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FireThe E-zine for Heater Masons

MHA News
July 31, 2014

Top 10 Articles

Best Technical Articles and Discussions

View Older Articles

2014 Wildacres Auction Raised $20,121.00List of Donors

MHA Heater Mason Training - - Schedule for 2014

MHA Board of Directors
2013 - 2015:

President Dan Givens
Vice President Marty Pearson
Secretary Ron Pihl
Treasurer  Doug Hargrave
Members at large Eric Moshier
Chris Prior

Executive Director - Dick Smith
MHA News Editor - Norbert Senf
Webmaster - Norbert Senf
Webmaster -
Max Edelson

via Facebook

MHA issues timeline for development of masonry heater certification software

NY commits $27 million to build wood heat industry

Wall Street Journal

On a recent motorcycle trip around the Gaspé penninsula, former MHA President Steve Bushway
presented Marcus Flynn with a ‘Certified Heater Builder’ pin at his home in Quebec

Stoves Competing for Spots in the Stove Design Workshop

Alliance for Green Heat announce entries

EPA Bolsters legal case for NSPS with new data

Alliance for Green Heat

Quebec offers 20% tax credit on masonry heaters.

Thanks to Marcus Flynn for the link

Russian TV kitchen

via Facebook

Greenhouse heater

by Max Edleson and Kiko Denzer

Fire Threat turns Energy Asset

Biomass magazine

From Facebook: Posted by Andrew Musiyaka

MHA Adds vBulletin Forums to website

Check it out

Cordwood Testing in a Non-Catalytic Wood Stove

Brookhaven National Laboratory, June 20, 2014

Wood Stove Politics: Democrats, Republicans and Unlikely Bedfellows

Biomass Magazine

Official MHA Submission of Comments to EPA regarding NSPS

Wildacres 2014 Report - (draft - updated on May 16)

MHA Heater Mason Training - - Schedule for 2014

Masonry heater hot water workshop with Joe Salzmann, Eric Moshier and Dan Givens

Eco-labelled firebox testing update

from Boris Kukolj

First Masonry Stove in Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka pref., Japan

Martin Pearson, Jessica Steinhäuser, Brian Klipfel, Aki Yoshimizu and Kada Yuichi in Ito-shi, Japan.

Contraflow masonry heater by Marcus Flynn
Contraflow heater by Marcus Flynn

Asquith, Saskatchewan

Fireplace Retrofit by Masonry Stove Builders
Fireplace Retrofit

by Norbert Senf and Mike Payne

May 19/14: Alex Chernov (center) with Paul and Stefan Polatchek, at the ORTNER test facility in Austria.
They are building a triple skin and a double bell heater, to directly compare performance.

Pizza oven, Dalat Vietnam, sent by Tom Trout

Click for details

2014 Attendee list

MHA Annual Meeting Agenda - April 14 -20, 2014

Check out last year's meeting

Testing the Austrian Eco-firebox

Updated April 12/14 with 18 additional runs by Homestead Heat

Click for more

Masons on a Mission
Masons on a Mission

MHA asked to help build a heater on a Navaho reservation

Front row: Alex Larsen, Matt Helicke and Martin Palmer

Muskoka Kachelofen with acorn motif by Jessica Steinhauser

Heat Kit heater by Martin Palmer
Contraflow heater by Martin Palmer and Tim Murphy, Bay Bulls, Newfoundland

EPA Releases Proposed New Regulation, which includes Masonry Heaters

Masonry Heater Summary

John Ackerly, via Facebook

Observations 18 Years Later #2

by Marcus Flynn

Woodstove could save the world

Popular Mechanics

Renewable Heat NY funds 18 woody biomass projects

Biomass magazine

Measuring particulate emissions on a pellet stove with the Testo 380

(in German)

Heater build in Australia

by Marcus Flynn

The particulate emissions from all of the masonry heaters built in the U.S. in one year (about 500) equals the emissions from about 5 outdoor boilers.  The above photo demonstrates exactly why.
Based on data from the recent NYSERDA boiler field study, and research at MHA's Lopez Labs,  
Photo is from a great U.S. Forest Service article explaining NSPS

OMNI comparison data for the Condar portable dilution tunnel

This portable sampler is used by MHA's Lopez Labs
Correlation with EPA Method 5G-3 over 11 runs is fantastic!

White birch crib igniting from the side, shot at 240 frames per second.

