Wood burning stoves and Archival materials

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by matthew001, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. matthew001

    matthew001 Member

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    I plan on building a tiny house (tumbleweedhouses[dot]com) with a small wood burning stove. I also plan on have a small darkroom in this small space. Does anyone know if wood burning stoves will affect the archival quality of negatives/prints? Do wood burning stoves create dust (more than usual)?


    Let me know if you have any information on this.

    Thanks,
    Matthew
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I've lived with wood stoves and fireplaces for years, yes they are messy, but not necessarily dusty. A properly vented stove shouldn't emit any harmful fumes into the house and do any damage to the contents. Loading firewood into the house is the dirty part, also cleaning ashes is pretty messy at times. Make sure you load hot ashes into a steel bucket, never plastic (you'ld be surprised at how many people do that).
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Several of those houses are very tiny indeed.
    In any case, as Rick says, the woodstove isn't necessarily trouble for your darkroom or materials, I've heated full-time on and off in our current house for a while, and haven't encountered any problems attributable to the woodstove.
    I also know some other photographers who heat with wood.
    You would probably want to close off the darkroom or material storage space if possible when you are doing chores like cleaning the ashes. If you're careful you won't generate very much of a cloud when cleaning the stove. I find that although the incoming wood can produce a lot of debris, most of it is larger than dust, that is sticks, leaves, pieces of bark etc. that need to be swept up, but don't add much in the way of dust and similar fine particles.
    Make sure the flue is sized correctly for the stove, and that bends in the flue are minimized so that it drafts properly.
     
  4. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Be sure to check with zoning, none of those houses could be built in SE WI or NE IL. If your concerned about dust, and don't forget you cannot have anything to close to a wood burner, you could use an outdoor wood stove, and pipe the heat inside. Probally the cost of the wood stove, in anycase, would exceed the cost of electric heat and up to date insulation. Just a thought. Good Luck.
     
  5. dehk

    dehk Member

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    well, it can create dust, also all the wood and bark and sawdust you haul into that house too.

    I'd say get a 100 pound propane tank with a propane heater.
     
  6. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    I'd be more worried about printing (and living!) in a big city, than close to a nice wood stove.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Out of curiosity, which size house are you thinking of? For ten years I lived in a house with the same floor plan as the Bodega, except a foot narrower (13x18) and no loft (I slept in the attic). Difficult having a darkroom in that size house, but not impossible if one wants to live in a darkroom.

    I had no heat, but a house that size can be heated by cooking a biscuit in the oven, which is what I did in the winter in NW CA...probably would not be enough in NY!
     
  8. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    A well-made, well -vented modern stove will do fine. While yo're at it, make it a cooking stove!
     
  9. matthew001

    matthew001 Member

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    19x8 on a trailer. The darkroom will be very compact, large enough to develop film and print. I'm also looking at small marine propane heaters that are standard in tiny homes.. The tiny home will also have a full loft (bed, relax area, storage).
     
  10. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I burn all the time. Like clean coal, a clean burning stove is only relative to an old design stove. It still will be one of the less clean methods of heat. On the other hand, unless you have a clean lab, like a professional clean lab, you will learn to live with it. I would suggest you get a drying bag, or cabinett for hanging up your film, and not out in the open. Then, you should be OK. Good Luck.
     
  11. matthew001

    matthew001 Member

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    thanks everyone for all your replies and suggestions. I will take them all into concideration when I decide what to do. perhaps i will post some images of my complete tiny darkroom in the future.
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    carbon monoxide can affect the longevity of the house owneri'd consider archival prints to be a lower priority!all the best, and stay with us.
     
  13. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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  14. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Looks like fun Thoreau-house for 1-2 people! If it doesn't have too many windows, you could turn the whole place into a temporary darkroom (at least at night) with some black lightproof panels for door/windows. A lack of pets and limiting the place to 1-2 people and having no carpeting would keep the place easy to clean and have little dust.

    I have a 12x16 camp at a lake (with a separate outhouse). It's not winterized or heated though. It was about $6000 from a local trade school. Then about $2000 for site earthwork and installation. I hooked up electrical myself to a nearby structure, but a new service will cost $800-2000 depending on what's needed, and about $100/fixture inside if you have someone do it. Their DIY estimates are largely things not structural, but finishing or living items. Heating, plumbing, etc.. can add up pretty quick, so estimate high. I noticed their diy estimates didn't include any plumbing or water heater. Their estimates for insulation seem low too. You can also spend several thousand on a well if you need one, and several more thousand on a septic system. If you get a composting toilet (I have installed a sunmar at relative's camp and it works pretty nice), you might be able to avoid the septic system. A quality woodstove can be pretty pricey, depending on your tastes; sky's the limit if it needs to look nice or go for extended periods without reloading. Not trying to discourage; all the risks of home ownership still apply, just on a smaller scale.
     
