There are a broad range of accessories available for wood burning stoves, some of which you will find essential. Others are a handy accompaniment that will enhance this cosy feature of your home. As well as various tools to help you build a fire and keep it going, there are some items that are needed when installing a wood burning stove or carrying out repairs. We have therefore grouped accessories under two main headings, which are entitled ‘Installation and Maintenance Equipment’ and ‘Fireplace Accessories’.
Installation and Maintenance Equipment
If you are installing a wood burning stove or fireplace, building a chimney, or carrying out repairs or maintenance to any of these you are likely to need the following equipment:
Fire Cement – This is used for attaching a stove outlet pipe to a flue or joining a single skin flue to a double skin insulated flue.
Heat Resistant Paint – Made to withstand temperatures up to 650 degrees, it is ideal for use with wood burning stoves.
Glass Cleaner – This is used for removing smoke and tar stains from the glass part of the door.
Chimney Cleaner – A specialist cleaner, which is used as an additive on the fire to help prevent the build up of tar deposits inside the chimney.
Flue Brushes – These enable you to keep the inside of the flue free of tar deposits.
Stove Thermometers – To enable you to decide whether your stove is operating at the correct temperature, you can attach one of these to the stove pipe. It is a useful tool to have because low temperatures can cause a build up of tar deposits in the chimney and a higher temperature than normal may indicate that your stove is not operating efficiently.
Replacement Parts – Some parts of the fire may deteriorate over time and need replacing. These include the grate, the baffle plate and the glass. The grate is situated at the bottom of the fire and the kindle is lit on top of it. Because it is continually subjected to high temperatures it can become worn out over time. Likewise, the baffle plate sits inside the stove at the top of the oven, so it can also become damaged. The glass is fitted into the door of the stove to enable you to see the flames. It is possible to buy glass for doors, which is either, pre-cut and curved, or you can have a piece cut to size by a glazier.
The above parts are available from specialist stove supply companies:
Fireplace accessories are useful for building a fire as you will need something to carry your wood in, and fireplace tools for placing the logs on the fire and stoking the coals.
Fireside Accessories – These consist of a set of handy little tools, for example, brushes and shovels to sweep the hearth, and pokers. These are also known as companion sets. There are many different sets available include contemporary designs in materials such as glass and chrome to complement the many modern fire burning stoves that are now on the market. More traditional designs can also be obtained in brass, or with a black or silver veneer.
Fireguards and Screens – Protective screens and guards will help to keep small children and pets away from the stove and also prevent sparks from flying out of the fire if you have the stove door open.
Log Baskets and Containers – Large containers and log stores are useful for storing the wooden logs and kindle, and some of these are fitted with wheels to enable you to move the wood around. Baskets can also be used for transporting wood to and from the fire as well as storing it. Woven baskets look attractive in a traditional setting.
Buckets and Hods – These can also be used for storing or carrying wood. Generally buckets and hods are used for storing wood next to the fire, with a separate large store being kept in another area. They are sold in a variety of finishes and materials, including matt black and brass, to suit your taste or the setting of the wood burning stove.
Stove Matches – It is possible to buy extra long matches that are designed specifically for use with stoves so that your hands stay clear of the flames. Some suppliers also sell accompanying match holders. You could also wear heat resistant gloves to provide protection.
Log Makers – You can turn waste paper, cardboard and wood chippings into logs for a wood burning stove by using a log maker. These are relatively inexpensive to buy.
Moisture Meter – This is used to determine whether the logs are dry enough for use.
Although there is an extensive range of items available it is not necessary to purchase all of these straightaway. If you are having your wood burning stove installed by a specialist supplier then he is likely to supply all of the installation equipment. Wood burning stoves often carry a guarantee and it may not be necessary to buy any replacement parts for a number of years.
Fireplace accessories can be expensive but it is possible to shop around and compare prices. Alternatively, you could build your own log store or use an old bucket to fetch the wood indoors. Some of the accessories sold by the specialist stove suppliers are pricey, but they can make an attractive accompaniment to your wood burning stove and help to create a special ambience in the room. For that reason it can be worth treating yourself if you want to experience the full effects of a traditional, or a contemporary but stylish, wood burning stove.