Sunday, February 22, 2009

Woodstove Fence - Complete and Installed

The fence for the woodstove is finally finished! Yes!

Here's a shot showing the hinged gate section in the open position. This will allow us to easily add wood to the stove or clean out the ashes. It was also the biggest headache of the whole project.

This view gives you an idea how the fence integrates with the rest of the living room. One of my design challenges was to build a piece that was structurally strong enough to do its job, but fine enough to not feel overly "chunky". I am pretty happy with the balance I achieved. The fence is visually delicate enough to feel like it belongs, and at the same time suprisingly stiff.

The fence passing its first real test! (And yes, Teague beat me - he started walking a few weeks ago...)

And finally, here's a shot of the total tool kit used - as always all hand tools:


  1. 22 February 2009


    For what part of this project did you use the concave spokeshave shown in the final photograph?



  2. Phil - It's nice to know that someone besides me likes to look at pictures of tools. :)

    It's hard to see in the photos, but the vertical slats are rounded on their edges (short dimensions). The concave spokeshave is a Veritas, from Lee Valley, and it works great.

    Thanks for reading my blog and posting your question.

  3. Beautiful job, Dan! Nice self portraits too. Only thing is, the fence is so nice, now you need a better looking stove.

  4. Looks good.

    I heard a story once about a fellow that had a stove like this. In the fall, when he lit it, he let the little one play around it. Of course, the little feller was interested in the fire.

    When the stove was just hot enough to "inform" the little guy that it wasn't appropriate to touch it, he let the little fellow touch the stove.

    According to his account, the stove was just hot enough that the little fellow wouldn't repeat the act, but not hot enough to hurt him.

    On the other hand, I have a little guy that would have to repeat the "trial" three or four times. He just doesn't learn. No fear.

  5. WOW! That turned out really nice Dan! Lots of M&T practice eh!? We tried putting a fence around our fireplace but we just never liked the look of it (store bought kiddie plastic crap) and we didn't want to screw it to the wall so our youngest would just pull it down anyway. Luckily for us, she knows "HOT!" and stays away when there is a fire going. Your's is a beautiflul solution.

  6. Dan, great job! Your design fits in perfectly with the rest of the room. And I see that your little one has discovered that wood is a nutritious source of fiber. Smart boy!

  7. Really nice fence. My living room steps down into our dining room and needs a fence to stop my 11 month old from falling. You've inspired me to make it instead of buying a "Made in China" plastic fence.

  8. Thanks for the kind comments everyone!

    Josh - What?! A better looking stove! That's a Blaze King baby!

    Luke - That's an interesting story, but I'm not sure it would work with Teague. He's a very fast learner, but also very stubborn! I think I trust the fence more, at least for now - I'm sure he'll learn the hard way at some point.

    Bob - I was sure hoping this would work, because I just couldn't find anything for sale that made me happy. And since it is going to be right there in the living room for quite a while, I wanted something I liked. How old was your daughter when she learned "hot"?

    Kari - Once I put the mineral oil on the pseudo-mahogany, the color shifted to a very good match for the rest of the room. Funny thing is, I was getting so sick of working on this that I wasn't even going to take the time to oil it. But the clamp pads left some oil or silicon marks that I just couldn't live with so I slapped some mineral oil on it and bam - yes, much better! I'll need to redo the oil at some point, I was in "get it done" mode and looking at the pictures I can see some spots I missed. Oh well, mineral oil is totally forgiving. And, importantly in this case, totally safe for Teague to chew on! Wait, fiber and a laxative? NO!

    David - Sounds like a great project. It's nice to know that my work can be seen as inspirational. Let us know how it turns out.

  9. great furniture you got there! very ideal for homes with kids and pets!

  10. Hey Dan,

    She's 16 months old now and she knows if we say hot she doesn't touch. At first she didn't really listen but after some time it sank in. Plus, when our fireplace is going, you can definately feel the heat coming off of it the closer you get so I think she just kind of got the idea. She'll still climb on the hearth when there's no fire but when there's a fire going she stays back. I think they learn on their own pretty fast.


  11. Looks good Dan! Can't believe how fast Teague is growing up!

  12. Dan: The final outcome of the project is very intriguing. I'm at awe with your final product.

    This gives others hope that they can achieve such craftsmanship as you do as a craftsman.

    The way you show your work, pictures, and information helps others out like myself that would find my way and wallet into the Handtool area.


  13. cabinets - Thanks, I appreciate it.

    Bob - So far Teague has escaped any real harm - but I know eventually he will find some way of getting hurt. Sigh.

    Kerry - I know, it's crazy! He changes every day!

    Handi - I am glad you find the blog helpful - I am hoping it is. And thank you for your kind words about my work.

  14. Practical and pleasant looking. How about one to keep cats from jumping on it?

  15. Awesome gate, Dan! I wish you could make one for our wood stove but I think I will be tackling the project myself. Would you be so kind as to list materials and rough prices so I have an idea on a gate of this type?


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