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Masonry Heater Building Workshop

Course Overview

Masonry heaters originated in Northern Europe where winters were cold and fuel wasn’t always plentiful.  The natural response?  Create a wood-fired presence that was at once incredibly efficient and highly attractive, capable of generating abundant heat and ideal for cooking/baking.  Masonry heaters are built with fire bricks and utilize their high mass to radiate heat for 12-24 hours, a feature which means they only need to be fired once or twice per day. Each student in this course will build their own smaller version of a classic Finnish masonry heater, allowing everyone hands-on experience with each step of the process. The techniques learned on this small stove build would be transferable to building a larger masonry heater with a different set of plans available for purchase after the class.  Bricks will be laid with clay, rather than mortar, as the heater will be disassembled at the end of class.  Students will experience and discuss finished heater design, sizing options, brick selection, oven integration, door and hardware installation, code considerations, and tool use.  Brick, stone, tile, stucco and clay plaster finishing options will be discussed, along with larger heaters capable of heating spaces up to 2,500 sq. ft., and masonry cookstoves. In addition to building and finishing, students will learn to fire the heaters to maximize efficiency and will experiment with the student-built masonry oven located on the North House Folk School campus. The materials fee includes a complete resource packet (allowing students to return home prepared to start their own project) and the resources utilized during class for the building process. Note, the inside core design of firebox sizing and channels is briefly discussed, but due to the highly technical nature of the work, is not covered thoroughly. This class prepares students to build a heater following a set of plans, not to design the inside core.

The history of masonry heaters can be traced back 1,000 years or more.  Beautiful and highly functional, they are built near the heart of a home where their solid and warm presence serves as an ideal gathering point.  Design flexibility of masonry heaters enables them to be part of homes of many sizes and incorporate features such as heated benches, baking ovens, or heating domestic hot water.

North House is looking forward to hosting this course on campus in the safest way possible. As recommended by our HVAC consultants, we have increased air ventilation and installed an air filtration system. We perform extra cleaning of campus and are keeping class sizes small in our largest classrooms. Students must participate in a daily health screening and temperature check, agree to wear a mask at all times on campus, and to practice social distancing of 6 feet, as well as adhere to other safety protocols in some cases. See the full details of our COVID-19 protocols here.

Dates

Fri, Jan 22nd, 2021  –  Sun, Jan 24th, 2021

This course has been cancelled to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. We offer our deepest apologies. We truly believe in the power of craft to build community, and we know that community is needed more than ever in times like these. However, the need to stay healthy and protect our friends and neighbors is the most critical priority.

If you were registered for this class, you should have received an email regarding your refund options. If not, please call us at 218-387-9762 or email us at info@northhouse.org.

Click here for additional information.

We truly hope to see you in another class at North House soon!

Course Details

Length: 3 days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: 14+
Registration Cost: $405.00
Includes materials fee of $75.00

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • Clothing that can get dirty
  • Eye protection
  • Ear plugs
  • 2”x 4” and/or 2”x 8” margin trowel (available at most hardware stores)

Optional Tools

  • Rubber mallet
  • Rubber “dishwashing” gloves, elbow length

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.