At any rate, it looks like it's going to be a long cold winter in many parts of the U.S. Heating fuel prices are very high. Around here heating oil is $1 a gallon more than it was last year - same with propane. Natural gas is higher as well.
At the same time, scrap iron prices are high. I've seen many loads waiting in lines at the scrap yards with wood stoves in them. Sure a 300 pound woodstove is worth $30 or $40 in scrap but it is worth so much more as a working wood stove.
Over the last months I've picked up 6 wood stoves. Two were free, one I paid $60 for and the other two I bought for scrap prices off of trucks on their way to the scrap yard. The free ones I picked up with a wanted listing in Craigslist. Seems that once someone remodels and changes heating modes or upgrades their wood stove the old one often ends up in the back yard or garage. They're too heavy for most folks to handle, but they can be handled quite easily by one person.
I can handle them and I'm 66 years old. Any stove that I've run into I can tip on its side onto a 4 wheel dolly. Then it's quite easy to roll it onto my Harbor Freight tilt bed trailer.
With heating costs so high, woodstoves are coming back in vogue and there's a ready market for them. The last free one I got is a really nice LOPI. It retails for $1800. This one was in a back yard and the door and air control were all frozen up and it was very rusty. Some soaking with WD-40 and some high heat paint was all it took to get it working properly. As I type this I'm looking across my living room at the flames through the glass door of this little LOPI gem.
The other 5 plus the one I replaced with the LOPI are sold or will be sold soon. Depending on the year and model I can get anywhere from $250 to $1000 for a wood stove and I haven't run into one that I couldn't refurbish for $25 or less. Just be sure to stick to the welded steel plate ones. Some of the older cast iron types leak and/or have cracks.
So, try running a wanted ad in your local Craigslist, tell people you deal with, keep an eye out for old stoves in yards. If you start looking for them, you'll find them.
I'm still hunting for more and will continue to do so all year as I believe good used wood stoves is a growing market.
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