I just returned from two weeks at Shengzhou Stove Manufacturer in China. For eight years I’ve been
working with the factory assisting with stove designs and general advice. Mr. Shen is the owner and
engineer in charge of making most of the machines, setting up the tooling, creating the millions of
refractory ceramic combustion chambers, etc. Mrs. Shen is the general manager and she runs the plant,
does ordering of materials, payroll, and sales. I was helping Andy McClean, COO of StoveTec, to finish
the Firefly TM, a natural draft TLUD lantern/cooking stove. The flame rises up in the middle of a glass
cylinder providing an hour of light under the pot as the food cooks.
I always underestimate how hard it is to adjust the tooling when preparing to manufacture a stove!
Many different machines are required even to make one simple part. There are more than 14 separate
operations needed to stamp out, weld, and assemble the stainless steel TLUD and careful, intricate
adjustment is necessary. Manufacturing is a difficult to learn skill and it’s great to watch an expert like
Mr. Shen creating a new generation of beautiful, durable, and affordable clean burning stoves.
Calling Volunteers to Join StoveTeam International in Guatemala
Aprovecho and StoveTec’s partners and friends, StoveTeam International, are hosting two separate trips this February that are open for volunteers to join and participate in. These are great opportunities to see beautiful parts of the world while also helping those in need of improved cookstoves and cooking conditions.
“Want to improve your Spanish with one-on-one tutoring, explore Guatemala, and volunteer for a good cause? Join us for one or both of our February 2015 trips!
We’ll be spending our time in language school, stove-making, delivering and testing stoves, and sightseeeing in Antigua. Participants will stay at the beautiful San Jose El Viejo Language School and study there each morning; afternoons will be spent working on factory projects, including delivering and testing the stoves in households and other projects to help provide stoves to Guatemalans!
The price of each session is $1,200 plus airfare and includes all in-country expenses except alcohol.”