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Crystal Glass Fireplace Logs

Jeff Benroth's cast glass logs.

Crystal glass fireplace logs are a great alternative to real firewood when you don’t use your fireplace during the warmer seasons or all year around if you don’t use the fireplace at all. These dramatic glass or crystal logs work equally well in a classic, traditional room as they work in a modern, sleek room.

The intense contrast between the concept of earthy, substantial logs and the ethereal, delicate nature of glass and crystals makes one’s brain do a double take! These seemingly incongruous concepts have been beautifully wedded.

There are multiple ways to achieve the look of crystal glass fireplace logs in your fireplace. Some are a good deal pricier than others. All have their wow-factor amplified by a small light source.

Top of the Line Crystal Glass Fireplace Logs

The Jeff Benroth glass logs shown at the top of this page are works of art. Each log is made by sand-casting a real piece of wood and then pouring molten glass into the negative of the casting. Each 15 inch long, 4 inch diameter glass log looks real because it was make from a real log. These glass logs were produced in a limited run of 500, and each is numbered and signed. Don’t gasp too loudly when you see the price: $500. That’s per log. The nine in the display would total $4500.

Glass-Like Selenite Crystal Fireplace Logs

 

Glass like crystal selenite logs have many of the visual properties of glass fireplace logs but at a much lower price point. Selenite is a form of gypsum that naturally occurs as transparent or semitransparent crystals. The word selenite comes from the Greek word for moon because it has moon-like properties. Folklore claims selenite crystals remove negative energy from a room, but all we are sure of is that they make impressive substitutes for real firewood.

These selenite logs come in 9.5 to 12 inch long pieces, well sized to smaller fireplaces. For larger fireplaces, you may need to buy twice as many. They cost about $25 a piece.

Selenite Crystal Fireplace Sculptures

Another alternative to glass crystal fireplace logs are selenite fireplace sculptures. They capture the glass-like quality of glass logs and the crystal properties of selenite logs.

Above is an awesome Selenite Crystal Fireplace Sculpture, 24 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and 15 to 18 inches tall. It is put together so votive candles can be tucked into it: When lit, they do indeed give a moon-like glow from within. The price is also awesome: $5,200.00! No, the decimal point is not in the wrong place.

Votive candles within the selenite fireplace sculpture

Votive candles within the selenite fireplace sculpture

You can create your own, dramatically less expensive, selenite fireplace sculpture by clustering these large selenite tower pieces (12 inch, 14 inch and 16 inch tall, running in the low $100s to the low $200s depending on size) with smaller (4 inch tall) selenite towers (about $8 each).

Add your own glass votive candles holders with candles, and  you have replicated the expensive selenite fireplace sculpture for a fraction of the cost.

Acrylic and Polycarbon Alternatives to Crystal Glass FireplaceLogs

Create a minimalist version of glass or crystal fireplace logs with clear, solid acrylic rods or clear tubes of polycarbon. These alternatives to firewood logs make a stunning display in a modern fireplace. Set them so you see the long sides, as you would firewood. Or up the drama by stacking them in the fireplace with the ends pointing toward the room.

Solid acrylic rods substitute for fireplace logs.

Solid acrylic rods can substitute for fireplace logs.

 

Clear carbonite tubes

Clear carbonite tubes can also substitute for fireplace logs.

Measure your fireplace and select or cut the tubes or rods into lengths appropriate for your fireplace, typically 12 inches to 22 inches long. To select ones that mimic actual firewood, go for outside diameters in the 2 to 6 inch range. If cost is an issue, smaller diameter ones are less expensive. Three inch diameter solid acrylic rods run about $65 per foot and 3 inch diameter carbonite tubes cost about $10 per foot.

Transparency of Glass + Crystalline Shapes

If you like the dramatic look of glass and the dynamic shape of crystals for your fireplace, here are two alternatives to crystal glass fireplace logs.

Each side of these handmade glass dodecahedrons is a five-sided pentagon. One side is open. The smaller one is 7 inches and the larger one is 9  inches. Together, they cost about $140 including shipping. Depending on the size of your fireplace,  you may need more than two.

Glass "cubes"

These five inch glass “cubes” actually have a seventh side.

Make your own, DIY version with these 5 inch glass “cubes”. One side is open, and a seventh side tilts the cube. Cluster several of them to replicate the more expensive look of the handmade dodecahedrons. They are only $16 for one cube. Complete the look with mini-globe lights.

