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  1. KeepItNatural

    KeepItNatural New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
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    Loc:
    Western Conn
    They're sometimes called Russian Fireplaces or Russian Stoves. Different places have different names for them, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has one.
    I don't have any immediate plans to build one, but I think somewhere down the line it'd be nice to go for it.

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  2. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Central Mass
    I did a search on this site when I first heard of them and there was one guy that had one, I believe he lives in New York state. It was an older thread and I havent seen him post recetly.
  3. KeepItNatural

    KeepItNatural New Member

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    Loc:
    Western Conn
    I have a fire box insert in my fireplace, something very similar to a fireplace insert, but my chimney isn't on an outside wall. It's in between two room, so after a day of burning, the bricks will hold heat over night. So when I found out about masonry heaters and that they were designed to do just that but much more efficiently. I just want to see what other people know and think about it.
  4. carinya

    carinya New Member

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    ohio
  5. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    Aug 22, 2008
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    1,903
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    central maine
    just burn it right if you do one: too many folks in this area treat those things like an all nighter woodstove and choke them right down, then creosote builds up everywhere: they should be run super hot and hard, allowing the masonry to aborb the huge amount of heat then release it slowly.
  6. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
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    3,657
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    My next house will have one of those. I also have a large, stone see through fireplace in the middle of my living room, dining room kitchen. I have a BK insert in another fireplace that just about heats the whole house but I always thought I could do something useful with the center see through. I know if I built the house I wouldnt have wasted the money on a pretty fireplace I would have made the center FP a masonry heater.
  7. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,306
    Loc:
    south central WI
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/5703/

    Marty S. is a member that has one.

    I used to think I wanted one, but I changed my mind. I like having a wood stove going all day with several
    long burn cycles. A masonry heater is a different animal. They are expensive and usually require some
    expensive changes to install in an existing home.
  8. killick

    killick Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    113
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    rsg, a buddy of mine has a masonry heater in the kitchen of his farm house. It is a kachelofen built by Ernst Keisling as a demonstration. Ernst bought a local construction company we used to work for so my buddy got his built for the cost of materials. It's a great heater, only requires firing twice a day in the coldest months and produces virtually no residue or creosote. Uses about half the wood of his old wood stove and radiates heat for 12 hours. What more can I say. They work on the same basic principal as a wood gasification boiler with a secondary burn at around 1800 degrees F. The heated gases then travel through a series of internal masonry baffles transferring heat to to the masonry mass where it is radiated back into the room. They are expensive, can be large and heavy and are best suited to an open concept floor plan like any radiant heater. Here's a link to Ernst's site:http://www.canadiankachelofen.com/
    A few years back I inspected a new house that had a Temp Cast masonry heater constructed in the living room. The mason who built it said it went together with no problems. It was also a bit smaller than my friend's kachelofen.
    Oh, one other thing. They are definitely not portable. At 10-12,000 lbs they become a part of the house.

    Earl
  9. KeepItNatural

    KeepItNatural New Member

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    Loc:
    Western Conn
    Thanks Earl,
    The idea is really neat, I like the idea of it. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.
    Thanks to you guys who posted links earlier as well- I checked those ones out and liked what I saw. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to post!
  10. killick

    killick Member

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    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    They throw a nice mellow, constant heat. You can also configure a seat as part of the baffle system and have a warm spot to curl up with a book. Some units come with a cooktop and second oven door for baking in. i'm starting to sound like a sales person. There's loads of info on the internet so have fun with the research.

    Earl
  11. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    there are some posts on these if you search on 'masonry heater' check also mha-net.org. A lot of my heat & effort goes wasted with outside chimney and inefficient burns using insert. Wish more of these had been built past century in U.S. (or more) rather than traditional rumford fireplaces which I'm stuck with, would likely not be as cost prohibitive.

    Also search on tulikivi
  12. photoboy74

    photoboy74 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Merseburg, Germany
    hello all from someone who just joined!!

    i'm an american ex-pat living in germany with my (german) wife. we're remodeling our home and we were fortunate enough to have a "berliner" ofen (stove) in our living room. from my understanding, a "kachelofen" is not a true masonry heater. a kachelofen heats through radiant heat as well as circulated warm air. it contains an air vent at the top of the stove that circulates warm air. a "berliner ofen" is the true masonry heater that heats only via radiant heat.

    as far as my experience goes with it, it is a beast of a heater. upon arriving, i knew next to nothing about them. i told my wife, "we can get rid of it, and put a nice fireplace there!" what an idiot i was. after some locals telling me how stupid that would be, i began to read more and more about it. i'm glad i listened. whereas fireplaces are around 10percent efficient, i've read (probably optimistic claims) that masonry heaters are upwards of 90 percent efficient. i burn a small load of wood once a day (twice when the mercury really drops) and it heats for 12-18 hours. i can burn moist, crap wood (albeit more of it!!) and produce heat for 12 hours. i don't have to worry about creosote as it burns full throttle until the wood is about burned through. when i have good embers, i close the doors and seal it up. not worried about CO at that point. we also burn brown/lignite coal briquettes in the stove with wood to help hold the "glüt."

    either way, if one can do it. do it. it's like having a little sun in the room. after working outdoors in the winter or taking a shower, my wife and i like to stand against our "berliner." even though it has an extremely large amount of heat stored inside, the outside is never to hot to touch. it is amazing. even mark twain was flabergasted by the kachel- and berliner ofens.

