Inexpensive wood stove for garage workshop

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Sparkynutz

New Member
Oct 18, 2021
8
Wisconsin
I have a tightly insulated 26x26 workshop with 9ft ceilings currently heated by electric heat to 40-45* in Wisconsin.
I looked into installing a gas heater but after running the numbers the payoff was around 15 years and I only plan on living here another 10 years.
I have a 6ft wide by 3ft deep area in front of a window I plan to put some type of mini wood stove during the winter times to run occaisionally on very cold weekends while occupied only. I plan to remove the window and install a fireproof insert to run the chimney through at an angle up past the soffet and roof so I can avoid cutting a hole in the roof. My father runs a cabinet business and can supply me with unlimited amounts of oak and maple cutoffs and trimmings so a micro sized stove that only accepts 8 or 10" fuel isn't an issue. I have found quite a few small cooktop type stoves and potbelly stoves for sale locally for $200 or less. I would really like one of those fancy glass front stoves to keep eye on fire but hard to come by used with new ones $600-$6000 and back into the payoff not making sense.
There's currently a nice small potbelly sears cast iron stove for sale 10 minutes from me for $75 but it doesn't include any piping.
Any recommendations?
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
I have a tightly insulated 26x26 detached garage with 9ft ceilings currently heated by electric heat to 40-45* in Wisconsin.
I looked into installing a gas heater but after running the numbers the payoff was around 15 years and I only plan on living here another 10 years.
I have a 6ft wide by 3ft deep area in front of a window I plan to put some type of mini wood stove during the winter times to run occaisionally on very cold weekends while occupied only. I plan to remove the window and install a fireproof insert to run the chimney through at an angle up past the soffet and roof so I can avoid cutting a hole in the roof. My father runs a cabinet business and can supply me with unlimited amounts of oak and maple cutoffs and trimmings so a micro sized stove that only accepts 8 or 10" fuel isn't an issue. I have found quite a few small cooktop type stoves and potbelly stoves for sale locally for $200 or less. I would really like one of those fancy glass front stoves to keep eye on fire but hard to come by used with new ones $600-$6000 and back into the payoff not making sense.
There's currently a nice small potbelly sears cast iron stove for sale 10 minutes from me for $75 but it doesn't include any piping.
Any recommendations?
Solid fuel burners are not allowed to be installed in garages in the US by code.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,820
Northern NH
I think the only legal option is wall off a corner of the garage and put an exterior door to the closet, then install a wood furnace in the new closet. That separates the source of combustion from the garage.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
Its detached and more of a workshop than garage. I don't park in it. My attached garage is for parking
Are there ever vehicles in it? Is there gasoline or other flammable vapors in it?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,538
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Its detached and more of a workshop than garage. I don't park in it. My attached garage is for parking

Your getting into a semantic argument. I have a permitted and insured woodstove installation in my detached shop building. It’s great. Good thing it’s not a “garage” .
 
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Sparkynutz

New Member
Oct 18, 2021
8
Wisconsin
Its a temporarily occupied space roughly 6000 cubic ft used for things that needs heating during winter and I am having a hard time trying to make an educated decision on what to use to heat it during cold snaps to save a few bucks. Do you have any actual recommendations?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
Your getting into a semantic argument. I have a permitted and insured woodstove installation in my detached shop building. It’s great. Good thing it’s not a “garage” .
Permitted doesn't mean a thing. The code is clear and just because an inspector passes something doesn't change code. Just because they wrote a policy doesn't mean they will pay a claim. This isn't semantics it is basic code. Just calling a building something different doesn't change code
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
Its a temporarily occupied space used for things that needs heating during winter and I am having a hard time trying to make an educated decision on what to use to heat it during cold snaps to save a few bucks. Do you have any actual recommendations.

To be clear I am not telling you not to use a woodstove there. Just making you aware of the code so you can make an educated decision.

As far as what stove to use any basic plate steel stove will be a good option
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,412
South Puget Sound, WA
Its a temporarily occupied space roughly 6000 cubic ft used for things that needs heating during winter and I am having a hard time trying to make an educated decision on what to use to heat it during cold snaps to save a few bucks. Do you have any actual recommendations?
A new stove will run at least $600. In used stoves, you need to be much more careful. The stove must be inspected for any damage or abuse. It should work on a 6" flue. Also, note that a proper chimney setup may cost an additional $1000 or more depending on the complexity of the setup. Going straight up through the roof is the least expensive way to do this.
 

