Brian Stokes AIA
Here are some photos of today’s test fire. I have more of the fire/firebox itself but they really do not show any more than what you see here. We actually built up a fire to a point where the top of the flame was 12” to 18” above the fireplace opening. So we got it really going this time and it worked perfectly in the calm setting. When we put the fan on it and set the fan at a location to simulate a light breeze, we got the smoke to come out of the firebox.
The one labeled "Possible Smoke" kind of shows some smoke billowing out but it was hard to capture in a photo. This was taken with the test fan blowing.
I did get a picture of the smoke arrestor. The diameter of the opening is 12" to give you some scale.
Brian Stokes AIA
We will call that a successful test. Here is what I think you should do:
1) Get rid of the spark arrester screen or re-make it into a little hat on top of the pot so that the area of the screen is at least four times the cross-sectional area of the flue.
2) Get rid of the grate. Tipi fires (actually all fires) burn better right on the hearth as in the picture at http://www.rumford.com/AtlasStoneworks.html or http://www.rumford.com/Abell.html
3) Try a screen if you can borrow or make one. See the test screen at http://www.rumford.com/images/outdoorscreen.jpg made from 1"x2" lumber and 1/4" hardware cloth.
4) If your client doesn't enjoy fiddling with the fireplace jump right to installing a gas log set like the ones at http://www.rumford.com/store/gaslogs.html That worked for us in the situation at http://www.rumford.com/outdoorsmoky.html#two
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