Some friends of ours decommissioned an Earth Stove fireplace insert some time back, and had it sitting under their porch ever since. When they learned we were talking about getting one, they were only to glad to give us that one. Of course, there were the minor details about getting it delivered (as it’s several hundred pounds of steel and firebrick) to the manor, and what kind of shape it was in. The Boy has been disappearing all weekend for most weekends, and then I managed to hose my knee. But then their sons showed up: J and his older brother, a skinny Marine home on leave; they devised a roller system with some PVC pipe (which you can see under the insert) and rolled it on his truck and then off into our detached garage.
I had a little time yesterday, and the anti-inflammatories have done a pretty good job (my knee still aches but it’s only annoying), so I spent half an hour getting stuff together. Wire brush, dust mask (plenty of those around, thanks to the chicken houses), jacket, gloves… and the camera, of course.
I opened it up to find several inches of ash still inside the thing. I guess I can’t complain about a freebie though; but I could (and did) scoop it out and toss it in The Boy’s firepit.
With the initial preparations out of the way, I took wire brush in hand and got to work. The rust on the box is actually pretty light, except toward the bottom — I think a lot of what came off was dirt. I’ll probably go over it with some medium sandpaper, just to make sure, but I’m already half-done with the initial phase of the project (Phase 2 = painting, Phase 3 = installation).
There are two possible wrinkles that I need to be aware of. First is the blower; they told me it worked when they plugged it in a year ago, but it’s been sitting in a non-climate controlled area since then. So I’m going to pull that unit out and have a look at it before plugging it in. Second is Mrs. Fetched… she’s not sure she wants black. Rust-Oleum has several colors of high-heat paint; I have some black paint (put to good use painting an old grill & a motorcycle tank), but she’s not sure she wants black. She certainly doesn’t want green, though. There’s a “copper” color, which might be interesting… I might use it on the trim panel and maybe the door & hood if nothing else. But I have a little time to make those decisions.
UPDATE: I has a drill. They use large DeWalt drills in the chicken house as winch motors; like anything in the chicken house, they develop problems. The thing I like about them is that they are built to be repairable, and Mrs. Fetched brings them to me to repair. I happened to have a couple drills in the queue; I tried one and it shot fire out the back. I snagged the brushes out of a “parts” drill, added some gear oil to the gearbox to quiet down the shrieking, and it run fine. I put the wire brush on it and got to work. The drill is heavy as all get-out, but never even got warm and it took nearly all the rust off that the hand brush missed. The insert is much more black than rust color now, at least on the side I did.