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Circular Stairway Doubles As A Chimney
"The most effective chimneys are located at the center of the house because warm chimneys draw better than cold chimneys," says Eugene Bassler, Maquoketa, Iowa, who designed a chimney for his wood stove that also serves as a circular stairway with metal steps that help distribute heat throughout the house.
The chimney is fashioned from two 10-ft. long sections of heavy 10-in. dia. iron well pipe that Bassler bought at a local junk yard for $60. Steel angle iron tabs were welded to the pipe at correct intervals for the rise and run of the steps, which were formed at a local iron shop from 1/8-in. diamond pattern steel plate for about $220.
Bassler cut a 6-in. hole in the well pipe to accommodate a 6-in. stove pipe from his stove, which is located in the basement. The 6-in. steel pipe fit so tight it didn't need welding. A stainless steel 6-in. flue runs up the center of the well pipe and out the roof. "We pop-riveted it together and let it down into the well pipe, spaced approximately 2 in. from each side of the well pipe by crushed beer cans. The stainless steel flue pipe extends up through the roof while the well pipe/ stairway extends only into the attic. Cool attic air floods into the space between the two pipes, helping to keep the well pipe from getting too hot," says Bassler.
There is a 7 by 9-in. hinged access door in the well pipe near the stove through which the flue and stove pipe were joined.
"We've used our circular stairway chimney since 1979 and it works great. The steel steps distribute heat evenly from the chimney and yet they don't get uncomfortably warm. It makes for warm, even heat and also looks good and saves space," says Bassler.
The stairway has a bannister made with 1-in. sq. steel pipe and 5/16-in. steel chain that's threaded through eye bolts.
In addition to his innovative chimney, Bassler has also designed a gas igniter for his wood stove. The igniter works from an electric thermostat. On nights when he expects to need a fire in the morning, he fills the stove with wood. When the temperature drops, the gas ignites the wood and gets the fire off to an easy start. When the house ternperature reaches a preset ternperature, the gas shuts off.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bassler Heating, Eugene Bassler, Rt. 2, Maquoketa, Iowa 52060 (ph 319 686-4347).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #6