A Modern Foot Stove..

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Project by Serradura posted 03-11-2017 01:02 PM 1287 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As you all probably know by now, it can be pretty cold on the lonesome hill here in Central Portugal. And although we have the modern comfort of electricity and internet, a lot of things still happen here as it did hundreds of years ago like warming the house with a wood stove. When it’s really cold that burner is on all day, choking up dozens of logs in a day. But on the just chilly day’s that makes no sence, wood doesn’t come for free, and if it does it takes a lot of work to get it cut to size, stacked and dried. That’s the reason to use it sensible and make sure you don’t burn all before winter is gone. Still if you want to sit comfortably on the kitchen table some sort of warmth is highly welcome.

In the old day’s, going back for centuries, people used little foot-stoves that were filled with hot coals. These foot-warmers helped to make you feel comfortable if you sat in a chair. Foot warmers are visible on 16th and 17th century paintings, but they could be completely hidden under a long skirt or cloak. After 10 years of using a blanket or wearing snow boots while sitting on the kitchen table, I think it’s time to make my lovely wife a modern version. For years now she uses a little fruit box underneath her feet to compensate the height of the kitchen chairs and so I will use that box to measure the size. Now we are original from the Netherlands, and the Typically Dutch foot warmer was a wooden box with holes in the top and an earthenware or metal pot holding glowing coals inside. These foot stoves were also common in northern Germany. A stone slab was an alternative to the wooden top with holes.

These days, in the century of USB charged gadgets, there are very handy heat cushions for sale and I found one for just 6,95 at a local supermarket. The challenge is to make a box that fit’s with our “Amsterdam School” furniture and has enough room to hold that cushion. Here’s the video on the making:

-- Não só Serradura, Tomar, Portugal

6 comments so far

View GAwoodworker's profile


26 posts in 340 days

#1 posted 03-11-2017 04:38 PM

Really neat idea! Thank you for putting the history behind it. It’ll be added to my list of to-do projects!

View Hawaiilad's profile


2965 posts in 2592 days

#2 posted 03-11-2017 08:17 PM

Great video on how you made it. Thanks for sharing with us. I learned allot

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View bushmaster's profile


1755 posts in 1854 days

#3 posted 03-11-2017 11:33 PM

Will look into this, we have wood heat and living in the north the floor can get cold. My wife has had polio and suffers from a cold foot and leg. something like this might help allot.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View helluvawreck's profile


24771 posts in 2438 days

#4 posted 03-12-2017 01:11 PM

I really do like this project and have never seen one. But it makes a lot of sense. Yo did a really nice job on this.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Planeman40's profile


853 posts in 2332 days

#5 posted 03-12-2017 01:34 PM

Thanks! An interesting post. I am going to try it.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

118 posts in 2118 days

#6 posted 03-12-2017 05:07 PM

Thanks for posting…I really enjoy historical pieces like this and I’ll plan on building one soon.

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