Monday, November 18, 2013

Flue Downdraft

Kansas has a reputation for being windy.  Yesterday was a prime example.  A strong west wind blew all day, with few moments of calm and hundreds of strong gusts.  It was a good day for cleaning gutters.  Most of the leaves are down now and the wind blew streams of them across the yard.  I hope most of them reached the Neosho River and won’t return later.

Dustin Michelson, photographer for the Emporia Gazette, had made arrangements to visit the studio and take some images for an articlein a future edition of Emporia Living Magazine.

I was going to get the coal forge fired up so I could demonstrate how my hot work is done but as soon as I opened the door at the bottom of the flu a strong gust of ash and soot blew in and covered me in an instant.  I closed the door and washed up before he arrived.

In spite of our reputation for being windy, there probably are only a handful of days in a year when the wind is so strong I can’t get the forge to work because of the downdraft.  Yesterday was one of those disappointments.  We’ll get another opportunity soon.

The downdraft has never been inconvenient enough for me to think much about and fix and I’ve never actually tried anything beyond making a door to fit in the opening of the smoke collector.  I originally made it for use in the winter so that cold outdoor air doesn’t enter at night.

Now, I’m wondering if I can design a fitting which will allow me to make use of the wind to create a Venturi effect and actually suck air up the flu.

The flue is on the west side of the building and the prevailing west wind moves from left to right .

The door has an almost "air tight" fit.  It seats in two pockets at the bottom and is locked by a drop pin from the top.  I did not add those details to the drawing.

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