It's all in there. Studies never lie.
Age: 5 or 6ish
Likes: Sleep, Marmite crisps, ham, cheese,
gravy, sniffing plywood stove crates
I'm not sure what's going on with it, to be honest. It's not the stove - that's perfect - but we've had a few gorgeous fires now and only yesterday did I discover that none of the wood I wanted to use next is burning. It's supposed to be well seasoned (donated by someone Terminator Trevor knows) but it must need another few months in Outbuilding 2, which is our log store until we work something else out. Unless the log store's damp, which it probably is... I need a hand-held moisture meter, I do.
Aaaaanyway, the log burner is in!
Let's get the legal stuff out of the way first, though - it's perfectly within UK law to fit your own log burning stove and despite people who haven't done it suggesting that you're about to kill your entire family and immediate neighbours, you're free to go ahead and chance your arm. And everyone else's.
In Scotland you don't even have to tell anyone with an official hat on, but the rest of us either have to have our efforts signed off by a HETAS-registered engineer or a Building Control bod at the local council in order to comply with Building Regulations. Apparently thousands of people don't even bother with the red tape and go ahead regardless. If it's good enough for our Scottish cousins...
|The flue liners were dropped|
back in August when the
weather was nice and warm.
Don't just take my word for it though. Everything I've just typed I got from the excellent Stovefitter's Manual website here, which you'd be daft to overlook if you're planning to install your own burner. And it's written by a real human being rather than a spotty marketing exec who hasn't got a clue.
So having decided that we were going to give it a go, Dawn and I ordered a hideously-expensive 5kw Fireline Purevision PV5W which we decided we wanted way back in 2014 when one caught our eye at Grand Designs Live. It wasn't overly-ornate, had lovely clean lines (which we eventually decided to use for the hearth and mantel, too) and, most importantly, had a huge window so we can bathe in the warming glow of the fire. Lovely. In fact the sales blurb for it uses the phrase "high-definition" which basically means you can see it and it's real.
We didn't want the stove to sit straight on the slate hearth as though something was missing, however, so we also ordered the smaller of two log store stand thingies which raises the burner by about 200mm or so, which is just enough to make it look 'right'.
At 120kg for the stove alone we enlisted Terminator Trevor to help with the man-handling, which was made easier by removing everything that could be removed - namely the door, insides, top, ash pan and even the silica gel packets because every little helps.
Together we managed to struggle it in to place and get it centralised, then on went the trimmed-down vitreous enameled connecting pipe which was sealed to the flue adapter at the top and the main stove body at the bottom with fire cement.
The door and everything else was then replaced, our Christmas present stirling engine stove-top fan was assembled and a little bit of kindling was lit, then out we went to marvel at the sight of smoke coming from the chimney for the first time, which was amazing to see and marked a big old milestone for us all.
|Fire is Man Business so Dawn had to ask|
for permission to light the first one
I've already mentioned our wood supply in the log store, and there's plenty in there to keep us going if not this year then next when it's properly dry. Yesterday Trevor and I chainsawed a couple of fir trees down in the front garden which were leaning at 45 degrees, the logs from which are now stacked around the back, and there's another load of unseasoned wood next to it which Trevor scrounged from someone else just before Christmas. I plan to build a proper wood store with some skip-dived reclaimed timber in a week or two, which should provide decent cover and airflow to get the seasoning process fully underway.
|Big chopper. Got wood. Etc.|
Luckily, living on the edge of managed woodland means that there's a bloke at a farm down the road who makes a living from chopping, seasoning and supplying firewood so I might give him a poke tomorrow to see what his prices are.
Yesterday, before I realised the problem with our own supply, he dropped a couple of massive 20"-tall chopping blocks off for the extortionate sum of £10, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that he can get us through the rest of the chilly weather without going completely bankrupt.
One block will be used for proper axe-wielding purposes while the other will play host to a Christmas present from my dear wife, a superb Kindling Cracker, which will likely keep my precious fingers attached to my incredibly useful hands.
|Our lovely new Purevision PV5W in full flow.|
As far as we can tell this is the only photograph of the small log store being used in
anger anywhere on the interwebz. Maybe I should've prettied it up a little more.
|The obligatory flaming log photo.|
The fire chamber is so big we could probably get an old settee on there if we pushed the door closed with our feet.