Monday, October 7, 2013

Breaking Our Stove In

We lit our first fire in our newly rebuilt stove, and it felt good to be back in business when it comes to warmth. About a week ago Graham the Stove Man came over and fixed our stove, doing a stand-up job, I might add - fast, reliable, and thorough, I was very pleased with his work. Now I’d heard from other stove folks that once a stove is rebuilt, the cement needs some time to cure before you can jump back into burning wood. GSM said as much, telling us to wait at least three days or longer. One of the other stove guys said a month, so I’m not sure who to believe, though I know whom I want to believe. I actually called the company that makes the cement and they said 24 hours to set, 72 hours to use the stove. Good enough for me.

It had been a week since he was here, and at some point we had to build a fire because not only is it getting cold, but apparently you have to do a series of pre-burns to break it in. Part of the problem is the metal gets painted and when it’s first exposed to heat, might give off some fumes. This is not a huge problem in warmer weather because you can just open windows and let the house air out. On colder days, which are becoming the norm, it’s not so simple.

This problem compounds itself over time, because as the weather gets colder, we run out of ideal days to run the stove. This would have worked out beautifully in July or August, but as October inched forward, I felt the need to get things moving, if at the very least to get the stove primed for winter. Well, that day finally came, and it wasn’t as bad as we thought it might be. GSM said to build a couple of small fires at first and let them burn down, which is what we did. We were contemplating going out for the day, but had no plans, so we opened some windows and waited. As I said, it wasn’t that bad, and it sure felt good to have some heat. I figure a couple more fires and we’re good to go for winter. We’ve got all our wood stacked and dried, and I have a pile of kindling in the basement. I think we’re in pretty good shape.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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