Check out run HK-M16 - a white birch crib with side ignition and extensive video documentation

Maine Sunday Herald

Running a masonry heater emissions test

Lopez Labs instructional video - thanks to Jon Santiago for the camera work.

Masonry Heater testing at Lopez Labs
Fuel Crib testing at Lopez Labs

Updated February 3/14

Slow motion gas explosion video - mesmerizing

Update from Japan

by Aki Yoshimizu

Contraflow core with Tulikivi soapstone custom bench

Warmstone Fireplaces & Designs, Montana

Project in Vogues, France

by Marcus Flynn

Rocket Powered Kiln of Clay and Sawdust

by Kiko Denzer

Hybrid Oven

by Max Edleson

Kachelofen and Cook Stove by Jessica Steinhauser   (via Facebook)

Pisla HTT 602 door retrofit

NSPS: The Devil's in the Details

Biomass Magazine

Click for current MHA Newsletter

Gary is a P.E., an MHA Voting Member, and a partner in CrossFire Fireplaces

(Via Google Translate)

Biomass Magazine article

Wood Stove Decathlon
Testing Observations at the Wood Stove Decathlon

Particulate Sampling Comparison Testing at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Bricklaying in the Netherlands

Thanks to Boris Kukolj for the link

Speed lead system by Boris Kukolj

3層構造 コントラフローヒーター作製

MHA is proud to present its first content in Japanese

Outdoor Fireplace and Bake Oven by MHA member  Dale Demary

Visit with Peter Van den Berg

by Boris Kukolj

Visit with Peter Van den Berg, Part II

by Boris Kukolj

Dynamic Thermal Properties Calculator

Free Download from The Concrete Centre (registration required)
Found on the
Rocket Stove Reference Library page

Teplushka by Marian Ozabal, Slovakia

Submitted by Marcus Flynn. More images of her work.

Testing at the Wood Stove Decathlon

Updated Dec 1/13

Energy In, Energy Out: Getting Off the Fossil Fuel Treadmill

by Ole Hendrickson

Update from Japan

by Aki Yoshimizu

Masonry heaters for Passiv Houses

by MHA tech committe member Zoltan Nagy
Google translate - original Hungarian is here

Wood Stove Decathlon, Washington D.C., November 15 - 19, 2013

National Geographic video on Wood Stove Decathlon

New York Times article on Wood Stove Decathlon

Outside air for slab on grade
Outside Air for Slab on Grade

Repairing cracks in a masonry heater facing

Double Bell heater by Zoltan Nagy

Ortner fresco finish with custom glass work

Precast Oven

Ebay, via Alex Chernov


"multiple, deliberate and purposeful fire setting rather than accidental. Pyromaniacs start fires to induce euphoria..." Wikipedia
(forwarded by Alex Chernov)

Cob Masonry Heater Experiment

via Max Edleson

Soapstone Fabrication Workshop at New Alberene Stone

Thanks to Dave Wilcox for the link suggestion

Wood powered El Camino, Finland

Carbon negative energy source

Uses biomass to create electricity + heat + charcoal.
It is fairly standard gasification and co-generation, except that they have optimized it with microprocessor control and standard field serviceable components available almost anywhere in the world. 
This looks like the real deal - it is the first commercial carbon-negative energy technology. -- ed

Contemporary style heater by Alex Chernov

How clean does a properly operated masonry heater burn?

Great TED Talk by James Hansen

James Hansen is an invited speaker at the Wood Stove Decathlon in DC this November.
Heating with wood is the lowest hanging fruit in reducing your personal carbon footprint.

Building remote radiant panels for a triple skin (Austrian air gap) heater

Updated on October 2/13

Via Facebook

Photo report from Japan

by Brian Klipfel

Great New Book by Richard Miscovich
.  See a preview here

If you order it from Amazon through the MHA Bookstore, you get a 22% discount
and MHA earns 15%.

Good Pizza Oven Discussion

From the Yahoo MHAmembers list

Adding Steam to a Bake Oven

with John Fisher
from the Yahoo MHAmembers list

2012 U.S. Census Shows Wood Heating Continues Growth Streak

from Alliance for Green Heat

"...Nearly 2.5 million households use wood as a primary heating fuel, making it, by far, the dominant residential source of renewable energy in the United States. .."

Nearly 2.5 million households use wood as a primary heating fuel, making it, by far, the dominant residential source of renewable energy in the United States. - See more at:

Nearly 2.5 million households use wood as a primary heating fuel, making it, by far, the dominant residential source of renewable energy in the United States. - See more at:

Guastavino staircase - Baker Hall at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA

From Lars Helbro

Contraflow masonry heater by Marcus Flynn
Heater by Marcus Flynn

Ardennes, Belgium.  200 year old reclaimed bricks from an outbuilding,
reclaimed limestone tiles from the kitchen floor.

