Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Home is where the hearth is

Lots more done today before the rains.  I'd keep working but somehow running power tools through an extension cord snaking over 150' of wet grass during multiple lightning strikes seems to me to be tempting the fates a bit more than I usually do.

I'm happy to report we're now starting to get work done on the interior, which is the last phase of this thing.  Started the day, though, by finishing up some of the wood stained trim on the foredeck.
 Then, wonder of wonders, we finally started on the hearth.  As reenactors, we both love open hearth cooking. Cooking on most vessels prior to the 1800s was mostly a matter of a cookfire in a sand filled lead tray set on deck.  We cast around for ideas and came across this lovely kitchen setup from our friends at Jas Townsend and sons.

These are great folks if you don't know them, and amazing sources for 17th,
18th and 19th Century goods and technologies.  Check them out.

At any rate, our reduced version of the hearth begins like this:  We created a platform for the fire surface out of two layers of 1/2" duroc (this is a concrete board used under tile, very solid, very flameproof, and very easy to work with).

The cementboard top will get a fairly thick coat of a mixture of fuller's earth ( a type of clay used, among other things, in clumping cat litter) and vermiculite (a volcanic product that doesn't transmit heat easily and that weighs next to nothing, used in gardening mostly), with a course of terra cotta tile for the top.
We also lined the corner where the hearth will stand with duroc, with a layer of corrugated iron on top to reflect the heat.
The hood goes at the top of the sheet metal, and has a full grid for hanging pots and'll see :)

We also got in the supports for the sink counter.  Here's a rough in, just checking for position.

There will of course be storage under.  
 And with the sink and pump in place it should look a bit like this:

Right now, I'm sipping a glass of wine and listening to the thunder.  Tomorrow, more kitchen stuff, perhaps panelling and stain for the interior.  Then work on the paddlewheel. Closing in on it folks.



  1. Lots of progress!
    Any plans for an additional heat source?
    I lived aboard with a diesel stove mounted at typical height, and found that a very small woodstove mounted down on the cabin sole did a great job of keeping the ankles warm. Maybe not necessary in your region? Essential here on Puget Sound...

  2. There are a couple of Ideas. First and foremost, we have a number of wonderful Kirkman lanterns, each of which produce about 1200 btu when lit. The Chesapeake, though, is a wonderfully temperate area, and I'm not sure how much additional head we'll need. Time shall tell :)