Stories of living with, planning and building masonry heaters, travel reports….
Hi Folks, In addition to looking forward to seeing other people’s projects, I am interested in hearing about the experiences other’s have had with masonry stoves in other parts of the world.
My own story in this regard involves having spent 3 years in the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine with the Peace Corps. Nearly every home in which I stayed or visited had a піч (pronounced “peach”). If this stove was anywhere near a kitchen, it had a cook surface and likely had a bake oven. I so much want to tell everyone about my experiences living with пічі.
Now I’m back in the western mountains of Maine in a new, small house and slowly starting the process of building a masonry stove here. Slowly slowly but with lots of opportunities to learn along the way.
So-- back to the question at hand… what I would like to see in this forum: plenty of building experiences, plenty of problem solving, plenty of “this is what I’ve seen in the world”!
I’ve built two masonry furnaces. One in Montana and one in Oregon. My Oregon heater has been in use for 30 years and it needed some TLC. It is a five run horizontal flu. We burn oak and we burn it hot. So after 30 years of brutal utilization here in the Southern Cascade mountains I began to notice the fire box fire brick spalding and cracking to the point of alarming me. I had the choice to rebuild or repair. I opted for the latter. I pulled out all loose material from the firebox and used two buckets of greenpatch 421 to fill all of the voids and form an arch. I replaced all the hardware with firespeaking cast iron door and clean out ports. The original form of the heater was a rustic all weather high density brick. I parged the outside of the furnace with a layer of type s mortar. The next layer was made up of lime, white portland cement and medium sized sharp silica white quartz sand. I used the first two layers as “scratch layers” (roughed them up with a 1/4 tile trowel. The final layer was equal parts lime and white portland to 3 parts very fine white white quartz sand. The face lift has convinced me that the efficiency of the furnace has gone up a notch. I’ve been carrying around a couple of cast iron ornaments for more years than I want to confess. I added them as a fixture to the sides of the door.