Jump to content


Photo

Tending the Fireplace


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,238 posts

Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:12 AM

Charles McGrath has an article in Sunday's NYT about his adventures with a fireplace. Flames shooting out the chimney, hauling wood upstairs, and ashes down, etc. But, a fireplace or glass fronted woodstove can be very romantic.

I had several large oaks and a maple trimmed in the winter of 2002, which gave me a summer's worth of splitting activity. With that pile now diminishing, it's time to get the cutters back for my 2007-2008 fireplace season.

My woodpile has been supplemented by following the utility company's contract wood cutters once in a while ($10 will get you a trunkful of 2 foot pieces), and I usually break up wood wine boxes from Wine Library for kindling. The Phelps Insignia burns quite well. :angry:


Chimney

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#2 Peter Creasey

Peter Creasey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,135 posts

Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:22 AM

Paul, I am more sensitive to McGrath's closing remarks...

Fire came to our cave-dwelling ancestors as a great gift but also as a bother. Part of what makes sitting in front of the fireplace so sweet is the ancient awareness that eventually the fire will go out and if you don’t do something about the next one, you will wind up in the cold.


The "bother" aspect becomes more prominent given the rareness of "needing" a fireplace in our Houston climes. I converted our wood burning fireplace to a gas-log setup which comes amazingly close to creating the genuine fireplace effect without all of the storage, startup, and cleanup issues.
_________________
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Pete/Houston
SOAC . . .
. . "for the discreet and refined enjoyment of uncommon wine . .
. . . . and victuals and the companionship accruing thereto" . . . .

#3 omnivorette

omnivorette

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 25,546 posts

Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:33 AM

We have a fire burning in the fireplace right now. It's so so nice. The smell, the crackling sounds, the mesmerizing effect of the flames...and we kind of enjoy the ritual of ordering the wood every year, stacking it, cleaning up, setting up...not to mention the marshmallows...
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#4 SLBunge

SLBunge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,063 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 02:50 PM

I've got an open hearth masonry fireplace in the living room that is original to the house. I love having a wood fire going but the smoke chamber is really too small for the size of the hearth and as the smoke rolls over as it is getting organized to go up the flue some smoke can burp out into the room. Being really picky with wood placement and fire size helps but having to be so attentive takes away from the romance.

So I'm thinking about a wood-stove insert.

Until the end of 2010 there is a tax rebate available of up to $1500 for installation of a stove that is better than 75% efficient so I think I'm going to see if we can get something in place before the first cold snap.

Does anyone have experience with selecting a wood-stove insert?
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#5 Anthony Bonner

Anthony Bonner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 10,958 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:03 PM

I've got an open hearth masonry fireplace in the living room that is original to the house. I love having a wood fire going but the smoke chamber is really too small for the size of the hearth and as the smoke rolls over as it is getting organized to go up the flue some smoke can burp out into the room. Being really picky with wood placement and fire size helps but having to be so attentive takes away from the romance.

So I'm thinking about a wood-stove insert.

Until the end of 2010 there is a tax rebate available of up to $1500 for installation of a stove that is better than 75% efficient so I think I'm going to see if we can get something in place before the first cold snap.

Does anyone have experience with selecting a wood-stove insert?

A buddy of mine is currently attempting to wrangle me into helping him install the one he bought from Vermont Castings. If I accidently pick up his phone call I'll let you know what he did for research.
Why not mayo?

#6 SLBunge

SLBunge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,063 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:13 PM

A buddy of mine is currently attempting to wrangle me into helping him install the one he bought from Vermont Castings. If I accidently pick up his phone call I'll let you know what he did for research.

Wow. I hope you don't find out.

Because the stove will need a chimney liner and some custom metal-work to deal with an arched top to the hearth I'm hiring a professional to do the installation.

Vermont Castings is one of my options. Jøtul is another.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#7 Anthony Bonner

Anthony Bonner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 10,958 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:16 PM


A buddy of mine is currently attempting to wrangle me into helping him install the one he bought from Vermont Castings. If I accidently pick up his phone call I'll let you know what he did for research.

Wow. I hope you don't find out.

Because the stove will need a chimney liner and some custom metal-work to deal with an arched top to the hearth I'm hiring a professional to do the installation.

Vermont Castings is one of my options. Jøtul is another.

no no - he's actually a mason and another friend's husband is in the business of installing these things. I suspect I'm just wanted as dumb labor.
Why not mayo?

#8 SLBunge

SLBunge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,063 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:19 PM

no no - he's actually a mason and another friend's husband is in the business of installing these things. I suspect I'm just wanted as dumb labor.

