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View Full Version : Hearth - Who Has One?



Reshki
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010, 09:02 PM
OK, we refer to the hearth and such, but who here has a traditional hearth -- i.e. a brick lined fireplace, either in the wall or in the center of the home, designed not just to heat, but used as a primary cooking place?

My house is in severe need of being renovated, and I was thinking of making it more of a traditional longhouse with a central hearth in it, and wondered what those who may have one think of it.

Hersir
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010, 09:28 PM
I rent a house with some friends, we have two fireplaces. One of them can be used for cooking.
On the farm where my mother grew up we can use all the fireplaces for cooking, and often do.

Schaferhund
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010, 09:28 PM
We have an old Buck brand wood burning stove. You could heat water/cook on it if you chose to, but we don't. It works very well. We also have a thermo fan that runs off of the rising heat.....so if the electricity cuts out, we still have heat being circulated.


There are other energy efficient wood burning stoves out there to look at. I saw some at the state fair this year which were much better than the old one we have. I would suggest you get one that is wood burning simply due to survival logistics.

I would point out that fire-places typically are very unefficient. A lot of wasted heat going up the chimney.

Greg
Monday, October 4th, 2010, 08:05 PM
Just to qualify my opinion, I don't have a hearth or even a home of my own.

However seeing that you are from Florida I assume that you wouldn't be using a hearth as a heat source for your home. I think though in an effort to create a living space that reflected (not imitated) the architecture of your ancestry, that would be a very cool and (again assuming your heathen a) ritually functional addition.

As I stated initially, I don't currently own a home but would like to in the future pick up a property that reflects the architecture of my ancestors. I feel like living in a space that brought in architectural elements of my ancestors would create an environment where I would feel even more of a connection to them.

Just my opinion, good luck on the renovation.

- Greg

Reshki
Thursday, October 7th, 2010, 05:38 PM
The hearth would be used for heat in the winter (it does get into the 20s Farenheit here during winter), and cooking when it's cool.

But otherwise, yes, it'd mostly be for a focal point of the house, truly the heart of the home, so to speak. And it'd be a traditional stone fire pit type, not a woodstove, as you point out, I am in FL, and being super efficient with heat LOSS is usually more important than retaining heat.

Luckily, my house is an old "Florida home" -- rectangular in construction, vented roof, and high ceilings -- to promote breezes through rising heat convection. So it's really already the shape of a longhouse, it's just a matter of redoing the roof to be self-supporting (to remove most of the intervening walls and make it more open) -- I need to redo the roof anyway. And then making the outside LOOK more like a longhouse.

Beauty of it is, with modern technology , and done right, I can make it look like it's from the 12th century, will all the modern convienences of electricity and A/C without it showing much.

I figure if I have it mostly open with my bedroom/study at one end, and kitchen and bathrooms at the other, the main part will look like an old mead hall, the bedroom can be rustic, and witht he walls of the bedroom/study on one end and kitchen/bathroom on the other, it'll be easier to make the roof of the central chamber self-supporting and open.

Greg
Thursday, October 7th, 2010, 07:42 PM
Wow! I had no idea that it dropped into the 20's down there. I was thinking more like the mid to upper 40's. Who knew.

I think the rustic look would be really cool. Please post pictures as you go through the process, It would be neat to see the transformation of the space.

What kind of a time frame were you thinking for the project. I myself, would probably end up doing it slowly for the simple reason that I don't have too much of a disposable income.

- Greg

SpearBrave
Thursday, October 7th, 2010, 11:37 PM
I live in a very old house, it had several fireplaces. It is too bad they were all covered over in past years. It is however one of my goals to restore them and have them working. There was one in the kitchen, that will be the first one to get restored.

Reshki
Friday, October 8th, 2010, 04:25 PM
Wow! I had no idea that it dropped into the 20's down there. I was thinking more like the mid to upper 40's. Who knew.

I think the rustic look would be really cool. Please post pictures as you go through the process, It would be neat to see the transformation of the space.

What kind of a time frame were you thinking for the project. I myself, would probably end up doing it slowly for the simple reason that I don't have too much of a disposable income.

- Greg

South FL is like that, I live in the more northern reaches.

I'll be doing it slowly, very slowly, due to lack of funds, and the fact that I'm going to renovate it inside to outside. If I'm renovating, I don't need permits, if I'm building, I do. ;)

Greg
Friday, October 8th, 2010, 07:28 PM
South FL is like that, I live in the more northern reaches.

I'll be doing it slowly, very slowly, due to lack of funds, and the fact that I'm going to renovate it inside to outside. If I'm renovating, I don't need permits, if I'm building, I do. ;)

Way to go keeping the Gov. out of your pocket!

If ever I get the opportunity to fix up a place, I'll have to see if I can find a loophole.

