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Bill Brown, of Grass Roots Energy Inc. in Wauconda IL, had watched the masonry heater industry for several years before deciding that it was time to get involved with Temp-Cast. We had talked to Bill every year at our annual industry show in various cities around the USA, but it likely took the glowing recommendation about Temp-Cast from one of Bill's own customers to seal the deal.

In June 2001 we conducted a workshop at Grass Roots in Wauconda IL, which was attended by John LaGamba from Temp-Cast, Bill and his staff, several local masons, some future customers and the current owner of a Temp-Cast heater. This owner, who had been using his heater for 2 years, reported significant savings on his gas bill and how much they enjoyed the heater.

The workshop started at 9:00 and was completed just after 2:00, including a break for lunch cooked on one of the broilers which Bill sells. The enthusiasm of Bill, his staff and the other attendees was in part due to their realization that wood heat offers a reasonable and cost-efficient option to other sources of energy, and in part due to the unique benefits that a masonry heater gives to homeowners. If you would like to contact Bill to discuss a Temp-Cast masonry heater, please follow this link Grass Roots Energy Inc



The Wauconda Worskhop

Corner model core Bill chose a corner model Temp-Cast 2000 for the new section of his expanded showroom. In this shot, the heater core is complete up to the smoke throat. (Note: all the parts are numbered and most are fitted with male & female keys to simplify assembly.)
This is not rocket science The crew quickly learned how simple the heater is to install, with numbered parts and clear instructions.
Applying refractory mortar to parts The 2 courses of the secondary combustion chamber have been completed in this photo. (No workers, must be lunch-time!)
Part #3 Here the ceramic expansion gasket (white material) has been placed next to the core and the first 4 side channels have been installed. Note the position of the chimney connection, cut on site, into the bottom right channel - it could also have been located on any of 4 other positions around the base of the heater. This photo also shows the use of a nylon tie-down to temporarily hold the heavy side channels in position. (Note that packing tape has been used to secure the lower 2 side channels - the tape can be left in place and covered with the masonry facing.)
Completing the first course Another side channel is placed carefully into position - it helps to have workers with strong backs on site!
Assembling 2nd course The 2 pieces of the lid, over additional ceramic gasket, have been placed in this shot. (The scaffolding is nice to have but not really necessary - a board on 2 milk crates will work just as well.)
Working on Course #3 This shows the heater with the corrugated spacer applied around all 6 sides, ready to receive the masonry facing. The nylon tie-down has been removed and you can just see the packing tape under the spacer, wrapped around the heater in at least 4 locations. It is also important to cut out the spacer from around the firebox opening and below it, before the spacer is applied to the core, using the door frame as a template. (Note: this also illustrates that the installer has to leave room for the mason to work behind the heater, since all surfaces of the unit must be covered with solid masonry.)
Assembling course #4 - up to the smoke throat This is Bill's shop in Wauconda, about an hour from Chicago, where the workshop was done.
Up to the secondary combustion chamber The owner of this heater, from Crystal Lake IL, also attended the workshop. He has lived with the heater for 2 seasons and was extremely pleased with it's performance and his drastically reduced gas bills. His "See-thru" model heater is finished with a unique facing - irregular-shaped brick called a Mohawk clinker. (Any solid masonry facing of 4" to 6" is acceptable, giving the owner great flexibility in design.)
Same heater from the opposite side.