Remember our wood stove project? The one that started last year, but didn’t materialize for last winter, so we decided to shoot for this winter instead?
Well, we’re still working on it. Only now it’s evolved into a back door project. Because you know how sometimes you start a project and it somehow dominoes into other projects in order to make the first project happen? Yeah, that.
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Anyway, the wood stove project really IS moving along, even though we’ve been plugging away at it for more than a year with limited funds and time. We’ve always been DIY people anyway, mainly because we never have the funds to pay someone else to do it. And seriously, the contractor/service industry is in the tank, but I’ll get into that another time.
Let’s backtrack. First, the wood stove got moved out of my brother’s farm building and into our house last spring. By these guys.
Then, we cut a hole in the ceiling (that was hard, emotionally) and finally got a chimney installed. Yes, we paid someone to do it. We’re stupid, but we’re not that stupid. And this guy is good. We searched long and hard to find him – Heritage Chimney Sweeps, (231) 409-7668.
Then, after watching some YouTube videos and talking to a thousand people and picking out some tile, we laid the tile for the hearth. Not too bad for first-timers, eh? I picked that tile color because it reminds me of the rocks on the beach.
Next, we bought, cut and installed the board for the wall behind the stove, which hopefully will keep the house from burning down.
We’re getting to the door part. See that door in the above picture? That’s our back door that hasn’t been opened in 20 years. Not kidding. We’ve just never used it. But our woodpile is right outside that door, so it’s pivotal in getting the wood from the woodpile into the house and into the stove (once the stove is in place, that is).
But since that door hasn’t been opened in 20 years, it would.not.open when we tried to open it. The top part had bowed, making the door impossible to open, and necessitating some creative door frame chipping/wood removal on our part. No, we’re not going to take the whole dang door out and replace it. Not going to do it.
Oh, there’s also the matter of the tin tiles for the wall board behind the stove. (Thank you for reading this far; my head hurts just from writing this post.)
We thought it would be oh so fun to have those cool old-fashioned tin ceiling tiles on that board behind the wood stove. You know, like they had at Stacy’s Restaurant in downtown Traverse City back in the 1960s. Or like they have in the Old Mission General Store, behind the wood stove in their parlor. So we looked all over town and the Interwebs, found a place that sells the tiles, chose a color and placed our order.
Only they sent us the wrong color. Does that tile in the photo below look like “pewter” to you? I’m telling you, it’s not what it looks like in their catalog. Needless to say, we shipped the black tiles back and are awaiting our gleaming antique silver tiles. Which hopefully will be silver. (There’s a whole side-story about how the company won’t pay for return shipping and wanted to charge us a “restocking” fee. We’re pretty sure they’ve just been shipping this same black tile out to people around the country, getting rich on the restocking fees.)
There’s also the possiblity that we might use a different stove other than the Jotul stove that’s standing there waiting to be hooked to the chimney. But I can’t write any more about this project at the moment or my head will implode and I’ll burst into flames. When is the first snow again?
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb