Nagano, Japan: Stucco Contraflow Masonry Stove

August 11, 2013 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Fire Works Masonry’s latest job was an outstanding opportunity to build a masonry stove for our friend and Masonry Heater Association colleague Aki Yoshimizu in his lake cottage in Nagano, Japan. Aki is a builder in Japan and is the owner of Peak Home Builders. The photo below shows the functioning, almost complete heater.

Aki Japan Masonry Heater

The heater was designed by and built with MHA founding member Norbert Senf of Masonry Stove Builders from Quebec, Canada. Norbert also posted a detailed photo report of the entire project on the MHA News E-zine.

The energy efficient fireplace is a Finnish contraflow core based on the Masonry Heater Association’s Heater Plan Portfolio. The fireplace is faced with dense brick pavers. The rough stucco coat will be finished in a local Japanese clay plaster. The photo below shows the first small curing fire burning in the firebox.

Japan Masonry Stove Complete Facing 0922b

The lakeside cottage is located in a beautiful rural setting. Like many homes in Japan, the home is not well insulated and can be a challenge to heat in the winter. The mountainous area regularly gets heavy snow falls and temperatures as low as 0F. Aki became interested in the possibilities to heat efficiently and cleanly with locally available firewood.

Japan Fireplace Cottage 0431

The photo below shows the great view of the quiet lake from our workroom door.

Japan Masonry Heater Lake 0805

The heater starts with the layout. The masonry stove will have a very unique heat exchanger design for the upper bedrooms designed by Norbert.

Japan Masonry Heater Core Layout 0766

Once we establish the layout, the base courses of the fireplace begin. The photo below shows a new layout design for the contraflow base designed by MHA member Eric Moshier.

Japan Masonry Stove Core Base Courses 0818

Aki hosted the build as a workshop and several interested and adept volunteers attended. The photo below shows Norbert Senf, Mamoro Ooishi, Yuuichi Kada, and Takeo Onozawa.
Mamoro is a chimney sweep and woodstove salesman from Hokkaidou. Yuuichi is a mason and garden craftsworker
from Aichi, about four hours away, and Takeo (Ono) is a chimney sweep from Nagano. They met while doing volunteer
work after the Tsunami.

Japan Energy Efficient Fireplace Work Crew 0887

With so many helping hands, the build goes quickly.  The photo below shows the completed firebox and the start of the throat behind the white oven.

Japan Masonry Heater Core Bake Oven 0857

The white oven slabs are installed. Aki is a carpenter and builder. He made excellent forms and castings for the high temperature concrete slabs.

Japan Energy Efficient Fireplace Bake Oven 0881

The final courses and secondary combustion chamber are completed above the bake-oven.

Japan Energy Efficient Masonry Fireplace Core 0899

The two side downdraft channels can be built next.

Japan Masonry Heater Core Side Channel 0916

Once the side channels are complete the crew installs the heavy high temperature capping slabs.

Japan Masonry Heater Core Capping Slabs 0009

With the core completed, the crew enjoyed a great evening campfire and cookout.

Japan Masonry Heater Full Moon 0294

Japan Masonry Stove Campfire 0196

The masonry stove work begins again the next morning. Locally available dense, red brick pavers will face the core.

Japan Masonry Fireplace Face Bricks 0947

The bricks are delivered to the jobsite. The local hardware store allows customers to borrow this small pickup for 90 minutes with no charge. These useful small pick-up trucks are everywhere in Japan. The truck gets about 50mpg, carries over 700lbs and costs under $9,000.

Japan Masonry Heater Delivery Truck 0873

The photo below shows the start of the face brick, chimney connection, and small heated bench.

Japan Brick Fireplace Facing and Chimney Start 0146

The heater installation is in a seismic zone. Threaded rods are drilled and epoxied into the base concrete slab. The rods will be buried in the mortar slush between the core and facing. A steel plate on top of the heater will bond the masonry and rods together.

Japan Masonry Heater Facing and Seismic 0268b

The brick facing is about halfway complete after a long day. The jack arch spanning the door openings is the next step.