Grouping of glass "cubes"

A cluster of glass “cubes” can fill your fireplace. Add mini-lights.

 

TIPS for Using Crystal Glass Fireplace Logs

Whether you are filling your fireplace with glass fireplace logs or selenite fireplace logs, crystal selenite fireplace sculptures or glass polyhedrons, keep these two things in mind:

  • Play up the unique qualities of glass and crystals by adding a light source.
    Candles, mini-lights, small LED up-lights, or even wireless stick-on lights can do the job. Place them behind and within your display, not in front of it.You won’t need lots of light. Keep it small. Too much light can diminish the effect.
  • Elevate a small arrangement.
    If you find your display looks too small for the size of your fireplace, elevating it by placing it on a clear glass or acrylic box or display base can magnify its effect. Add a small up-light source inside the box.

 

Let us know how you’ve used any of these looks in your fireplace!

Posted in Decorating Tagged with:

When to Close Fireplace Damper

When to Close Fireplace Damper

Your fireplace damper must be open when you have a fire in your fireplace. It provides the necessary updraft for the smoke and prevents carbon monoxide poisoning. But when should you shut or close the wood-burning fireplace damper?

Not sure how to open or close fireplace damper? See damper instructions here.

Close Fireplace Damper In Warm Weather.

During the seasons you will not be burning wood in your fireplace, close the damper. An open damper is much like an open window or open door – interior air you are paying to air condition will be wasted and escape out any opening.

Open door and open damper - both let air conditioned air out

In the summer, an open fireplace damper is like an open door. Both let air conditioned air out of the home.

Close Fireplace Damper When Fire Is Completely Out.

During the part of the year you are using your wood-burning fireplace, open the damper before you light the fire. If necessary to keep the fire burning well and smoke-free, you may adjust the damper into a semi-open position.

Shut the damper when the fire is completely, absolutely out. That means ashes are cool to the touch even when stirred. If you close the damper before that, you risk carbon monoxide poisoning.

Functionally, this is what that means:

  • Start your fire before you “need” it.
  • Toward the end of the evening, let the fire die down instead of adding more logs.
  • Separate remaining bits of firewood on the grate. Stir embers on the fireplace floor.
  • Leave the damper open overnight. Yes, you will lose some heat up the flue, but you will save the occupants of the home from poisoning by colorless, odorless carbon monoxide.
  • In the morning, stir the embers and check them for any hot spots. Only when they are completely cold to the touch is it safe to shut the fireplace damper.

Close the Fireplace Damper in Preparation for a Hurricane or Heavy Rains.

See Hurricane Fireplace Tips to see more about why you should close the fireplace damper with you are expecting heavy rains.

Is the Fireplace Damper Open or Closed?

To close a throat damper in a fireplace, lift the handle and pull it back towards you.

To remember whether your damper is open or closed (and to remember to close fireplace damper when the embers are completely cooled), you can use a brass damper hook with a Closed and Open side or a brass fireplace sign with a Closed and Open side.

 

 NOTE: For Fireplaces with Installed Gas Logs

If you have installed gas logs in your fireplace, the damper should never be closed.

  • If you have a pilot light constantly burning under your gas logs, shutting the damper puts you, your family and your pets at severe risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Even if your pilot light is not lit, there is the danger that someone might forget to open the damper when using the gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces emit a copious amount of carbon monoxide, so they must always have an open vent.

If your fireplace damper is stuck in either the closed or open position, here’s how to un-stick it.

 

Posted in Safety, Using Your Fireplace Tagged with:

Summer Fireplace Myths

summer fireplace myths

Which of these summer fireplace myths do you believe? Learn the facts that might surprise you about fireplaces in summertime.

Summer Fireplace Myth #1: Since you won’t be burning a fire in hot weather, your fireplace will have to suffer from Black Hole Syndrome.

A fireplace candelabra brings the tiny fires of candlelight to your fireplace without the heat of a wood or gas fire. With open, airy looks, they fit the breezy, beachy days of summer. Fireplace candelabra are made in a variety of metals, glass and wood. And you can select candles in neutral white or ivory or in colors to accent your room’s décor.

 

fireplace candelabra fireplace candelabra

Don’t fall for this one of the summer fireplace myths. Rescue your fireplace from the Black Hole Syndrome by adding a fireplace candelabra and candles.

Buy Fireplace Candelabra and Fireplace Candle Holders

Summer Fireplace Myth #2: Since you’re not using your fireplace, you can forget about your chimney until next fall.