    Attached Files:

  13. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    801
    Loc:
    Mighty vistas of the Wasatch Mountains Below the s
    Welcome Photoboy, pull a chair to our glowing hearth and join the crowd.

    There is a ton of information on these kinds of stoves. A search for -thermal mass heating - will fill you with all kinds of ideas. Some community colleges offer courses in their construction. At one point I wanted one of the German stoves, until I found out they were not imported. Anyone know why, or has that changed?
  14. killick

    killick Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
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    113
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hi photoboy and welcome. My friend's kachelofen is a true radiant heater with no air vents. Ernst Keisling,the builder, is from Austria so mayby there are regional differences.The Finns and Russians all have names for these heaters.These heaters are all custom built to a design for a specific location so the components are available you just have to know how to put them together. Whatever you call them they are great heaters and very efficient.

    Earl
  15. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,284
    Loc:
    Antrim, NH
    I got to see one in action for the first time when I was at CSIA this fall. It's absolutely amazing how much heat can be stored from one fire. We had one fire in the morning and it was still warm the next day. I could see one in a future home if it was laid out for it.
  16. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    801
    Loc:
    Mighty vistas of the Wasatch Mountains Below the s
    Got to see one in action in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This was at a private home, but more like a lodge, This one had a small decorative Rumsford style stove inside, but the real work was done by the stone and mortar thermo stove out back. A half dozen or so 36 inch sticks are burned at a time and keep the home toasty. What is amazing is there is absolutely no smoke. It burned as clean as could be. The fellow I was with was a fellow sub contractor who built the fireplace said there was about eight ton of rock and concrete in the system. It was designed by a man from Norway. BTW, there were two burn boxes, one for everyday, about 24X24X40 and the other was closed off and insulated heavily, but was used on really cold days. That would be -20 to -50 or so. They burned only Lodgepole pine and fir. It was something to see about 2,100 feet of firewood double wide and six feet high. (Isn't that about 300 cords)
  17. killick

    killick Member

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    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    For a clean and efficient burn I think you will find they exceed any EPA rated appliance made when they are used properly.

    Earl
  18. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
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    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    That's a great looking stove...for kicks how much would this cost (approximately) new where you live in Germany (assuming one's house already has an adequate foundation, admittedly the biggest factor for me, which is to say I have no foundation for an 8,000 lb. beastie). There are a lot of numbers thrown around on how expensive they are here. Your foundation underneath (assuming you have a basement) is likely all block with perhaps a concrete pad?

    Well anyway, I'm green with envy, enjoy
  19. photoboy74

    photoboy74 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Merseburg, Germany
    That’s a great looking stove…for kicks how much would this cost (approximately) new where you live in Germanythank you! we are very fortunate to have it. i remember asking how much that cost to the previous homeowners and they said 900 East German DM. The cost was artificially lower because the gov't helped pay for it but the homeowner wasn't able to choose what ceramic tiles were used. could have been real ugly. brand new i've heard from 5,000 to 9,000 Euros with foundation. cheaper if one does the work themselves.
    the cellar of the house lies under the kitchen only so the berliner is on a cement pad which rests on gravel than earth. originally, the foundation was just painted an ugly maroon and covered with a metal plate that rusted. when we remodeled this room, we laid mosaic tile to make the area nicer. i just wish i had chosen a darker tile, graut, and caulk!!! even with a sealant, it's starting to get dirty from ash!!!
  20. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
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    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    Nothing like a good government incentive to justify the expense - I paid out close to $2,500 for my insert install (incl. ssl 30 ft. liner, labor) in 2006, price is 20% more now. Love the insert, don't like the lower efficiency plus loss of heat due to outside chimney, the drone of the blower, worrying about creosote, draft reversing if I don't use for two days, etc. $9,000 Euros that includes the install of foundation sounds reasonable. It's funny, my wife doesn't like the look of these beasties but yet I found her last night standing in front of the insert blower warming her jacket (and herself) before she ran out to our car.

    The claim of 90% efficiency is not far fetched, this .pdf was a great read, see page 4 in particular http://www.tempcast.com/planninguide/plan-all.pdf. However, I think the fuel would likely have to be <25% moisture to achieve.

    Cheers
  21. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    PB74, would you mind taking measurements of your ofen and posting them? Also, what is the approximate outside temp. of it when at its hottest?

    Thanks again.
  22. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    763
    Loc:
    NW MI near nowhere
    My TempCast is here:

    http://www.hearth.com/gallery/pics/fireplaces/source/tilestove.html

    It's in its fifth burning season and is a joy. I have had several fireplace inserts, gas stoves and wood stoves. This masonry heater is a different, and wonderful, animal. Don't need to say "I love it" and would not go back to the metal burning cousins if I could help it.

    Any specific questions, just ask. Otherwise, I'm reading by a big bay window for light, occasionally glancing at the falling snow, and feeling the great radiant warmth from my masonry heater.

    Aye,
    Marty
    Sorry for chiming in late on this one.
  23. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    451
    Loc:
    New Market, MD
    That is beautiful. If I ever build a house it will have something like that in the center.
  24. killick

    killick Member

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    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    113
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hi Marty, fine looking heater. I have a couple of questions if you don't mind:
    1) Did you construct this yourself or did you have a mason build it?
    2) How did you do the transition from the masonry heater to metal flue/chimney?

    Thanks;

    Earl
  25. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
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    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    Sure rub it in Marty ...in the words of yosemite sam...racka-frackin' carrot-chewin' varmin...:)
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