Thermal Mass Wood Stove Brick Surround

Thermal Mass Wood Stove Brick Surround



A clay brick wood stove surround, designed to operate as a thermal mass heater and safety barrier.



  1. Allows for safe operation of a wood stove in small spaces. A wood stove can produce high heats and so requires quite a bit of its own protected space. In my 400 sqft home there would not have been enough room to operate a wood stove, without a fire resistant surround.
  2. Moderates heat output. The thermal mass of the wood stove surround helps create consistent heating. Although it takes some time to heat the clay brick, once it is warmed it radiates a more constant and comfortable warmth than a normal wood stove. A normal wood stove will produce a wider fluctuation in temperatures as the wood burns and then the stove cools.
  3. Possibly reduces wood consumption. Other authors report needing to feed their wood stove less often after installing a thermal mass surround. This is a convenience as well as a cost saving factor. I could not confirm this benefit, because it would not have been safe to use my wood stove without a surround.
  4. Feels safer with kids in the home. I was a little concerned about installing a wood stove in my one room home because of my kids. My son loves to use the home as a jungle gym and one inadvertent meeting with the stove could be a disaster. The brick surround gives me peace of mind that the kids are safer.


The idea for a thermal mass surround came to me after learning about thermal mass rocket stoves. In fact, it was a rocket stove that I first looked into installing in my small home. I decided against one because I could not find someone who could help me install it and who had had success with the technology in a small 3 ft X 3 ft space. I also had a wood stove available for free use. I decided to use the wood stove and optimize its performance using a thermal mass surround.


After some researching, I found two other people who had the same idea as myself. Both of these people had used cinder blocks for thermal mass. I learned that over time the cinder blocks crack from the heat. I was planning on a more-or-less permanent fixture, and so decided to use clay brick. I chose to use reclaimed, old style clay brick because it has a solid core. I got this idea from a website devoted to building traditional ovens. It mentioned that newer bricks handle heat poorly, but the old clay bricks are durable and much less expensive than firebricks.

After communicating with the guy who designed one thermal mass wood stove, I decided to build my wall 4 inches away from the stove. He had discovered through trial and error that that design performed better than pushing them right up against stove.

Brick Surround Without Stove

Brick Surround Without Stove


One potential disadvantage of this technology is that most wood stoves are specified to have more “breathing room” around them, than the 4 inches of space this surround provides. I found some heating contractors warning that the wood stove could “burn out” early. I, however, could not find a single report of this actually happening. To the contrary, both of the individuals with practical experience with thermal mass surrounds told me their stoves were operating nicely. One had been using the cinder block surround for over 5 years.

Another caution about a project like this, is to consider the need for reinforcing the floor. The weight of the wood stove and brick surround is considerable. This small home was built with 4X6 post and beams and so ultimately no further floor reinforcement was needed.

Last Word:

This was a costly project for me, especially in terms of time and effort. I’m not sure the thermal surround saves enough in wood consumption to offset the cost of the project. That being said, I’m loving the cozy, constant heat produced by this wood stove compared to the noisy, erratic vent-less gas furnace I previously used. That comfort factor alone made this project it worth it to me.

♥ My Little Cozy Home ♥

♥ My Little Cozy Home ♥

Beautiful Philippine Beach

Beautiful Philippine Beach

Beautiful Philippines Beach Picture, available free to the public domain, found in the Spiritual Treasures Bonus File

Key PointsThis tutorial will help with the following tasks:

  1. Downloading and Sharing the Files via Torrent
  2. Checking the Files’ Integrity with md5sum
  3. Extracting the Compressed Files

IntroductionThere are two Spiritual Treasures Files. Due to their large size, they need special handling.

  • The Spiritual Treasures – Final Edition. The core spiritual teachings. A 3.5 GB file which contains all the spiritual teachings, regarding the spiritual path of Kriya Yoga, which were posted online at the Cyberspace Ashram from 1997 through 2012. Information can be found at: Spiritual Treasures

– Compressed file name = Spiritual_Treasures.tar.bz2- Torrent file name = Kriya_Yoga_Spiritual_Treasures.torrent

  • The Spiritual Treasures Bonus File. The photo gallery. A 33.7 GB file which contains thousands of copyright free photos for sharing, which were also part of the Cyberspace Ashram. Information at: Spiritual Treasures Bonus

– Compressed file name = Spiritual_Treasures_Bonus.tar.bz2- Torrent file name = Beautiful_Philippines_nature_pictures.torrent

There are two ways to obtain the files.