Japan Masonry Stove Brick Facing 0308

Norbert inserts the keystone into the jack-arch. The jack-arch is left proud from the brick facing for a design element.

Japan Masonry Stove Jack Arch 0353

The brick facing progresses. The photo below shows the closing keystone for the second jack-arch above the bake-oven door.

Japan Masonry Stove Bake Oven Brick Arch 0481

Norbert’s heater design also includes a unique curved brick wall surrounding the chimney connection. The curved section is seen in the photo below.

Japan Clean Burning Fireplace Curved Chimney Design 0517

The final brick courses are nearly complete in the photo below. One of the threaded rods for the seismic reinforcing can be seen above the brick to the right.

Japan Masonry Heater Brick Face0535

With the brickwork completed, the stucco plaster coat begins. Aki looks admiringly at the brick face while he holds a fiberglass mesh in place to reinforce the plaster facing.

Japan Masonry Stove Plaster Coat 0564b

Later that evening the crew burns the first small curing fire around the completed rough coat heater.

Japan Stucco Masonry Fireplace First Fire 0702

With the rough plaster coat completed, the doors are installed into the brick facing.

Japan Masonry Stove Wood Fired Oven Door Installation 0732b

The photo below shows the nearly completed, clean burning, energy efficient fireplace with another small curing fire. The heater still needs the final plate for the seismic reinforcement, a small top for the heated bench, and a final decorative plaster coating. Aki will most likely use a local, traditional clay or lime plaster.

Japan Masonry Stove Complete Facing 0922b

 

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Bath, Pennsylvania: Fieldstone Double Bell Masonry Stove, Energy Efficient Fireplace

May 5, 2013 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Fire Works Masonry’s latest clients are building a low energy home in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. While researching energy efficient fireplaces, they discovered the clean burning masonry stove. They contacted Fire Works Masonry for a custom, field stone faced masonry heater. The fireplace is a double bell layout, designed for great efficiency.

One of the first curing fires burns in the firebox in the photo below.

Energy efficient fireplace

The masonry heater has a wood-box to the left of the firebox and and heated bench to the right. The optional bake-oven sits directly above the firebox.

The wood-box, heated bench, and oven shelf are all shaped from colorful slabs of Tennessee sandstone.

 Pennsylvania masonry heater

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Centerville, MD: Stucco Faced, Contraflow, See-Thru Masonry Heater

December 4, 2011 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Our clients in Centerville, Md were building their custom, dream home. A clean burning, efficient masonry  heater was central to their desires and blueprint. The whimsical, energy efficient home was built on a scenic corner of the family’s horse farm.

The home’s interior reflects the artistic exterior. The timer frame, post and beam construction is entirely built using timbers harvested from the farm property. Structural insulated panels (SIPs) compose the walls exterior walls, providing superior insulation for the new home. To warm the new home, a Finnish contraflow masonry heater is central to the energy design and floorplan. The heater is faced with simple 4″ masonry blocks. The both the living room as well as kitchen side rough block shell is seen in the pictures below.

 

Once the block masonry shell is complete, a rough stucco facing is applied. The living room side of the heater includes a warm, heated bench detail. The double wall, insulated metal pipe chimney exits the fireplace to the top left in the photograph below.

Below the kitchen side of the heater is shown. The optional bake-oven is directly above the firebox doors. Below the firebox doors are two clean-out doors and the center ash clean-out door.

The final heater facing will be a mixture of American Clay stucco and tiles, applied by the homeowner and his family. The first coat of clay is applied to the kitchen side and pictured below.

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A client’s great masonry heater testimonial

January 31, 2011 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Fire Works Masonry’s client in Rock Hill, NY recently posted some great praise for his masonry heater on his blog:

“Artic Air/ Nordic Heat

The weather has been pretty cold of late. Below zero for the past 4 nights. The masonry heater keeps the place around 60+ degrees with 2 good sized fires per day. This morning it was a 70 degree temperature difference between inside (60) and outside (-10)… and that was 12 hours after last night’s fire had burned out. I’m beyond impressed”.

