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Dumb idea department.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Dune, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I have seen custom built insert doors, complete with air controlls installed by several different welder/engineer types over the years. They all were a tremendous improvement over an open fireplace of course.

    Would it be possible to use this type of system with a liner?
    Could these things meet the new hearth codes?
    Are they just a bad joke compared to a proper insert?

    I am considering building a custom insert for my fireplace and I remembered these things.
    Thanks

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  2. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    I would think that one could build a decent door, but I think the key would be somehow circulating the air from the bottom of the insert over the top with some sort of blower. Perhaps an idea would be to build out the doors somewhat from the freplace, so you would have perhaps 4-6 Inches of material and doors that would radiate the heat into the room vs up the chimney. I really love the look of a fireplace with custom doors....would make a good project.
  3. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I don't need the radiant heat, I use a water coil.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    The "codes" part might be a real tricky one. Even if designed to perfection, the only way for it to meet codes is to get it inspected/test. Lots of dollars.

    It almost sounds like you are trying to hand build an insert??? Am I picturing this correctly?
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    No, just a face with a door and air controls but if that is a dumb idea, then yes, I am thinking of making an insert.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know that I would call it dumb. Would the face and door be airtight? If so, it will basically burn like an insert. Where you will be loosing efficiency is the firebrick itself. Unlike an insert where the heated air can be pumped into the room, you will be heating bricks inside this thing with no way to radiate out.

    Hmmm...brings up another point. If you basically seal off the original, will the bricks get hotter than designed for? Dunno the answer to that one.
  7. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I am using a hikoil, near the bottom of this page. http://www.hilkoil.com/product.htm so the loss of radiant heat isn't an issue. The existing firebox is large enough that I can install a layer of insulating firebrick behind a layer of hard firebrick and still have 3 cubic feet. The chimney is inside the house. I have been looking for an insert for a while.
  8. rwhite

    rwhite Minister of Fire

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    Heatilator made them for quite some time. They were basically a door with heat tubes and a blower that went on the front of the fireplace. My worry would be with an open flue and the amount of heat generated behind those doors you would essentially have a slammer. We all know how safe those are.
  9. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    My question is whether a liner could be used. I think so.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you could. You may have to make a nice top plate for the liner to protrude through (or attach) and seal properly, but I know you have the skilz to make that happen.
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I was thinking of replacing the damper with a piece of 1/4" steel plate an running the liner through it, then filling the chimney with vermiculite.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That could work. Maybe even consider a 6" collar above the top plate so that a proper 3 screw attachment could be made. Weld the collar to the 1/4" plate. Screw the liner to the collar - and bingo, you got as solid of an attachment as you could have.
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, that's what I meant.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    We need pics of the finished product....I'll give you 20 minutes...:cool:
  15. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Not sure if I am really going there...hoping to still find a decent insert that will fit a large hilkoil.
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Its always good to have plan B.

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