HMED Class in Perth ON, September 2013

with John McDougall and Norbert Senf

Clay oven workshop in Ireland

With MHA member Hendrik Lepel.
Via Facebook

World's Quietest Firebrick Blade

IIn the video, when the cut starts, there is  not much extra noise from just the sound of the motor on the Karl Dahm saw, which is also quiet. The sound was recorded by the camera standing right next to the saw. Compare with the Target saw and regular blade, that then starts up about 25 ft away. It is louder than the saw only 2ft away.

Recorded at the recent MHA HMED workshop at John McDougall's shop near Perth Ontario. Full report on the workshop coming soon.

Work Hands Blog

Looks interesting. It mentions masonry heaters

The Social Cost of Carbon

Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon, United States Government

New wood fired oven book by Richard Miscovich

Click here to order

Infrared thermometer update

by Norbert Senf

5 ft. Toneh oven by Stovemaster
5 ft Toneh oven by Stovemaster

Eva and Ayla visit oven recently built by Firespeaking

Alliance for Green Heat  - Green Heat News, September 2012
Getting Smarter about the Smart Grid

Great analysis of current energy issues - biomass definitely needs to become part of this conversation

States "Notice of Intent" to sue EPA exaggerates complicated issues

by Scott Nichols, Tarm USA

Lehm und Feuer (Cob and Fire)

Free Download

New possibilities for castable refractory

Earth Oven

by Jaanus Viese, Estonia
via Facebook

Phenolic antioxidants in wood smoke

Jennica Kjällstrand and Göran Petersson
Dep't of Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University, Götenberg Sweden, 2002

..."The comprehensive Boise campaign estimated the lifetime lung
cancer risk due to extractable organic matter from particles (Cupitt et al., 1994). 

For the sameamount of extracted material, the risk was found to be about ten times larger for particles from mobile sources than for particles from residential wood burning. The antioxidant effects of the
methoxyphenols in the lungs are likely to explain much of this striking difference. Evidently,
the different impact on health of wood smoke particles compared to particles from other
sources should be considered when emissions from traditional small-scale wood burning are

contraflow heater by Ron Pihl
Flying Contraflow

This 31 year old contraflow heater by Ron Pihl was moved from the owner's old house into his new house.

Alliance for Green Heat

Seven states and five advocacy groups are threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for missing its Clean Air Act deadline to review air quality standards for new residential wood heaters.
The states' notice of intent to sue is available at

masonry heater by Alex Chernov
Single Bell heater by Stovemaster

24"x24" insulated hemispherical black oven, heated bench, heated bed, cook stove

The Pretty Good House

Finding the right balance between construction cost and energy performance

Free Online Permaculture Design Course

With Larry Korn

Wood Stove Design Challenge Partners

The U.S. and Australia have Similar, but Distinct,
Stove Regulation Strategies

Alliance for Green Heat

Click for Larger Version

Heater by Matt Helicke

Via Facebook

Triple skin / contraflow heater in Japan by Norbert Senf and Brian Klipfel
Triple Skin Contraflow Heater in Japan

by Norbert Senf and Brian Klipfel
22" replaceable firebox, white oven and small heated bench.  Two upstairs radiant panels.
To be finished in traditional  Japanese plaster. For MHA member Aki Yoshimizu, who attended Wildacres 2013

Eco-labelled combustion chamber
 --  Technical Board of the Austrian Kachelofen Association

This leaflet is designed to assist in the construction of the Eco-labeled combustion
chamber that is characterized by extremely low emission levels and permit the attainment
of the Austrian Eco Label

Thanks to MHA technical committee member Zoltan Nagy for forwarding

Instructions for building the Austrian Eco-firebox

by Richard Jussel
Also see 2013 MHA Meeting Report for two versions of this firebox

Report from Masonry Heater Seminar "Lithuanian Summer - 2013"

by  И.А. Александров

Explanation of the OMB Review of the NSPS

Thanks to Alliance for Green Heat for putting this together

A Breathing Earth
A Breathing Earth

How your chimney really works

Chimney Safety Institute of America

Building a Brick House

Here's the proper way to do it, in Australia in 1946.
Excellent 10 minute documentary from the National Film Board of Australia

Building with Earth

by Prof. Gernot Minke
A great book. Thanks to Kiko Denzer for finding the free download link.

