. Maybe he thought, “If even the crazy woman in the construction trailer rakes the leaves, then I have to do it too!!!”

Okay, now that the hardest work is done (?!), I hope I can actually focus more on drawing comics when I’m out there.

That reminds me – I often have very vivid dreams there. This morning one of many interesting dreams was about how two fans of my comics had invited me to stay at a fancy hotel. In this dream I was a rather sleazy person, and I was happy about all the luxurities there … But then one of the fans sent a man with a message: he challenged me to a game of chess. But there were only two pawns on the board, opposing each other, and the board was only four squares deep, and he was playing white, and had moved two squares towards my pawn, so there was nowhere I could move.
It then became clear through some other events that these two fans wanted to kill me in a prolonged and torturous way. Since there was no way I could escape them, I jumped off the balcony and killed myself before they could get to me.
As I jumped the dream changed into a different dream, which I don’t remember as clearly.

Maybe that dream came from my feeling bad about just working my ass off all day on both Saturday and Sunday, so that I was too tired in the evenings to work on my comics … ;_;
But on the other hand I think it’s very nice to do hard manual labour all day. :3

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4 Responses to “Wood stove adventures”
  1. Ainur says:

    Cute piggies!!!

    Jag måste ju få se allt detta när jag kommer och hälsar på nästa gång, det får man ju inte missa! Speciellt om det blir så varmt och skönt :3

  2. Tinet says:

    Jaaaaa …

  3. bubu says:

    Jösses et oot tehny hommia…, eiks oo kivaa sitten, kun on saanu valmiiks?

    Määkin haluan nähdä sun mökkis!

    Voi sua Tidi seikkailijaa!

  4. Tinet says:

    Niin no, aina kyllä löytää lisää tekemistä … Ja se on ihan kivaa!