1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Enabling Significant Other

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mass_burner, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,059
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    How many folks have that special someone who aren't as avid about keeping the wood fires burning? For me, I need to have a stash of bio bricks handy for the wife when I leave for work. She doesn't like handling splits.
    Joful likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    272
    Loc:
    Sherman, NY
    My wife saw what our oil bill was when I topped off the tanks. She believes we have better things to spend money on, and has been 100% into heating with wood since the beginning. Granted, my wife is a farmer, managing one farm and running ours, so I wouldn't expect any issues with handling some firewood.

    Show her the savings in using cordwood over biobricks, maybe get her the best gloves you can, and see what happens.
    ailanthus likes this.
  3. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,584
    Loc:
    South Shore, MA
    It has taken my wife a few years to get "into" burning. She knows the importance of what it saves us in money away from gas or oil. As long as I do the lugging, shes know how to reload and run it.
  4. BrianN

    BrianN Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    243
    Loc:
    Central BC
    My wife is all for wood burning, but, no so much into fuelling the fire. Sure, she came out and helped with the wood, helped stack and every thing else involved, but, as of yet, has not put a stick of wood in the stove. I don't have a problem with that. I just fill it up when I get home after work, and it is good until I do it again 24 hours later.
    My problem now, is if some thing happens, either to me, or some thing where I have to leave for a few days. So, that being said. I am going to let the fire go out this weekend (it has been burning for about 2 weeks now) and teach her how to start it, then, I am going to teach her how to load it, and take care of it.
    I agree with the above poster. Remind her of the bills of last years heating, and she will come around and enjoy the heat and the savings.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I see no good reason why any woman can not fill and control a wood stove. After all, a child can do it so a grown woman surely should be able to do it. And when I say a child can do it, I am speaking from my own experience as from about age 8 or thereabouts on it was my duty to keep the stoves going....and I loved it.
  6. Charles1981

    Charles1981 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    512
    Loc:
    Michigan
    My wife is terrible at getting a fire going and reloading no matter how many times I go over it and she always shuts the bypass way to early and the cat stalls on her all the time. grrr. No real getting through to her after a year...I don't it is going to get better. Not much I can do.

    She helps split (with splitter) and stack, but wont buck or hand split. She does bring wood to the door pile regularly though.

    It works out unless I am working 14 hour days, I come home to a kinda warm house but have to open everything up, spread out coals, re-arrange whats in the stove so it burns apprpriately and then get it up to temp and fire up the cat.
  7. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,584
    Loc:
    South Shore, MA
    I'm guessing that many women were not as fortunate as us when growing up. I can see the woodstove and the work that comes with it being a boys chore back in the day. The girls were washing your underwear and making your dinner.
    Oldhippie and gyrfalcon like this.
  8. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,607
    Loc:
    SE MI
    Since our furnace is currently out of commision, again, she has two choices when I'm gone for work.
    PapaDave, Oldhippie and Joful like this.
  9. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,798
    Loc:
    Michigan
    My wife used to work from home, we had a non cat at that point. I think she ran that stove better than me. The BK she has no problem running but I know I do it better. ;) She can either choose to freeze or run the stove, she chooses to run the stove.

    I'm with Dennis I think any wife of a member here is capable of running these stoves. I'm sure they learned to drive cars "ok"! The ones who don't or "can't learn" are doing a good job of pulling the wool over your eyes. :)
  10. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    373
    Loc:
    SE BC Canadian Rockies
    My wife is great at loading the stove. I take care of it during the hours that Im there and she takes care of the rest of it. Im up later then her and do the overnight burn and shes up earlier than me so rakes the coals forward and gets it going again. She spends a bit of time on Hearth and knows when to cut the air back, and keeps an eye on stove top and flu temps.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,634
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    For years my wife operated our stove. Sometimes for a month at a time in the middle of winter while I was traveling. She can't anymore but really misses it.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan

    My wife is not great but she can handle it. Getting a fire started was the most difficult for her for many years. Then we got a couple samples of the Super Cedars from NW_fuels. End of the problem getting fires started. These really make it easy.

    As for how to operate the draft and bypass, if it takes written instructions, then do it. I've done this with my wife many times because she sometimes forgets. So she will do just like she does when baking. Step 1, then step 2, etc. This takes the guesswork out of it for her. A few compliments can also do wonders.
    Oldhippie likes this.
  13. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,059
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Wow. This is really interesting reading. Keep it coming.
  14. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,621
    Loc:
    Champlain Valley, Vermont
    Odds are high that she's reluctant because she thinks she won't be able to do it right. The extent to which the men fuss and fume and tinker with this and adjust that and poke this over here, etc., makes it seem like fire-building is a high art with a zillion mysterious rules. Also, any time you only do something once in a long while, it's much harder to approach it with confidence and to get it right. Making good pie crust would be the classic example from the "women's world," of skills you can only develop an instinct for if you do it regularly.

