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Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] cobbing a metal wood stove

Robert Alcock ralcock at
Sun Nov 23 06:33:01 CST 2008

> Message: 6
> Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 13:00:52 -0800
> From: "Charmaine Taylor" <dirtcheapbuilderbooks at>
> Subject: [Cob] cobbing a metal wood stove
> To: coblist at
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> Nope.  It's just not building season in my neck o' the woods
> ___________
> I saw Uli's comment- and it seems true that late fall is not cobbing
> time due to rains, and starting a project so late in the season.
> I just gave a way a cheap boxwood metal wood burning stove-
> freestanding-- they crack easily and  are not that efficient I got it
> free, and just gave it to a guy and showed him how to fix the "crack"
> problem by cobbing over much of the body of the stove, and having a
> nice mass to help warm his garage shop.
> Here in N. Calif.  it gets cold and many use wood to heat in shops and
>  garages, and homes.     I wanted the fun of doing it myself, but just
> have too many other projects, plus I got a tall 1900s parlor stove-
> free- with all the filagiree, and wing  plates and fancy  parts that
> sat in the  house parlors 100 years ago.  it is in good shape, but I
> may still cob around the plain metal body  to capture heat and help
> warm the covered patio where it will sit.
> these 5 'tall parlor  designs   are so fancy, like metal art- and you
> can find them all tarted up and re dipped in "silver" chrome-- and
> sell for $3500 to $4500!!
>  beat up they sell for $300-+   or free on freecycle once in a while
>  at there are pics of the Rogman stove and others
> that have cob around the metal stove, and it looks so organic and
> natural to combine the best of both materials.
> this one has cob, but as a shell to capture and hold the heat

How do you handle the problem of cracks in the cob, due to the metal 
wood stove expanding/contracting more than the cob?
Having had enough of the open fireplace after the first winter, we 
installed a woodstove in our cabin this February. I covered the chimney, 
the back half and bottom of the stove in cob, connected to a huge block 
of thermal mass in the middle of the cabin. The result is excellent in 
terms of thermal performance, but there are some unsightly cracks in the 
cob. Not serious but annoying.

The example in the photo doesn't have the cob in direct contact with the 
woodstove, so cracking wouldn't be a problem, but I guess the thermal 
storage wouldn't be as good.