Building Rumford fireplace Advice Needed

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bradsmith

New Member
Oct 26, 2016
4
Loc
Hi guys

I'm new on this forum. I need an advice from the experts who are familiar with building a Rumford fireplace. I'm using the plans provided by rumford.com website. But I cannot use their components so I need to cast them by myself. Since my chimney is already built I need to make a connection from the smoke chamber to the chimney and there will be a little offset by doing that. I'm wondering, what is the code for the slope that I have to make? Currently I'm at 30 degrees angle. How should I make the connection from the smoke chamber to the chimney? Should I use a flex liner flue or what? Other thing, should I make the smoke chamber by corbeling the bricks and then parging the inner surface of the chamber with refractory mortar or casting the chamber from some other material? Here is a picture for a better illustration.
 

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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,372
Fairbanks, Alaska
You know, when i lived back east and my experienced was limited to pre-epa stoves, poorly designed fireplaces and rumfords, i thought the rumfords were pretty impressive.

Now that i live up north and own a high end catalytic stove, i wouldnt seriously considr a rumford as a heating appliance.

I dont want to talk you out of it. The aesthetics are (can be) quite impressive with a decent amount of perceived heat into the room.

If you are looking for BTUs, i think a free standing stove with a liner in your existing chimney will be cheaper to install and morw efficient year after year.

If you just want the ambience in say a formal dining room, i encourage you to go looking for a paper back book, about a quarter inch thick that includes many of rumfords original drawings as illustrations.

If you can find a copy i think 50 bucks would be a good deal by the time your install is done. I want to say the smoke shelf is an integral part of the design and you are probably hosed without doing a lot moee brick removal.

Ill wander over to amazon...
 
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,372
Fairbanks, Alaska
Vrest Orton, the forgotten art of building a good fireplace.

11 bucks on amazon. Copy/paste i haven't mastered on my smartphone.

Read that before you even talk to a mason.

Couple other potentially valuable titles on page one search results, amazon/ books/ rumford fireplace.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,372
Fairbanks, Alaska
I poked around in rumford dot com a little bit. What they have done is come up with the piping to fit ordinary common firplace opening dimensions.

If you stray very far from what they are already making i would not expect their packaged solutions to work at their best.

Have you asked them direcrtly if one of their products can solve your issues?
 

bradsmith

New Member
Oct 26, 2016
4
Loc
I poked around in rumford dot com a little bit. What they have done is come up with the piping to fit ordinary common firplace opening dimensions.

If you stray very far from what they are already making i would not expect their packaged solutions to work at their best.

Have you asked them direcrtly if one of their products can solve your issues?

Hi, Poindexter. Thank you for tour help. I appreciate it. I've already got the firebricks and the stove is not an option in the interior design, like you said I'm looking more ambient not just BTUs. I contacted Jim from rumford.com, he wrote me a few mails but hasn't wrote me yet for hiving me advice on the chimney offsets and connections from the smoke chamber to the chimney. That's why I came here because I need to start the building process as soon as possible. Did you make your previous rumford by yourself? If yes, how did you cast the throat? Using a ferrocement techniques? I know the book but I'm running outof time to get it since I'm not from us. I'm in Europe and shipping could take a few weeks because is paperback. :(
 

Rearscreen

Minister of Fire
Dec 21, 2014
743
Vermont
My feeling is Poindexter is pretty much right on. The Rumford was way ahead of it's time and is still is as far as a fireplace goes. But the latest technology in woodstoves far surpasses what that fireplace can achieve, both in heat output/efficiency but also with control.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,372
Fairbanks, Alaska
I get the ambience. My dad and step mom ( since retired to florida) had a home in upstate ny built before 1775 with an adition ( including rumford fireplace) built before 1865. That thing was magnificent.

I have never built one. I am a pretty lousy mason.

I cant encourage rushing stonework.

What i remember about the rumford i have operated is it has really really good draft. I ass/u\me your chimney opening is about 5 feet, 60 inches, 1.5 meters off the floor. My swag ( scientific wild a** guess) is, without further demolition, to get a good running rumford in there your max opening is going to be 25-30 inches vertical, tops, and maybe 20 inches wide, about .5 x .5 meters.

Were i in your shoes, and as old as i am, i would want to know enough about rumford design to be able to tell just from talking to the mason if he really knew what he was talking about or just trying to get the job.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,372
Fairbanks, Alaska
Best wishes and good luck.
 

bradsmith

New Member
Oct 26, 2016
4
Loc
I'n building it by myself but since I don't have the premade rumford components I'm doing everything from scratch. But did sir Rumford had a premade components back then? Lol yes the chimbey is off the ground about 200cm probably, that's correct. The size of the firebox will be 76.2 cm (30") wide by 76.2 cm (30") tall. First I wanted 91cm by 91cm i.e. (36" by 36") but I'm limited due to my pre-existing building conditions (such as chimney, offsets etc, brick removal from the wall and increasing a big angle for the flue connection) Do you think I should use a flex liner to make the connection up to the chimney or you can't give me advice on that?
 

bradsmith

New Member
Oct 26, 2016
4
Loc
Best wishes and good luck.

I'n building it by myself but since I don't have the premade rumford components I'm doing everything from scratch. But did sir Rumford had a premade components back then? Lol yes the chimbey is off the ground about 200cm probably, that's correct. The size of the firebox will be 76.2 cm (30") wide by 76.2 cm (30") tall. First I wanted 91cm by 91cm i.e. (36" by 36") but I'm limited due to my pre-existing building conditions (such as chimney, offsets etc, brick removal from the wall and increasing a big angle for the flue connection) Do you think I should use a flex liner to make the connection up to the chimney or you can't give me advice on that?
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,372
Fairbanks, Alaska
I'n building it by myself but since I don't have the premade rumford components I'm doing everything from scratch. But did sir Rumford had a premade components back then? Lol yes the chimbey is off the ground about 200cm probably, that's correct. The size of the firebox will be 76.2 cm (30") wide by 76.2 cm (30") tall. First I wanted 91cm by 91cm i.e. (36" by 36") but I'm limited due to my pre-existing building conditions (such as chimney, offsets etc, brick removal from the wall and increasing a big angle for the flue connection) Do you think I should use a flex liner to make the connection up to the chimney or you can't give me advice on that?
I can't give you informed reasonable advice on that.
 
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