Masonry Heater Workshop with Albie Barden

Conway, NH, October 1 - 7, 2000

Report by Gary Hart


The masonry heater workshop went off without a hitch. Korey and I

arrived in Conway, New Hampshire Saturday, September 30th. Sunday, Albie, Korey

and I, Dave, Ken, John, Joe (a chimney sweep) and one home owner (future

masonry heater owner) started building the block foundation for the heater. In a

flurry of activity, we built the foundation up to the ceiling line and got the slab

poured before crashing for the evening.


Our host and hostess, Andy and Andria plus baby Fiona provided us

with a hot meal and pleasant conversation.


Monday found us back at the job site bright and early. Work began

on the heater. The custom built heater followed Albie's Albie Core design but was hand

made. Ken built the forms for the castable bake oven top, diverter wedge and capping slabs.

Albie hand carved the mantel below the oven door out of granite and the finished capping

slabs out of granite. By Saturday evening, we had the heater up and approximately 11

feet of chimney. Korey had the opportunity to do some carving on granite.


The hands on training that everyone received was top notch and

invaluable. Albie is an excellent teacher, and took a lot of time to answer questions. He spent a

lot of time explaining the design and principles of what was going on and why.

During the work week, we had the opportunity to visit some of the

heaters that have been built in the area. I was impressed with the heaters and envious of the



Fall colors were everywhere. What a beautiful time of the year.

Albie, Thank You for the workshop and tutor age and thanks for

sharing some of your life experiences.


Gary Hart