If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Oops I did it again!

Well it appears that I have done it once again folks.

Peed the bed you say?
No, heck no, I haven't done that since I turned 16.  (and those few other times after way too many beers)

I could keep you guessing all day.  Heck, with all the things I get into you don't have a fair chance so I'll just show you.

Yep its a wood stove.
It's going in my house.  Sounds easy enough right?

First off I traded manual labor for the stove.  I don't have much for excess cash so I tend to trade my back for things.  It will probably lead to an early death or a prolonged, miserable existence in a wheelchair but I'll be able to look back (if I can turn my head) and say it was worth it.  I saved thousands and thousands of dollars.  With all that extra money I will be able to customize my wheelchair!  Pin stripes, nitrous, hey you name it I'll do it.

In my house now is what they call a pre-fab fireplace.  It is basically a zero-clearance fireplace insert.
It is supposed to be more for aesthetics than it is for home heating.  Of course with my McGyver instincts and my tightwad, Jewish pocketbook I have turned it into a home heating system.  Sort of.

For 2 seasons now I have been a slave to this fireplace.  Feeding it wood relentlessly.  It's like a nest full of baby birds.  They gulp down the food the worn out mother brings them and immediately start screaming for more.  Fireplace is the same way.  Every 20 minutes I run downstairs to throw a few more logs on.
If the fire begins to die down the chimney begins to cool and I start losing the draft and next thing you know the house smells like smoke.  So run back downstairs and feed it more wood.
If I cram as much wood in the fireplace as I can it will burn for about an hour. I don't like to because if it doesn't burn right then a piece will inevitably fall out and hit the floor.
With the new stove I should be able to get 4-5 hour burn times.  That is an incredible savings on wood and my knees from running up and down stairs every 20 minutes.  Not to mention that being a free standing wood stove the heat that will radiate from the entire unit will be pretty intense.

All that said, going back to the whole pre-fab fireplace thing.  The chimney is designed to only be used with the fireplace.  It is not rated for a wood stove.  I don't want to burn the house down.  Guess who needs to install an entire new chimney system?  Yep.  How'd ya guess?

So I started the project this week.

Most of the chimney is accessible through the garage if I remove the drywall and plywood.
First thing was to remove the existing chimney from the fireplace so it can be pulled out from inside.

That's as far as I got.
Started looking for new chimney pipe and I found some on Craig's List.  I offered the person a fair price and they accepted yesterday but I haven't heard back since emailing them asking for address to pick it up.
I will call in a few hours to check.  It's a nice savings over buying from store.  Even though its a bit of a drive to go get it.

I started cleaning the stove yesterday and once I finished it put on the first coat of hi-temp paint.  She is looking good!

The doors are cleaned but I ran out of paint.  Momma brought some home and I will finish doors today.

I'm pretty excited about this and it should really help heat the home this winter and save on the propane bill.

Now I can sell the fireplace and recoup some of the cost.

Goodbye fireplace

Happy Heating,


  1. Good for you! It's worth it. We had a wood stove in Maine and it gave off so much heat that I was walking around in my underwear during the winter. Who cares if we had company? I was hot (in a personal comfort, not sexy, way).

  2. Good thing you are replacing the chimney. Those zero clearance fire places are pretty worthless.

  3. That's pretty badass. I love those old wood stoves. And hey, trading physical work for what you want is pretty savvy. Isn't that what prostitutes do, except at the end of the day you still have your dignity?


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