CELEBRATE THE SEASON:
by Mary Lou Healy
by Haydn S. Pearson
Killington's Seventh Heaven
First Tracks at Stratton Mountain
IN THE FARMHOUSE KITCHEN:
Savory Side Dishes
For Your Thanksgiving Feast
by Wayne Kelley
EVERYTHING WOOD HEAT:
What's Wrong with My Woodstove?
by Daryle Thomas
VERMONT BY HAND:
Painting With Wood
by Kirt Zimmer
DO IT YOURSELF CRAFTS:
Make A Gift Basket
Just in Time for the Holidays
INTO THE OUTDOORS:
Hunting: The Last Opening Day
by Mike Williams
Hunting Records and Information
Including Deer and Moose Hunting Season
by Heather Behrens
A Prickly Subject
by Heather Behrens
VERMONT WEATHERVANE BOOK NEWS:
Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges
Perfumes, Splashes & Colognes
Guide to making fragrances at home
GET OUT AND ABOUT:
Vermont Country Calendar
Statewide Calendar of Events
Blue Ribbon Events
Detailed information on selected Vermont events
EXPLORE OUR OTHER SEASONS:If you didn't pass through Rural, Vermont to get to this site you may want to make a small detour.
It's worth the trip!
We welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.
or call: 802-645-9631
RD 1, Box 680
West Pawlet, VT 05775
©1996-97 Vermont Weathervane
All rights reserved.
What's Wrong with My Woodstove?!?
by Daryle Thomas
Yep, it's that time of the year again. 'Tain't summer and 'tain't winter. On some days, it ain't even fall. But somebody, somewhere, has to burn a woodstove. And of course it isn't going to burn well, if at all. I'm not entirely sure of the process, but there seems to be a correlation between poor woodstove performance and the amount of verbal abuse I take by phone.
I hate to boast. Nah, come to think of it, I really don't mind telling you that I can make a woodstove burn in July. That is a fairly safe statement to make. Most people will forget by next July. Anyone who wishes to partake in a wager should be prepared to part with a considerable amount of small, unmarked bills. One might continue reading, and at no additional charge, the secret to burning a woodstove under adverse conditions will be revealed.
The basic concept underlying burning wood lies in the revelation that warm air rises. Related to that expose is the further information that, within reason, the warmer the air, the faster it rises! The chimney connected to a woodstove is the device that concentrates the warm air. As the heated air shoots out of the top of the chimney, a suction is created at the woodstove. Room air is pulled into the woodstove, where it whips the glowing kindling, wood chunks, and kitchen rubbish into a frenzy.
Simply put, the easier it is to heat up the interior of a chimney, the more likely the attached woodstove will burn on a warmish day.
Some people will immediately understand why a round, heavily insulated, metal chimney will allow a woodstove to burn in the early heating season. It is so easy to heat the interior of this chimney significantly higher than the outdoor temperature, that the stove can burn without spilling smoke.
Then there will always be those people who can't understand why several thousand pounds of concrete blocks, chilled by the winds of the changing seasons, will take hours, many hours, to heat up hot enough to allow reasonable woodstove performance in warmer weather.
The trick to heating up a concrete block chimney, as it rises majestically up the north side of the building, is to burn the stove HOT! So hot that lining the immediate area with cedar benches and sitting butt-naked on terry cloth isn't out of the question. Just as soon as you fail to lay yet another bone-dry, thinly split chunk of wood in that ever-consuming maw of the woodstove, the chimney will cool down, pumping clouds of thick smoke throughout the house. Makes you regret throwing away your grandmother's recipe for homemade smoked sausage.
Unless you are willing to adhere fully to the laws of Mother Nature, staying warm during the 'tain't season might be better accomplished by turning up the oil, gas, or electric heat. No matter the cost, it's got to be cheaper than painting over smoke damage!
Daryle Thomas, the warm-hearted proprietor of the Hearth & Cricket Stove Shop in East Wallingford, Vt., writes regularly for our journal on topics ranging from stalking mushrooms afield to how to avoid burning down your house.