Its always SunRay in Washington State

New York Times

International Stovebuilding Workshop

Slovenia, July 15 - 20

New Kachelofen by Jessica Steinhäuser

Muskoka, ON
See construction photos on Facebook

Video of leveling clay plaster with a darby

Good demo posted by Michael Henry, Peterborough ON

Kachelofen by Jessica Steinhäuser

Austrian style firebox by Zoltan Nagy

Attorney says manufacturer, retailer share blame for wood boiler pollution

Fairbanks Daily News - Miner

Rath Biocombustion Chamber Plus

Architecture 2030

mobile oven by Stovemaster
48" Mobile Oven for Stratford Chef's School

by  Stovemaster

2013 MHA Design/Build Contest Winners

Australian masonry heater article

by Alan Burdon.
Alan and his wife Fiona Kotvojs run Heavenly Heat in Australia, and were at Wildacres 2013

Hungarian stovebuilding magazine features report on 2013 MHA Meeting

Google translate version on Zoltan Nagy's website.

Support Biomass Energy

Contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to vote for the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act

Baking bread in Kashmir

Thanks to Richard Miscovich for posting this on Facebook.

Bagel oven build by Alex ChernovBagel Oven build in New Zealand by Alex Chernov

New Zealand inventor breaks into Wood Stove Design Challenge

Rodney Times, NZ

Precast geodesic dome oven
36" Precast geodesic pizza oven at Wildacres 2013

with Marty Pearson

Short Exposures to heavy wood smoke don't have serious health effect - 2 new Danish studies

Russian Rocket workshop in Argentina with John Santiago

Is this Canada's Greenest Home?

Double bell heater with thin stone veneer by Brian Klipfel
Double Bell heater with thinstone veneer by Brian Klipfel

Swiss electrostatic precipitator for small wood systems

Wood Combustion Basics

EPA Seminar by Rick Curkeet, Intertek

EPA Requests Outdoor Boiler Companies to Remove Disputed Efficiency Ratings

Particulate and gaseous emissions from manually and automatically fired small scale combustion systems

Journal of Atmospheric Environment, Feb. 2011

Visit with Marcus Flynn in Montreal

Fluke Thermal Imaging at Wildacres 2013

Combustion Testing at Wildacres 2013

Combustion Analysis Basics

35 pages. Very clear introduction to combustion testing.
Thanks to Boris Kukolj for sending this

Harbison Walker Handbook of Refractory Practice

Contraflow heater by Colin Coveny

Kingston Frontenac stone with calcium oxide mortar

EPA Webinar video available

The May 9, 2013 webinar with Gil Wood of EPA regarding the new NSPS (New Source Performance Standards) is online. It was sponsored by Alliance for Green Heat and Biomass Thermal Energy Council

Wildacres Photo Report

Austrian triple skin heater report.

Photo by Luis Wegscheider

48" Adobe Pizza Oven

by Pat Manley and Marty Pearson

Aki and Aussie putting shrimps on the barbie

Thanks to Dan Givens for the photo.
Aki Yoshimizu is a house builder from Tokyo, Japan.
Fiona Kotvojs is an international development coordinator from Australia, who came with her husband, Alan Burdon. They build masonry heater in Australia
A record 10 countries were represented at Wildacres this year.

North American Single Skin Heater at Wildacres

Fluke Thermal Imaging at Wildacres

Click for larger image with more people
Thanks to Mike Wurzbacker and Adam Buursma for doing the imaging

WA Attendee List for Wildacres 2013

Headline Event for Wildacres 2013:

Wildacres 2013 Event Information

MHA Project at Navaho Reservation, Bluff, Utah

from: Matt Helicke

Construction of a Modern Kachelofen

Thanks to Boris Kukolj for the link

Levain video from Polestar Hearth in Guelph, ON

Bakery Fire

Adobe Bell Heaters in Argentina

New nominee to head EPA stresses need for clean cookstoves

EPA Changes Strategy Again

Will now phase in stricter standards for biomass stoves and boilers

Task Group begins work to include wood heaters in energy audits

Workshop In Slovakia

July 15 - 20, 2013
with Tom Trout, Johannes Riesterer and Vladimir Institoris

Kuznetsov workshop in Lithuania

Heaters by Slovak stove-builder Marian Ozabal

Interesting heaters and cookstoves, built with information from Marcus Flynn's Pyromasse site.

