"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Be still my heart :)

I have discovered that I can be extremely patient.  8 - 9 months worth of patience to be precise.
I lived in fear of this chimney separting
enough that it fell down in a messy
You recall last year we had a smoke problem with our incorrectly installed Dover stove.  The aluminium chimney should not have been a stand alone chimney, it should've been enclosed inside a brick chimney.  This is because the aluminium chimney cannot take the contrast in heat and cold and as a result the "sections" expand and contract thereby pulling apart, leaking smoke and causing resin to collect and drip out and down the wall next to it, never mind inside the chimney.
An external chimney which should've been
insulated - and should be much higher

than the roof apex.  The chimney in the
pic above is 150mm galvanised steel -
un-isulated - WRONG!
Also, RMan installed the bend to the outside prior to the stove being in situ, which meant that it was at the wrong (external) height, and the angle of the bend was also incorrect.  We tried to install a (specially ordered and manufactured) bend at a 62.5° angle - WRONG!  Reckon that the standard 45° is standard for a reason.  And I also reckon that that probably did not help with the "draw" - thus smoking us out every time it was lit.
Before - the kitchen with the Dover stove
Well, now that the house is complete internally, there is no way that I was going to allow all that fresh paint / skimmed ceiling / furniture / curtains to accumulate any soot / smoke smell at all.  Which means that we have not lit the Dover since the middle of last winter.

And - we've already had a bit of lovely cold weather recently - which means that winter's on it's way LOL  Memories of the cold I experienced in our building site of a house last winter are still pretty fresh in my mind - and, normally, I don't feel the cold.   Admittedly, we don't have any temporary thin board nailed to large drafty openings anymore, our double glazed windows are all installed, and, with the ceiling in place, the draft from the roof area is no longer a feature in the equation.  Plus, with the furniture, the room feels somehow warmer.  But we still recorded an internal temperature in the house of 13°C recently.

"C'mon, Dani - let's light the Dover - it's freezing," RMan pleaded.

"Nope, it's not happening, RMan.  Either the chimney is redone (call back the builders to knock huge hole through the wall and build / tie in a new (brick) chimney), or everything must be replaced," I replied.

I stood firm.  I don't do that often, but when I do...

I got nowhere - for 8 - 9 months.

Then a cold front hit in early April - and RMan remembered last year - he feels the cold more than I do ;)

When the time was right (i.e. when RMan was really, really cold) I sprang into action.  Persistently.  Adamantly.  And I successfully convinced RMan.

The end result is...

The Rosa oven reached 300oC in 1/2 hour -
and the temperature in the room went from
17.9 to 23°C
Our Nordica Rosa was installed yesterday :)
The Nordica Sovrana wood burning stove

Nordica Sovrana
I was originally going to go for a Nordica Sovrana.

However, RMan didn't think it looked "farmy" enough - too clinical.  And, after numerous (seriously, at least 12 ) phone calls and likewise number of e-mails to the supplier, Fernando, in Somerset West, (a very patient man LOL) RMan decided that the Nordica Rosa would better suit our needs.  Me - I wasn't fussy - all I wanted was there wherewithall to keep us toasty warm this winter, and something effective to cook our meals on.  

Here she is in this morning's daylight...
After - the kitchen with the Nordica Rosa installed
she adds a 'je ne sais quois' to the room :)

Nordica Rosa Specifications
Don't you love it when a plan comes together :)

No worries this year about being cold :)

This stove is a completely different beast to the basic Dover stove.  The Rosa doors are:

1  heat resistent glass so that one can see the state of the fire, as well as the state of the food in the oven without having to open the doors constantly;

2  and they all have proper seals which the Dover doesn't.  The Dover is just cast iron against cast iron = plenty of smoke / heat emitting gaps, and very high consumption of wood.  Even the Rosa's chimney has a seal where it meets the stove top.  And the chimney sections have been riveted together, so no danger of their falling down :)

And the emissions are:
    dust - lower than 75mg / mtr3*
    CO2 - lower than 1500 mg / mtr3*
(* 13% O²)
The 250mm diameter insulated stainless steel
This state of the art wood burning kitchen stove and chimney have been professionally installed, with a (single skin) stainless steel chimney internally, and an insulated (double skin) stainless steel chimney externally - no contraction and expansion going to happen there :)  Also the chimney is now the correct height above the roof apex, which helps with the draw and the smoke dispersal.  The installers, Jaco and Michael, were  fantastic - not only did they have a slow 3.5 hour trip here, in the pouring rain, from Somerset West with the 180kg stove on the back of their bakkie (pickup truck) but their care (when breaking through the wall and eliminating as much debris / dust as they could), attention to detail, and the pride in their work was obvious through the constant measurements / spirit level checks.  Even down to carefully and thoroughly removing any fingerprint marks on the stainless steel chimney and cleaning up their mess (chips of bricks and cement and the dust) afterwards.  Bless them - they arrived at 10.30 a.m. and only left at 5.30 p.m. - still with a 2 hour trip home ahead of them.

They got a steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup to warm them just before they left - it was the least I could do :)

Our local saw mill has (free) scraps of dry bluegum which is the recommended and perfect hardwood to burn in the Rosa (together with the alien Australian Black Wattle we have to hand - until it's finished.  Then is 100% dry bluegum.)

Life is certainly going to be very "rosy" this winter :)  Without using any LP gas nor Escom's expensive, possibly erratic and coal produced electricity.  The Nordica's emissions are far superior to their coal fire generated power too :)

Yeeeeeeha!  All my future birthday's and Christmas pressies in one fell swoop - I'm beside myself with excitement.

