Swamp Castle's wood heat kicks in

Brian the electrician/plumber got the wood boiler going today. At 3 p.m., without fanfare, I lit a fire in the firebox which immediately fizzled. Brian relit it a few minutes later, and that one fizzled.

At that point, we decided to read the directions. We figured out that the damper was off unless you pushed a certain button, at which point, not only did the damper open, but a blower went on which shot smoke out of the chimney as if it were one of those steamers at Rollag.

Then we were off. The 120 gallons of water around the firebox started heating up in no time. Tonight, I added a log--about fifteen minutes ago--but over the past six hours, the wood hadn't burnt much, and the water temperature maintained a steady 167 degrees.

The water is flowing into two of the three floor heating zones. The slab of the third zone, the living room, is still frozen but should thaw out with a little heating by the Nepco heater.

So, the electric meter, which spun busy circles all weekend, has not ground to a halt, and the task of heating the still uninsulated house will fall to the wood stove.

I decided to cut wood. Dad showed my how to sharpen the blade on my saw. I cranked it up and sawed up about two pickup loads full of fallen stuff. Some of it is rotten, but it all will burn, especially with that blower fan sending air into the firebox.

So, it was a fun day even though my main task for the day--staining more boards--went uncompleted. There was just too much going on out at the house.

A couple of you have asked for some more pictures of the Swamp Castle. I don't have any right off, but I do have a picture of our family Christmas choir.


Sister's on the left, then Mom and Dad, brother Joe on the bass fiddle, and myself. Lance took the photo. If you want evidence that we sounded good, take note of the full tip jar in the foreground.