What Fireplace Tools Do I Need?

There are lots of options, lots of different types of tools, in lots of different finishes and in lots of price ranges.  What tools and accessories do I really need to assist in making wood burning a bit easier?

THE NECESSITIES:

Whether you are a serious or a weekend wood-burner, a sturdy, well-made tool set is required.  At bare-bones minimum; you will need a poker, a shovel, a metal ash bucket with a tight sealing lid and heavy gloves.  All are guaranteed to make your life a bit easier and a lot safer.  A poker is needed to help position the pieces of wood and rake through coals.  And a shovel is needed to remove the ash and dump them into the ash bucket.

Give some thought to the length of the poker and shovel.  If you are burning wood in a stove or insert, you might want tools with shorter handles than those tools that would be used in a larger fireplace where a longer reach might be necessary.

A heavy-duty pair of gloves are another item on many wood burners “must have” lists.  You need to protect your hands and forearms from the intense heat when you open the door to refuel or stir the bed of red hot coals.

OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER:

A broom is a handy item for sweeping and thoroughly cleaning the inside of the firebox.  Tongs can be useful for lifting and positioning wood in the firebox.  A rake or hoe is very practical for stirring the coal bed or preparing ashes to be shoveled.

A convenient way to keep a couple of days’ worth of wood next to the fireplace or stove is important, too.  A wood rack, log holder, log ring or wood box will keep the fuel within an arm’s length from the wood box.  You’ll appreciate having a couple of days’ worth of wood next to the fire on those cold, snowy nights!  Don’t forget to maintain enough distance from the hot surfaces of the appliance to your wood supply or anything else that is combustible.  Three to four feet is adequate.

An organized way to keep tools, gloves and your wood orderly is with a “hearth center”.  That is, a designed rack that keeps all essential items well organized on the hearth.

How about replacement doors, andirons, grates, or rugs?  If we don’t have what you like or the size you need, we’ll be glad to order it for you!

FINISHES TO CONSIDER:

There are lots of optional finishes available on new tool sets or a hearth center.  How about forged or wrought iron, stainless steel, powder coat paints or maybe brushed nickel, brass, or copper?

Finishes and styles will coordinate with other interior accents in your home.  They will compliment your lifestyle, too.  Handles in the shape of golf clubs, hockey sticks or deer antlers.  You get the idea …

WE LOVE FIRE!

Your nearby dealer has lots of quality, well-made tools and accessories to show you.  And, we have exclusive suppliers that are truly outstanding.

It’s been said many times that the hearth is the heart of the home.  The place where holiday pictures are taken and the room where great memories are made.

This is an individual invitation for you to stop at your dealer and see another reason why WE LOVE FIRE!

Can The Glass on My Fireplace Break?

If you’re not careful, the answer is ‘yes’, the glass on your fireplace or stove can crack or break.  It’s important to keep the glass clean, maintain the gasket in good repair and be careful and avoid breaking or cracking the glass when reloading the fireplace.  Here’s why…

TWO TYPES OF GLASS:Wait until fireplace has cooled. Can a fireplace glass break?

Your fireplace (or stove) will have one of two types of glass; tempered or ceramic.  The bi-fold doors on your zero clearance (ZC) wood burning fireplace are likely tempered glass.  The gasketed door on an EPA certified insert, stove or ZC fireplace uses ceramic glass.  So, what’s the difference between the two?  Among other things, the price!  Ceramic glass is significantly more expensive than tempered glass.

Both types of glass will take the high temperatures of a wood burning fire.  But ceramic glass is much stronger than tempered glass of the same thickness.  Ceramic glass can withstand very rapid thermal changes and temperatures of 1000°F.

EPA certified appliances use sealed, ceramic glass to help control the burn rate or the amount of combustion air allowed to the fire.  There should be no air leaking around the edge of the glass.  All combustion air is supplied to the fire via the primary air control and/or an appropriate outside air kit.

A QUICK SIDEBAR:

Never attempt to force a 16” log into a 15” firebox.  When you’re cutting wood, it’s always a good idea to go a couple of inches smaller.  If your fireplace or stove can take a 20” log, you’re smart to go with an 18” log length.  If the specs say 16” logs, cut it 14”.  You get the idea!

Never allow any burning wood to contact the glass on your fireplace.  Under no circumstances, never force the door closed after refueling the appliance.  Ceramic glass is expensive.  It’s strong, but it can and will break, so be careful with it.

WHAT IS MEANT BY “SEALED AND GASKETED”?

If the glass on your fireplace cracks or breaks, order the correct replacement glass from your WE LOVE FIRE dealer.  We will help direct you to the proper typClean the glass regularly. Can my fireplace glass break?e of glass and will order the correct size for your door(s).  Replacement glass is usually supplied by the manufacturer of the fireplace.  It will be cut specifically for your model to fit perfectly.

When replacing ceramic glass, it must be sealed to the door frame.  This can be done either at your WE LOVE FIRE dealership or, with the correct materials, by the do-it-yourselfer at home.

Graphite impregnated, ceramic fiber rope gasket is the most common type of gasketing material used for wood burning fireplaces, stoves and inserts.  It comes in several sizes from ¼” to 1” diameter.  Most doors will have a channel or groove where the rope gasket must be positioned.  A gasket cement or silicone is applied in this channel to keep the rope gasket secured in place.

The main function of the gasket is to seal the room air from the firebox.  The air for combustion on wood burning fires is carefully measured by the equipment’s primary air control.  There should be no leakage around the glass or the gasketed door on your fireplace, stove or insert.

WOOD VS GAS:

Ceramic glass is not limited to wood burning appliances.  Most gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts use ceramic glass, too.  The ceramic glass is typically sealed to a steel frame by an adhesive backed gasket.  Since direct vented gas appliances use 100% outside air for combustion, it is important to inspect the gasket material occasionally and replace it as needed.  The best time to do this is when cleaning the inside of the glass.

CLEAN THE GLASS!

And speaking of cleaning the glass, whether it’s ceramic or tempered glass, keeping the inside of the glass clean is important. Both ceramic and tempered glass get dirty.  By keeping it clean, you will be able to regularly inspect the gasket seal.  And, in addition to that soothing heat, you will enjoy a beautiful view of the fire.

There are separate glass cleaners available for wood burning appliances and gas equipment.  A bottle will last a long time and is inexpensive.  Your WE LOVE FIRE dealer has it in stock.

Remember the ceramic glass on your fireplace, stove or insert can be quite expensive to replace.  $200 – $300.00 is not uncommon.  So, easy does it!