Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
Arkansas Rumford


It has been awhile since I talked to you about the fireplace I wanted to build - thought I would let you know it is going well and we are very happy with the results at this point.

Didn't have any problems getting up to the smoke chamber but had not thought about how heavy the components were and how I was going to get them into place. Since Pat (my wife) and I are the total labor force on this project- we had to "study" a bit but were able to build a hoist system that has worked real well so far. We now have the first (of seven) of the 20" flues in place and are bringing up the wall to that level.

I have attached a few shots (we have made many as we are well documenting this entire project) to let you see where we are at this time.

We were just surprised when we weighed the first flue and found it to be a hair over 200lbs.

Our best,
Garay and Pat Holland
374 Hopewell
Bee Branch AR 72013

And, on October 18:

Jim, I've documented your project at http://www.rumford.com/Holland.html Hope that's okay with you. I don't have as good pictures of a five foot Rumford going up and I think your pictures will be helpful to others.

So, having "studied" on the 200# flues, how did you get them up? Looks like a couple of steel studs and a fence stretcher?? You must know that little tune, "Give me a lever and a place to stand".

We would be happy for you to use the photos as you were a LOT of help when we were starting to look at building our "FIRST" fireplace. One correction though -- AR stands for Arkansas - vs- Arizona and this (AOL) is the best email address to use.

As for getting the flues up (we just set the 2nd today) we purchased several sections of Universal Scaffolding to use while building the house. The are standard 5' sections. We also had two high strength 3"x6" x 16' aluminum box beams (before we got them from salvage they were railroad crossing arms). We bolted the two beams together and placed them on top of the scaffolding (now 3 sections high or 15'). We placed a chain around the beams to provide a hanger for one of our 3000 lb come-alongs. We use a heavy nylon web (with ratchet) on the flue section. Hooking the cable hook of the come-along in the web, we then hoist the flue sections up to the level needed -- then slide a scaffolding walk way into place at the level of the top flue and lower the flue onto that. Then it is just a matter of setting the new flue section up. We use thin wooden shims to hold it up until we can pack the seam with fire clay mortar.

We only set one section at a time, then we build the surounding chimney up to that level. The chimney corners are filled with rebar and mortar and the area around the flue is filled with mortar and broken concrete block material. Since the house is requiring approx. 10,000 blocks (split-flace on exterior), we have plenty of rubble to use.

We have also modified the standard installation in one other area and that is the use of a second steel lintel for the back support of the smoke chamber. We did this for two reasons: 1. When we saw the total weight we would be working with we wanted to be sure it was well supported. The second is I wanted to have access to the back of the firebox where I was running in a gas line. Therefore, the firebrick back and the backup brick do NOT support any weight other than their own. When I got up to the throat pieces I used a 6"x6" x3/8" lintel to span the 5' opening and hold the throat. Then, I built up the sides supporting the front lintel so I could set a second lintel across the back to provide a level base for the smoke chamber sections. Once the back lintel was in place I built the firebrick/backup brick up to the lintel and filled the final seam with fireclay mortar (I am mixing my own mortar using Superior Fire Clay and Type S mortar). I now have enough space between the backup brick and the back of the chimney that I can have access to the back of the firebox. This is made possible through a opening in the side wall where I spanned the opening using the same lintel material. I will attach one pic to show the back side of the smoke chamber. The blue support is the 6x6 back lintel.

If you wonder, all of the wall in the house are concrete block - it is a "high-mass" design. The exterior walls are made of 8" insulated split-face (color in) block seperated from an inside 8" block wall by 2" of polyiso insulation (total thickness of exterior wall is 18"). The exterior wall will be filled with perilite. The inside walls are also 8" block. All interior walls will be plastered. The pad is 5" thick with 3/8" rebar on 12"x12" centers. There is an infloor radiant heat cable (19 cables total) attached to the rebar.

If we can be of ANY assistance to you are anyone building a similar project - please don't hesitate to contact us.

Garay & Pat Holland
Bee Branch AR, 72013

throat close-up
smoke chamber
first 200# flue
back of smoke chamber

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