The life of the camp in the woods or the summer cottage naturally centers around the fireplace. It is the great source of hospitality at night or during inclement weather.
In fact, one can scarcely imagine a camp or cottage without a big, generous hearth on which the logs crackle while the storm rages outside.
There is something distinctive about this sort of fireplace it is rough and hand-hewn, with none of the delicacies of the finer types one meets with in town houses.
Field stones piled one on another up to the ridge pole, jagged rocks heaped like a cairn, with a slab for mantel such crudities only give it charm and make it harmonize with the rough and ready surroundings of Nature.
How to Build A Stone Fireplace
No special rules can be laid down for the building of these stone fireplaces, because you can lay the stone any way you choose so long as the chimney construction is right. And in the building of chimneys to make them a smokeless stone fireplace, the rules are very simple and few.
Every fireplace has the following parts
- The fire chamber,
- Where the logs burn,
- The throat,
- The damper,
- The smoke shelf
- and the smoke chamber.
Each of these plays a part in the perfect functioning of the chimney. In the construction of a chimney there are two essentials to remember –
- The flue area should be one-tenth the area of the opening into the room ;
- and the smoke chamber must be properly placed so that it can take up the inequalities of the up and down draughts and keep the smoke going steadily up the chimney.
The chimney is built in the following fashion:
First there are the hearth and opening and fire chamber. At the top, the fire chamber is built forward to form the throat or opening into the smoke chamber.
The throat is 3″ or 4″ deep and is closed at the bottom by an adjustable damper. The narrowness of the throat makes the srrrtlke and gases rush upward into the smoke chamber above.
When the fire is glowing the warm air rises to the front of this flue and into the smoke chamber, driving the cold air down the back. Something must stop this cold air circulation from getting down into the fire chamber.
Hence there is placed at the bottom of the smoke chamber, close by the upper edge of the throat, a little partition or smoke shelf that swirls the cold air around until it is carried into the path of the rapidly ascending warm column and on up the chimney.
Fire Chambers and Hearths
The depth of the fire chamber should be one half the width. The sides and back should slope so that the heat is thrown out into the room.
To secure the proper slope for the sides, make the width of the back two-thirds of the front, letting the sides first run straight back for the width of a brick.
Allow the back to rise perpendicularly for about a foot before
it begins to slope forward toward the throat.
The kind of hearth is decided by taste. It may be brick, stone or cement.
The only precaution to follow and this applies to the entire fireplace and chimney is not to have any timbers in close proximity lest they catch fire.
The field stone fireplace with a broad hearth is best for summer camps and cottages.
A camp fireplace should extend into the living room and be its dominating feature of hospitality
For a city home a fireplace of dressed stone is possible where the furnishings are in harmony.