There’s a wonderful, magical place about 35 miles away, with a McDonalds and a Safeway, the coolest alcohol, tobacco and firearms store in the known universe, and a darned good hardware store that sells wood stoves.
That last place has been much on my mind lately. They sell a stove that is just barely in my price range, and I’m finishing up a keyboard gig that could put one in my cabin. But I got to talking about that with my neighbors D&L yesterday afternoon, and they asked, “How much will the stovepipe cost?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I need ten or twelve feet of six-inch double-wall, and I haven’t priced it yet.” The current stove uses eight-inch, though everything going through the ceiling is six-inch. I occasionally do some things right, just to keep the universe guessing.
So D pops his cell phone off his belt. He and L are the only people I know who have a hardware store on speed-dial.
“How much for ten feet of six-inch double-wall stovepipe?” he asked the phone. “Uh huh…Uh huh…Okay, thanks.” He folded the phone and announced, “$306.”
I believe my exact response was “eep.”
That’s half again as much as the stove itself, and effectively put the whole project out of my financial reach.
“Yeah,” said D, “But why do you want double-wall? You’ve already got double-wall through the ceiling, right? So use single-wall up to the ceiling box, and then you’re not throwing away all that heat.”
I have always assumed I’d replace the current (single-wall) stovepipe with double-wall because…well, because that’s official or something. I don’t know. But it’s not as though any of this has to pass any inspection other than “Did it burn your house down?”
Out came the cell phone again. “How much for ten feet of single-wall?” The answer turned out to be a hair over $100, which is what I’d originally guessed. That put the project at about $350 with tax, and that’s doable. I’ve got well over half that much already coming, and the rest is in sight.
So there may be a genuine factory-built stove in the Lair’s near future: Possibly this very winter. My aching fingers are happy with that.