It’s been a while since I last posted. Alex went off to Uni, then I got a stinking cold and had to rest for a few days. We had a lovely time when my parents visited to help out with the garden, some painting, and the lounge walls. More on that next week… For now, let’s stay focused on achieving that very first burn with the ESSE.

The ESSE has finally landed in position this evening (Mid September) after a few hours of persuasion. Link to another blog post about our ESSE journey

We look forward to the first burn – this is an occasion for celebration.

Maneuvering the ESSE into position

Simon and Alex firstly had to remove the stove from its specially built wheely trolly. Then remove the ‘bolted on’ removal pallet. Then shift the half-ton beast into position by constructing a ‘runway’ (not a ramp as Alex and I wrongly assumed) to match the height of the hearth. Finally wheeling into position down the runway on the hearth.

Don’t ask why it’s a runway and not a ramp these are not the discussions that you need to get into while precision maneuvering a heavy object into position.

You’ll notice that the stove has 4 legs so the bulk of the weight needed to be shifted using two oak planks in between the legs. I was there to steady the stove. Alex put his steel toe capped boots on. Bertie thought he’d find a nice place to sleep as close as possible to the action. (Stupid dog). Coco feeling the anticipation of the occasion farted AGAIN. He’s not quite used to his new French pooch food. Oh my goodness it was certainly an eye-watering family event. The first burn was almost in sight but still a long way to go.

Of course one of the jacks in true supermarket sweep style had a wheelie wobble and almost toppled the lot! It’s nothing but fun watching your biggest household expense to date almost take a tumble for the third time in its journey. This was all made a little easier using the 2-ton carjacks. Last night I thought the stove was perfectly sighted but this morning I think we are 8mm out. Ooooops back out with those car jacks boys. Suffice to say, I’m not popular this morning. The first burn moves further away.

Dropping the liner down the chimney and fitting the flue pipe together…

Down goes the stainless steel super liner complete with our homemade nose cone and rope attachment for swift chimney entry. Then the decorative black flue pipe goes into position and connects to the steel liner.

Now, you would think this a relatively simple task? No! This took several trips and a temporary fix to get it right. I shall not bore you with the details of how to connect a 150mm diameter connector with a 150mm pipe. In brief, we tried reducers then we tried increases then we gave up and Simon just cut the steel (in an angry way) and shoved it in the pipe. We eventually found a grippy clip thing with teeth. Perfect this was juuuuust right. We bought this from Leroy Merlin as they had a good selection of connectors.

Simon then secured the liner to a big metal hook with wire within the chimney. Just in case something tried to pull the woodburning stove up the chimney in the night while we’re not looking???

He then readjusted and cut the steel registration plate above the fireplace to fit the new pipe position. He added a foot of insulation to prevent all of our lovely wood stove generated heat from flying out of the 10ft wide chimney. Then he popped back up onto the roof with another piece of steel to attach the chimney cowl (complete with bird nest prevention wire) and sealed the top of the chimney too. Thus preventing the rain from pissing down the aforementioned 10ft wide to the open-air chimney.

We eventually sat warming our toes by the fire wondering what a tough life it must have been to just stay warm and dry with a massive chimney hole in your house and no insulation! See videos below 1. How to set the fire and 2. Finally achieving that very first burn. There is also a short blog post showing the fireplace before and during renovation, there is still a little more work to do

First burn of the season after cleaning the chimney. Clean your stove regularly to prevent a build up of soot.

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