From: "David Gladwin" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> Subject: masonry heater question Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 22:21:20 -0600
I thought I would give you an update on the working of our masonry heater -- it is providing us with lots of great heat, and lots of great bread from the oven!! We did most of our meal cooking in the oven last winter and thus far\rhis year too -- it grills a mean steak, as well as the more usual roasts, etc. and a 12 lb. turkey. I have attached a photo of the heater (unfortunately a summer photo without fire -- will do another soon, when I can borrow an electronic camera again).
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It is burning much better this year, now that we have better seasoned wood.
Also, we seem to have solved the condensate problem in the wrap around bench. The floor level mortar just shows the smallest amount of dampness when we start-up now after the system is well cooled (left off over a week away). When warm, there is no problem at all. Jim Mahon came by last Spring to check things out regarding the condensate issue, and we settled on partially blocking the smoke channel down the right side where it exits directly to the chimney, forcing a greater portion of the flue gas into the channel that goes around the bench, heating that channel up faster (hopefully to heat it up fast enough that there is minimal condensate formed, with that re-evaporated before it can seep out). I put a fire brick in to effect the partial closure.
As well, so long as we are burning mainly white birch (still have about 12 cords to go from clearing our site) I am careful to leave the bypass damper into the chimney open for the first 10 to 15 minutes of all burns to let the tarry bark smoke escape.
A question for you: on your drawings of our stove on your web site you showed a mantle between the stove opening and the oven opening. We were not sure about installing one there, being concerned about the heat exposure so close to the firebox. We would like a mantle there. Can you recommend design considerations, such as: - should it be a stone slab, if so how should it be anchored? - can it be of wood, and what type (maple, oak, ...)? - how much gap should be left between it and the stone facing? - how to attach it?
We were also thinking of putting a maple shelf over the top of the main heater, thinking that with the insulation layer below the top it would not be too hot there. Can you offer any comments on this?
If you are over on this side of the Gatineau any weekend and would like to see the finished product at work, we would be pleased if you dropped in. Give us a call (weekends 457-4280, weekdays 613-241-5633) and we can give you directions.
Best wishes for the new year.