Wood Stove Install

Step 1: Build a functional platform for my wood stove to rest on. 

Every inch of space in a tiny matters, so I decided to set my wood stove on a platform in order to at least utilize the space under it. There is a section for shoes and a drawer where I keep a stash of wood so I don’t have to go outside at night.

Step 2: Cover the walls

To safely have the wood stove in such a small space, I had to cover the walls with non-combustible material. I chose to use steel, but didn’t love the idea of shiny silver lining my walls.

Instead, I got steel and Sof (my super-awesome-project-side-kick) helped me patina it so that it looks artsy and rustic! It turned out great!

Then it was just a matter of screwing it into the wall with spacers so there is air flow behind it to protect the wall from the heat.

1-inch copper pipe couplings make perfect spacers

The screws just go through the copper pipe couplings attaching the sheet metal to the wall behind it, with a uniform 1-inch space between the metal and the wall.

Step 3: Plan the chimney path and buy the things. 

This one really held me up, for some reason I just couldn’t figure out where to start. With Sof’s help, I finally sketched my idea, took some measurements, and headed to a very specific Ace Hardware store that specializes in wood stoves. Charlie, at Poulsen Ace, really knew his stuff and was extremely helpful.

Full disclosure: If you’re planning to install a wood stove, prepare to spend just as much (or more) on the stove pipes and chimney pipes as you do on the stove itself.

Step 4: Round up a friend or two and cut a hole in your house.

This is once the wall thimble is in place, but you’re looking at my front yard through the inside of my house right here!

* If you’re lucky like me, your friends will be there for moral support…but still make you cut the hole yourself.

Step 5: Install the stove pipe.

Stove pipe is single-wall steel pipe, painted black for aesthetics (it comes this way, don’t paint it yourself without heat-safe paint!). My stove requires 6″ diameter pipe, so that’s what I used. It meets a 12″ long piece of triple-wall chimney pipe (aka class A pipe) just before it goes through the wall thimble. The wall thimble seals up the hole you just cut in your wall and allows the chimney to pass through safely.

Triple-wall pipe is insulated, just like it sounds, with three walls so the outside of it isn’t hot to the touch.

The class A section that goes through the wall meets a T pipe on the outside (which allows for chimney cleaning) and then goes up above the roof where it’s capped off so nothing gets into the chimney (rain, rodents, etc).

Step 6: Enjoy your cozy new addition!

I decided to have the chimney on the inside of my house for as long as possible because the single-wall allows heat to escape. Essentially, the more stove pipe you have inside, the more heat your wood stove provides. Also, I had to go through the wall rather than the roof because the roof is lined with solar panels.

Let me know if you have any questions!



Winter 1, Tiny 0…

As you know, last winter defeated the Tiny. My solar system wasn’t enough to power my electric heater through the long, bitter-cold nights. This left me frozen, literally in the dark, and with no running water. 

When I decided to try living in the Tiny again this spring, I vowed to do a better job preparing it for winter. Now, I’ve had all summer to get the preparations completed, but of course haven’t started until just recently. It’s not winter yet, but it took some colder weather to remind me why these plans were so important. I usually learn the hard way more than once (which would have meant waiting until I was freezing and completely unprepared to actually change anything), but I’ve been working on finding the path of least resistance. 

So, this fall has been time for projects and chores! The first step was getting the house set up to use shore power during the winter as the sun is much more limited. That turned out to be a rather extensive project due to some complications – more about that in a later post – but everything is plugged in now! Since I have shore power, the electric heater will be a back up for this winter. 

The primary heat source will come from this fall’s biggest project! The wood stove!

I have to be honest, I’m not sure what was harder, thinking about getting the install started or just doing it! It turned out to be about three to four full days of work, spread out over a few weeks of hours here and there. I started with the sheet metal you see here, and finished with the hole-in-the-wall-chimney install. 

The other winter preparations involve insulating my water line and building a skirt around the bottom of my house (between the ground and my floor). 

So, here’s to learning the hard way, but only once! Bring it on winter!



P.S. Check back soon for a detailed post about the wood stove install. I’ll go through step-by-step for you in case you’re thinking of starting a project like this in your tiny! It really wasn’t so bad…

Happy Birthday!

This post is for Papa, my very special grandfather, who is 88 today! He wants to know about my decision to go back to school. 

But first…

Papa, thank you for so much. For reading my blog, for raising such an amazingly loving family, and for inspiring us to do what we love and stand for what we believe. Happy birthday! 🎈

When ​deciding ​to ​change ​careers ​from ​teaching, ​there were a few non-negotiables I had for my next steps. I knew ​my ​career ​would ​have ​to ​involve ​caring ​for

people, ​working ​in ​a ​collaborative ​community, ​and ​spending ​most ​of ​my ​time ​on ​my ​feet. It would have to be something I felt proud of, something purposeful. ​The search began with what seemed like an obvious choice, healthcare. However, bumps in the road here and there steered me away from that option and left me utterly unsure of my future. So, after about a thousand internet searches, hundreds of “interviews” (I took to interviewing everyone I met about their jobs and their lives to try to find my calling), books,  countless hours of soul searching, a few less-than-concrete decisions, and some tears…I landed right where I started about 9 months ago. I want to be a nurse.

While ​working ​in ​healthcare ​is ​a ​completely ​different ​realm ​of ​caring ​for ​people ​than ​teaching, ​its something that matters to me. I’ll feel as though my time spent at work is important to someone other than myself. I can still work towards making a difference in the world, just like I was trying to do with teaching. 

So, I finished researching nursing schools, made a plan, enrolled in all my prerequisites, and took a CNA course. 

I’m now a certified nurse aide, and will be able to learn about the field while I’m putting myself through school. 

With any luck, I’ll be an RN in about 3 years!