Texas Cabin Stove Completed

I completed this stove this past month. Test runs were very positive. Some very high winds pointed out some chimney height issues but will rectify them in the next week. I opted for a solid 1/4 inch “floating” top. In an attempt to make it more rigid I welded some angle iron on the bottom. This actually induced some warp. That is the reason for the weights. Hoping the heat and weight would help flatten it out. Did not work. But for its primary purpose of producing heat it works great. And flat enough to heat water and such.Will deal with the warp issue at a later date. I have a ton of build pictures. Will post them as well. Not sure how many I can stick in one post.



First off, I am a machinist and bladesmith. I have a good collection of metalworking tools and was able to fabricate all items myself. Except for the doors, grate and such that I purchased from Firespeaking. I also have a large tile/brick saw that was indispensable. Even with that, there where some things just barely possible with what I had. Cutting an accurate chimney hole in the top plate was one of them. As Max told me, this is like putting together a Swiss watch. Being my first time, I had a general idea but many times steps 3 and 4 were not obvious until I had done 1 and 2. More than once I sat indulging in my addiction (dark chocolate covered almonds) while just staring at the whole mess.
I have massive monolithic concrete slab. 5" thick with 12" wide x 30" deep integral concrete beams next to the stove build base. I put down a layer of leveling mud and topped it with concrete board. Put the first layer of exterior brick down and filled the space with 2" thick Insblok. It is 1900 degree mineral wool board I had left over from a propane forge build. This is to help keep the slab from sucking heat out of the base. Also topped it with concrete board. The Insblock will suck up water if given the chance.
I think the pictures explain the rest.

Before we get too deep-here is where are headed. Keep in mind, this is my first brick laying build.

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Wow @Danocon!!! Congratulations! It looks like you did a great job and it is very exciting to see the newest iteration of the Cabin Stove this well documented. I look forward to further sharing my thoughts soon and can’t wait for you to share more feedback from you about your experience as you use it.

This part was mostly just stacking legos. The clean out area took some thought though. Made a bridge so that I could use standard splits for the floor. I have high temp (3000 degree) refractory that I could have formed up and cast some larger pieces. Was not really interested in doing that. And it expensive stuff and way overkill for the stove temps.

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Thanks Max. I am excited to use it and learn how to manage it.

Firebox construction. Some of the pictures are practice layouts. Not being a mason, there is probably a more elegant way to do this. It is important to note that the grate and door frames are slightly wider than the length of a fire brick. Having a decent brick saw I chose to cut shims to get the fire box the right width. Other ways to get there I am sure.I also cut support pieces for the grate to make the top of it level with the floor. Grate top could be a lower but not higher that the firebox floor. Laid the hardware out on a bench top to get width and height for openings and their placements


Thanks for including these details Dan. Here are some observations that I have:

-Your way of approaching the construction around the units of the hardware is right on. It would be great one day to have hardware whose dimensions were more resonantly harmonious with the basic masonry units we have available… but that will take time. :slight_smile:

-The location and orientation of your grate appear to exactly replicate the position of the grate I used in the Shop Cabin Stove build. Honestly, this was an unpolished detail. Based on use, one the main things I have noticed is the advantage of having sloped sides to focus the coals as the fire decreases into the coal stage. It is more self-organizing this way which is helpful for good combustion. Here are some examples:

These sloped pieces can be cut out of firebrick or cast with castable refractory…

-It is interesting how you bring the firebrick “splits” right out in line with the face brick. This seems like a very sensible way to do it, but it does cross over a potential separation that one might want to keep between the core and facing. See this article on Expansion Joints for more on this idea. As it is, I also didn’t put in a full expansion joint between core and facing on our Cabin Stove because of the complexity of moving back and forth between the facing and core.

I really appreciate both your work on the project and your work in sharing your process with us. I like how you modified the cooktop and am very curious how your single sheet of steel on the top works out.

Expansion joints? Don’t need no expansion joints!! Seriously though, I did not pick that up from the cabin stove build photos. We will see if any issues arise. Have about 10 burns on it. Spent the last weekend (3 days) in a simulated power outage. Well, turned of the heat anyway. Temps 22F-40F. Basically did 4 hour burns morning and evening. Kept the house around 70F most of the time. Was down to 65 in the mornings after 8-10 hour of no fire. House is 2 story 2000 sqft. Very will insulated timber frame. Wrapped in SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels). Still some residual warmth in the stove though. Exterior brick was 85F . Bake oven interior around 100F. Made coffee in a camp percolator on the stove top. Made pizzas and a pot of cast iron beans in the bake oven. Had to keep the door a bit open to keep around 350F. If closed climbed to 450-500. Even with medium fire over an extended time, cook top went to 800F over the fire. Back corner of cook top (opposite flue) kept the coffee hot but not boiling. I have to close the fire door grate completely and open the ash door grate only about 1/4. Otherwise it is like a forge blower sucking the air in. Still a pretty hot fire though at that setting. Towards the end of the burn I will open up both to burn everything.

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More build pics. It may not be clear but I used a 1/2" thick by 3" wide piece of steel I had on and hand as a lintel. Bolted the hardware to that. Set everything with 2000F stove cement and did not use the ceramic fiber gaskets. May be an expansion joint mistake as well.

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