It was all part of the plan from the beginning, of course. But what kind of stove? I looked at several options:
- Cook stove
- Can’t seem to find one under $500 (except for this one), but also, it was kind of pointless, since we are going to have a real stove in the house. The wood stove would just be for heat or emergencies.
- Small upright potbellied stove
- These were originally mostly coal burning stoves. Coal is a very dirty, but very efficient heat source. Don’t need the dirt, and I think it really would be too small to heat the whole house.
- Small rectangular stove
- A great, small option; this was my second pick. But I couldn’t find one I liked- the one in the ad above had a crack in it, was all rusted out, and was missing a leg, and he still wanted $125 for it. I guess not that great, and possibly too small.
- Advanced pellet stove
- These are always up in the thousands of dollars- but you have to use the special pellets for them. This one has a built in oven, which is nice. But I figure if I need an oven, I can use a dutch oven on top of the stove as an oven.
I finally settled on “nostalgia” as the deciding factor. The craigslist ad:
See, my dad was really into wood-burning stoves back in the 1980’s. He bought a huge stove for the basement living room that weighed something like 500 pounds. I remember him being worried about reinforcing the stairs just to get it down them. Our neighbor, Eugene Childs, the biggest guy in the neighborhood came over to help- he lifted one side, while four other guys lifted the other side.
Every fall, he would put four foot high home-made rails on top of his 1982 Ford F150, drive us all up to Kamas, Utah, and pick up a load of firewood from a real live mountain man who lived up there (at least that’s what I thought he was). He would drive it home, and then it was the kids’ job (all of us) to unload the truck onto the patio. Then later, it was my brother’s and my job to split it all and stack it. That job really sucked.
When that thing was fully stoked, we had to hang a box fan in the doorway to blow the hot air out to the rest of the house. Otherwise, that room would heat up to 120 degrees. It had some vents on the front for adjusting the airflow- if you set them just right, the thing would start chugging like a choo-choo train as it sucked air through the vents and ate through the wood. We also had to keep a pot of water on it- the heat from it made the air in the house too dry. It was so big, it sat out in front of the fireplace- making a little area for the dog to lay down behind the stove. He would go back there and lay for what seemed like hours soaking up the heat. Then, he would emerge- panting and hot. Silly dog.
Later, Dad installed an insert stove upstairs. Then, still later, he got one for the garage. The one I bought matches the one he had in the garage exactly- right down to the boot-rest.
The one I picked…
I sent the ad to Julie, and when she saw it she was like, “eeww! It’s gaudy. ”
“What’s gaudy about it?”
“No, that’s just rust and bad lighting.”
“Are you sure?”
I told her about my dad’s stove. Later, she admitted that it was growing on her, and she really wanted it.
It’s known as a “parlor stove”: they were made to be seen- ornate, but still useful- around the 1930’s.
I arranged to meet the guy on Saturday morning and pick it up. I made the 1.5 hour drive to Nashville, and went to the address- it was a Pub being converted into a micro-brewery. I met the owner- Adam- and we got to work loading the stove. The building used to be the home of the Harp and Fiddle- an Irish-themed pub. He had just bought the place a week ago, and was hoping to open it back up as a brewery this week. It’s in the middle of the music downtown area of Nashville.
I asked him what he’s going to replace it with – there was an elaborate brick area built around the stove in the pub- he said he’s not sure. I suggested a saltwater aquarium.
Here’s the stove (I haven’t shined it or anything yet):