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Chimney is cleared for arrival

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by snowleopard, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    After noticing lazy fires the last few days, I got going on the stove maintenance project I had planned for the holiday vacation. Let the fire die out this morning, and tried to remove the baffle in the stove. In the process of removing the hated cotter pins, I cracked the baffle. Drats. Drove into town, picked up a baffle (they come with twist wires now, not cotter pins--bless the fine mind that figured that one out), an ash vac, a wire brush and threaded rods.

    It took a couple of hours to complete the job, as that telescoping double-wall pipe doesn't exactly telescope--more like a wrestling match--and the wire brush does not like sliding past the double-wall-telescope--but got the job done. When the brush was almost at the top of the chimney, the bag I had around the bottom suddenly whooshed up into the chimney, and then a clot of stuff landed in the bag. I must have knocked a quart of particulate out. After I got the brush out and the bag off, I had a stiff breeze blowing up the chimney. Got it put back together, and a fire started. Feeling thrashed, but accomplished. Flames are a lot perkier now, and the house should be warming up soon. That was a wake-up call. I know I shouldn't have put it off this long, but I lacked the tools and the experience, and had kind of dreaded the process.

    If anyone is considering whether or not to buy an ash vac, I picked this one up at Lowes for $80 (missed the sale last week, darn it), and I am tickled with the purchase. I think it was well worth it, and would do it again. It sure made the chimney sweeping job easier, even with the bottom bagged off. I will say that I wished I'd sprung for the stove cleaner that uses the drill motor--I found this to be pretty tough going, having to bend and push the rods up the chimney.

    My timing was impeccable--not only was the stove store closing early, to be shut for the next three days, but the thermometer dropped 20 degrees this evening, and word has it that it's headed lower--highs of 15 to 25 below for Christmas. Good to have all that behind me.

    Got the driveway plowed today as well--always best to do that while it's warm, as once the temp drops, that sets up solid as cement.

    My not-so-humble accomplishments for the day.

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  2. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds great. 15 to 25 below???? I'd have a giant wood pile in front of the stove so I would never have to be out in that for a minute.
  3. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Hey Firecracker,

    There's two kinds of -25. There's -25 on the way down, which is dang cold. There's -25 on the way back up, which elicits comments like, "Wow, it's warming up." Which even I get how warped that sounds. But if you live in Chicago, you already know cold. That wind of the lake doesn't blow around you, it blows right through. Bitter! Where do you find firewood in the city?

    I keep about a 3-5 day rack of wood inside, not so we never have to go outside, but so that the wood has a chance to thaw out and dry off any surface moisture. Putting a chunk of wood that's -40F on a blazing fire is kind of counter-productive.

    I've been getting a kick out of your avatar photo. I know it's your house because of the Heritage, but the picture looks like a dollhouse. Very cutesy place.
  4. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Amazing what one can get done, isn't it Snow ? :)

    "Different Kind Of Fine" totally applies !
  5. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    You are kind. However I have to admit that I would have had our more experienced hands around here ROFL. I felt and probably looked like a wimp! Next time should go easier. Dang.

    Actually, next time will probably be in June, w/DS standing on the roof. He made the offer, but I told him no way was he going up there now with a foot of snow on the roof, and a two-story fall on that side of the house, and daylight fading. DS just got home from college for a whirlwind trip (leaves on Jan 1), so the two of them went off shopping while I did this project. It's a good thing when your kids are each other's best friend.

    I'm thinking I'll wrap up the ash vac and the brush and rods and regift the kids with them . . .
  6. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    *laughing*

    The Dixette is getting a shiney new ash can :p
  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Ha!

    Bought DS a collapsible snow shovel with an ice scraper attached for a present. Unfortunately, he found it out in my car and asked if he could have it before I had a chance to wrap it for him!

    DD was dating a young man last year in college, and went to his house to visit the family a few times. She told me his mother was very gracious while managing to convey the message that she did not particularly approve of her son's girlfriend from the wildwoods. DD told me that her toilet paper matched the hand-towels and soap in the bathroom (whereas around here, we say `I love you' by putting another roll in reach if we use up the last one, and it is always white).

    As the two were leaving on their shopping trip, and I had my arm up the stovepipe, I said to her, "I wonder what ____'s mom is doing right now?" And she said, "Nothing anywhere near as cool . . . " Sometimes they make you proud.
  8. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    If all she has to do is coordinate her toilet paper, she's got WAYYYY too much time on her hands.
    I bet she's never had her arm up a dirty stovepipe. Wait, that sounds........ uh, wrong.
    Good on 'ya for taking the bull by the horns and gittin' it done.
  9. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Coordinating toilet paper is for sissies, Snow :)
  10. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Thank you, Papa and Dix for putting that in perspective, and for the atta girl~ makes me proud!
  11. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I always have toilet paper in the bathrooms, and it's always white. Hand towels are frequently present, but color-wise can get a bit sketchy. In any case, they're never white. Soap is invariably in a refillable Safeway hand soap pump thingy plastic bottle on the counter by the sink...sometimes the soap is yellow, sometimes some other color (with a little residual yellow mixed in). I've been thinking maybe it's time I brought in a professional bathroom color coordination and design consultant to help me out of this morass of bad taste and discoordination I've sunk into. But then again...perhaps not. %-P
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    What ever works, Rick :)

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