The big day arrived at last. We wanted to make it as easy as possible, so we had moved stuff out of the way, including removing the door between the kitchen and living room.
We scooped out the ash as much as possible, and pulled out the grate (which got cleaned off and will be used as a wood rack).
It occurred to me to brush down the sides and top of the fireplace. This yielded a rather large quantity of black soot, more than I’d expected, but I just pulled the cover off the ash hole and swept it all in there. Then I vacuumed in the corners.
At this point, Mrs. Fetched and Daughter Dearest headed off to an extended “check us out” weekend at a nearby college. I stayed on target and tackled the glass doors. It turned out to be held on by two clamps inside the fireplace; loosen two bolts and the whole thing came right out. I sat it outside to scrub the soot off the glass and get it out of the way.
Of course, with the doors out of the way, I was clear to get more soot and ash out of the fireplace. This I did, and followed it up with one more vacuum run to get it all cleaned up.
George’s son Roland showed up first. We chatted, waiting for George… and waiting… and waiting. Finally, Roland figured he was looking for the drill that Roland already had, and took off to look for him. I remembered that I needed hardware, and took the opportunity to scare up some screws. I also measured the door into the living room (29-1/2") and then the insert — and learned that the only way we’d get through was to tilt it on its back and bring it in sideways. Sometimes, delays are a good thing.
Roland showed up with his dad in tow, and the festoovities began. They tipped the insert up onto the dolly, while I scared up a piece of plywood so we wouldn’t have to carry it up the steps. I had to grab from the top and pull, while they pushed from the bottom, but it came in fairly easily.
We had laid down blankets and throw rugs in the living room to make sure the floor would be OK. It rolled right into place.
George and Roland managed to pick the insert up without damaging themselves and pushed it into place. George wasn’t sure there would be enough front-to-back clearance to get the insert all the way in, and was telling me about some workarounds they could do if necessary. But they ended up having to pull it back out a little bit — there was plenty of clearance.
With the insert in position, they attached the trim panel and centered it up. We tossed a couple pieces of paper and a small cardboard box in side and Roland lit it. The smoke went straight up the chimney, just like it was supposed to. George was concerned that some of the smoke might make its way to the front and seep out through the mortar joints in the brick, but that wasn’t a problem.
And that concludes the latest improvement at FAR Manor, minus any little details that might come up. George suggested that if we get smoke out the mortar joints, there’s some stuff at Home Despot to seal that up. It’s a fairly nice day right now, so I’ll light it up this evening and try it out.