Archive for January, 2010

West Chester, PA: Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

January 30, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

This project is a large stone masonry heater in a West Chester, PA home. The family’s old natural gas boiler was due for an expensive repair and servicing or complete replacement. The family decided to go for clean burning masonry heater instead for the home’s primary heat source.

The large fireplace is faced with local Pennsylvania fieldstone surrounding the high temperature core. This is a Finnish contraflow design masonry heater. There is an optional bake-oven for cooking above the firebox as well as a long heated bench. The fire’s exhaust gases travel through this bench before exiting into the fieldstone faced chimney to the right of the firebox.

The fireplace and heated bench are capped with flagstones.



The chimney is faced in fieldstone as well. The chimney transitions to a metal, double wall insulated pipe above the ceiling in the photo below.

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Valley Forge, PA Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater: Heat Kit Core, Chimney & Bench Installation

January 27, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

The owners of this great room addition designed the new space with energy efficiency in mind. This includes high R value wall insulation and windows, maximizing the solar gain from the southern windows and a clean burning masonry heater fireplace.

The client’s researched wood burning fireplaces online and decided to build a masonry heater. For the core, they were impressed by Masonry Stove Builders’ Heat Kit contraflow core.

Completed Valley Forge Masonry Heater, Heat Kit Core

From the loft, the high temperature concrete capping slabs are visible as well the masonry chimney to the rear. This is a “corner” unit with 45 degree downdraft channels on either side of the loading doors. The clay flue liners in front will be a warming bench. The rectangular holes in the flue tiles are “clean outs” providing seasonal access to clean fly ash out of the heater channels. the masonry chimney is visible behind the heater core.

Valley Forge Masonry Heater Core Top

The flue tiles provide additional heat transfer from the fire’s hot exhaust gases to the masonry stone veneer. The block chimney is located behind the heater. The masonry chimney will transition to a class “A”, double wall metal pipe above the top of the heater.

Valley Forge Masonry Heater, Front Heated Bench

The Heat Kit’s white bake-oven is located directly above the firebox loading doors. The oven is warmed as the hot combustion gases pass over and under the pre-fabricated oven floor and ¬†arched top.

Valley Forge Masonry Heater Core Firebox and Bench

The heater will be faced with 4-6″ native Pennsylvania ledgerock.

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Pipersville, PA: Natural Fieldstone Retaining Wall

January 6, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

This long, decorative natural fieldstone retaining wall surrounds the large greenhouse above. The wall replicates the many fieldstone walls on the property, some dating back to the 1700’s.¬†

Pipersville PA Garden Stone Wall 1402L

Pipersville PA Stone Garden Wall 1423L

Pipersville PA Stone Garden Wall 1409L

Pipersville PA Stone Garden Wall 1411L

Pipersville PA Stone Garden Wall1420L

Pipersville PA Stone Garden Wall 1407L

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