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    nice house !

    i would be worried about how much heat the wood stove puts off.
    even a house 2x that size heats up pretty HOT with the smallest vermont castings type stove ...
    and cord wood isn't as inexpensive as it used to be these days, unless you cut in, split it and weather it yourself
    but that is a part time job as it is and it costs you more in time than having the local wood-guy do it for you and deliver it
    ... but that is local, maybe things are different in your neck of the woods ...

    be careful with venting / co, it can sneak up on you and as ralph said it CO Poisoning can ruin your day
    ( then again, if you are running a woodstove, your window will probably be open :wink: )

    wish i could "live - small" again, i miss my 16x20 loft ...
     
  16. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I'm surprised at all those advices. I own and regularly use a wood and pellets stove. Use as a wood stove easily lets smoke enter the room when I open the door for recharging*. Use with pellets does not give any dust problem but it will create a mess when you clean the innermost of the stove in any case. I am probably excessively maniacal in cleaning internal recesses of the furnace, but clean an operation it would never be in any case.

    I use it mostly with wood and my living room is a mess - it would be a mess also without stove, so no problem :smile:

    Besides, depending of your circumstances, you might have a chimney which has to be cleaned from the roof with debris falling inside the furnace, or even, which would be worse, which has to be cleaned from inside the house.

    I would avoid installing any solid fuel stove near a darkroom. Considering that the house is small, a methane, GPL, petrol or paraffin oil stove is probably a much better solution. Those are stoves that are typically designed to be mounted in "sealed chamber".

    If you install a wood stove, I would suggest installing a wood-only stove with great autonomy (6 hours or more), so that you never open the stove to refuel during operation. Also, buy a stove with a separate ash tray. Some of those have an ash tray with cover. Further, buy a vacuum cleaner specific for ashes. This will take space but it will improve the cleanliness of the stove cleaning operations.

    Wood stoves and pellet stove are not practical if you don't have a place in your apartment where to store the fuel. That's typically not so clean, not so good looking, and takes more space than you think. Besides, you have to check how this is compatible with your "floor" (how many stairs, do you have a lift, that kind of stuff).

    Properly cleaning the inside of the stove is very important not just for the efficiency of the stove, but also for the survival of the owner.

    High-efficiency stoves tend to have a convoluted giro fumi, I don't know the English equivalent, "smoke trajectory" or "smoke path". There probably are some small holes somewhere. Those holes have to be kept unobstructed. If they become partially obstructed, the combustion will appear to happen normally at slow "pace", but it will be an incomplete combustion, with a high production of carbon monoxide, which is fairly undetectable by the human nose, and easily fatal.

    In a small apartment you cannot use an extracting fan while having the stove operating (kitchen, darkrooms often have those devices). That will either produce a bad combustion or plainly invert the "chimney" and pump carbon monoxide inside the room. Never extract air from the same room, or from a room adjacent to the room where the stove is installed. Modern stoves have a depression sensor but mind my word: never.

    If you have a darkroom with an extracting fan that means you'll have to choose either to use the darkroom or to keep the stove going.

    You can solve that by installing the stove in camera stagna, (sealed room?), I mean with air intake from the outside, smoke expulsion obviously outside, and the furnace and all elements "sealed", so that air intake, furnace and smoke trail have no point of contact with the room. Not every stove is conceived to be installed this way. Some stoves take the air for primary combustion from the outside, but do take in any case the air for the secondary (and maybe tertiary) combustion from the room, so that the furnace is not really isolated from the room. Gas and liquid fuel stoves can normally be installed "sealed" from the environment. Do check the specification.

    This kind of installation has got some defects but it is safer and in your case is certainly more desirable as it would uncouple the stove from the darkroom.

    This is a decision that you should weight carefully. Anyway as a passionate of wood burning I will tell you that I will never live any more without a flame in my house. But in your case, I would install a liquid or gaseous fuel stove.

    * Some stoves have a smoke trail that does not let smoke enter the room also when the stove door is open. Those are typically sold as for cooking also. I presume they can never be "sealed" so I don't think they would fit your situation.