Straightening the Princess’s Crown

As noted earlier, I had to do some monkeying around with the stovepipe and chimney when we put in our new wood stove, the Blaze King Princess.

When I finally found exactly the stovepipe product we needed at Samson’s Hardware, the helpful clerk also showed me the coolest caulk product I’ve ever seen: a type made for stovepipes and chimneys and able to withstand 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Awesome. I had gooped a bunch of that up in the connection area and gotten it all together nice and neat, straight and airtight.

An earthquake changed all that.

And of course it did this during the winter when we depended on the stove daily to bring the house up to a reasonable temperature. Because of fire code, I had hung a shield up near the top of the stovepipe where a single-walled adapter transitions the 8-inch double-walled stovepipe into the 10-inch chimney. After the earthquake, this shield hung at a funny angle because the junction had shaken loose and become crooked. And, while there was a small air leak there, it was not bad enough to cause either smoke or much cold air to leak in. So it hung there, ugly and bothering me for months—both visually and on the Home List.

So one evening after work I finally rolled up my sleeves and tackled the bugger. First I laid down a drop cloth in case chimney dirt decided to leap onto the carpet. Then, awkwardly twisted and grunting on a ladder, I pulled it all loose, cleaned it up, gooped it all up well again with the world’s coolest caulk, rammed it home and this time locked it in place with some screws. Voila. We’ve already had several test runs as cooler weather has flirted with summer’s end. And the Princess is looking snappy again.

The Princess with her crown back on straight

The Princess with her crown back on straight