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The Book of Masonry Stoves: Rediscovering an Old Way of Warming Paperback – April 1, 1998

19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"More than a mere manual, The Book of Masonry Stoves is a fascinating study of the history of fire through the ages. It's also a convincing argument for the efficiency, safety, and comfort of masonry."--Susan Renner-Sinith, Popular Science Magazine



"It's hard to believe that anyone knows more about wood heating--let alone masonry stoves--than David Lvle, who has made it a consuming avocation and profession for many years. Unless I miss my guess, anyone who reads The Book of Masonry Stoves will come away with an almost overwhelming desire to install one of these wonderfully efficient, sensible devices in their home."--Richard M. Ketchum, Blair & Ketchum's Country Journal

About the Author

David Lyle, one of the best-informed people in the U.S. in the wood heat field, has tested a great variety of stoves during the past 30 years. For several years, he was the national distributor of Lange stoves in the U.S. In addition to his professional work with wood-burning stoves, Mr. Lyle has heated his own home with wood for several decades. Readers may recognize David Lyle as a former writer for the New York Herald Tribune, and the Associated Press. His articles have also appeared in Esquire, Fine Homebuilding, and other magazines. He lives in Acworth, New Hampshire, where he credits his special knowledge of chimney fires to his experience with the Acworth Volunteer Fire Company.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 1st edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890132098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890132095
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Lyle, one of the best-informed people in the U.S. in the wood heat field, has tested a great variety of stoves during the past 30 years. For several years, he was the national distributor of Lange stoves in the U.S. In addition to his professional work with wood-burning stoves, Mr. Lyle has heated his own home with wood for several decades.

Readers may recognize David Lyle as a former writer for the New York Herald Tribune and the Associated Press. His articles have also appeared in Esquire, Fine Homebuilding, and other magazines. He lives in Acworth, New Hampshire, where he credits his special knowledge of chimney fires to his experience with the Acworth Volunteer Fire Company.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Roy on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading through this book I was left somewhat disapointed. What is covered in the book is well written, but the publication date was nearly 20 yrs ago, and the book needs updating. More actual pictures of masonry heaters and less old pictures would be helpful. One is better off visiting the masonry heater association

[...] to look at their collection of titles.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Hannah H. on January 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent book from the historical point of view. The book is full of excellent illustrations as well as B&W photogaphs. I do wish their had been better photos as well as some color photos as well. This is a great book and really teaches you the details of the functionality of Masonry Stoves.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Dunn on July 7, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has a very deep history of heating with wood and even delves into the history of fire. I too was very disappointed to realize that there were very few photographs. And, equally disappointing was a lack of discussion of modern day masonry stoves. There wasn't even any description or anything about the big beautiful masonry stove that is pictured on the cover.

Its been helpful and informative in that I have now learned just how these stoves work and a bit of how they do not work.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
The author has a good many illustrations and history of masonry heating systems. I was slightly disappointed with the cover being the only color picture. The number of words, the history, and the well written form - make this book worth reading. I am sure it will give you new ideas about masonry heating.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By EugeSchu on July 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
As mentioned, the book is not a modern day catalog, but a historical look at masonry stoves dating back to the first harvesting of fire by humans. Fascinating look at the historical developments, especially around the middle ages

to the nineteenth centtury. Also includes many examples from non-western cultures. Many informative diagrams and photos portraying the myriad styles. Appropriate for the uninitiated.

Not an overly technical review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pollyester on April 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wouldn't have thought a book about stoves would be such interesting reading, but this really is a good book. I bought it in hopes that I'd be able to attempt to build a stove myself. That did not happen, in fact I'm not even sure what type of stove I'd like. However, the book has increased my faith in a wood stove keeping my home comfortable, and be environmentally sound. I liked the writing style, which is pretty rare for a book of this type. There were times when I couldn't put it down. Honestly, I was on this page again to sell my book, but now I find I'm not ready to let it go, so I'm writing a review instead.

While it is old and could probably be updated, the art of the wood stove is also old, so much of the most valuable information may be old as well. Certainly, history has a lot of lessons to teach us about masonry stoves. Also, the book talks about past mistakes of masonry stoves, so if you're thinking about building your own, this would be good reading.

Update: I am now building a house and will be having a masonry stove installed. The book says it's hard to find a master stove builder but now there are many throughout the country, I've found one right here in my small town. Also a masonry stove has benefit over a wood stove because you can get insurance if you have a masonry stove because it qualifies as a fireplace and thus is less risky to an insurance company than a wood stove.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By moondanceartstudio on May 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For designing my own stove/heat system this book has been very helpful. It may not have been written for the owner builder but the illustrations are clear and understandable. The detailed stove history made the design process come together for me and made it easier to decide which style would work for me. I highly recommend this book for the coverage of the historical why and how of masonry stoves. The information in the book will make the building of a stove as a secondary heat source something I can feel confident about while knowing the stove will perform efficiently. Good information is essential to me since I personally do all aspects of my building projects and expect each to perform well and fit well into an already convoluted, energy efficient ferrocement structure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Kreis on June 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I started flipping through this book, I became excited -- very excited. This is not a Black & Decker complete guide to masonry stoves. There are no step-by-step instructions on how to build a masonry stove. You cannot walk into the Home Depot and buy a masonry stove or a masonry stove kit. But this book is an absolute treasure trove of theory and diagrams (many historical, but we learn from the past, right?) which, with a little imagination and chatting with your local building inspector, can potentially yield results in the form of energy-efficient, high quality heating for your home -- and, depending on your execution, much more aesthetically pleasing than the forced-air beast currently occupying your basement.
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