Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I've Graduated From Lathes

Last Sunday I completed the final touches to the stove pipe install, which consisted of a proper connection to the stove itself with an adapter, and stuffing some fire resistant insulation between the brick chimney and floor. It was now time to make real fire.

I started with some lathes and everything was going great until I had about 6 or 7 lathes really blazing. All of a sudden, smoke started pouring out of the top as if there wasn't enough draft. But how could that be when I had started it slowly? Regardless, I threw a couple of cups of water on it to control it and started over slowly. Very slowly.

Last night, I got the courage to put some real logs (big boy wood) on after warming up the chimney with some simple lathe burnage. It went well for the most part, but there was a moment when it really got going and the whole smoke leakage started up again. This time I was able to control it with the front dampers. With the odd smell of the smoke, I'm wondering if it's just a 'break-in' smell, like of paint burning, and not a draft problem. Time will tell.

Regardless, I'm really having a blast with this new stove. Adjusting the dampers and watching the fire react is really cool.


John said...

The back draft of smoke could because of your chimney's height relative to the roof.

If I recall correctly, a chimney needs to vent either a minimum of 2 feet above the roof's ridge OR at least 2 feet below the roofs ridge. If it is something in between, wind can and will get caught by the roof an blow down the chimney (my mother-in-law's chimney use to do this until they fixed it).

If that isn't that, I don't know. Good luck.

Joe said...

Hi John-
That thought crossed my mind especially with the harsh winds I get from the east. I think the minimum height from the ridge is 3', but that's just due to the code.

Anonymous said...

One way to deal with the smoke is to hang meat from the ceiling.

Of course, it won't make the smoke go away, but you can benefit from it by having tasty snacks for your visitors.

Joe said...

Actually, I think the biggest benefit I'd get from that is watching Scully trying to jump up to reach the hanging meat.

"Hanging meat" - wow, the apple season really took it's toll on you.

Anonymous said...

That isn't a wood stove, it's a coal stove (that you can burn wood in). Burning coal is great, there is nothing like a coal fire. It burns for hours and hours and really throws off some nice steady heat. Depending on what part of the country your stove is from (which determines the type of coal that would have been burned) it may or may not be lined with firebrick. Here in the North East, our stoves were lined. Keeping a coal fire going all night is a lost art. I've been trying and have not been very successful. Since my house is very cold, has no walls and no heat on the first floor, I understand how the Victorians must have felt waking up to a cold house. I go down the steps, and if I don't feel the heat I say, "crap, my fire is out." Since restarting isn't easy, it is always a great disappointment. Good luck with yours!