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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

MCSC Conference June 21-24, 2017

Take this opportunity to get education and lots of CEU credits for yourself and your employees close to home! 


Chuck Hall, CSIA President
Tom Urban, Estoban Corp
Victor Imgarten, Past NCSG President
Gary Hart, Certified Heater Mason
Gene Padgitt, Licensed Mechanical Contractor
Marge Padgitt, President MCSC
Gregg Boss, BOD for NCSG
Michael Matthews, BOD for MCSC
David Steward, Chimney Contractor
Janie Rickord, BOD for MCSC
Jake Cromwell: Chimney Contractor

A Fantastic Class and Workshop Lineup!
The Labor Problem, Recruiting and Retaining Great People 1.5 CEUS
Creating an Thorough Inspection Program 1.5 CEUs +
Introduction to Masonry Heaters and Maintenance 1.5 CEUs
If you're not Selling,You're Being Outsold 2.5 CEUs
Lessons Learned from Fire Investigations 1.5 CEUs
Over the Top Service Equals Sales 2 CEUs
Hands-on Workshops:
    Chimney Sweeping & Inspection Methods and Equipment 1.5 CEUs
How to Build Chase Tops  
How to Apply Exterior Stucco and Interior Plaster 4 CEU's
How to Build a Chimney Cricket 

More CEUs TBA 
See class details at

Join us for Barbecue on day 1 at Fleming Park! Sponsored by HearthMasters Masonry School


Join us for Bowling and Billiards on day 3! 
Sponsored by: National Chimney Supply


Join us for Pizza Party, Beer, and Auction night on day 4!
Sponsored by Olympia Chimney Supply 

To See the Complete Schedule and Register or join the MCSC 
o to 
    and download the PDF registration form
    Fill out the form and mail it with your check to the MCSC or pay online. 
      Early Bird registration ends May 21, but register early because we are limited to 60 people!

                                     SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE! 
oad a sponsor packet!
Marge Padgitt
President, Midwest Chimney Safety Council
PO Box 1166, Independence, MO 64051

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Call for Articles for Wood-Fired Magazine

Call for articles for the future issues of Wood-Fired Magazine:

We are looking for articles about wood-burning appliances, cooking, baking, building, maintenance, restoration, chimneys, fireplaces, brick ovens, masonry heaters, cook stoves, smokers, rocket stoves, barrel ovens, barbecues, etc . Anything that involves wood-fired heating or cooking is welcome.

Hand-built or manufactured appliance information is welcome. We love recipes, too!

Photos or plans of projects such as grills, smokers, ovens, fireplaces, chimneys, and firepits are always welcome. 

If the story is about yourself or your business, write it in the third person. 

See www.woodfiredmag for article guidelines and more information. Articles should be spell-checked and ready for print. 

Write to the editor at if you have questions. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How to Build an Outdoor Brick Oven Workshop June 15-20, 2017

earthMasters, Inc. is presenting an outdoor brick oven workshop the week prior to the MCSC conference at the same location at 1134 S Pearl Street in Independence, MO. Gene Padgitt, an award-winning master mason, will be heading up the workshop.

Participants will learn everything about an outdoor brick oven from the footing, to the base, oven, insulation, chimney, and finishing work. There is an art and science to building a good oven, and it is not something most people can tackle on their own with out taking at least one class first.This class is for all skill levels. 

A certificate of completion will be issued to participants who successfully complete the course. A maximum of 8 attendees will be accepted. The cost is normally $1,200 per person but we have a special first-time attendee rate of  $850 per person for this workshop. The price  includes all lunches, handouts, and a film or photos of the project after it is completed. The CSIA has awarded 16 CEU credits for the class.  

For newbies: Take this class and learn the basics of masonry and get experience working with block, brick, firebrick,and mortar. So take this class to get hands-on masonry experience!

Gene Padgitt has 34 years of industry experience. He is a State Certified Private Fire Investigator, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, NFI Certified Gas Specialist, Licensed Mechanical Contractor, and holds a degree in HVACR Technology. Padgitt has been an instructor for 20 years and he and his wife, Marge, decided to open a training center in answer to requests from industry professionals.
Future courses will include Introduction to masonry, masonry heaters, and fireplaces.

For more information and to register visit or call 816-461-3665.