Artisanal Brickmaking in Argentina

by John Alejandro Santiago
Note chimney exit at top of door vault - this a bell type kiln

Pro Outdoor Boiler Bill Defeated in Utah

European car manufacturers manipulating efficiency figures

Exploit loopholes in EU law to achieve 25% to 50% higher results

Two storey heater by Alex Chernov
Two Storey Heater by Alex Chernov

Humor Department:
Outdoor boilers cleaner than wood stoves, boiler lobby tells Utah legislators

Bark up or Down? Firewood Splits Norwegians

New York Times

Fairbanks area chokes on wood stove pollution

Los Angeles Times
Lopis Oven Building Sequence

Thanks to Kiko Denzer for the link to the Orchard Hill Bakery Picasa album

Kachelofen install

with Jessica Steinhauser

Castillian Hypocausts

Thanks to Marcus Flynn for the link.. The design is basically unchanged from Roman times, 2,000 years ago.

Masonry heater by Eric Moshier
Custom Soapstone Heater by Eric Moshier

New SR-13 air frame door by Solid Rock Masonry

MHA at World of Concrete, Las Vegas

Four Simple Steps to Drying Firewood  --  US-EPA
Using a Moisture Meter   -- US-EPA

Still Smoking - Clean Up Your Act

Article by Ron Pihl for "Outside Bozeman" magazine

Popular Mechanics Article on Wood Stove Design Challenge

Brookhaven Lab to Participate in Wood Stove Decathlon in Washington, D.C.

Check out the 14 Wood Stove Design Challenge Finalists

MHA Website Statistics for Jan/13

Page views are up 23% compared to January 2012.
Special thanks to Max Edleson for leading the web site redesign

Masonry heater by Derek Lucchese
Teplushka by Derek Lucchese

Design and working drawings by Alex Chernov
Iron spot magnesite facing bricks

Commercial bread oven by Alex Chernov
Low Rise Commercial Bread Oven

by Alex Chernov

Woodstove Design Challenge at Brookhaven
Wood Stove Design Challenge at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Sketchup Seminar Added to 2013 MHA Meeting

Masonry Heater by Dale Demary
Heater by Dale Demary

NYSERDA Outdoor Boiler Study 
(executive summary)

Outdoor boiler PM emissions were 100 times higher than what you would get with a masonry heater (!)

NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority)
The full 350 page study including all the data is located here

masonry heater by Marcus Flynn
Takka-Bell Combination

by Marcus Flynn

Eight of the 32 Wood Stove Design Challenge entries are masonry heaters

Fairbanks borough can't enforce winter ban on open burning, attorney concludes

Fairbanks Daily Newsminer (forwarded by Dave Misiuk)

Observations 16 Years Later

by Marcus Flynn

guastavino staircase(click for larger verion)
Guastavino staircase

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC

Idle No More: Think Occupy, But With Deep Deep Roots

by Bill McKibben


The Carbon Neutrality of Biomass from Forests

World Bioenergy Association, Sweden

Most Popular Wildacres Pages

Which pages get linked around the web and become popular?

Rocket Bell heater by Peter van den Berg
The MHA Sketchup Page

Marcus Flynn article
Observations 11 Years Later

by Marcus Flynn

Burning Pellets in a Masonry Heater

by Dave Wilcox

Remembering Tom Pugh

"We just lost a friend" - Ron Pihl

Good Russian Stove Building Video

- this got a lot of disussion on the MHA Stove List recently

Fogo Island heater by Alex Chernov
Fogo Island heater by Alex Chernov

Maori ovens hold clues about the Earth

Bell Cookstove by Marcus Flynn
Bell Cookstove by Marcus Flynn

Paul Tiegs memorial
Paul Tiegs Memorial Gathering at OMNI-Test Laboratories

Photo story by Norbert Senf

Heat Kit heater core by Brian Klipfel
Corner Contraflow with White Oven and Heated Bench

HeatKit core by Brian Klipfel. Stone facing by client.

triple bell heater by Boris Kukolj
Triple bell 2 storey heater by Boris Kukolj

Kuznetsov Workshop, Azgrad, Russia, Fall 2012

Masonry heater retrofit with Dave Misiuk
Masonry Heater Retrofit with Dave Misiuk

Cold Climate Housing Research Center

Masons on a Mission

Pat Manley's project has built over 1000 cookstoves in Guatemala.
You can help
by donating money for the materials to build a stove for a family. It costs about $150. Simply contact Pat.

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