From: "David Gladwin" <>
To: <>
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).
[[ GREATR~1.JPG : 1045 in winmail.dat ]]
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.
Dave Gladwin
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