What he have exactly is an old Lennox coal furnace. It had a case around
at one time which was removed - now looks like a pot-bellied stove. It has
been used as a woodburner for 20 years or so without a problem.
When you say to use the furnace fan for heat distribution - I'm not sure
to go about doing this. We thought about making some type of shield or dome
which would capture the heat into a duct which connects to the furnace
ductwork. And this would be distributed to the entire house by using a
thermostat or blower working on a timer. Does this sound OK? It would not
attached to the 'woodburner' physically - only from a distance over the top.
I'll repeat: you are heading for a dangerous situation. You are treating
wood heat as if it was a "folk technology". It is not. You need
professional help. Go and visit some dealers and get some advice. Going
cheap on wood heat by hacking something together the way you are proposing
is how houses burn down and people get injured or killed.
The Wood Heat Organization Inc.
A non-commercial service in support of responsible home heating with wood