Schaferhund
Friday, October 8th, 2010, 10:33 PM
If a person wants a nicer looking fireplace for the purpose of asthetics, then a fireplace is the way to go.


If a person is more interested in staying warm, an efficient wood burning stove is best. If the electricity goes down, this is REALLY the way to go! Particularly when used in conjunction with a thermal fan.


Personally, I prefer the utility of a wood burning stove. Keeping my family warm is more improtant to me; especially when the wind chill brings the temperature down to -20 degrees F.

Neophyte
Friday, October 8th, 2010, 10:46 PM
An open fireplace is awesome to have. We had one where I grew up and I really miss that.

I really like the idea of a round or square hearth open on all sides in the middle, with a funnel shaped chimney coming down from the ceiling I imagine. Just imagine to out some benches or, better yet, easy chairs around that. :)

Zogbot
Friday, October 8th, 2010, 10:53 PM
An open fireplace is awesome to have. We had one where I grew up and I really miss that.

I really like the idea of a round or square hearth open on all sides in the middle, with a funnel shaped chimney coming down from the ceiling I imagine. Just imagine to out some benches or, better yet, easy chairs around that. :)

That's my dream too. A log cabin out in the middle of nowhere with that kind of a fireplace. Oh man, maybe one day if I work hard enough. I want to get away from city degeneracy, I'm a hermit like that :)

Reshki
Saturday, October 9th, 2010, 06:22 AM
An open fireplace is awesome to have. We had one where I grew up and I really miss that.

I really like the idea of a round or square hearth open on all sides in the middle, with a funnel shaped chimney coming down from the ceiling I imagine. Just imagine to out some benches or, better yet, easy chairs around that. :)

That's exactly what I'm talking about.

;)

SpearBrave
Saturday, October 9th, 2010, 09:54 AM
A few years ago my shop was part of small museum complex. In this complex there was origanal log cabin that had been moved there. The hearth was complete with a built in wood fired oven. Since I had keys to building we would go there sometimes when it was closed and cook on the fire. It was very relaxing and fun thing to do. :)

Neophyte
Sunday, October 10th, 2010, 05:58 PM
How different is it to cook on open fire? Proper, every day household cooking then, not just doing some BBQ or making coffee. I know that the advent of the iron stove was the reason that all then present Western cook books either went out of print or were totally rewritten.

Reshki
Sunday, October 10th, 2010, 07:45 PM
You have to pay more attention, sionce you can't jjust set a temp and cook for XX minutes.

For the things I generally cook, I don't care miuch, I often cook in the backyard fire pit anyway, so I'm used to it.

SpearBrave
Sunday, October 10th, 2010, 10:28 PM
How different is it to cook on open fire? Proper, every day household cooking then, not just doing some BBQ or making coffee. I know that the advent of the iron stove was the reason that all then present Western cook books either went out of print or were totally rewritten.

I would think baking on a every day basis would be a bit more laborious. Something tells me though if you did not know any different then it would be no big deal.

To me food cooked and prepared over a wood fire taste much better for some reason. It might be the extra care taken or the slight smokey flavor.

Uberman
Monday, October 11th, 2010, 03:22 AM
We have a hearth with bricks going all the way up to the ceiling. We use it every day in the winter, and we love it. It has become somewhat of a tradition in our family. There is nothing else you can do to your home to make it more comfortable and homey than to have a fire place and use it regularly. Our fireplace is in the dining room/kitchen area, so my wife is able to cook in front of the fire, and we eat dinner by the fire. And on cold nights, my wife and I like to sit with our backs to the fire to warm up.
I'm always on the lookout for good firewood. When we go the the park, I often put logs that I find in the stroller or wagon, take them home, and chop them with a sledge hammer and wedge. We never pay for firewood. If you want to love your home I suggest you get the fireplace, and make it a habit to use it.

nauthiz
Thursday, October 14th, 2010, 05:04 AM
I heat with wood stove wherever I rent in the country. I don't own...maybe some day. But where I am now has a large fireplace but I have it blocked off at the damper to keep the heat from going to the sky.

I use a 'package' of insulation. Just kept it in the plastic wrap and tucked it up over the damper. The rock work is so large that it actually is in the front room and the kitchen where my wood stove is. I also have a Monarch wood cook stove.

I have cooked for over 100 on a fire pit, a wood stove, a fireplace or what have you. I really don't want to cook for that many but I have. It can get to -40 F here, and usually does twice each winter.

Since my health has waned, I did add a propane heater which I run off of 30 lb tank, also my clothes dryer. But the stove is always going, as it is now.

Well, I'm rambling. :)

Wittmann
Thursday, October 14th, 2010, 01:14 PM
I have never been able to cook, but I do have a marble fireplace thing (yet to actually use it). I eat out for all of my meals, the girl who I have yet to actually tell how I feel about her, works at a resturant by my house, so I go there a lot.