  • Downloading them using the Torrent file sharing program
  • Transferring a copy from a memory device, such as a SSD.

The Spiritual Treasures files were designed with and hence most compatible with a Linux Operating System. The reason for using this Operating System is spiritual. Linux was created to be shared for free as opposed to other popular systems which have been created for profit. Linux comes standard with the tools necessary to open and check the integrity of the compressed file. Macintosh Operating Systems also come with the tools for opening and checking file integrity. For those using Windows, this tutorial will help you to find and install the correct software for opening and checking the files. It is recommended for easy sharing and reading to keep all the Spiritual Treasures files (both the COMPRESSED files and EXTRACTED files) in a single folder. I label that folder; God. If you are receiving these files directly from a friend with a memory device, then you will not need to download them with Torrent file sharing software. However, you may wish to install Torrent software to your computer so that you can share your Spiritual Treasures files with others. Torrent sharing is easy to learn and safe. Torrent software is compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows OS. It is highly recommended to save your personal copy of these files on a durable memory device such as a Solid State Drive (SSD) for safe keeping.


Downloading and Sharing the File

Introduction: Torrent sharing software allows for easier sharing of large data packages. Most computer users don’t realize that whatever they download from the internet is stored somewhere else in the world at someone else’s expense. Usually this information is stored on servers. Usually the server owner offers this service to make a profit. To ensure that the Spiritual Treasures files are available for free, and the responsibility of storing the information is spread among many, these files are only downloadable through Torrent. Torrent technology allows personal computer owners to act as the source of information, usually at no extra cost. To download with Torrent the following are needed:

  • An online computer
  • A compatible torrent software program


  • The Spiritual Treasures TORRENT file

Spiritual Treasures
Fabio Visentin’s Server

Definitions: The downloadable COMPRESSED file contains all the valuable spiritual teachings or photos. The TORRENT file serves as a connector to help the Torrent software locate the COMPRESSED file and share it between computers. The COMPRESSED file could be thought of as the contents of a letter, whereas the TORRENT file is the addressed envelope. It is easy to distinguish the two files by checking how much data they contain. The TORRENT file is small, measured in MB, because it is simply an “address label”. The Spiritual Treasure COMPRESSED files are large, measured in GB, because they contain all the actual information.

Downloading: To start, first download and install one of the torrent software programs listed above. Make sure it is compatible with your OS. Then open the desired TORRENT file in your computer and it will do the rest. It will automatically open the Torrent program you’ve just installed. Since it acts as an address label, it will find and start pulling the COMPRESSED file from other computers around the world. As you do this, your computer automatically shares the COMPRESSED files with others. All that needs to be done is to keep the computer turned on and keep it online. The monitor can be set to sleep, and the computer kept on, so that your computer shares even when you are not around, 24/7. Once fully downloaded, you’ll need to check and open the COMPRESSED file as discussed in the upcoming sections.

Sharing (known as “seeding”) without Downloading: If you already have the Spiritual Treasures COMPRESSED file saved on your computer, you can share it without downloading another copy. To do this you can start the download process, which happens automatically when you click on the Spiritual Treasures TORRENT file that you wish to share. The Torrent window will open and start the download. Click the “stop” button to pause the operation. See where the Torrent program was attempting to save the file on your computer. Depending on the program and OS, the way to check may be slightly different. Usually right clicking over the file that you wish to check will give you an option such as “Open Containing Folder” or “Show in Finder”. A folder named “God” is typically created in the “download” section of the computer. Sometimes this folder will not appear until a small portion of the download is started. Once you locate where this folder is, just click and drag the COMPRESSED file you already have to this location. Restart Torrent by clicking the “start” button. Torrent will then perform a “check”, which will be evident in the progress bar to ensure you have the correct file. Once checked, the progress bar will turn green and say “seeding” on it. This will be much quicker than downloading the file.

Checking the File Integrity

Introduction: Verifying that the Spiritual Treasures COMPRESSED files are intact is important, because of their spiritual content and also because the large size of these files makes them vulnerable to being damaged in transfer. The preferred method of verification is a coding system called “md5sum”. Each Spiritual Treasure file, upon completion was encrypted with a unique, permanent code. Any manipulation of the file, including simply renaming the file will alter this code, warning the user that the teachings have been damaged or altered. At the users end, a md5sum software tool is needed to verify the integrity of the files. Due to the size of these files, it may take minutes up to an hour for the tool to generate the long md5sum code. Once complete this can be compared to the codes below:
Md5sum Codes:

  • Spiritual_Treasures.tar.bz2 = 54d1622ea2d03c29cbce6ab7ef5ccf4a
  • Spiritual_Treasures_Bonus.tar.bz2 = f3021c7da53f09973e639acc72ce6ece

Md5sum Software Programs:

  • Linux

Md5sum checking comes standard on Linux. Open the command prompt console (CLI) or terminal. Type “md5sum”, then a space, then the name of the file. Click enter and the md5sum will be generated.

