Taking the Chill Off with Shop Stoves

Winter temperatures bring the need for heated farm shops, with rural folk utilizing different types of shop stoves.

| March 2019

An old automotive gas tank, a valve and a piece of copper tubing created a homemade used-oil dripper system that increased the old stove’s heat output – and decreased wood usage by 50 percent.

City folk often look at farmers as being fortunate, because farm activity is put on hold during the winter. No matter what part of the country a person is in, farm fieldwork is seasonal.

In northern climes, the off time sometimes ends up lasting several months. The uninitiated naturally think that during that time farmers can relax, because “they have nothing to do.” Anyone who has anything to do with farming knows how wrong that idea is.

When the weather keeps a farmer out of the fields, his work doesn’t go away: It just changes. During the offseason, for instance, farm equipment repairs are a top priority. But on big corporate farms (and increasingly on smaller operations), only highly specialized technicians can work on the power sources, that is, large tractors and other self-propelled equipment.

This decrepit old Warm Morning parlor stove has served me as a shop stove for 40 years.

Modern technology and manufacturing methods are so complicated that it takes a highly trained individual to diagnose and correct problems. Transportation to the dealer’s shop is sometimes necessary. If the farmer’s repair facilities are large enough, sometimes technicians can do their work on-site.


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