Outdoor Wood-fired Ovens More Popular than Ever

By Sheryl Isenhour

If you have never eaten a pizza that was baked in a wood-fired oven before, you are missing out! Many pizzerias use these types of ovens, and the popularity of these cooking appliances has grown so much that people are installing a wood-fire oven in their outdoor kitchens. Wood-fired ovens are the oldest way of taking the kitchen outside. Many different cultures have used wood fired ovens since ancient times, but the most famous ovens are the ones that were designed by the ancient Romans. Still found in homes across Italy, these wood fired ovens resemble a large round chamber with an opening in the front for venting. These ovens are constructed from stone or terra cotta brick.
You never have to worry about it being too cold to use a wood-fire oven because of its design. These ovens resemble a large round chamber, and the wood is burned inside the chamber. The fire produces very high temperatures with a range between 500 and 700 degrees Fahrenheit. If you and your family love to eat pizza, you can already imagine the benefits of having an outdoor wood-fired oven, but we would like to tell you more about the advantages of these ovens.
Whether you are preparing a pre-made, homemade, or frozen pizza, your oven cannot get any hotter than 500 degrees, so it can take up to 45 minutes (including time to preheat the oven) for the pizza to be ready. Depending on the thickness of the dough, you can cook a pizza in a wood-fired oven in just two to five minutes. You can cook more than just pizza in a wood-fired oven. Good foods to try include breads, roasts of any type of meat and vegetables, and casseroles.
Lots of folks think wood fired ovens are specifically for pizza. That’s partially true — you can make some amazing pizza in your oven, since the best pizza crust really needs to be cooked up crisp quickly and at super high heat, which a wood fired oven does exceptionally well. But your cooking options certainly don’t stop at pizza. Bake bread, roast vegetables and meats, make salmon steaks that’ll wow dinner guests, stews, sandwiches, desserts… Just about anything you might make in your regular oven can be made in your wood fired oven, and we might be biased, but we think everything comes out even better. Plus, when you’re entertaining, you don’t end up running in and out while everyone’s enjoying each other’s company in your outdoor room.
When you cook fruits and vegetables over an open flame in a wood-fired oven, they cook very quickly, which helps them retain certain nutrients and antioxidants. Studies have shown that longer cooking times deplete the nutritional value of food.
Other than giving food an enhanced flavor, wood fired ovens give you versatility, ambiance, and reliability. Your friends and family will enjoy the complete sensory experience of sitting by the stove while your food is cooking.
Whenever we meet a food-loving client who’s interested in creating or updating their outdoor room, our first thought is a wood-fired oven. If you’re really into cooking — or eating — a wood fired oven not only gives you a whole new world of culinary options, it makes your outdoor living space that much more beautiful and functional, too.
You do not need any electricity or gas to use a wood-fired oven, and for the environmentally conscious, this is quite a plus. If you are looking for a way to reduce your energy consumption, cooking in a wood-fired oven is a good choice.
Also — you don’t have to cook in it to enjoy it. You can still circle around and enjoy the warmth and ambience, maybe make some s’mores if you felt moved to. A wood fired oven is kind of like having the best of both worlds — a fireplace when you want it, an oven to cook in when you want that too.
Your wood fired oven can be the centerpiece of a complete outdoor kitchen.
Sheryl Isenhour
IBD Outdoor Rooms
IBD Outdoor Rooms is located in Concord, NC. We manufacture outdoor living comonents which include grill islands, fireplacs, fire pits, wood-fired ovens, Kamodo Kaddies, and other modular units. Units made to your specs and then shipped to you for onside finishes. Our website is and facebook

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Fall issue of Wood-Fired Magazine is now available!

Packed with feature stories about fireplace decor ideas for the holidays, a wood-fired restaurant, how to make your own charcoal, when to have the chimney swept, and much more including a crossword puzzle! Check it out at 

Order individual copies, or subscribe to get the magazine in print or online.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Get Your Chimney Checked for National Fire Prevention Week

National Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association, was created in order to reduce fires. The Midwest Chimney Safety Council promotes fire prevention by having chimneys swept to remove flammable creosote and inspected to check chimneys for fire hazards.

The Midwest Chimney Safety Council advises homeowners and building owners to have chimneys inspected by a professional chimney sweep on a regular basis- at least once per year as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. Professional chimney sweeps have the proper equipment to view the interior of chimneys in order to see potential hazards such as missing mortar joints, broken flue tiles, or large gaps which can allow toxic flue gasses and heat to escape into the home.

Professional chimney sweeps are trained to identify problems that the layman may miss.

Chimney sweeps also remove flammable creosote, debris, nests, leaves, and twigs from flues serving furnaces, water heaters, boilers, fireplaces, and gas and wood-burning heating appliances.

The history of chimney sweeps began before Roman times when people started to build fireplaces inside their homes for heating and cooking. Prior to the invention of the chimney the soot and smoke just vented out open windows, but chimneys solved that problem.

