Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Things We’ve Learned About Stoves

Boy, it sure is nice having our stove back in working order. For the record, not only did Graham provide most excellent service, but he taught us a thing or two. First off, we learned that we can operate the stove with the front doors open, giving us the “ski-lodge” ambience effect. Second, we learned that it is important to keep a layer of ash on the bottom plate to protect it from cracking. Go figure! I diligently scooped that ash up every morning figuring that was what you’re supposed to do, and then I learn I was wrong.

As luck would have it (or not), I had tossed out all the ash we had into the woods. Who holds onto that stuff? Usually I have two places where I keep ash, a small can by the stove, and a big can outside to give it time to extinguish before I toss it into the woods. Both were empty, so I was out of luck, sort of. I was told sand would work fine, and I just happened to have some sand that I got for putting on the walkway. It didn’t have any salt, so Graham said it should be fine.

The one issue was it was soaking wet. Not wanting to introduce unnecessary moisture into the stove and flue, I decided to dry the stuff. It would have worked best in summer, but you work with what you got. After a couple of days with no luck, I finally put the stuff in baking dishes and baked it in the oven. It took about 15 minutes, and before I knew it, I had sand ready to go.

I put a layer on the bottom, did a series of small pre-burns, and now the stove is ready to rock and roll. How cool is that? The stove is working beautifully, and as far as I’m concerned, it seems to be burning more efficiently, which hopefully will translate into burning less wood. Graham actually alluded to it having tons of leaks before he rebuilt the thing, so it makes sense. We shall see.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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