  • Mac

Md5sum is also standard on mac. Simply open the Terminal (In Finder go to Applications>Utilities>Terminal). In the Terminal window, enter the command “md5” follow this with one space and then click and drag the file which you wish to check into the window. Then click Enter. After several minutes the md5sum will appear below this command.

  • Windows

A free, user friendly md5sum program called WinMD5free is available here for Windows: WinMD5free
Installation of this program is self-explanatory and shows you how to check the md5sum of a file. Remember to be patient as the computer generates the final md5sum. It may take several minutes due to the large file size.

Extracting the Compressed File

Compressed files are a means of safely storing and moving large data collections. The information is not immediately readable in these files and must be extracted first. A variety of different compressed file types exist, the two used for Spiritual treasures are tar and bz2 (also known as bzip2). First, the information will be extracted from the bz2 file, then from the tar file. Some computers will automatically start this second extraction, but many require the user to initiate it. Due to the large size of these files, extractions times may be prolonged, anywhere from minutes to hours. Be sure to have adequate computer space to open these files.

  • Linux

Locate either of the Spiritual Treasures compressed files. Double click on the file icon and a window will open to show a progress bar for extraction. Once the tar file is extracted from the bz2, then just click and drag that file, where ever you wish to store the final folder. A progress bar will once again appear.

  • Mac

Procedure is the same as for Linux.

  • Windows

Windows OS does not come standard with an extraction tool. At the time of this writing the following two tools were effective and readily available:



This tool is can be found by Googling the search terms: “7-zip download”, currently located at this link:
7 Zip Download and install this tool. If Windows doesn’t automatically select this tool to extract the file there are two ways to use it. First, the 7-zip program can be opened directly. Once open, there is the option to browse the computer and select the file to extract. Or, you can right click on the Spiritual Treasures zip file, then choose the “Open With” option. A new window will open in which you can browse for the 7-zip program and select it. This will start the extraction process. Once the tar file is extracted from the bz2 file, click and drag the tar file into the folder in which you would like to open the final readable version. This will initiate the second extraction.

– WinRar

Use the Google search terms “WinRar download”, which is currently located at this link: WinRar
Follow the same procedure as described for 7-zip to extract the file.


Once extracted, your Spiritual Treasures file is readable offline using any major web browser. Firefox is highly recommended for this purpose, because it is an open source software. To access the teachings, open the folder named “Spiritual Treasures”, then the folder named “”, then the file named “Index” (Spiritual Treasures>>index). The web browser will automatically open to the start page which allows for easy surfing of the spiritual teachings. This page can be saved as a “bookmark” or a “favorite”, just as you would an online page for easy return browsing.

Cloud Formations over Casper Mountain

Cloud Formations over Casper Mountain


The Healthy Spirit Blog is devoted to providing resources which promote spiritual wellbeing.  It is the author’s goal that this blog touches on many different aspects of life and living, and in doing so truly offers a holistic approach to health and happiness.  For example this blog will cover the following categories and possibly many more:

  1. Holistic Medicine (natural remedies, healing techniques and alternative therapies)
  2. Alternative Lifestyles (sustainable living, permaculture, integrating life with nature, alternative energy and natural building ideas)
  3. Food (diet recommendations and recipes)
  4. Organic Gardening (composting and cultivating herbs, fruits and vegetables)
  5. Spirituality (spiritual principles and practices)
  6. Relationships (marriage, sexuality and love)
  7. Jobs (spiritually oriented businesses, jobs and career ideas)

Life on earth is meant to be enjoyed.  Yet everything in this physical world is temporary and meant to be used as a tool for spiritual progress.  The quality of our life experiences which naturally flow into our day are equal to the quality of experiences we bring to others.  Use everything in your life to nourish yourself and to become a better source of happiness for others.  As you learn to share love in deepening ways, you will also come to feel God’s presence in your life.  This is the most precious gift.  It can become a constant source of security and happiness, when in contrast you can expect to lose everything else in this physical world one day.

It is the author’s intentions that all who study and apply the content of this blog, as well as the other resources he offers, enjoy a real and palpable spiritual connection.  He hopes that all become more aware of God’s presence in their life’s and become uplifting members of their respective communities.