Sunday, July 29, 2012

Installing a Woodstove in a Yurt

Yesterday turned into a longish day, dragging into today, and finally culminating with me sitting here on our bed, typing up this entry, while Donna and Kenny lay beside me, reading from the Charlie Brown's 'Cyclopedia (sic). 

Grandpa dropped by early, after hearing me pumping out the well again. He suggested that he would get a start on our wood pallet woodshed, as he had some free time. Mummu and him have been just amazingly helpful, we surely wouldn't have been able to get where we are without them!

 

Donna and Kenny joined me at the well, and when I had pumped it nearly dry, I dropped my ladder down and climbed inside. I scrubbed the walls clean of sand and mud, and then rooted around in the last few litres of water, pulling out any roots, woodchips and leaves I could get my hands on. I figure that the less organic material in there, the faster it will pass a water quality test. After stirring up all that silt and such, when I returned to the surface, I pumped the well dry again right away - that water was not pleasant looking at all. More like chocolate milk, as expected under the circumstances.

 

I loaded up the tractor trailer with skids to take to our chosen woodshed site, and to economize on trips I also hefted in the two patio stones I wanted to place under the stove as a heat reflector/thermal mass/whatever. Those stones were far heavier than I expected. They were both 24 inches by 30 inches, which I figured would be 25% heavier than a standard two by two foot stone, but instead, they felt to be about 300% heavier! In any case, I put them in the bucket, and off-loaded them at the yurts. In light of their weight, I decided to just carry them right into the yurts and place them right away. After much discussion and work with the yardstick, square, and a washer on a string as a plumb-bob, we had the tiles placed, and then the stove as well. This naturally led to me trying to place a length of stove pipe, and then surprise surprise, it didn't fit!

 

Argh! I gave the pipe extra crimping, but to no avail. Finally, I decided to measure the pipe - 6 inches, as advertised. Then I measured the stove opening. 5 1/2 inches. Wha'?

 

 
Internet research was very unhelpful in this regard. There was no "adapter" that could be found. FInally I called Thunder Bay Fireplaces and spoke with someone named Glenn. He was very helpful, understanding my problem right away, and telling me that I had to just set things up contrary to all current wisdom. Instead of having my stovepipe crimps always going into the lower section, on the stovetop I had to place the stovepipe over the output of the stove; creosote be jiggered. I cut the crimping off a piece of my pipe and it fit nice and tight over the stove outlet. This tip was invaluable and I hope that future readers of the blog find it useful. No one recommends this but if you are using an older, non-standard stove, it really is your only option.

In any case, after working my way up to the canvas of the yurt, Donna and Kenny headed off to enjoy the festivities of FinnThunder. I stayed behind to continue my work. I carefully marked out the location for the flashing and, with my heart pounding, cut a 16 inch diameter circle in both the wool felt and canvas with a utility knife.

After mounting the inner ring and fastening it to the rafter with some extra muffler clamps I had in my odds and ends pile, I migrated outside and placed the flashing in position. The cone worked and fit very nicely with some adjustment. I brought it back down to ground level, and proceeded to snip flares into it so that the larger diameter, double-wall stove pipe would fit. This took lots of finagling, but eventually I got it to slide down nicely. At this point though, it didn't look terribly pretty, so I consulted the instructions which came with the flashing, as well as consulting the Yurta manual and website again to see if I could cipher out what they had done to make things look nice. This is when I came across something called a "storm collar". Which looked to me like an extra piece of flashing that fit over the main flashing. Redundant, but coincidentally enough that was the word of the day for Kenny and I the previous day! In any case, I was off to town to grudgingly purchase a storm collar.


Canadian Tire doesn't sell them separately, only as part of a kit. Home Hardware had them, but they didn't look to be the correct size (they were, I should have purchased them and made that decision later at home). The fellow at Home Hardware suggested I check with the fireplace dealers in town but both of them were closed by the time I arrived at their locations. Argh!

So, today, it was back to town, but since Home Hardware is closed on Sundays and the forecast called for rain, to Canadian Tire thinking I would buy the kit and take the hit. When I saw that their storm collar was simply a piece of stainless flashing, cut in a "C" shape, I asked the salesman (boy?) for a marker, and traced the "C" onto a piece of flashing at a fraction of the price. I'm so golden!

I meandered back home, visiting Hammerskjold high school to check out the FinnThunder market, as well as the McIntyre Township Community Centre playground (so Kenny could show me the tire bridge).

Within moments of arriving home, Grandpa trotted over to tell us that there was a severe weather warning, high winds and rain coming!

I headed up the ladder, screwed the flashing tight to the chimney, then used a tube of high temperature silicone to seal up the gaps. As I was pulling the dome shut over my head, a gust of wind blew our dining tent over catastrophically, and Donna rushed out to zip down our canvas windows. So far, no leaks in our stovepipe! As soon as things clear I will cut out and install our storm collar, which appears to be mostly for aesthetics but will also give redundant comfort against future leaks.

 

2 comments:

  1. Where did you get your ring to go through the roof? Looks like it transitions from single wall to double wall? I would be interested to know, I am currently planning a yurt but am running into some obstacles, whether to go through the center ring, side wall or roof panel. My yurt is not traditional, the covering is made from tyvek :) Or will be, just finished working on the lattice and have the toono in progress now. I think ill also be making one of those barrel wood stoves, the insulation is a radiant barrier type, but not bubble wrap, it has a recycled denim side with a reflective side also, about 1/4, maybe little more. The ring for the stove pipe looks like what I need. I would like to run single wall up to the roof then transition to chimney, but all the collars are for 2x4 framing. Hoping to hear from you soon. I am going o take a look around at your site here, not many sites with a such a long posting history that are still active. Thanks.

    Scott

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    1. Hello Mr. Scott.
      We purchased the ring with the yurts - from yurta.ca . I believe they were having a local fellow fabricate them for them, so you could start with Patrick Ladisa there. The transition from single wall to double wall was a standard piece I bought with the stovepipe - but then didn't use any of the "bucket" or accessories that came with it. That was a bit annoying.
      Hope this helps?

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