Thanks, John! Check out his blog and custom home project, WatchTheHouseGrow.Blogspot.Com.

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King Of Prussia, PA: Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

November 15, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Our clients in King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania have worked for years to retrofit their older home into a modern, zero net energy design. The ambitious plan began with a small addition, improved insulation, and active solar photo-voltaic panels. With these stages complete, it was time to install the clean burning masonry heater into the center of the home.

The homeowner opened the family room floor and built the masonry base to support the masonry heater in the crawl-space below. Once the concrete hearth pad is complete, the masonry heater core and block shell begin simultaneously. The photo below shows the finished high temperature core surrounded by the block heater facing.

The block masonry chimney sits to the left of the Finish fireplace. The masonry chimney transitions to a double wall metal pipe to exit the house.

The block shell is completed after the core. A brick arch spans the bake-oven opening. The travertine bake-oven shelf and mantle are also installed in the block shell. The photo below shows the completed shell and heated bench.

After the heater facing is complete, the two coats of stucco are applied to the heater. Once the stucco sets overnight, the heater door hardware is installed including the loading door, the bake-oven door, ash-box door, and soot clean out doors.

The masonry heater design also includes a large wood storage box to the right of the loading doors.

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Tunkhannock, PA: Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

November 15, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

This old farmhouse in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania has been in our client’s family for over two hundred years. Updating the home to modern standards has been a work in progress for several years. The family improved the insulation, windows, and building envelope. They also added a small addition to fit their growing family. To update the fireplace, the family decided on an efficient masonry heater in the center of their new primary living space.

The Finnish fireplace core was faced with 4″ masonry blocks. The photo below shows the completed rough shell. The blocks will be faced with a plaster coat then the client will apply natural thin stone veneer produced by  a nearby local quarry.

Tunkhannock, PA masonry  heater

The loading door for the firebox is on the main living room side of the new addition. The rear bake-oven opens into the kitchen space.

Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater, bake-oven side
Once the block shell is completed, the stucco rough coat is applied. The bluestone heater caps, mantle stones, wood-box cap, as well as the bench tops all came from stone on the farm property. The load bearing timber beam also came from the family’s old barn. The photos below show the first curing fire winding through the heater’s extensive internal heat exchange channels.
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater
The rear white bake-oven begins to warm as the size of the curing fires increases.
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater bake-oven
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater bake-oven
The stucco heater is ready to warm the updated old farmhouse. When the family’s time and budget allow, they will apply the natural thin fieldstone veneer to achieve the final aesthetic look for their masonry  heater.
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater
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Tannersville, NY: Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater Core Installation

November 14, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

The owners of this new timber frame home high in the Catskill mountains wanted to build a super energy efficient design to stay comfortable in the hard winters. The timber frame, structural insulated panels, and masonry heater allow them to achieve their energy goals while still building a beautiful home. Once the owner completed the timber frame, SIPs, and as well as the roof the masonry heater core is installed.
Tannersville, NY Masonry heater
The photo above shows the completed Finnish Contraflow Heat Kit core in the center of the timber frame. The base for the heated bench and the base of the masonry chimney can also be seen.
Tannersville, NY Masonry heater with bake-oven
The core is wrapped in a fiberglass blanker to provide a slip gap to the masonry heater shell. The firebrick heated bench and completed masonry chimney base are complete in the photos below. The chimney will transition to a double wall metal pipe above the block height below.
Tannersville, NY Masonry heater with bake-oven
Tannersville, NY Masonry heater with bake-oven
The masonry heater will be faced by the client with stones from their new property.

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Pottsville, PA: See-Thru Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

July 25, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Pottsville PA Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The owners of this new home discovered the warmth and beauty of a masonry heater while visiting a completed project of their prospective timber framer, Aaron King. They visited Fire Works Masonry’s clients near Kutztown, PA. The new owners wanted a fireplace in their home design and were excited by the prospect of installing a clean burning and efficient masonry heater.

The combination of the open floor-plan and superior insulating properties of the structurally insulated panels (SIPs) wall elements creates an ideal match for the slow and steady energy output of a masonry heater. The open floor plan is ready for the start of the Heat Kit masonry  heater core in the photo below. The concrete pad provides the structural support for the heater and chimney.

