Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Stove and I.

The man from Scan and his side-kick Craig-our-fitter stand in front of our new and recalcitrant woodburner. It's not an unattractive thing, in a designery sort of way, and suits the room well. It's just that one or two minor glitches need sorting out - the thing wobbles for heaven's sake, the smoke stack is slightly out of true and I can't stop the glass from smoking up. (This last finds me on my knees like a true skivvy scrubbing at the soot with a damp cloth dipped in wood ash. How Victorian is that? You will be pleased to know I draw the line at black-leading - the Zeebo will remain in the cupboard. My hands are filthy enough as it is.) Oh, and finally, the door handle has found against returning to its neat closed position. This is a top of the range stove from a reputable manufacturer, for which we have dug deep in our pockets. I put on my best 'get it sorted or else' face .... and go to make a brew for the workers.

The wobble is resolved by a bit of lateral thinking; the adustable feet now hidden beneath the stove are adjusted by sliding a saw blade underneath the plinth, connecting it with the feet and, using the gentlest of sawing motions, turning them up or down until stability is achieved. A twiddle with an allen key sorts out the door - but I am left with the distinct impression this is something I should have done for myself. Sorry, Mr Scan at the price we paid for this critter we almost expect it to light itself. (I do though make a mental note to put tools within easy reach.)
Craig is let off straightening the smoke stack today - the weather is foul and the roof slippy - I'm not that hard a task master.We address the problem of the smoky glass - it's all to do with putting more wood on when the fire is at the right temperature, wood that is dry, wood of the right size. Little and often. I'm beginning to see that this woodburner - unlike the dragon we have in the sitting room- needs coaxing and pampering. It is obviously a prima donna amongst stoves, needing to be cajoled and fed only the finest seasoned dry oak or ash (of which we are lucky to have plenty) and supplied with copious gulps of oxygen. Don't forget to empty the ash pan either...The man from Scan assures me that all this should do the trick - assures me too that 'it's just a matter of getting used to it'. Sounds like an inordinate amount of bother too.

They gather up their tools and leave. Stove and I look at each other. 'OK Stove' I say, 'Just burn hot and clean with typical Nordic efficiency....'

I swear it said 'Ja.... måske.'* But that might just have been the sound of the door swinging shut.

* I hope it means 'Yes...perhaps.' Perhaps some passing Dane can confirm that.

11 comments:

Lindsay said...

Your stove looks really fab. Have you ever read the book "The Egg and I" by Betty MacDonald - she has a daily battle with "Stove" in the wilds of Canada.

PAM said...

What a handsome stove you have! Let's hope the wobble is fixed, the smoke gone and poor Craig doesn't slip off your roof.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Fancy stoves can be fickle, can't they? They have inherent temperaments. The manufacturer builds them in. Good luck, I hope it's all sorted out now.

LittleBrownDog said...

It does look a gorgeous, gorgeous stove, Mountainear (and I know they can be expensive - our cost an arm and several legs earlier this year, and it doesn't look half as posh as yours. That said, I wouldn't be without it). Did they tell you that all wood burns best on a bit of a bed of ash, so it will get better and easier to light as it settles in. I'm sure once the teething problems are sorted, it'll become your best friend.

elizabethm said...

Looks just gorgeous. Ours also suffers from dirty glass although just a wipe with newspaper when you light it gets quite a bit off. I don't think it has ever been truly clean!

Diary Farmer said...

You're not alone in the installation problems. It's been like a modern day Flanders and Swan song about a painter. Mrs D F has mastered the technique of lighting it and getting the best out of it. The builder has to come back and put another cowl on the chimney and as he hasn't been paid yet, I'm in no hurry to get him to come back to do this small job!

bodran... said...

It looks very fine indeed. I admit to black leading but i've given up on the glass. hope your feeling better x

paula said...

Now that is elegance indeed!

In these credit crunchie times we've decided to do away with the boiler and survive with two stoves...it's hard work; first thing in the morning, scraping, riddling, emptying, cleaning, patting and murmuring words of encouragement not to mention the acres of 'dry, seasoned and proper' wood they demand in food (and much more than three times a day). But the house is warm (and I'm exhausted!).

Yours looks altogether a different otherworldly beauty – maybe snippet of smoked salmon and morsels of soused herring?

Fennie said...

Best of luck to your stove. We had one that looked like an ironage roundhouse with sliding doors - no glass - that didn't really work either. Best ones I think are the French ones with big plate glass doors like ovens. But I hope you are warm and you are lucky to have all that wood. I am sure the stove will come up trumps eventually. Certainly looks like it should!

em said...

No Dane seems to have passed by so I thought I'd let you know that you're right.
I think smoky glass is a common problem - my friends have glass doors in their fireplace, and you can hardly see the fire when they are closed.

GeraniumCat said...

This all sounds rather familiar - we reckon it's taken ours two winters to really settle in. The first year I think we all despaired but didn't like to mention it to each other, it was so recalcitrant. How could we have spent so much money on something so useless? This year it has been wonderful so far.

Oh, and it took a small wood offcut to stop the wobble, leaving it with a slightly Heath Robinson air at best.