I initially thought I would get a larger model but it wouldn't fit in the space I had and then I received an email from Beth Leonard who suggested the model 66 would be a very good size for our boat. That piece of advice solved a lot of problems.
I ordered it with an elbow so I could determine how big the space would need to be to accommodate it. The elbow was about 4" long and as you can see in the top photo it stuck out much too far. All it did was make the footprint bigger. I needed to cut it off but I don't have a miter box. I looked at Lowes but the miter boxes they had were too expensive or cheap plastic. So, I built my own from some scrap 3/4" ply. I made it just wide enough to hold the pipe. I used drywall screws as fasteners and a jigsaw to make the narrow kerf so my hacksaw would not drift around while I mad the cut. Once I determined where the elbow needed to be cut I wrapped some tape around it and marked it. I inserted some doorshim wedges to keep the pipe firmly in place while I made the cut. I clamped the miter box to my out-feed table at the end of my table saw. I used a hacksaw blade I only use for cutting SS. I am very pleased with the cut--it came out nice and straight. I cleaned up the edges with a half-round file. Then I inserted it on the Refleks flue to check for fit. Perfect. I will set it aside for now and once the cleat installation is complete I'll use the Refleks to determine the footprint necessary to rough in a custom built space just forward of the starboard settee.
Next, I went back to work on the trim ring. As detailed in a previous post, I cut the trim ring from the square lamination I made on a band saw. Now I needed to cut a 4 3/4" hole through the trim ring for the deck flange to plug into. I hate buying one time tools. But there was no reasonable way around it. I bought a Lenox 4 3/4" hole saw. I saved a few dollars as it came without the arbor but since all my other hole saws are Lenox I was able to use the arbor from one of them. I decided I needed to cut the hole before I beveled the trim ring to match the deck. It was the only way to ensure it would be vertical. It took a while but I was able to cut it on my bench top drill press. First I drilled a 1/4" hole al the way through the center and out the other side. Then I used the hole saw to cut half way through the plug--all the way to the bottom of the hole saw. I flipped the plug over and using the 1/4" hole as a guide I cut back through all the way to the bottom of the hole saw which just made it through. A perfect hole. Next, I took the trim ring up to the boat and used some wood scraps to prop the outside edge up so that it was level on top. I then scribed around it with a compass. I used a power planer to cut most of the excess away. Then, I used a block plane and spoke shave to trim to the scribed line. It fit perfect. I was pleased. It made me realize how much I have learned during the rebuild as the did not require days of research and planning . . . it took maybe 45 min. Next, I took the hole saw up to the boat and after taping off the area I needed to cut through (to protect the gelcoat) I cut a matching 4 3/4" hole through the cabin top. I checked the fit of the trim ring over the hole. They lined up perfectly. I finished up the day by rounding over the top and inside edge of the trim ring with the router. Next day, I cut a caulking grove in the bottom of the trim ring to provide a place for caulk to lay and not get completely squeezed out. I developed a couple of options for securing the trim ring to the cabin top. In the end I went with the simplest of the options as suggested by someone I trust. I used 3M 4000UV and no fasteners. 3M 4000 has about the same adhesive capability as 4200 but with more UV protection. I dug out the balsa core in the deck around the hole I cut the day before. I only needed to cut back about 1/4" since there would be no fasteners penetrating the deck. I coated the balsa with unthickend epoxy and followed with epoxy thickened with cabo-sil. After it was hard taped off the hole and trim ring and I applied 3M 4000 to the bottom of the trim ring and pressed it into position. I used a "Dap Cap" to clean up the excess, removed the tape that protected the teak trim ring, and cleaned up the excess with alcohol.
I visited various metal fabricators looking in to SS sheet metal. I called the tech lines for Force 10 and Dickinson Stoves. I made some mock ups. The tech rep at Force 10 told me I would not need spacers. The SS directly on the mahogany would be fine. He informed me that the SS is really relying on its reflective capabilities and if polished will be more than up to the task. That was news to me. The both though polished aluminum would work as well though it might be susceptible to warping at the thinner gauges. The general consensus seems to be that polished 20-22 gauge SS would be about right. Anyway, no decision yet. I also spent a lot of time trying to eliminate an air block between the kerosene tank and the ball valve tap under the companionway ladder . . . the fuel flowed fine to the heater (down stream from the ball valve) but only trickled out the ball valve tap itself. After a lot of fussing, draining, etc, I decided that there simply was not enough head pressure to drive the air out of the line between the "T" off the main line up- hill to the ball valve, though it was below the bottom level of the tank. So, I spent a few hour reconfiguring it slightly by eliminating the "T" and uphill climb to the ball valve. The line now runs from the tank to a "T" directly on the back side of the ball valve then straight to the heater that is low enough in the boat there is plenty of head pressure for the rest of the line. Works great. The EcoFan model 810 arrived and I tested it a couple times on the top of the Refleks heater. Though the tests were limited, I am impressed. It moves a fair amount of air and it is whisper quiet. A very neat device that I think enhances capability of the heater. Below, there is a movie clip of it in action.
2 Jan 15I mailed off the patterns for the lee cloth hooks to Mystic River Foundry. I hope to hear back from them next week. Today, I sewed a bag for the parachute storm anchor. Nothing fancy. In fact, I used material from and old sail bag along with some sunbrella scrap. I reinforced the bottom, added a nylon retention strap, and a draw string. Hopefully, we will never need to employ it. I ran the heater some today and experimented with some shielding options. I attempted to determine if what the Force 10 tech rep I talked to last week told me was accurate--that I did not need to provide an air gap, I could put the SS shielding on the wood without spacers. I used some aluminum foil and taped it to the surrounding wood where I had previously determined that the wood got hot. Surprisingly, the wood behind the foil, even though it was in contact with the wood, remained cool while the wood just above and below the foil was warm. Interesting. I also took some heater top temperature measurements with the fan running. With the Refleks heater on the lowest setting the heater ran about 200 degrees. Without the fan, the top of the heater measured 375 F. With the heater set to level 3, it measured about 275 F vice 450F. So, I decided to set heater to level 7 of 9. It measured about 325 F and I estimate that without the fan it would have been about 500F. I did not want to run the heater that high without the fan as I knew the wood would get very hot. At setting 7 the fan was blowing an impressive amount of heat across the boat. It was not that cold today so I don't know what the "felt" effect would be with colder temperatures but my instincts tell me the fan will significantly (?) contribute to moving hot air across the boat reducing cold spots and creating a more consistent temperature. These are of course, just preliminary impressions. I had no trouble starting the heater. It fired right up, burning clean and clear from the start.