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Heater Project Diaries

Heater Project Diaries
November 19, 2015

The East Madison Restoration Project 2015

  Ten minutes from our shop in Skowhegan, Maine, Rick Anzelc purchased a 1830's Greek Revival farmhouse, ell, wood shed and barn where he had lived as a boy. Recent previous owners/tenants had not treated the home well, and after the last tenants left the abandoned house suffered the loss…
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Heater Project Diaries
August 17, 2015

Heater in Bowdoinham, ME

Reeve and Hannah Wood purchased an early 19th century farmhouse in Bowdoinham, Maine just off the undeveloped exit on I-295. Reeve and his brother (a carpenter) have been putting in new bathrooms, a new kitchen with an antique stone sink, new windows, and other major upgrades/improvements during their reconstruction project.…
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Heater Project Diaries
January 28, 2015

The Schultz Heater

Converting a poorly built brick Heatilator fireplace into a high efficiency double downdraft stone veneer masonry heater with fire view, bake oven and heated bench in Lanesboro, MA. (2014)   The timber frame house and ten acres of open land on a ridge just outside of Pittsfield, Massachusetts offered enough…
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Heater Project Diaries
August 25, 2011

The Harvard Massachusetts Copper Oven

In June of this year, Albie Barden of Maine Wood Heat and Ryan Neidhold of Vermont, traveled to Harvard, Massachusetts to install a model 83 Le Panyol turnkey oven with a stainless steel base pan and copper dome. Scott Barden and Brock Harmon in our shop re-cut and trimmed and…
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Heater Project Diaries
May 4, 2011

Thurrell Masonry Heater

Bob and Lynn Thurrell bought an old center chimney cape farmhouse and land in Pownal, Maine a generation ago. The house was a wreck when they got it and Bob worked feverishly to make it habitable for their first winter. They made it through with a wood stove and lots…
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Heater Project Diaries
December 17, 2010

Montana Stacy/Ireland Heater Part II: The Magic & Mystery of Basalt

The original and Northern most entrance to Yellowstone Park is located in Gardiner, Montana beside the Yellowstone River. Marking the entrance is a huge brown basalt stone arch standing like a gateway, minus the walls, to an ancient city of fortress. The corners of the gateway are made of large…
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Heater Project Diaries
March 31, 2010

The Story of Sampsa’s Soapstone Heater

When Sampsa first contacted me about building a masonry heater in a hands-on workshop, he already had drawings for a custom-made soapstone fireplace with an adjacent oven designed by Tulikivi in Finland. Working off these drawings and measures from Sampsa of available brick and firebrick near his home in New…
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Heater Project Diaries
March 18, 2010

A Unique Home Heat Exchanger

In America, the first wood heating devices in the historic era were large open fireplaces. To this were added wood fired ovens, some on the back wall of the fireplace and some to the side of the fireplace. In the middle to late eighteen hundreds cast iron cookstoves were invented.…
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Heater Project Diaries
March 11, 2010

Masonry Heater Firebox Design

One of the great masonry heater designers and researchers of the mid twentieth century was a Finnish researcher named Asp. When I (Albie) began my journeys to Finland in the late seventies, my Helsinki, Finland friend, Heikki Hyytiainen, made mention of Asp's work and we were able to find one of…
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Heater Project Diaries
March 4, 2010

New Zealand Masonry Heater Workshop: Panorama Door

Sampsa Kiuru decided to install a Finnish masonry heater in his national eco design award winning home in New Zealand. Four features set Sampsa's heater apart from other heaters that we commonly build, although all of our masonry heaters by Maine Wood Heat tend to be special and custom made.…
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Heater Project Diaries
January 22, 2010

Rich History and Heaters of North Haven Island

Albie is completing a brick cookstove and see-through masonry heater on North Haven Island, twelve miles off of Rockland, Maine, just before he leaves for New Zealand to build a heater there. The job site is on the Turner Farm which overlooks the "thoroughfare" between North Haven and Vinalhaven Islands.…
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Heater Project Diaries
December 28, 2009

Setting up Shop in New Zealand

New Zealand is on the other side and "bottom" of the world relative to Finland, but there is still a winter season and measurable cold even though their February can be considered our "August." Sampsa Kiru, a native Finn, is a young doctor in Queenstown, New Zealand, in the middle…
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Heater Project Diaries
December 11, 2009

Starting Over with Soapstone

One of our greatest pleasures here at Maine Wood Heat is seeing a new house become a home. Being invited to take part in that transformation is why we chose masonry heating as our life’s work. This spring, we met a couple that recently purchased their first log home together.…
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Heater Project Diaries
April 2, 2009

Three Heaters Indeed!!! Part 2

We arrived first, around 6:00 pm. Nancy's drive was long and dark under the veiled night sky. The house, once entirely out in the open, was now fully concealed by trees and shrubs that Nancy had painstakingly planted and cared for over the last 26 years. The inside of the…
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Heater Project Diaries
March 16, 2009

Three Heaters Indeed!!! Part 1

After more than a year of intense planning and delays my most recent Finnish fireplace installation proved to be well worth the wait.  Our paths first crossed with Nancy Pearson in 1982 when Albie was installing a basic contraflow heater a couple towns away from where Nancy and her husband…
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