Old-Time Fireplace

I got a bee in my bonnet (this is typical, of course) and decided to take the fireplace cover off to tighten things, fix things, clean it real good and then put it back on. I had a lot of help from ex #1 and the Nanny in the process and I’m thankful. Just knowing we’ve done our part to get it working in tip-top shape is a joy.

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This is me climbing into the fireplace to unscrew one of the four that hold it in place.

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All gone. It’s off and ready to be cleaned.

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This is the side that faces the fire. Ewwwwww.

The boys had a great time playing with the (mostly) cleaned out and empty fireplace.

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“You can totally see the sky from here, mom!” They had a lot of fun, even if they did get a bit black while doing it.

Of course, it was at this point that I got a brilliant idea! A huge light bulb of inspiration, if you will.

Why put the cover back on? Covers weren’t always around. At one point, people would not have a cover. In fact, they would have a fire screen in front to protect from sparks and that was it.

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I want to put a bar across and have it so I can cook over an open fire in my own home. I’m quite sure I can cook some stuff in a Dutch Oven this way. I wonder if I can get someone to install a bar for me…

… and, of course, I need a screen to protect from sparks.

Wouldn’t it just “fit’ in with the entire 1950s theme to have an open fire that I cook on, even if randomly?

I’m still working out the logistics for this one. If you’ve any ideas, please share them!

Until we work out the details, we did put the cover back on. I’d rather not burn up  my babies just yet.

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Categories: 1950s, Breakfast, Dinner, Family, House/Yard Changes, Lunch | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Old-Time Fireplace

  1. Pamela

    I would recommend that you leave the cover in place. It does more than protect from sparks. It also adds beauty and prevents outdrafts. An outdraft is when the fire pulls sir from your room and drafts it up the chimney. There goes your heat!

    Old houses were drafty and chilly because of this. When I had a house with a fireplace, I only had a screen and once I put in a cover and firebox, it really warmed up the house! That cover also allows you to control the amount of air reaching the fire, enabling you to bank the fire overnight, giving you plenty of heat without stoking or stirring and enough embers in the morning to bring the fire up to it’s usual size quickly and easily; something to be thankful for early in the morning!

    Love

    Pam

  2. Hello, Pam! Nice to see you again!

    I can’t say the original provides “beauty” as it is quite old and some parts are broken. If I had funds to get a “pretty” one, that might be a nice idea.

    I’m a little confused how having the cover allows more heat. Please give more information, if you would.

    As for “banking” a fire. Could you teach me how via text? I’ve always had my fires completely burn out by morning, no matter how hot the fire the night before and how many “coals” I’ve had.

    Thank you very much,

    Naia!

  3. Pamela

    Start with a good thick bed of ash, and a hot fire. Add logs to the fire. Once they are burning, push them together tightly to restrict airflow. Use a shovel to loosely cover the logs in ash. Next morning, rap the logs to loosen ash, pull logs apart from each other, add kindling, and coals that you “banked” should flame up.

    The idea is to restrict the airflow, not smother it. It takes a little experimenting to get it right. Your screen should have a vent at the bottom. Close the doors and open the vent. Use the ash and logs to fine-tune the airflow. The less air you allow, the lower the fire will burn. About half the normal air should do the trick.

  4. Pamela

    Here is a good website to learn more about wood heat and fireplaces.

    http://www.woodheat.org/index.php

  5. Thank you, Pam. Ex #1 (Mark) has said he’d help me test this out tonight. We’ll see and let ya know!

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