One year ago this Super Bowl Sunday, I was installing the steel header for our loft beds. This year, while everyone was watching Tom Brady shed bitter tears, I was test firing the Tiny House of Steel’s newly arrived Cubic Mini wood stove! For a long time we debated how we would heat the Tiny House of Steel but when we came upon the Cubic Mini while looking for marine wood stoves, we fell in love. Proudly manufactured in my hometown of Montreal, Québec, this “Grizzly” model boasts a 8000 to 18000 BTU output, measures only 12 x 11 x 15 inches, weighs 36 lbs, and I couldn’t wait to fire this thing up!
The stove comes with a layer of paint that needs to be cured at the first firing which is best done outdoors. With the stove pipe in place and lots of unstained bits leftover from our cedar siding project, we fired our Grizzly on the tongue of the trailer non-stop for 6 hours!
The Cubic Mini stove manufacturers don’t recommend any bends in the stove pipe. Bends risk creating too much turbulence, which affects the draft. I’d planned on exiting the flue with a 90º elbow out the side wall, but their recommendation made that impossible. You might ask, “How do you get a straight stove pipe to fit through a curved roof?” This was the dilemma! I am very nervous about cutting through the steel hull of our THoS – this was our one shot through the roof. (Last time we did this we were putting in our port windows– take a look at me cutting into the wall with a grinder in our video. Nerve wracking!)
Our solution was to counter the slope:
I only had a 7-inch space between the roof arches to work with. There’s just one section that isn’t corrugated (the flat overlap between two sections), but luckily, there was enough room to fit a doughnut made of laminated cedar cut at an angle to match the curve of the arch (everybody still following?) With a 3-inch diameter hole in the doughnut cut for the stove pipe, I had a top section sealed with vinyl-butyl caulk, a bottom section to bolt the top to, and the steel arch sandwiched in between. I owe a lot of this idea to boat makers’ blogs like Captain Curran.
To cap the entire thing, Dickinson Marine makes a great stainless steel deck fitting that bolts beautifully with a thick rubber gasket. If it’s good enough for a boat, it’s good enough for me!
Notice the Dickinson Marine stainless steel H exhaust cap that keeps moisture from falling into the stove (may eventually pick up alien contact, who knows.)
The final question was to see how well the Grizzly stove would heat in the middle of February snow showers. The answer:
Once the fire was going, I didn’t feel like doing anything else besides sitting and watching the flames dance around and listening to the snow pelting the roof. Maybe not as exciting as the Super Bowl. Maybe. For those of you wondering whether the stove is going to sit on cinder blocks forever: the Cubic Mini wood stove makers have thought of everything. The stove comes with the option of a wall mount with side shields that protect any nearby combustibles.
Installing the wall mount on the bathroom wall divider will be the next step, so there’s plenty more work ahead of us. I’m not sure if there will be any other major sports events to compete with but you can look forward to more from us at the THoS!