Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
Laurie's Tall Rumford
4/25/13

4/25/13

Hi Jeannie,

At long last....another fire on a very early chilly morning. Looking forward to the coming Winter! I love my Rumford!

Many thanks to you and Jim for your guidance and excellent customer service.

Sincerely,
Laurie Eppard

Hi Laurie,

Thank you so much for the beautiful picture. Looks like your mason did a good job. Boy, that looks so warm and inviting I could crawl in the picture. Would you allow us to put this picture in the picture gallery?

Best,
Jeannie

5/16/12

I am going to have a 36" Rumford fireplace built, but would like it to be 42" tall rather than the standard 36" height. How should this be accomplished?

Eppard Laurie

Laurie,

Build a narrow 42" Rumford rather than a tall 36" Rumford. See "Tall Fireplaces" at http://www.rumford.com/tall.html

Thank you Jim. I appreciate your getting back to me on this. I'm excited about the Rumford -- how functional it is and it's history. I was in a dilemma trying to figure out what direction to go for a fireplace. I met your sister, Constance, at Home Depot looking at appliances. She sold me on the "Rumford"!


7/9/12

Dear Jim,

I am building a home with a 36" x 42" Rumford Fireplace. My understanding is that this should be built as a 42" Rumford with a 36" wide opening. That was the information I passed on to the contractor. I am concerned that this is not what is happening, but before I contact the contractor, I need to know for sure. These are the pictures that I've taken so far. My guess is that the chimney is being built this morning. Time is of the essence, if, in fact this needs to be changed.

The numbers stamped on the smoke chamber are 13x13A. The flue liners measure 13" x 13"x 23 3/4". The damper measures 22 1/4" x 6" with the opening 20 3/8". The floor of the firebox measures 14 3/4" deep, the back wall is 13" wide and the two angled side walls are 18 1/2".

I would appreciate it if you could let me know if this fireplace is being built properly with the 42" components and if not, what the options are.

Thank you in advance,
Laurie Eppard


(click on picture for larger version)

7/9/12

Laurie,

You are correct. Our advice on tall Rumford openings is on line at http://www.rumford.com/tall.html Your mason should be using the components for a 42" Rumford and building the firebox only 36" wide.

I have to leave for a meeting but let's talk further about what you should/can do ...

1) Have them rebuild it
2) Lower the opening by raising the hearth
3) Hope that it works and do the above or play with positive indoor air pressure later.
4) Don't pay for it until it works to your satisfaction.

Best,
Jim

7/9/12

Jim,

I appreciate your response. I would also really appreciate it if you can call me as soon as you have the opportunity -- hopefully today. I have a feeling the fireplace with chimney is completely built by now and do not want to go to the general contractor (who also happens to be a brick mason and he and his partner built the fireplace) until I have my ducks in a row. I have already been to the advice on your website and printed it out. I would like to speak with you briefly before contacting the contractor. I would like the fireplace to be rebuilt properly. We are on the same time. I will be home until 5:15p and then back by 6:45p.

Thank you.
Laurie

7/10/12

Jim,

Thank you so much for your help yesterday.

After speaking with you, I met in person with the general contractor, Fred Sang of Cinnamon Hills Custom Homes in Patagonia. He and his partner Gary also built the fireplace.

Fred acknowledged that I had given him the fireplace specs -- to be built as a 42" Rumford with a 36" opening. He said that when he spoke with whomever? at Phoenix Brick? in Tucson, he was told that the 42" components would be too large and that the components for the 36" fireplace would work fine. I thought you should know that people may not be disseminating proper information.

Adding an interior 6" hearth is not an option I can live with. Fred wants to grind the 1/4" off the back and front of the throat and then build a fire and see if it draws. I agreed that if he can make the fireplace work properly, that I will accept it. If not, it will need to be dismantled and rebuilt to specifications.

Fred also stated that he refuses to use the refractory mortar and that he has used regular mortar for 30 years without a problem. I am letting that go. If the fireplace has to be rebuilt, I'll address that issue as I may insist upon the refractory mortar. I did give him printouts of all the information you took me through on line.

