[quote="carlherrnstein"]I have a feeling that the person that designed the chubby stove knew what they were doing but, then again I have seen what engineers can do if left unchecked by reality. [quote]
Necessity is the mother of invention. If you feel something is needed or useful to your personal situation, it may be irrelevant whether it was economically practical or marketable to the manufacturer to add it as a feature. We've all discussed one thing or another with the guy who makes the Chubby, his name is Larry, he's a great guy with a great product and always very helpful. I see features on some stoves, research them, and throw out ideas about how to build those features into my stoves. You can get a lot of good advise and learn a lot that way. But what works for one person may be too scary for another to venture into. I'm not an engineer either, but I did major in entrepreneurial studies.
And, as for welding cast iron: was never the plan to weld a hopper to the stove. The lip on the Chubby provides a natural spot to suspend or bolt a flange from/to. Though the idea may include welding some steel sheet metal into a tube and welding a flange to the tube.