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Wood Burning Stove Automatically Fills Itself
Busy people who rely on wood stoves for heat sometimes forget to load their stove until the fire is nearly out, says Jimmy Finch, a career welder and stove builder near Roxbury, New York.
  "I built a stove with a spring-loaded grate in it," says Finch. "A shaft through the grate extends out the side of the stove and hooks to a microswitch. As the wood burns, the weight on the grate gets lighter. The grate springs push it up, triggering the switch."
  The stove worked well but Finch decided to carry the idea one step farther and use the trigger to activate a conveyor that actually loads more wood into the stove.
  To do this, he made a conveyor with five sections on top of it that each hold about three large chunks of firewood. The chain-driven conveyor attaches to the stove above the door and an arm from the cogwheel at the lower end attaches to the door.
  When the switch on the grate shaft signals for more wood, the cog turns, opening the door. The conveyor dumps the load from the first section onto the grate. As the cog continues to turn, it closes the stove door and the weight of the wood on the grate shuts off the switch.
  Finch has been building conventional stoves for years to sell to customers. He uses heavy 3/16-in. plate steel to make the firebox. Most are convection heaters, warming just one or two rooms.
  He put the stove together in his spare time, using mostly scraps left over from other projects and salvaged parts. He figures the stove cost less than $100 to put together. The most difficult part was putting together the spring loaded grate that controls it.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, James Finch, Jimmy Finch Welding, 2787 Lower Meeker Hollow, Roxbury, N.Y. 12474 (ph 607 326-7529).

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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1