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New Member, from The only Henniker on Earth
- Actionfigure was last seen:
- Mar 25, 2012
SignatureHome and labratory: two Rumfords and a VC Defiant in the basement.
Torturing Steel until my Rumford makes tall beautiful flames
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- The only Henniker on Earth
In January 2002 we moved into our new custom house in Central NH and could not wait to invite our family and friends over to sit around the new fireplace, the focal point of our large gathering room. I went to the big box store and bought a large and somewhat tapered fireplace grate. When I brought it home, I had to take a sledge hammer to it in order to make the back legs narrow enough to fit to the rear of my Rumford fireplace. Unless the fire was really blazing, the house would fill with smoke and set off the detectors which made for an awkward pause while meeting new neighbors and friends. The new house was so airtight that it was necessary to provide a fresh air source to the hearth which stopped the smoke problems.
- Investment Advisor/Welder
Over the years many of my guests have complimented on the look of my â€œRumfordâ€ fireplace. One evening last year during a social gathering, I expressed my disappointment in the constant attention my â€œflatâ€ fire needed and blamed the quality of my recently purchased wood. A knowledgeable friend gave me a brief history on the Rumford design. He mentioned that given the square opening and shallow depth, it would work best if the wood was set in the firebox on end. I gave it a try and the fireplace seemed to â€œwake upâ€. The taller flames created more radiant heat and the fire required less stoking as long as log placement was strategic.
The grate that I was using left two large gaps on each side and the design made the logs want to lie flat so it was a balancing act to achieve the efficiency and beauty of vertically stacked fire. I searched the internet for a solution but only found a couple of clunky looking grates that were not close to the shape of my fire box. I searched the public patent database and although I identified a couple of viable solutions, they were far from attractive. I discovered a few helpful websites related to Rumfords and it was even suggested that you do not need to use a grate. I tried it and although it did work, subsequent fires required the removal of ashes and there was concern that a log could fall forward and push my free standing flat spark screen over.
I told an engineer friend about my challenge and since he owns a full machine shop, he suggested that I take some measurements, make some drawings and buy some steel. The testing of the first prototype we built worked extremely well and validated the proof of concept. The ladder on the rear of the grate has outward facing rods centered up to keep the logs standing up straight. The lateral pieces on the front of the grate are welded to the top inside to hold the bottom of logs firmly in place and lean them to the rear. The grate uses 95% of the fire box foot print and the rounded front shapes the log stack into a cone. The result was a beautiful upright fire that creates much more radiant heat, was easy to start, and is self feeding which means that as the fire burns it creates a natural place for new logs without stoking.
My wood burning Rumford fireplace is now performing the way it was designed to with all of the beauty of a tall fire. Please take the time to watch my videos so you can see for yourself the design elements that makes this device a must have for your Rumford fireplace. Winter is too long for boring fires that require constant attention.
Stephen D. Robbins
Aviation, Skiing, Boating