Sparkynutz

New Member
Oct 18, 2021
8
Wisconsin

WINNERWELL Nomad Medium Tent Stove is another stove I have been tempted to try. There was a used one for sale for $100 last spring and new ones are around $300​

 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
Tent stoves are generally made from very thin material that simply will not hold up long at all. They are generally also way to small to make much of any difference in a space like yours. And you will still need a chimney for it which will be pushing $1000
 

Firefighter44

Member
Aug 1, 2018
9
Cascade wisconsin
Seeing how it’s not your primary house heating unit, a good used one would fit the bill. Quicker return on investment when considering the cost of electric heat and having the wood heat “pay for itself”. I find around Christmas time and end of heating season there is two drops in price in the used market. Everyone who heated for a month and got sick of it or ran out of wood not knowing how much they would need, and those who stuck it out through the winter and is switching to gas heat for the next winter.

I know a lot of people around me that have wood furnaces and stoves in there detached shops without any objection from the insurer. Mine only required a hvac company sign of that it was installed by them or inspected that the unit was installed according to the manufacturer recommended processes. The only objection I’ve seen was that the point of ignition had to be a certain distance off of the floor. I set mine on a concete block pedestal so I didn’t have to bend over so far to clean and load the stove.

When looking for a used stove or furnace, just look for signs of obvious over firings. Warped steel or discolored paint are ones to steer clear of. Anything that gives you an uneasy feeling, walk away.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
Seeing how it’s not your primary house heating unit, a good used one would fit the bill. Quicker return on investment when considering the cost of electric heat and having the wood heat “pay for itself”. I find around Christmas time and end of heating season there is two drops in price in the used market. Everyone who heated for a month and got sick of it or ran out of wood not knowing how much they would need, and those who stuck it out through the winter and is switching to gas heat for the next winter.

I know a lot of people around me that have wood furnaces and stoves in there detached shops without any objection from the insurer. Mine only required a hvac company sign of that it was installed by them or inspected that the unit was installed according to the manufacturer recommended processes. The only objection I’ve seen was that the point of ignition had to be a certain distance off of the floor. I set mine on a concete block pedestal so I didn’t have to bend over so far to clean and load the stove.

When looking for a used stove or furnace, just look for signs of obvious over firings. Warped steel or discolored paint are ones to steer clear of. Anything that gives you an uneasy feeling, walk away.
The elevation requirements are from Canadian code. Which makes much more sense to me. And yes lots of people including me still do it. But I do it knowing full well that if anything happens due to that stove it is very unlikely an insurance company will pay the claim. Even if they claimed it was ok ahead of time.

I have been called in on enough stove related insurance claims to know how they work. Now them wanting a company to inspect and sign off on it is simply to remove their liability. If that company does it then they and their insurance are liable
 

ChillyB

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
57
TN
I have an insulated roll-up door on my 18x20 shop. Doesnt make it a "garage", its still a shop in which I do not park vehicles.

Most important is to understand the purpose of the code, which is to not blow up your building. There should never be gasoline in a building with an open flame, including pilot lights.

My old house had a wood stove and complied with code. And I parked a fueled Harley in the living room. So complied with woodstove code but did stupid thing that was dangerous.

Does anybody store their chainsaw or string trimmer or push mower in a shop heated by wood stove? Not a garage, compliant to code, still dangerous.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,538
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I have an insulated roll-up door on my 18x20 shop. Doesnt make it a "garage", its still a shop in which I do not park vehicles.

Most important is to understand the purpose of the code, which is to not blow up your building. There should never be gasoline in a building with an open flame, including pilot lights.

My old house had a wood stove and complied with code. And I parked a fueled Harley in the living room. So complied with woodstove code but did stupid thing that was dangerous.

Does anybody store their chainsaw or string trimmer or push mower in a shop heated by wood stove? Not a garage, compliant to code, still dangerous.

The canadians have a much smarter and easier to understand code for this. It's not about flames and gasoline because you can still have a gas or oil stove and furnace in a garage. You can still weld on your car in the garage. The US code prohibits solid fuel heaters in garages for some reason. Hopefully, with the increase in use of pellet boilers and even modern wood boilers and wood furnaces that are EPA approved we see the US code change to match the canadians.

