After completing the build of my new workshop in the summer of 2015, winter was approaching and came the time to decide about which method I would use to heat the workshop. Initially I was leaning toward heat pumps because it’s practical and consumes less energy than electric heating. But the quotes I received were close to a whopping €13.000 just for the workshop, a quick calculation made it clear that this investment would only start paying off after 20 years when compared to electric heating. Basically it never pays off and both methods are way too expensive any way.
That’s when I turned to plan B, burning my sawdust waste to provide heat, I already knew the DEOM turbo wood stoves because they are quite popular here, and had read on various forums about people using them to burn saw dust with success, but other than that, information was very scarce.
So I made the plunge and ordered one online from a Dutch webshop, prices for this stove have been increasing steadily over the last years. I paid about €600 for mine excluding VAT, including delivery in 2015. That’s quite steep but still the cheapest option by far. (they sell several types on that webshop, the DEOM model is the original made in Belgium one, there is also a PM model which I believe is a cheaper Spanish copy that doesn’t have cast iron shields on the inside, and maybe even a steel top as well, less durable in my opinion)
For the installation I wanted to get a professional to do it, but there again I got quotes for over €6000 from a local installer. I knew the pipes cost about €1000 and it could be done in a day, so basically they were charging €5000 for one day of work… Therefore I did the install myself and filmed the process. The company that sold me the parts also gave me the necessary advice, and looking back it was pretty straightforward.
Using the stove, this stove can burn solid wood but also different types of waste including paper, sawdust, dried leaves or other dried waste. I have tried it with solid wood and saw dust and I prefer saw dust because it requires less attention and the solid wood waste I produce is usually small or thin, so it will burn quickly and require constant refills. With “real” thick solid wood you will probably get better results and have it burn hours without attention.
I store all my sawdust in “big bags” and before I had this stove it was becoming a problem like with most woodworkers. I would give it away, use it in the garden or throw it in the stables as bedding. All these methods were not ideal and time consuming. By burning it, it becomes a valuable but free resource. The only by-product is the ashes which are ideal for improving the garden soil.
Filling it requires about two buckets of saw dust, I found that oak works best, it’s dense and will burn for long and provide an intense heat. But all other species will do, generally the finer and more dense the dust, the better. Species like beech burn well but the shavings are usually small curls that contain much air, which makes it less dense.
So at best you can get it to burn for 6-7 hours, or as little as 1 hour with a light wood species full of air. Therefore I also try to use the oldest sawdust first and store the big bags onto each other to compress the sawdust over time.