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Firewood wall pass-through (air lock)

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by semipro, Jan 16, 2009.

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  1. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I want to build a firewood storage "pass-through" into a wall near an insert in our living area. I'm not sure I'm calling it the right things so I'll explain a little. I envision basically a small room hanging off the side of my house that is 20" or 40" deep (1 or 2 log lengths), 4' wide and 6' tall. I'd have a door on the outside and inside walls. I'd open the outer door, fill it with wood, and then access the wood for loading the stove from the inside.

    Sounds pretty simple but I thought I'd ask those that might have already built one for advice: "do"s and "don't"s, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Oh yeah. I don't mean to rehash covered topics but I didn't find much in a quick search of the forums. If its already been covered feel free to just let me know.
  3. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Go down a dozen or so threads. It was just discussed.
    Goodluck-
  4. FireaddictSC

    FireaddictSC New Member

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    i have a wood storage bin pass through built into my hearth wall behind to the right of the stove. it works great. The brick layers framed it out as they built the foundation and chiminy.
  5. hensonconst1

    hensonconst1 Member

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    obviously it is not built out of wood get some brick that matches your house if you are not confident enough to do yourself than get a "guy" but I can do it all you have to do is put a header in to support the studs above which may be tricky for a novice 2x 10 doubled. for whatever size wide you want than with either brick or block build however tall. inside there needs to be a slight slope of the floor higher on the outside. Enough for the wood to slide at least slightly you might have to help it slide.
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I did find a prior post where this was discussed to some degree. I couldn't find it earlier because "pass thru" was used instead of "pass through". http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/33063/

    I'm competent with the building part but was looking for ideas just like Family Man's comment about incorporating a slope in the bottom of the pass-through. I'm also thinking I want the bottom of the "box" to be lower than the indoor access to keep detritus from falling into the house (as much as that's possible anyway). If the bottom of the box is above the bottom of the outer access door then it would be easier to clean out. However, that slope that Family Man mentioned would work against me then.

    A reply in the previous post mentioned insulating only the inside access door. That make sense. I was thinking of insulating the whole box but there doesn't seem to be a lot of sense in that. It will be well sealed.

    Any comments on depth, overall height, height above floor/ground? Obviously, there's aesthetics to consider. Keeping it one log length deep would keep the box smaller. Making it 2 deep would allow twice as much storage but would it be difficult to get to the 2nd stack from the inside?

    I also want to camouflage the access doors as much as possible. I'm thinking of building the inside access into a bookcase. Any ideas on the outer or doors that could be use. It seems like I need a door that's about 36" wide by 40" tall (half height). I can build or modify a stock one but wonder if there's any short stock stores out there. The exterior is horizontal lap cedar.

    There's amazingly little info on this on the web. This seems like such a great idea I"m not sure why its not used more. We waste energy and make an amazing amount of mess dragging wood in the doorway nearest the wood stove.
  7. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Don't know why there would be much info. It's just a door and a box. It's up to the creativity of the carpenter to make an individual pass thru which is apporiate for a specific house.
    Maybe you'd like to make an outside door which you wouldn't even see when closed (matched siding and all) and build a cute little bench or bookcase as you mentioned, inside, that would hide the wood? Maybe you could use a nice looking old cedar chest and cut the back out?
    The options are yours.
    Be creative, find something that matches your style, and have fun with it.
    If you hang a box on the ouside, make sure your framing is going to support the weight of the wood and all the knocking around the box will take.
    Lots of luck and please, let us know how you make out.
    Also, feel free to share ideas and ask more questions.
    Ken
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Just add on a small porch. Inside door swinging in as normal and outside door swinging out. Stack wood wall to wall, inside the "porch".
  9. hensonconst1

    hensonconst1 Member

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    Make carts. Say you have one stack inside one outside put them on a cart when you exhaust the inside stack remove the cart and pull the outside stack in then take the cart you pulled out and put it on the outside to put wood on
  10. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Well, its functional. It took a while to get it to this point but its working. I got distracted by some water damage on the house and life in general. See attached pics. Thanks for the advice.

    Attached Files:

  11. project240

    project240 Member

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    Looks great!! Very nicely hidden with the bookcase.
  12. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I still have to work out how to hold the outer door up while I'm loading it up. The outer door is heavy and could put the hurt on someone if it fell.
  13. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Nice job! I think you'll inspire some others to try this method. Way too
    practical, though. Doesn't let out near enough heated air in the winter.
    :)
  14. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Looks great. Maybe mount a block up on the chimney and use a boat trailer winch to operate the door?
  15. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I'm glad you suggested that. I was thinking of using gas struts or some sort of metal brace between the door and box. I was thinking "inside the box", literally.

    While I may not use a boat winch I may simply attach a cable to the outside of the chimney so that I can "clip" the door open with something like a carabineer while I'm loading. The door, though heavy, is not that hard to lift but it is heavy enough to hurt if it came down unexpectedly.
  16. davmor

    davmor Member

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    I have often thought about doing this. The only problem I see is making something that looks good, and does not leak a lot of air. I have thought it would be good to frame the opening, then build a box to slide into the opening. This would be a lot easier to do then to trying to build something on the side of the house. You could just build the box in the garage or shop, put in the proper insulation, and make good doors. Slide it in the opening secure it and put the siding of your choice on it. Dave.
  17. RoseRedHoofbeats

    RoseRedHoofbeats Feeling the Heat

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    I built my woodshed in front of a window. Problem solved! =P

    ~Rose
  18. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I thought of doing this about 3 years ago and glad to see it works. The inside bookshelf idea is wonderfull, and it looks great.

    Maybe just a pully and counterweight on the outside door? A nice old iron wheel and some window weights.
  19. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I think gas struts would probably work well for this. everything is still hidden inside this way.
  20. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Something similar to closers used on commercial entrance doors might be useful.
  21. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I got this one sealed up pretty tight. So tight in fact that you can't shut the inner door (bookcase) very fast because of the built up air pressure. The inner door is entirely weatherstripped. The outer door is sealed on all but the bottom edge. I left it open so snow/ice melting off the wood could drain out. The floor is sloped towards the outside.
  22. CALJREICH

    CALJREICH New Member

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    Pretty cool. How many days worth of wood does it hold?
  23. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Mine goes into an unfinished basement, into a wood box, into the stove.
    About 10 days worth (when it's cold)
    1 row, stacked 4'6" high X 6' long 18" splits (roughly 1/3 cord (+/-)
    I empty the stove right before a new load comes in & the ash
    bucket goes out the opening.
    Now using 7 lag bolts with washers to hold the insulated door on but to be a hinged door, it's
    on the "to do " list. when I figure out how to do it. Bolts are a PIA. I use a drill & it's workable.
    But it helps keep the house cleaner.
    Holds 2 trailer loads.

    Attached Files:

  24. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    Great job both of you! I've been trying to come up with something since the insert is pretty far into the house from the doors, was thinking of building a porch and putting in a doorway but maybe just something small for a week or two worth of wood would be fine.
  25. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Of course it depends on the weather but it holds about 2-3 days worth. My thought is that usually in any 3 day period I'll have a stretch of decent weather when I can reload it. I used a wheelbarrow for the first load but that was a lesson in misery given the snow still on the ground. I plan to use the front end loader on my tractor in the future.

    Now if I could only figure out a system for using pallets and my front end loader to load the pass-through...
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