I went to my AHJ, got a permit and passed an inspection for my shop stove. Insurance company approved the install as well. I suggest you do the same, if we can't depend on our regulators then we certainly can't trust some guy on the internet.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
I have an insulated roll-up door on my 18x20 shop. Doesnt make it a "garage", its still a shop in which I do not park vehicles.

Most important is to understand the purpose of the code, which is to not blow up your building. There should never be gasoline in a building with an open flame, including pilot lights.

My old house had a wood stove and complied with code. And I parked a fueled Harley in the living room. So complied with woodstove code but did stupid thing that was dangerous.

Does anybody store their chainsaw or string trimmer or push mower in a shop heated by wood stove? Not a garage, compliant to code, still dangerous.
Read the code it doesn't just say garages. It say shall not be installed in any garage or space where gasoline or other combustible vapors are present.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
The canadians have a much smarter and easier to understand code for this. It's not about flames and gasoline because you can still have a gas or oil stove and furnace in a garage. You can still weld on your car in the garage. The US code prohibits solid fuel heaters in garages for some reason. Hopefully, with the increase in use of pellet boilers and even modern wood boilers and wood furnaces that are EPA approved we see the US code change to match the canadians.

I went to my AHJ, got a permit and passed an inspection for my shop stove. Insurance company approved the install as well. I suggest you do the same, if we can't depend on our regulators then we certainly can't trust some guy on the internet.
Read the code book. Don't trust me. Read the inspection report. Are they responsible for anything that they missed? Who from the insurance company approved the install to they have the authority to approve a non compliant install? Believe me everyone involved has covered their asses but the guy saying no no no it isn't a garage it's a shop
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,538
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Read the code book. Don't trust me. Read the inspection report. Are they responsible for anything that they missed? Who from the insurance company approved the install to they have the authority to approve a non compliant install? Believe me everyone involved has covered their asses but the guy saying no no no it isn't a garage it's a shop

I read the pertinent code section and applied for a permit. My AHJ issued a permit and inspected the install, it's in the record, and my insurance company issued the policy with inspections as well. My attorneys will be happy that the regulators all approved the installation which is all that can be expected of a homeowner. Everything above the board and all good.

We've been down this road before bholler, you've never been able to convince me to change my mind and I won't change yours either, we will have to agree to disagree.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
Ok regardless of what some people think. Installing a solid fuel burner in a garage or a space where gasoline or other flammable vapors are present is a clear violation of code. If you do so there is a very real risk that any associated insurance claim may be denied. The inspector ahj and insurance company do everything within their power to reduce their liability.

I am just making people aware of the fact so they can make an educated decision. What you call the building doesn't matter in the least. What your insurance agent or the inspector told you doesn't really matter. What matters is the fine print of your policy and what the adjuster and or experts they call in say in the event of a claim. Some companies will absolutely pay if they wrote a policy. And others will not.

This is not an issue of opinion or changing anyone's mind. It is about providing the facts associated with the situation.
 

Sparkynutz

New Member
Oct 18, 2021
8
Wisconsin
Just curious if most threads on this forum are mostly just arguing like this one or if there is actually any useful pertinent information to be gained by asking a question here?

Realistically this thread COULD have been useful by many people searching for a similar unit no matter what their application is. Shop, ice shanty, cabin, sauna, doesn't really matter.
Small, inexpensive stove to heat a small space with small wood. Fresh air intake would be a plus. Instead of worrying about compliance and laws that have no bearing on what a good efficient cheap small stove May fit my application or others.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,020
central pa
Just curious if most threads on this forum are mostly just arguing like this one or if there is actually any useful pertinent information to be gained by asking a question here?

Realistically this thread COULD have been useful by many people searching for a similar unit no matter what their application is. Shop, ice shanty, cabin, sauna, doesn't really matter.
Small, inexpensive stove to heat a small space with small wood. Fresh air intake would be a plus. Instead of worrying about compliance and laws that have no bearing on what a good efficient cheap small stove May fit my application or others.
There are many hundreds of threads asking what stove to use in a small space a shop etc etc. Most get many answers and they also get informed of the applicable regulations.

In your case if you are going to do it I would be looking for a medium sized basic plate steel stove probably pre emissions standards. I think you are going to need more than a small stove to bring a shop that size up to temp. And burning small very dry cabinet scraps you are going to need something very durable.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,820
Northern NH
You may feel unhappy now and go look for the answers that you agree with elsewhere but garage fires from woodstoves do happen and when they do its usually a total loss.