Ted’s essays

barn boiler

My barn shop has a huge boiler-heater-woodstove that strikes me as well suited for powering a freight train across the continent a century ago.

I’m thinking it might be just a bit much for my barn, though with the hopscotch ceiling insulation, my little fires in the middle of this only get the workspace up to 50 degrees or so.

The limiting factor in this installation is overheating the nearby sawdust-board wall. It has scars from prior excursions into the way-too-hot zone, and I did feel it too hot to handle when I had a cranking-good fire going one time.

Thus I must settle for less heat and scheme on better sealing of the ceiling. Besides, when I’m working, 50 is not a bad temperature.

I do, however, appreciate it for the COOL FACTOR, but the shop is just a shop. I need it to function much more than I want it to be a style zone.

I am okay using it as is, but did run across a woodburner half its size that may well be a better fit. Its owner and I are in negotiations for a swap.

Below you can see the little fire I burn to heat my workspace… about a quarter of this big boy’s capacity is all my shop can handle.

Whoever engineered this gem has the ash handled rather conveniently. I have yet to build up any, but the ash falls through the steel floor bars into a collection pan underneath. Pretty nifty, that.

The air intake is through those same bars that make up the floor.
It works real well to fan the flames.

There you have it. The little fire pictured in this box is actually as big as the one I burn in our living room to heat the whole house.

It does deserve a bigger venue to play in. I can almost visualize someone flinging shovelfuls of coal into its roaring flames and red-hot skin.

The door is my favorite part.

Unfortunately, the welder assembling its current form put the hinges on the right which placed the nifty casting upside-down. I would likely correct that were I living with this for a long time.

Here I turn the camera upside down to capture the door’s glory.

A simple DuckDuckGo search found that R & Co was a foundry in Marietta, Pennsylvania. I did not chase it any further, though I am a bit curious about what the D968 door did in its first life… and what history it has experienced since.

Not today though. I’m still working as fast as I can to get my homestead set up the way I want it. The shop is assembled just enough to enable the cabinetry necessary to set my studio, radio shack, office, music room into operation.

I’ll get back to refining the shop later.

I am striving to take the long view of life.
… getting better at enjoying the process
… rather than constantly running pel-mel for results.
– Ted Dunlap