I encouraged Fred to call you if needed.

Again, thank you Jim. I'm hoping that Fred can get the fireplace to draw properly.

Sincerely,
Laurie

7/10/12

Laurie, Sounds like a reasonable plan. Good job. I will follow up with Phoenix Brick and, of course, I will be happy to talk with Fred if he wants to talk with me.

PS. When they grind out the throat the damper frame will still restrict the throat opening so you will have to get a larger damper or a chimney-top damper. I recommend that you remove the damper (take it back for a refund) and install a chimney-top damper like The Top Damper at http://www.rumford.com/store/damperstop.html

Best,
Jim Buckley

7/10/12

Clinton or Richard,

I forward this email from one of your customers to point out that extra tall Rumfords need to be thought of as "narrow big fireplaces" rather than "tall small fireplaces". See our page on tall Rumfords at http://www.rumford.com/tall.html

In this case I think they have a workable plan to grind the throat out a little but they should have used a 42" throat and a 16"x16 or 13"x18" smoke chamber and flue system to insure draft and to comply with code. Of course the narrow 36" wide firebox will not fit the 42" throat toward the front but that mismatch is easy to fill with mortar and is out of sight above the opening.

Hope things are going well for you.

Warm regards,
Jim Buckley

4/25/13

Laurie,

I meant to ask you, may we put your Rumford picture and a summary of the saga on line?

Best,
Jim Buckley

4/25/13

Good afternoon Jim,

You are welcome to include my Rumford photo and story on line. If you need any add'l information, let me know.

Fred Sang, the general contractor of Cinnamon Hills Custom Homes and former brick mason, removed the 36" damper and installed the Chimney Top Damper. He also ground the throat out as much as possible.

Although the fireplace drafted when the first fire was built, smoke also came into the living room (even with the window opened a crack). Fred said this was because the damper was set for the prevailing wind direction and on this particular day the wind was blowing every which way. My house smelled like burnt firewood for 3 days after.

I built the second fire which was the photo I sent you. This fire was wonderful. It was built larger than the first fire in the very early morning when there was little or no wind blowing. The fireplace drafted well and no smoke entered the living room. I sat down with a cup of tea and enjoyed the fire and its warmth.

I'm assuming that the fireplace will continue to draft properly in the future.

I have given some thought as to whether or not I would recommend Fred and Gary to build another Rumford. This is a tough call. My fireplace was to be 42" high -- it's 43 1/2" high. The back wall should have been 2" wider -- this is a significant deviation. Furthermore, the quality of the firebox was mediocre -- I would have expected the joints to have been more uniform where the sides met the back and to have been cleaned better. I realize that this is not at all noticeable once the screen is in front of the fireplace and the black from the fire covers the surface of the firebrick. Most homeowners would not have a problem with this. I am more particular than many home builders. If the client provided all of the exact dimensions and components so that nothing would be left to chance and specified the quality of work they expected in advance, I think Fred and Gary would build a fine Rumford.

If you would like to discuss this further, I'm home this afternoon and then will be available next week.

I'm enclosing the photo below as an FYI. I had wanted gray firebrick -- red was installed. I purchased your firebrick stain and mixed a tiny bit of "#1 - jet black" into the "#8 - creamer". About 4 coats were applied to the firebrick. It turned out great. One interesting thing is that the color of the stain turned lighter in the areas where the fire burned hottest. This is not a problem to me -- I just thought you'd like to have the information.

Thank you again Jim for your help with my Rumford. I love it and am looking forward to next Winter!

Best,
Laurie

Laurie,

Thank you, thank you. I put your pictures and most of the story on line at http://www.rumford.com/Eppard.html

I don't think I will promote Fred just yet but I may call him or talk to our dealer about him.

Don't "put up" with the fireplace if it's temperamental. There are non wind-directional top dampers and ventilation fixes if necessary.

Warm regards,
Jim Buckley

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