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Fires crackle in old safes

David Giroux has been making woodstoves out of whatever he can find. The Dettah man started Arctic Fire Stores in 2009, and since then has sold over 250 stoves. His newest creation? Stoves out of old safes.

Inside David Giroux's workshop are four almost completed safes, awaiting their finishing touches.
Bogdan Stanciu/NNSL photo
February 13, 2018

The safes, like all of Giroux's other creations, are sourced from the dump. His method of selecting would-be stoves is fairly straight forward: “If it looks like it could make a good stove, then I use it.”

Once he's made his selection, he takes the soon-to-be stoves into his workshop, and gets to working. Smaller stoves like those made out of safes take around three days to be created. Giroux adds a air intake, an exhaust, a handle, and then burns it out. Then they're ready to be sold.

Giroux's main occupation is as a mechanic. That's easy to tell from his workshop – surrounding his bench are scrap pieces of metal, numerous tools, and plenty of screws, nuts, and bolts.

“I repair toboggans, snowmobiles,” he told Yellowknifer recently.

The stoves, however, fall into a different category.

David's creations also include stoves for smoking, grilling, and baking food – made from barrels and other large pieces of metal. The largest ones are considerably larger than his safes, can have multiple cooking levels, and can cook up to eight turkeys at the same time.

These small stoves sell for around $400, but Giroux's larger stoves can go up to $15,000.

“I'm something of an artist, I can't get enough – it's a borderline hobby. And if I can make money out of it, why not?”