Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005
Subject: Rumford in South India
Im writing to you from south India, Tamil Nadu. I am american living here since 30 years and I am presently in the middle of building our new house. Even though Tamil Nadu is tropical, the winter monsoons can be quite chilly and very wet and last for up to 2-3 months. I always long for a fire on those days.
The design of the house (brick and reinforced concrete) required a shallow firebox, so I got on the WWW and found your site. The dimensions of the Rumford was exactly what I was looking for. I would have ordered all the parts from you had I not been on the other side of the planet, and having worked in ceramics (I made ceramic luster tiles for many years) and have built several kilns myself, I set out to make my own parts with the materials I could get here.
I followed the dimensions of the Rumford to a T. I made the throat out of carved soft insulation bricks. I did this with rows of the bricks, carved to the appropriate curve, and in the center of each brick drilled a hole, threaded and suspended them on an iron rebar, like beads! (Im sorry I didnt think to take photos when we built it) The smoke chamber was made by stacking the bricks on an inward diagonal angle between the front and back wall.
The flue (no liner) is simply made of the same soft insulation brick stacked all the way up to the roof (its a flat concrete slab roof). We made a big slab as a cover for the chimeny, and will put a steel mesh on the openings to prevent birds and bugs from making thier nests.
The raw structure of the house is finished but we have many more months ahead before we can move in. When friends come to see it they look with pity on my shallow firebox and try to console me by saying 'Oh they dont know how to make fireplaces here'!
But I have built several fires in it already and I just wanted to tell you that it is PERFECT! The draw couldnt be better, the beatiful tall tipi fire is a joy to see...the floor and bottom (dense) firebox bricks are clean as a whistle and the top is black.. of course. Its makes me break out in a big sweat (its still quite hot here...the monsoon hasnt started yet), it radiates almost too much heat!
Thank you! I couldnt have done it without your website...which I thoroughly devoured! I'll try to send some photos when everything is finished.
Thank you for your very nice letter. I would be very interested in seeing your pictures - of your Rumford with a fire in it as well as maybe a shot up the throat to see your carved bricks.
I looked up Auroville on the http://www.auroville.org.in website. It sounds like a unique and wonderful place where Rumford fireplaces should fit in nicely.
I'm only a little disappointed that you didn't check the price of shipping our Rumford components to India. We just shipped a container of firebrick to Hong Kong and I was surprised to see that the shipping costs were less than they would have been to ship the firebrick from Ohio to California. Maybe, after your friends see how nice your Rumford works, we may sell lots of Rumfords in India. I hope so. Having spent a few months in India in 1960, I'd love an excuse to go back.
Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
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