Getting a grip on a wood burning stove.

My wife and I finally got around to installing a wood burning stove in our living room. We had a chimney for one installed when we built the house over twenty years ago with the intention to install a stove for chilly fall evenings or in case the main heating failed (the main heating is gas fired, but doesn’t run if the electricity fails.)

We never found one that we liked and fit our budget. With the years, the budget has grown. We found a stove we liked at a price we could afford a couple of months ago and bought it.

As nice as the stove is, the designers missed one little spot. The handle to open the front panel to adjust the air flow is a flat metal tab.

Original handle
Original handle
Original handle2

It just looks out of place on an otherwise very nice stove.

The stove is made by a German company named “Hase.” You can see the name in the second picture up there.

“Hase” is a surname. It is also the German word for “rabbit.”

My wife happened upon a metal rabbit in one of the local stores:

Metal rabbit
Metal rabbit

She thought it would be cool to have a rabbit shaped handle on our Hase (rabbit) stove.

The tab isn’t big enough to attach the rabbit in any reasonable way, so I thought about it for a few days then came up with the idea to mount the rabbit on a wooden handle and attach that to the tab.

This is the rough idea:

Rabbit handle materials
Rabbit handle materials

I’ve mentioned before that I use a lot of beech wood. This is more beech wood, but with a story.

Something like forty years ago, my wife’s grandfather built a bed for her brother to use when he moved into his first own appartment. Her grandfather made it out of what he had available - lots of beech wood. The bed and the mattresses are long gone, but the slats (supports for the mattress) ended up at her parent’s house and were going to be tossed out with some other junk. I rescued those beech wood bed slats something like twenty years ago, and have been using pieces of them in my own projects every since.

Back to the rabbits.

You may have noticed that the rabbit changed appearance. It started out rough with polished areas, and ended up with a “brushed steel” look. I had to grind the back side flat so that it would lie on the wood properly, then thought that looked so good that I turned it over and did the same thing to the front side. The “brushed” look also matches the other hardware on the stove better.

I cut the beech wood pieces to about the right size, then used a wood chisel to cut a pocket for the metal tab handle in one of the halves. I forgot to make photos of that - I often just get busy doing things and forget to pull out my phone and make pictures.

I glued and clamped the wood pieces together. When the glue was dry, I stuck the tab in the pocket and drilled a screw hole through all three pieces at once.

I screwed the rabbit to the wood, then put it on my band saw and cut the wood to follow the contours of the rabbit. Again, I forgot to make pictures while working on it.

Contoured wood
Contoured wood

There was a lot of filing and sanding that went into making the edges nice and clean. That took a couple of hours of mind numbing back and forth during which (once again) I forgot to make pictures.

The handle ended up looking like this:

Finished handle
Finished handle

I just got done re-installing the tab with the handle on the stove.

I think it looks pretty good:

Rabbit on the Hase
Rabbit on the Hase
Rabbit on the Hase2

I used nearly every power tool in the garage, and most of the hand tools.

There’s about a full day’s work in that rabbit - six hours or more over the last couple of days.

It wasn’t strictly necessary, but my wife likes it and that’s what counts.

It also gave me a break from writing software. Besides work, I’ve been chipping away at the soil moisture monitoring project. I’ve been working on it for the last month or so. I haven’t written any blog posts in that time because I’ve been writing project logs about it on I kind of “overdosed” on programming this last Friday night, and needed to get out and move around some. The rabbit was a perfect excuse to spend the day standing up in the garage instead of sitting in front of the computer.