    When I was growing up, it was my country-raised mother who was the expert fire-builder (only in a fireplace, not a stove) and my city-raised dad was completely hopeless. He could get a fire going, but not very well, and it would take my mother to heave a big sigh and go poking and rearranging to get it going well and long.
  15. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,621
    Loc:
    Champlain Valley, Vermont
    Remember how girl children are raised, by their parents and by society as a whole, to value cleanliness, neatness and also caution. Boys are mostly raised to lift the hood of the car, dig in and get dirty. "Watch this. Hold my beer." The rough equivalent for girls goes something more like, "Uh-oh! Be careful!"
  16. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    477
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I've learned most about operating our stove by reading things here and then playing around with the variables with the stove. I've encouraged my wife to take an active role in this, and have even highlighted certain threads to have her read. She just doesn't seem very interested. I've tried to summarize and encourage her to give things a try, but the only time she wants to mess with the stove is if she doesn't feel like it's putting out enough heat! These attempts invariably result in a room full of smoke.

    I take a pretty deliberate approach at learning about something new, which has always served me pretty well.

    It kind of reminds me of the odd struggle I've had getting her to recognize poison ivy. It's a pretty simple ID, and she's terribly allergic, but even the misery of dealing with these outbreaks doesn't seem to raise the motivation needed to learn to do this well enough to avoid this vine.
    Soundchasm likes this.
  17. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,257
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Well, then, I guess my parents goofed me all up. I suppose it had something to do with Dad was self-employed & I worked right along side my ditch-digging cement-slinging father. :)
  18. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,059
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    I'm okay with my wife not working the stoves, gives me an excuse not to load the dishwasher.
  19. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    254
    Loc:
    Windsor County, Vermont
    Wife does very well with the stove but doesn't enjoy tending it at all. Raised three girls: one was discouraged from doing much with it, one did as little with it as possible but was very responsible, youngest is great with it (first home now, tends it every day, no worries). All of them find something else to do when processing firewood.
  20. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,699
    Loc:
    WNY
    As a general rule I don't believe in guys/gals work. Some things I leave to DH because he is stronger or he really enjoys it (like mowing the lawn with the tractor).

    I was always a tomboy and followed my grandpa around when he processed firewood. Never got to run the tools but in retrospect they were older and kinda scary, like the saw with no kick back brake. I always volunteered to bring wood up from the cellar when it was stored down there, and later in from the garage, always was one to add to or build a fire in their fireplace (MASSIVE masonery set up, it was one wall in the kitchen and living room and part of the dining room. Have a good fire at night and the marble would still be warm in the morning).

    Dh grew up with a cone fireplace, they bought their wood so no processing.

    I pushed for the stove (but if it were up to me, we'd have some form of fire containing stove/fireplace in every room-heck, I'd LOVE one at work even) and had a splitter picked out and bought before we even closed on this place. DH usually runs the splitter/saws and I bring rounds and stack. I can run the splitter, never mucked with the saw though. Dang thing is HEAVY. I did have a go with the wedges once but I've got some tendonitis in my arm, that didn't go well. Ouch.

    I usually bring in the wood. Either of us will load the stove.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  21. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,945
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    I'm always in awe of these seasonal threads.

    I do about everything here, aside from chain sawing ( carpal = not good for chain saw use. I do have my Black & Decker battery saw for the things that I can handle). Usually 1-2 trees taken down here a year, after they are cut to size, it's me doing the bull work.. Splitting, stacking, lugging it inside.

    Add on the firewood I buy, that needs to be stacked, and some of it needs to be resplit (to big for either stove), recut (because it's to long for either stove). Get it top covered, rake out the leaves around the stacks before they freeze ( I hate dealing with autumns leaves during a blizzard in January ::-)), and get them mulched with the lawn mower

    It's a life style decision. Who WTF would care if you break a nail, can't "handle" loading a stove, etc. It's not rocket science for gripes sake!! ... that's BS.Especially with the $$$$s saved over the long term.

    I think most of you guys who ponder/complain about this, made a poor choice, IMHO. No long term planning ;lol
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,359
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I don't trust my wife to run the stove too often on her own. There... I said it. She's way too distracted and scatter-brained, and I can 100% guarantee that she'll leave at least one of them run wide open in bypass for an hour as she runs around distracted with other chores, before remembering she was supposed to do something about it. She's smart, capable, and strong... but she lacks the basic discipline required for this simple job.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,165
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    My wife runs the stove often when I am not at home. She runs it more cautiously than I and won't fill it to the gills. Her preference is a few splits at a time, but that's fine. I'm glad she participates in the process and enjoys the warmth.

    mass_burner, two things for your wife to have: her own soft leather gloves and a kitchen timer that clips to a pocket or belt. Soft gloves will protect her hands and a timer is essential to remind one to turn down the stove. This is especially important if she is busy around the house with other chores.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. dmmoss51

    dmmoss51 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    356
    Loc:
    Michigan
    My wife was so proud of herself the first time she started a fire... didn't have the heart to tell her it was easy because of the hot coals still buried in the ashes! Since then though she has been able to cold start the stove. She has really gained an appreciation for the warmth of the wood stove over knocking the thermostat up a few degrees. She prefers I take care of it but handles it just fine when I am not around.
  25. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,945
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    And she got an education about this how?

    Does she read here???

Share This Page