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What is your fireback?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by spot, Jun 27, 2006.

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  1. spot

    spot New Member

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    I am looking for ideas on what to use as a fireback.

    This will be in a traditional open-front woodburning fireplace.
    I have looked into "real" cast-iron firebacks from many retailers and found them to be rather expensive.
    I don't like the look of the newfangled stainless-steel firebacks. Although they are cheaper...it looks like someone just stuck a cookie sheet in there.

    What do you use? How well does it work? Do people comment on how clever it is to use "that" as a fireback?

    Any and all ideas are appreciated.

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  2. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Is the fireplace for heating or atmosphere?
  3. spot

    spot New Member

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    I would say 80% atmosphere, 20% heat.

    Majestic Vermont Castings BC36

    I installed it myself last fall and it looks like it was originally part of our 1920 home. I followed the instructions exactly and it turned out great! The city had to approve my plans before starting and inspect my work after installation. By far the most difficult part was cutting a hole in my recently re-shingled pristine watertight roof to run the chimney. I have never re-checked and re-measured something so many times in my life.

    I would like to say I installed it to save money on my heating bill, but I don't. It really doesn't put out much heat and I don't think fireplaces generally do. It has the grilles along the bottom and the top to circulate air behind the firebox, someday I will install a little fan in there to help move the air. Maybe that will put out more heat.

    I just love the whole process of cutting, splitting, hauling and stacking wood in neat piles to cure. I make my own firestarters out of sawdust and wax. I even like to clean out the ashes to sprinkle on the garden. I love the sound and smell of a burning fire. I like getting a fire going, poking at it while it is going, and getting it re-going after it has died down a little. Starting and tending a fire is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Though I am still a rookie - I think I have gotten pretty good at it.

    (but I digress)

    I would like a fireback to help a little with the radiant heat, to add a decorative touch, and to protect the rear precast brick panel.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Oooooh, welcome to hearth.com, spot. Sounds like you're our kind of wood burner. There's a pretty strong contingent of firewood cutting fanatics here, and you're displaying all the right symptoms.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Somebody open a window. That endorphin smell is getting intense in here.
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Soon he'll be talking about stacking techniques, the technology of keeping wood dry, and when he says "I've got big piles", we'll all know he ain't going off to CVS for Preparation-H, but more likely he's admiring the piles as he drinks his coffee in the morning.
  7. probeass

    probeass New Member

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    I was recently persuaded by a friend to purchase a cast iron fireback for the brick fireplace I'd recently renovated. I was a little sceptical about the benefits but after having a few good blazes I can't recommend them more. They definitely radiate and hold the heat. I went for quite and ornate one as my home is a tudor cottage. They not only work well but also look pretty damn cool too. I bought mine from The Fireback Company in the UK http://thefirebackcompany.co.uk/fireback/up-to-18-inch/louis-xv-mini-fireback , mainly because they were the cheapest for this reproduction model.
  8. Chuck999

    Chuck999 New Member

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    If you would like to increase the atmosphere of your open-front fireplace even more, use an antique fireback. You can source them from http://www.firebacks.net that have more than 500 antique firebacks in stock that can be ordered on line.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Wow, this thread appears to resurrect every 4 years.
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