Today professional chimney sweeps get their training and Certification at the Chimney Safety Institute of America, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and get continuing education classes at the CSIA, Midwest Chimney Safety Council, and other related organizations. They use state-of-the art chimney camera equipment for inspections.

Some jurisdictions require chimney sweeps to be CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps, or licensed in another manner.

A list of qualified professional chimney sweeps is posted at the Midwest Chimney Safety Council website at

Contact: Marge Padgitt, President of the MCSC at 816-461-3665 or for more information.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Historic Masonry Restoration


Section 1--The Basics

Brick and masonry might be among the longest-lasting, most weatherproof building elements, but masonry buildings still require maintenance and repair. This section of the Old House Web Exterior Walls guide focuses on ways to clean old brick and masonry buildings and also how to repair minor weatherization and age damage to these structures. These suggestions also apply to stone and concrete block.

Typically, masonry structures have problems and damage associated with one or more of the following:

Photo: HearthMasters, Inc.

Foundation displacement--also known as settling--over time
Water penetrating into structural walls
Shoddy construction
Poor materials
Stresses on the masonry walls due to fluctuations in temperature
Aging of mortar in masonry joints
Section 2--How to Clean Masonry Walls

Before undertaking any cleaning task, examine the wall carefully. Will your cleaning further degrade the mortar and masonry? Although dirt and airborne pollutants can significantly diminish the beauty of brick, a cosmetic makeover may actually do more harm than good, especially in very old houses or structures.

In any preservation work with old masonry buildings, you'll want to tackle cleaning with the least invasive process possible. If the structure has historical significance, you also should consult with a rehabilitation professional. Resist the temptation to blast the building with a high-pressure power washer! Although you'll remove decades of built-up dirt, you'll also remove mortar and most likely a thin layer of the brick itself.

If you use any chemical cleaners, you should clean a small test area first to see how the cleaner interacts with the existing masonry.

2.1: Cleaning Masonry With a Brush
You can clean old masonry walls during a home restoration with dish-washing detergent, cleaners such as Simple Green, or laundry detergent mixed with water. Oftentimes, deep stains can be removed with grease-removing cleaners such as Formula 409. Certain stains, such as water marks or leaching of coloring agents from within the brick itself, can be cleaned with acid-based cleaners. However, acid can discolor masonry, as well as damage glass and metal surfaces such as flashing around windows. Acid should be a last resort, and it must be thoroughly washed off after cleaning.

2.2: Cleaning With a Pressure Washer
If faced with a huge amount of wall space in a home renovation project, you can use a pressure washer if it's set on low or medium power. High-pressure spray should never be used to clean old masonry. Although you can clean a large surface volume quickly with a power or steam washer, you might be better off to tackle the chore with a brush to avoid blasting decaying mortar from aging joints.

2.3: Using Abrasive Blasting to Clean Masonry
Most abrasive blasting is done with sand, but the problems that can occur with sand blasting are similar to using high-pressure water. Softer materials, such as glass beads, finely ground nutshells, or peach or cherry pits, can be used to clean old masonry or brick. If you plan on using one of these softer blasting materials, test a small portion of wall and examine the brick and mortar before continuing.

Section 3--Applying Protecting Coatings to Masonry Walls
Clear coatings help repel water and graffiti. Coatings are either a protective film on top of the brick, or they actually penetrate the brick. The effectiveness of clear coating masonry walls is debatable, however.

3.1: Film Coatings
Film coatings include:

Pros: Film coatings can help fill cracks in brick and keep graffiti from penetrating the brick's surface.

Cons: The film may darken bricks, and it can prevent water from evaporating from the brick face.

3.2: Penetrating Coatings
These coatings usually permeate the brick to a depth of 3/8 of an inch.

Pros: The coating can last up to 10 years.

Cons: Penetrating coatings can't be applied over film coatings, and they don't work to seal cracks in mortar joints.
Section 4--Fixing Decaying Mortar

A brick wall is only as strong as the mortar that holds it together. Brick can last for several hundred years in the right conditions, but mortar is estimated to have a 25-year life. If the mortar has eroded more than 1/4 of an inch, it must be replaced or re-pointed.

4.1: Concerns and Cautions When Re-pointing
The mortars used today are stronger than their predecessors, so the stress loads and weight transfers that any structure undergoes may be transferred from the mortar joints and into the brick itself. Consult with a professional mason to ensure you mix the proper mortar for repointing.

Serious structural flaws in brick or masonry walls, such as large cracks or displaced or deteriorated bricks should be handled by a professional mason. A professional can assess the problem--and most importantly, the underlying factors that led to the degradation of the wall.