Oh. You are clearly qualified so pick up the phone.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#9 GG Mora

GG Mora

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,234 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:42 PM

I've got an open hearth masonry fireplace in the living room that is original to the house. I love having a wood fire going but the smoke chamber is really too small for the size of the hearth and as the smoke rolls over as it is getting organized to go up the flue some smoke can burp out into the room. Being really picky with wood placement and fire size helps but having to be so attentive takes away from the romance.

So I'm thinking about a wood-stove insert.

Until the end of 2010 there is a tax rebate available of up to $1500 for installation of a stove that is better than 75% efficient so I think I'm going to see if we can get something in place before the first cold snap.

Does anyone have experience with selecting a wood-stove insert?

Is a wood-stove insert different than an actual woodstove? We had a woodstove (Jotul) installed in our living room fireplace. We had a professional do the installation – metal-bestos pipe with cap, insulated seal to replace the flue/damper setup. Works like a charm. It's my contention that because the stove sits in front of the fireplace on the hearth that it provides more heat, owing to better air circulation around it.

#10 SLBunge

SLBunge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,063 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 06:05 PM

Is a wood-stove insert different than an actual woodstove? We had a woodstove (Jotul) installed in our living room fireplace. We had a professional do the installation – metal-bestos pipe with cap, insulated seal to replace the flue/damper setup. Works like a charm. It's my contention that because the stove sits in front of the fireplace on the hearth that it provides more heat, owing to better air circulation around it.

The inserts are essentially a woodstove without the legs so you can shove them into the old fireplace and they don't take up any floorspace. The stove is actually mounted within a second, larger steel box and if you run the fan it will move air through the gap for better heat distribution in the room.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#11 mongo_jones

mongo_jones

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,735 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 07:39 PM

I've got an open hearth masonry fireplace in the living room that is original to the house. I love having a wood fire going but the smoke chamber is really too small for the size of the hearth and as the smoke rolls over as it is getting organized to go up the flue some smoke can burp out into the room. Being really picky with wood placement and fire size helps but having to be so attentive takes away from the romance.

So I'm thinking about a wood-stove insert.

Until the end of 2010 there is a tax rebate available of up to $1500 for installation of a stove that is better than 75% efficient so I think I'm going to see if we can get something in place before the first cold snap.

Does anyone have experience with selecting a wood-stove insert?


we put in a pacific energy "super" wood-stove insert this summer--we used our nearest copperfield chimney franchise. it looks very nice (much nicer than i thought it would). yet to use it though, on account of the strange october we're having.

http://www.pacificen...nsert_super.php

my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary (current review: the hmongtown marketplace food court, st. paul)

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#12 tsquare

tsquare

    In Memoriam

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,452 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 09:13 PM

We've never used our fireplace. With predictions for a snowy wet winter, the likelihood of power interruptions is high. Are these installs in the $2,500 range or what?

(I think we may get a portable kerosene heater, but they scare me.)

#13 SLBunge

SLBunge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,063 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 09:38 PM

We've never used our fireplace. With predictions for a snowy wet winter, the likelihood of power interruptions is high. Are these installs in the $2,500 range or what?

(I think we may get a portable kerosene heater, but they scare me.)

The company I was looking at in Minneapolis had two options for small inserts. One was in the $3300 range installed and one was in the $4000 range installed (both prices before tax incentives of 30% of installed cost up to $1500). Each will throw plenty of heat without the circulating fan in the event of a power outage.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#14 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,238 posts

Posted 19 October 2010 - 10:36 PM


We've never used our fireplace. With predictions for a snowy wet winter, the likelihood of power interruptions is high. Are these installs in the $2,500 range or what?

(I think we may get a portable kerosene heater, but they scare me.)

The company I was looking at in Minneapolis had two options for small inserts. One was in the $3300 range installed and one was in the $4000 range installed (both prices before tax incentives of 30% of installed cost up to $1500). Each will throw plenty of heat without the circulating fan in the event of a power outage.


My brother has heated his 4,000 sf house for a decade with his large Vermont Castings wood stove. He has crank devices which allows him to twist a lever repeatedly to provide a fan-like movement of heat around the house for several hours, or into your forced air / heat ducts.

There's some discussion among the age / split your own wood crowd and the wood pellet people here in NJ. There's also a resurgence of interest in slow burning, high heating anthracite coal. Home Depot sells it in 25 pound bags

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#15 SLBunge

SLBunge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,063 posts

Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:58 PM

Ended up going with the Answer stove insert from Lopi.

Posted Image

I'm a little nervous about how the installation will look in the arched opening of the brick fireplace. The stove itself is pretty small which means lots of black steel visible.

With any luck the installation will happen during the second week in December. I wanted it to happen prior to Thanksgiving but these things are flying off the shelves right now and the installers have quite the backlog.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.