Thanks RMan - for all our sakes.  Big points scored... :)

At this precise moment, outside is 11°C, inside is a comfortable 23°C, and I am sitting at the dining room table publishing this, with RMan watching his rugby.  The stove has been lit for an hour and my back is all lovely and warm, a crisp roast chicken and even crispier baked potatoes are cooking in the oven which will be served together with a broccoli and cauliflour cheese bake.

I'm We're going to be in heaven this winter :)


tffnguy said...

Congratulations! Sure is nice to be warm in the winter!!!

Dani said...

Thanks David - being cold makes winter miserable, but having the ability to be warm makes all the difference. It's easy(ier) to get cool in summer than it is to get warm in winter - now, we'll have no worries :)

Tami said...

Lovely stove! And I can just see you standing there...Firm, arms crossed.

Nah Ah. Ain't happening.

Shaking your head at RMan.

LOL. I have been there myself, Sister! I bend plenty but sometimes ya just gotta stand firm.

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

That is a beautiful addition to the family, Dani!

Diana Studer said...

We've had 2 fires this season. The cold is coming ... Looks like a wonderful way to cook dinner!

JaneofVirginia said...

Lovely stove ! Very interesting post. Thank you ! Stay toasty.

Quinn said...

I am SO glad it has all worked out, Dani! I remember very well the issues with the stove and chimney last year, and have kept my fingers crossed that your eventual replacement system would be perfect...guess I can uncross my fingers now :)
That stove looks lovely, too! And I remember making the decision to pay a higher price for a stove with a "window" instead of the same model without; a decision I have patted myself on the back for about a million times since. Enjoy!

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

It's a gorgeous stove Dani!

Frugal Living UK said...

The stove is absolutely gorgeous!!!

Moonwaves said...

That looks gorgeous. I love the small red touches, too - makes it nice and cheerful. It's great that you can get a good supply of wood free as well.

DFW said...


Love the stove. Be glad for standing strong!

Farm Fancies said...

That's a lovely stove. I like stoves with windows as even watching the flames immediately makes me feel warmer even when I'm not standing near the stove :).
Bit green with envy here!
Cheers, Rob xo

Dani said...

Tami - You got it exactly LOL

Dani said...

TSAHG - She is, isn't she :)

Dani said...

Diana - Having now had two dinners from her oven, I can categorically state that it is a perfect way to cook and heat the room simultaneously - even Scamp and Mandy agree :)

Dani said...

Jane - Thanks - Will do :)

Dani said...

Quinn - Trust me, I'm also extremely thankful. It was touch and go for a while, but RMan finally saw sense, and has subsequently admitted that it was a brilliant idea :) A far superior source of cooking / providing heat for the room.

Dani said...

Tanya - Thanks :)

Dani said...

Dan - Complpetely - and a feature in the room too :)

Dani said...

Monwaves - RMan loved, and chose, the red too ( must be the inner female coming out in him, but don't tell him I said that LOL)

Dani said...

DFW - Thanks - I am, and so is RMan - now LOL

Dani said...

Robyn - RMan and I feel the same - if you can see the flames you DO feel warmer. Sorry - didn't mean to make you green... Does it get cold enough where you are that a wood burning stove would help?

Bill said...

Very nice. Looks great!

We had a similar experience. When our house was built we asked our builder to put a wood stove in the basement. He didn't know what he was doing and just knocked a hole in the wall and ran an unprotected chimney pipe out of the side of the wall. And it was nowhere near as high as the roof of the house. So of course it smoked the house up badly when we tried to use it. I had him remove it and I was angry that we wouldn't be able to heat with wood.

But someone recommended an outdoor furnace/boiler. We got one from Central Boiler and we LOVE it. It heats our home much better than the stove in the basement ever would've, so we turned his mistake to our advantage. Hoping you've done so as well. :)

Dani said...

Bill - Welcome - and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

We didn't want an appliance which consumed energy (wood) and was only used for a single purpose. Having the wood burning stove in our kitchen, and with out kitchen, lounge and dining room being open plan, and the bedrooms leading off the lounge, means that we are heating the house whilst we are cooking our food. Win-win for us :)

Yes, the Nordica is definitely a keeper, and, last night when we didn't light it (as we felt it was a warm enough evening) RMan complained of feeling chilly. Reckon it will be lit this evening :)

Kris said...

Beautiful. Functional. Safe. What's not to love? Worth every penny and will provide years of comfort and service. Glad Rman came around when you held fast!

Now, about those chickens.... *heh*

Dani said...

Kris - Couldn't agree with you more LOL

Chickens - looks like RMan's wanting to go the goose route...

Leigh said...

Dani, congratulations! I know you're both relieved and pleased. That stove is gorgeous. I had to laugh when you said RMan was particular about how the stove looks. Dan was the same way about my wood cookstove. He didn't like the more modern looking ones, nor the plain Amish built ones. He wanted an old fashioned farm kitchen wood cookstove! And that's what we got. :)

Dani said...

Leigh - Thanks :)

LOL - I never would've believed that I would leave a focal point item in RMan's hands, but I did agree with him that the Rosa was a more handsome beast :)

Looks like we have similar significant others...

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

That she is! - Cloud

1st Man said...

How did I miss this post??? Holy cow, she's beautiful. I can only imagine the great memories you all will create around her.

Dani said...

1st man - LOL - I KNEW you would like this!

Lovely thought that - creating memories round her - thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats Guys...well done!!

Really nice addition and makes perfect sense.

I'd be interested to know where in Somerset West, you bought the stove?

As we would like to treat ourselves this Winter as well...8-)

Dani said...

Andre - The shop is called Fire & Gas 41 Victoria Road tel: 021 852 7173 and e-mail (owner) fernando@fireandgas.co.za Be warned, being imported from Italy they are not cheap, but even RMan who was not 100% convinced, has often since admitted that it was an excellent idea and is extremely effective, and we certainly would have been very miserable without it ;)