Pottsville, PA Masonry Heater with bake-oven

The clients desired a simple, rustic brick fireplace and chimney. The bake-oven side of the heater splits the dining room and kitchen.

Pottsville, PA Masonry Heater with bake-oven

On the opposite side of the masonry  heater is the living room. The heater is see-thru, with large clear loading doors on either side of the firebox. The fireplace is capped with local Pennsylvania bluestone.

Pottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-oven

The large open peak of the timber frame highlights the clean run of the brick chimney.

Pottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-ovenPottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-oven

A small curing fire burns down in the firebox, viewed from the kitchen.

Pottsville PA Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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Carlisle, PA: Natural Thin Stone Veneer Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

July 4, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

The owners of this new home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania have dreamed and planned for years about building a net zero energy home. The design includes structural insulated panels for very high “R” value walls and ceilings, passive solar home alignment and window design, an active solar system on the roof to generate electricity, geothermal heat exchangers to lower the heating/cooling load on the active system, and a clean burning masonry heater as the warm centerpiece of their home.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The home was masterfully designed and built by Harrisburg based Bridlewood Builders. They specialize in custom, sustainable, green homes.

The masonry heater thin stone veneer is nearly complete in the photo below.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The passionate homeowners have a detailed blog of the home’s design and construction as well as the home’s performance: http://carlislegreenbuild.blogspot.com.

The masonry heater is located in the main living area for the new home. The heater also acts as a room divider, separating the family room and the master bedroom.

The heater construction starts with the high temperature core, pictured below. This heater is a Finnish contraflow design. The heater will have two down draft channels on either side of the core as well as a long heated bench wrapping around the front of the core. The exhaust gases will exit into a masonry chimney to the left of the core.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry HeaterCarlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The rear wall of the masonry heater core will warm the master bedroom, pictured below.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

After the completion of the high temperature core and heated bench, the masonry facing begins. This heater’s shell consists of bricks and 4″ blocks. The block shell will provide the thermal storage for the fire’s energy and act as the structural base for a natural thin stone veneer application. The shell and chimney are nearly completed in the photo below. The brick facing for the long heated bench is just getting started.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Below is a view of the nearly completed shell from the open walkway above on the second floor.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The rear wall of the heater warms the master bedroom. Below we see the completed heater shell from the bedroom doorway.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Once the masonry shell is completed, a scratch coat of plaster provides the base for the natural thin stone veneer facing.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Viewed from the second floor catwalk, the thin stone veneer is nearly complete. The limestone bench and capping stones are in place.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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Allentown, PA: Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

July 4, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry HeaterAllentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The owners of this new home in Allentown, PA designed the house to accommodate their growing family, reduce their energy bills, as well as include a fireplace as the centerpiece of the main living area. After researching clean burning, efficient fireplaces they decided on a masonry heater.

This masonry heater is an an ideal place: roughly centered in the home, dividing the kitchen and main living area. The kitchen side is faced in brick while the living room is faced with natural, local fieldstone. The kitchen will have access to the rear white bake-oven. the living room side will have a long heated bench and a convenient large wood storage area.

 

Viewed from the balcony above the living room, the masonry heater’s design includes brick for the bench and heater cap, granite for the mantle and wood box cap, and local Pennsylvania fieldstone for the facing material. About a quarter of the stones used were from the property’s excavation. The chimney will transition to a metal pipe above the masonry, carrying the fireplace exhaust gases safely through the home.

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Allentown PA masonry heater

 

The masonry heater’s white bake-oven is opposite the firebox, centered in the kitchen.

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

All masonry heaters start with the high temperature core. This Finnish contraflow design uses a Heat Kit core. The core below is wrapped in a fiberglass blanket. The blanket acts to provide a paper thin slip gap between the hot core and the heater’s stone facing. The firebrick heated bench and block chimney base are also completed, awaiting the 4-5″ thick stone veneer application.

 

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Once the core is completed, the brick facing in the kitchen is completed.

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

 

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