Requirements for a Stove Factory

Requirements for a Stove Factory


Due to differing prices and availability of equipment and materials, differing cultural and geographic circumstances, and differing estimated production capacities, StoveTeam cannot accurately estimate the cost of setting up or running a stove factory outside of Central America. Setting up a complete stove factory requires a significant amount of equipment.

To reduce the cost of transport, a factory should ideally be located close to a source of clay and/or a tile manufacturer. Although metal parts can be produced at the factory, to reduce factory setup costs, the metal parts of the stove construction process can be done by other local shops. However, it will be necessary to ensure the capability, quality and reliability of outside work. Even if the metal work is contracted out, there are still minimal equipment needs to make the stove body and assemble the stove.

The location and condition of the factory site will determine what is additionally needed. Determining if a stove factory is viable in your area will require research on local prices of materials and equipment, costs of externally produced parts (tiles and perhaps metal parts), and costs associated with the location and conditions of the potential factory site.

Some general information

One mold can be used to produce one stove a day. Additional molds will be needed. These can usually be made by a skilledmetal worker. Check with local metal workers and see if they are capable of making a mold like this (see pictures at end).

It will require a stick welder, chop saw, and sheet metal roller. Some shops may have to have other places do the rolling.

There are 4 metal parts to the stove: a pot support, a large flat grill, a grate, and a pot skirt. These can also be made by a local metal shop that has a chop saw, metal shear, and stick welder. However, different size metals are used for each, so make sure the metal is available.

Each stove needs three pieces of fired clay tile. For the stove to work well, about 20% of the clay mixture for the tile should be made up of organic material (rice husks, chopped straw, or even pumice). Check to see that there is a local tile maker who can do this.

The tile must be either molded or cut to the correct sizes and shapes. This will require a minimum of one tile saw. We typically use three. As there are 3 different cuts, each saw is set to a different cut. The tile saws do not need to be industrial quality as the fired tiles are not as dense and hard as ceramic tile.

Disseminating information about the stove, demonstrating the stove, taking orders and collecting money, maintaining production quality and quantity are all serious issues that must be managed well. It is very difficult to do this with a non-paid, volunteer approach, even if production is limited. Where we have set up factories, we try to ensure the capability of producing at least 400 stoves a month. Given these concerns, we have chosen the model of setting someone up in the stove-making business.

The following is a list of what is needed to produce the stoves and possible cost-saving options.

Physical Requirements for Factory


This may be optional depending on local custom

running water


120 and 240V electricity

Needed only if metal parts are constructed at the factory

covered & lockable storage for tools &  office space

Factory tools must be secured each night.  If metal work is done outside of factory, tools could probably be taken home each night.  Office space can be on-site or off.

large covered work area

Needed for rainy days and protection from sun

covered area for finished stoves

Can be outside under plastic

covered area for raw materials-- pumice for insulation, tiles, cement, and all metal

Can be outside under plastic

uncovered area for storing & sifting of pumice

If pumice is not a locally available, the insulation inside the stove can be done with a mixture of cement, clay and rice husks or chopped straw.  However these must be kept dry

uncovered area for curing of cement parts

Can be outside under plastic


The need for fencing or other security measures for the factory depend on local conditions

Factory Equipment  for making stove (not metal parts)

wood pallets for stove storage

Completed stoves should not rest on wet ground or get wet

work tables and benches


sheet plastic for covering stoves


Necessary unless sufficiently large work area is covered

tile saw


cement mixer

Useful but not necessary

concrete vibrator

Useful but not necessary



Shovels and trowels


water hose and buckets


vice grips or clamps -5 per mold


It is possible to build these into the mold itself so would not be necessary

wire brushes , hand snips, large rasps for shaping tiles, regular and ball peen hammers, work gloves


assorted screwdrivers , tape measures

Useful but not necessary

3'x5' screen boxes for screening pumice

Necessary unless pumice not used for insulation

molds for stove body

measurements for cutting tile

Sample provided byStoveTeam International, additional molds made locally: measurements provide by STI

Materials for making stove (not metal parts)

Pumice and clay

Necessary, although organic material can be used in place of pumice in the tile and insulation



wire mesh (hardware cloth)


tiles for combustion chamber


tile saw blades 


Equipment  for making metal stove parts

plasma cutter & compressor


stick welder


welding helmet, apron, gloves safety goggles




bench grinder


angle grinder


heavy duty chop saw


metal shears


drill and drill bits


several size squares


measurements for cutting metal parts and jigs for welding pot supports, grill, metal band poured in the stove and jigs for bending grate and grill handles

Necessary. Jigs can be made locally or sample will be provided by ST

Materials for making metal stove parts



3/4" x3/4” angle iron


2mm thick sheet metal


1mm thick sheet metal


1/2”x 1/8” flat bar


welding rod


chop saw blades


Operational Expenses that will vary

Rent, electricity & water, phone & internet

Need and expenses will vary

gas/vehicle for transporting stoves

Probably best contracted out

promotional travel expenses (meals, lodging)     


Taxes—payroll and on sale of stoves