The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2016.11.18 - The Heater Frame

After lunch I returned to the workshop and checked the heater temperatures. Not at all surprisingly the main body temperature remained pretty much the same but the lid was now hot enough to boil water. I put my kettle on to try it. As the charcoal burns down more heat gets to the lid instead of being absorbed by the mass of charcoal above the grate.

The heater is advertised as a bulkhead mounted heater but I don't have one of those suitable for that so I'm making a frame to support the heater instead. The reason for checking the temperature of the heater was to see just how hot the wood around the heater was going to get when it was running.

The website for the heater also says that it will run for up to 12 hours on a kilo of charcoal. I filled it up to the top of the fire box and it lasted just four hours, but then I ran it at full blast for an hour and I doubt that I had a kilo of charcoal in there either. The pieces of charcoal I have are about 2" which means that I'm probably only getting between a half and there quarters of a kilo in the fire chamber. To get more in I would have to break the 2" pieces in to smaller bits. But not too small or the the charcoal will block the flow of air up through the chamber.

The last boat task of the day was to glue the reinforcing pieces to the frames and beams. I say last boat task since I then went on to replace a second floodlight on the outside of the workshop. I replaced on two evenings ago and it is very good. I bought some 50W LED floodlights giving 4,500 lumens each and two of them are going outside the workshop along with one we already had and the rest are going inside to lighten up the dingy corners. There are three existing floodlights on the building and none have worked since we bought the property nearly four years ago and I've been meaning to replace them since we moved in!

Two down, one to go.

The uprights for the heater frame, the left-most one is also the vertical frame for the cabin side. The lower ends and the upper end of the right-most upright are held in place using 2" steel corner braces which I'll replace with stainless steel once they arrive. I'll also epoxy the frame in place but since epoxy goes soft at higher temperatures I figured that I'd use screws and braces as well, just in case. I don't know at what temperature the epoxy softens but it's better to be safe than sorry. The cross-pieces are next but I can't do those until the heater has cooled down and I can offer it up to the uprights to see just where it needs to go. Once the heater is mounted I can refit the galley.

The reinforcing pieces glued in place and clamped.