Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Marc

Smallest wood burning flue ever?

Recommended Posts

Click to Enlarge
tn_201152102150_026.jpg

68.01 KB

This is a turn of the century, raised floor house with a gadzillion additions on it. A rectangular area situated between two adjacent ceiling joists in the original attic is filled with mortar and has what seems to be a terra cotta vertical pipe running thru it's center, about 6" in diameter or so. The pipe/mortar stops at the bottom of the joists and is concealed by the ceiling finish. The mortar also stops at the top of the joists but the pipe protrudes about a foot or so. The top of the pipe is unbroken and seems originally terminated at that point. Imprints on some pieces of mortar debris lying around and curious framing tells me that brickwork likely ran all the way from the top of the joists thru the roof deck.

I've seen anything like it in 8 years. The oldest houses in this area often have small chimneys but they always had uninterrupted brickwork from earth to above the roof and none had a 6" pipe within them that I could discern.

This house has been moved from it's original location and was originally built by people with little means (economy construction).

Does that 6" pipe preclude any application as a wood burning flue because of it's small size?

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recall 6" stove pipes being the standard size for wood heaters and cook stoves. For something like a potbelly stove, no problem.

Nevertheless, that relic you found should now be replaced. If there is to be a wood heater in that house, it should have a certifiable chimney installed.

At least in my area, it would be impossible to get fire insurance with that thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen more than one partial chimney column concealed above a ceiling and continuing thru the roof plane. They loom above, sometimes bulging the ceiling.

My grandmother had a little Franklin stove in her kitchen with a little flue pipe. Even though she cooked with gas the Franklin was kept lit for heat and for cheer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would it be correct to say that the original appliance could have been a wood burning stove but could not have been an open fireplace?

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say it could not have been a small Franklin fireplace. Most likely a stove with a door, or, in the 50's, could have been an oil-burning space heater?

I found a poor quality pic of a Franklin stove that an old guy had in his shop, but that looks like an 8" pipe. I believe there was a smaller model than this one. As Bill mentioned, the coal burners also used a small pipe. Some had mica windows in the doors, and you could burn wood if you cut it up small. If you got a hot fire going, you could run them with the doors open, so That would be a kind of a fireplace, wouldn't it.

Marc, I'm surprised you don't know this stuff. Thought you were an old-timer. [:)]

Click to Enlarge
tn_20115220236_franklin.jpg

71.55 KB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought - If it's really a turn of the century house, I wonder if what you're seeing there is an old relining job. In other words, the original chimney flue was the inner surface of the brick chimney - no flue liner - just like you're used to seeing.

What has me wondering, is that slurry around the flue. We never used anything that wet when we built chimneys, because it was important to leave terra cotta liners some wiggle room for expansion and contraction or they'd crack - big ones anyway. The same holds true for dampers. You can't mud them in tight or they'll warp and crack. You kept the brick and mortar back slightly from the damper surfaces, except the flat ones, which would slide in and out of the mortar bed joint.

We used to line chimneys years ago with a nifty little tool we'd make of wood out in the field. It had a vertical 2 x 6 as long as the liner, with an eye hook in the top of it. Then we'd put 2 x 6s out from that one just short of the width of whatever flue we were dropping down the chimney - two at the bottom and one up from that. The forth one would be hinged and slightly too long so once you dropped the whole affair into the flue, the long piece would wedge into the flue and you could pick the whole flue up and drop it on down the chimney. When you had the flue in place, we'd pull on a masons line that was attached to a small eye hook on the leg that was too long, which released the flue. The thing worked every time and the harder you shook it, the more wedged in it became (detail below) [:-graduat

Click to Enlarge
tn_2011522373_DSCN6568.jpg

26.72 KB

Then, sweeps came up with the inflatable bladders they'd pour around or the bullets they'd pull up through partially set grout (Golden Flue), which put masons out of the relining business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say it could not have been a small Franklin fireplace. Most likely a stove with a door, or, in the 50's, could have been an oil-burning space heater?

I found a poor quality pic of a Franklin stove that an old guy had in his shop, but that looks like an 8" pipe. I believe there was a smaller model than this one. As Bill mentioned, the coal burners also used a small pipe. Some had mica windows in the doors, and you could burn wood if you cut it up small. If you got a hot fire going, you could run them with the doors open, so That would be a kind of a fireplace, wouldn't it.

Marc, I'm surprised you don't know this stuff. Thought you were an old-timer. [:)]

Click to Enlarge
tn_20115220236_franklin.jpg

71.55 KB

I guess I am an old timer but see...no oil burners or coal burners here in south Louisiana, never was, all the way back to the first exiled settlers from Acadia. Everything used wood or natural gas. Never seen a coal burner before and the only kerosene burner I've ever seen was in a 59' model mobile home that I bought when I was a teenager and was manufactured in the 'far north'.

With the benefit of this thread, I'm estimating now that this house had a wood burning stove or heater, not an open fireplace. Nobody used Franklins either, to my knowledge.

I'm only 14 miles from the waters of Vermilian Bay fellas (as the crow flies), which opens to the Gulf.

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya know, that's right. I read that someplace.

Very little, or no, coal in the bayou and delta regions. Coal was a northern thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Very little, or no, coal in the bayou and delta regions. Coal was a northern thing.

There was coal-fired steam power all around down there. There were coal stoves for cooking too.

I had a cast-iron coal stove that came off a canal boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coal was common in the South as well. It was shipped down the Mississippi river all the way to N.O.

When I lived in Mississippi I found old coal burners in many of the older homes. If you find an old shallow fireplace in a bedroom of an old home it most likely had an old coal burner in it.

All of the boilers in the various manufacturing plants used coal. Birmingham, Alabama (Birmingham Steel) was a huge user of coal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My grandma's "Franklin" was a little wood fired cookstove with two lift-off "eyes" on top. The wood she fed it with was short and small. Whole unit way smaller than the old stove pic posted.

Coal was common fuel around here in the Piedmont too. One local company that was here for many many years was called "Crawford Coal and Matress", which specialized in canvas awning manufacture and installation as well. As late as 1980 they brought me coal to burn in an old upright coal heater I used when I lived in a "dumpette" during my days as a "struggling youth".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the old coal fireplaces around here have been change to gas logs.

I have seen coal shoots where the coal was sent down to the basement for the boiler in older homes in my area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coal has its definiite advantages. When I lived in the mountains in that log cabiin, all cooking was done with a Coppercad cook stove - Summer and Winter. As plentiful as wood was, that stove had a firebox the size of a shoebox, which. Meant you had to split the wood down to kindling and the stove really burned through it fast. I finally got tired of that and put in the coal grate. Coal was cheap and lasted probably five times longer. It was great.

The Shelby Foote Civil War Trilogy I'm listening to calls to my attention that most boats and trains were driven by steam, and even when idle, they had to keep a head of steam to be ready to move out. It seems they'd burn whatt was available, but coal was preferred.

I imagine there was a time that coal was available pretty much everywhere. Lots of coal shoots here in Richmond.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be from an old water heater? My mother told me a story of when she was pregnant her mother in law paid a whopping $15.00 to have the old coal fired water heater replaced with a "clean" gas model to keep coal dust off my older brother when he was born. Have any of you come across any of these? I've never seen one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...