It is during the warm weather that animals seek out sheltered areas – like chimneys – in which to nest. If your chimney does not have a chimney cap, it is an inviting and easy-access home for birds, raccoon and even feral cats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bees and other flying insects can also find your chimney a desirable nesting area. But even a conventional chimney cap cannot keep them out since they are smaller than the holes in a chimney cap screen mesh. Therefore, a chimney cap with an integrated top-sealing damper is necessary to keep out these smaller critters. The top damper shuts off insects’ access to your chimney with a gasket seal closure, much like a refrigerator door seal. It opens again when you want a fireplace fire.

 Summer Fireplace Myth #3: If you clean a fireplace at the end of cold weather season, it cannot stink in summer.

You were responsible; you had your chimney cleaned when fireplace weather was over. Yet as the weather gets hot and humid, you are smelling campfire-like odors from your fireplace.

Even the best of chimney sweeps cannot rid your chimney of every last microscopic bit of creosote and soot. Bricks and mortar, for example, are porous. Creosote and odors can be trapped in them.

During the winter when the air in the house is warmed by your furnace or fireplace, that warm air rises up the chimney, carrying any creosote odors up and out of the house. But the wet, humid air of summer is heavier than the dry air inside the house. As this heavier air comes down your chimney, it can bring with it the chimney odors.

What’s the solution? A top mounted damper seals the top of your chimney so no humid air comes into the house through the chimney. When you are using the fireplace, you open the top sealing damper with a chain that runs down through the chimney and into the top of the fireplace fire box.

 

Summer Fireplace Myth #4: Fireplaces are for inside the house, not outside.

An outdoor fireplace is a wonderful way to enjoy summer evenings. Whether a free standing gas or wood fireplace or a fireplace incorporated into an outdoor screened area or patio, an outdoor fireplace is a great way to increase the use of your outdoor space. And s’mores are every bit the hit they are in winter as they are in summer.

Be a Myth Buster. Debunk these summer fireplace myths.

Posted in Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance, Using Your Fireplace Tagged with: , , ,

Elevator for Bird Stuck in Chimney

Bird Stuck in Elevator ? Follow instructions for Bird Elevator.

Some people find a bird stuck in their chimney or fireplace and panic. Others search for a solution such as the ones we offer for removing a bird stuck in chimney or sitting in a fireplace. The most creative come up with their own unique solution for a bird stuck in chimney.

That’s what Nic did when faced with a bird stuck in chimney. She’s a solutions-oriented student from Sweden with a lifelong passion for both art and animals. Always one to help an animal in need, she created a clever solution for rescuing a bird in her chimney. Nic invented a Bird Elevator to lower down through the chimney, allow the bird to step onto it, and then safely raise the bird elevator up the flue to release the feathered critter.  And Nic was generous enough to create how-to instructions for the Bird Elevator for us to share with you on FireplaceMall.com.

What  You Will Need to Make a Bird Elevator to Remove Bird Stuck in Chimney:

  • A piece of cardboard the bit smaller than the inside of your chimney flue.
  • Scissors to cut the cardboard.
  • Hole punch or something else to make the 4 holes in the cardboard.
  • Light weight string or thread.
  • Heavier weight string or light weight rope.
  • A weight. Nic used a wrench.
  • The willingness to go up on the roof.
  • The patience to wait until the bird settles onto its “elevator” and then slowly to raise the elevator up the flue.
Bird stuck in chimney ? Try this bird elevator.

Photo credit for these instructions for making your own Bird Elevator go to the Bird Elevator’s inventor, http://twitter.com/nicsayhey

Now that your chimney is bird-free, you will probably want to insure that no more birds try to enter your chimney or fireplace. The solution for that is to install a chimney cap. A chimney cap has screen mesh sides and attaches either to the chimney flue or to the cement crown on top of your chimney. The screen mesh allows smoke and gases from your fireplace to exit your home without allowing birds or other animals to enter.

If you also want to prevent bees, wasps and other flying insects from entering your home through your chimney, you will need a top-sealing damper, either with or without a chimney cap. The top-sealing damper attaches to the very top of the chimney’s flue and is closed except when you use your fireplace.

If you use Nic’s style of DIY Bird Elevator to rescue a bird from your fireplace or chimney, please let us know in the comments how it went!

Posted in Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance, Using Your Fireplace Tagged with: ,
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