As most of you know, I adore my Pioneer Maid wood cookstove. I have cooked on it and we have used it to heat our home for over 15 years. It has an enormous firebox and oven and with the addition of the water reservoir, the stovetop is gigantic.
Our stove is very utilitarian and quite easy to maintain. It does not have a lot of bells and whistles (it is, after all, a wood cookstove) - its strength is its simplicity. The one complaint we have had with this stove is the requirement for custom firebricks. Rather than building the firebox around standard firebricks, the Amish built the stove and then fashioned firebricks to fit. The bricks are unique sizes and interlock with each other so as to form a "solid" firebrick wall. Although easy to install, they are very expensive (as firebricks go) and require shipment from Ohio, adding to their cost.
In the 15 years we have used our stove, we have replaced the firebricks 4 times. We order them from Lehman's Hardware at a cost of about $160.00 with an additional $60.00 shipping. Due to the high cost, we often limp along with broken firebricks until spring, when we can order a new set.
Because of the way the firebricks sit in the firebox, they are easy broken during the normal course of loading the stove with wood. Our firebox can only be loaded from the top of the stove and the wood clunks down on the top of the bricks, cracking and breaking them. Ouch!
After studying the problem, Sir Knight came up with a possible solution to our firebrick dilemma. Knowing that our bricks break when wood slams into them (on the top of the bricks), Sir Knight welded a couple of pieces angle iron together, snaked them through the top of the stove and set them on top of the firebricks to protect them from flying firewood! Ingenious!
|Angle Iron "Firebrick Guard" on top of the firebricks|
Don't you just love "off-grid ingenuity"?