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Spruce Stove burns one long log, a bit at a time

Spruce Stove burns one long lo...
The Spruce Stove in use, prior to being closed around the log
The Spruce Stove in use, prior to being closed around the log
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Once the business end of the log is in, a steel diaphragm is closed around it
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Once the business end of the log is in, a steel diaphragm is closed around it
The Spruce Stove in its fully-closed state
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The Spruce Stove in its fully-closed state
Users start by placing a log on the adjustable-height support stand, then pushing it into the cylindrical stove
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Users start by placing a log on the adjustable-height support stand, then pushing it into the cylindrical stove
The stove has steel fins on the outside, to increase its heat-radiating surface area
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The stove has steel fins on the outside, to increase its heat-radiating surface area
The Spruce Stove in use, prior to being closed around the log
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The Spruce Stove in use, prior to being closed around the log
Users periodically push the log in a little farther, as the end of it burns away
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Users periodically push the log in a little farther, as the end of it burns away
The stove features fireproof concrete bricks on the inside, to absorb and radiate heat
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The stove features fireproof concrete bricks on the inside, to absorb and radiate heat
Martens and de Boer are about to start a very limited-edition production run (just 10 units), with each stove priced at €4,500 (about US$6,050)
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Martens and de Boer are about to start a very limited-edition production run (just 10 units), with each stove priced at €4,500 (about US$6,050)

I speak from experience when I say that it's actually fun to go into the woods, saw up fallen trees, then bring the wood home to burn over the winter. What isn't so much fun is subsequently sawing the logs into stove-length pieces. With the Spruce Stove, however, you don't have to – you just continuously feed one long log in as it burns, sort of like feeding a pencil into a pencil sharpener.

The stove was created by Dutch designers Roel de Boer and Michiel Martens.

Users start by placing a log (a section of tree trunk, really) on the adjustable-height support stand, then pushing it into the cylindrical stove – presumably a small fire has already been started in there, using kindling. Once the business end of the log is in, a steel diaphragm is closed around it. From there, users just periodically push the log in a little farther, as the end of it burns away.

The stove itself features fireproof concrete bricks on the inside, to absorb and radiate heat. It also has steel fins on the outside, to increase its heat-radiating surface area.

Users periodically push the log in a little farther, as the end of it burns away
Users periodically push the log in a little farther, as the end of it burns away

Looking at it, though, one does have to wonder how safe it is. If left unattended, wouldn't the burning section of the log extend out through the diaphragm? Not according to Martens. "What many people think is that the fire will pop out of the stove, but it doesn't," he says. "The draft of the fire sucks the flames inwards."

It also seems likely that, in many homes, bringing those long logs into the house could be rather difficult. That said, though, the stove wasn't designed purely for convenience. "I always look for boundaries of expectation, you think you see what it is but there is always a strange angle in material use, shaping, flexibility or just the whole concept," says Martens. "It is a stove for people who are not afraid of a little adventure, it is a playful stove and you need to play with it to get the touch."

If you're not afraid of a little adventure, you can buy a Spruce Stove of your own. Martens and de Boer are about to start a very limited-edition production run (just 10 units), with each stove priced at €4,500 (about US$6,050).

Source: Spruce Stove

29 comments
The Skud
Clever idea! Now add a themo-electric power supply (already proven successful in camping cooker/stoves) to run a motor drive pushing the log in for all night running - some trimming of branch stubs might be needed though. Would make a real talking-point for a semi-enclosed outdoor living area as well.
The Skud
Just had another thought - can you imagine how teed-off the missus would be if you had only left a short log on the rollers when you went out to nightwork? I cannot see 60 pounds of woman shifting 150 pounds (depending on speciea of tree) of log to keep the heater going!
Rt1583
$6,000 for the stove and a couple of hundred thousand (or better) for a new house large enough to absorb a tree laying on its side. Sounds like an economical solution to home heating to me.
ivan4
OK, so they have updated the old open fire used in the great houses and inns of yesteryear. I remember seeing that type of fire in operation in a country pub in Norfolk (UK) back in the 50s. In fact it remained in operation during the winters until the building was demolished because of road widening in the 80s.
DonGateley
why does it take the most clever, creative people to see the obvious? At the price, however, it should have an auto-feed, auto-empty and auto-dispose. Then put it through a wall and add an automatic outside log hopper that releases one at a time and...
Forest Fab
What about turning the stove and log vertically for an auto-feed? I know this would cause other burning-out-of-the-stove issues, but these guys seem pretty clever :-) Would also be good to burn old telephone poles... Otherwise for a couple hundred $$, you can buy yourself a chainsaw. Just saying.
owlbeyou
Experience has taught me that two or more chunks of firewood always burns better than one. The gasses they give off during combustion feed off each other. Also, i have already used the concept of aluminum "heat sinks" on the stove pipe to increase the heat dissipation before it goes out the chimney. Put a fan on it and the efficiency doubles. It just isn't practical to have a long log in your space to burn, and the price is ridiculous. As far as atmosphere goes, there ain't none. Fail.
bergamot69
@Forest Fab, If the telephone poles in your country are treated as ours are in the UK, you wouldn't want to burn them in or too near your house, as they are coated in creosote. Re- this stove design. If one has gone to the trouble of getting logs that are straight enough to feed into this machine, why not invent a machine instead that will feed logs into a saw, so that you then have convenient sized log pieces for a conventional wood burner. However, should straight logs that could be used for timber or construction be burned at all? Surely it would be better to use wood that is not suitable for such purposes?
Slowburn
Maybe if you built it into the external wall so you feed the log in through the wall using an auto feed system.
Dave B13
I think I see the problem: _________ Dutch {{{{"designers"}}}}} Roel de Boer and Michiel Martens. ^^^^^^^^^^^^