Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
Goodban Masonry
Goodban Masonry CCB# 180305
815 Cherry Av.
Eugene OR 97404
office (541) 505-9123
cell (541) 953-4930


Hello Jim,

I have a quick question about the throat opening of the fireplace I'm working on currently. It's a 30 inch Rumford, but the damper my retailer sold me is for a 36 inch fireplace. My retailer assures me it will work fine. I'm guessing that I should stick with the 3.5 inch opening, as opposed to a 4 inch opening. Any advice would be appreciated.

Attached are photos of the Rumford I built in 2008. It's a cultured stone veneer with a natural wood mantel. It's the only one I've built on my own. I helped build several with Tom Mains prior to his retirement. The one I'm building now will have Idaho ledgestone surround, and I will be sure to send photos when it's completed.

Thank you,
Grant Goodban

Another Shot The Chimney


Good questions. And thanks for the pictures.

The size of the throat in a Rumford is defined by the masonry throat - not the damper. The preferred one-piece 30" Rumford throat does have a throat opening of 3.5" front to back. I don't recommend the segmented throat system for a 30" Rumford because the throat segments, at 10" deep, are a little too deep to make the 3.5" throat opening in a fireplace where the firebox is only 12.5" deep.

So, assuming you have built a 30" Rumford with a one-piece throat according to the plan at http://www.rumford.com/plans/R3030.jpg you can use the larger damper. All we care is that the damper not restrict the masonry throat opening so too big is okay - too small is not.

I'm guessing that you got the cast iron damper shown at http://www.rumford.com/store/dampers.html#rci. That damper only comes in two sizes - the 36" which is also specified for the 30" Rumford and the 48" which you can also use on a 42" Rumford. I prefer the heavy steel K&W damper at http://www.rumford.com/store/dampers.html#kw which is stronger, reversible and comes in the right size for each Rumford.

Although it was probably brand new when the picture was taken and not dried out yet, I notice a little efflorescence on the firebox in the picture you sent. Be sure to use HeatStop 50, which is a hydraulic-setting refractory mortar, rather than an air setting refractory mortar. The hydraulic mortar draws moisture out of the firebrick and reduces the likelihood of efflorescence.

Again, thanks for the pictures. We'll link them to your listing at http://www.rumford.com/mason.html#or Keep in touch.

Jim Buckley

Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
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