Vislovo Teplushka

Following is a series of images taken by Alexander Batsulin during the construction, by him, of a Teplushka at Vislovo 7 km from Svetlicy in the region of Kaluga.

The object of this project was to move towards a completely double skinned Teplushka, that would be more robust than the traditional single skinned version. The only portions of the stove not double skinned are the outer walls of the chimney and the upper bell. The facing of the single skinned Teplushka, layed in clay mortar, often cracks in the hottest areas. Double skinning will allow a harder mortar to be used on the facing, reduce concentrated heat transfer to the facing, and increase inertia

The fire box walls consists of two independent wythes of shiners, allowing the inner wythe to be replaced should that become necessary in the future.

There will be a "bell" captivation chamber above the bake chamber

For a description of the Teplushka its development and function see:

Krestianskaya Teplushka.

Brief biography of Ieosiv Samoelovich Podgoridnikov.


Facing Brick
Common Belorussian brick, sold in Russia as 'brick for heaters' Refractory Brick

Refractory mortar
Bogdanovchi Refractories

Baocheme Refractories.
( Germany)

Common Mortar
7 sand-2 clay-1 Portland

Basalt mineral wool


The first 7 courses of facing.
The oblong opening front right is for the air intake/ash removal door. The square openings front and back, give access to the bell chamber, and base of the chimney.

The fire box floor. And, back right, the vertical oblong opening from the lower chamber to the chimney.
The core is completely gasketed from the facing, using one quarter inch thick mineral wool sheets.
Note the partially hollow first course, the voids of which are filled with rock wool as a thermal brake.

The outer wythe of the fire box , and walls of the lower chambers layed with shiners.
The opening to the chimney from the second chamber (bottom left) has been bridged with refractory brick.

Four oven hearth support pillars are built in the first chamber.
Note the opening from this section (bottom right) to the second chamber.

The support pillars are bridged with stretchers, and the opening between the two chambers bridged.

The outer wythe of the fire box wall is keyed in to the support column behind it.

The first of three courses that form the hearth is layed on to the support pillars and the outer wythe of the fire box wall. The two down draught channels are to the left, top left,and right of the hearth.

The second course of the hearth. The refractory brick surface represents the usable hearth surface of the bake chamber.
The second course of the hearth directly below the avaloire is layed in common brick.

Note: It is common practice in Russia to not fill, or rake out, the back third of each head joint on the hot side of the facing. This is said to allow linear expansion to be absorbed by the void at the back of each joint.
Done here by habit more than necessity, this practice is associated with single skinned heaters, layed in clay mortar.

The fire box is gasketed before laying the inner wythe, that will act as a liner.

The third and final course of the hearth. On this course the fire box opening in to the bake chamber is reduced towards the top right corner of the bake chamber.

Overview: The two down draught channels (mid and top left, and bottom right)
The fire box opening into the bake chamber (top right). The chimney (bottom left). The hearth opening of the avaloire (in headers).

The walls of the bake chamber with the opening into the avaloire. The chimney at left will run up the left side of the avaloire, eventually allowing the avaloire to feed in to it.
The size of the chimney channel corresponds to the size of a standard sized local brick layed flat, giving a channel of approximately 34 square inches

The skewed back first course of the bake chamber walls, reduces drag at the entrance to the down draught channels and increases hearth surface area.

The last course of the bake chamber is skewed back on the sides to act as springers for the vault.
Oven ties are bolted across the two side walls to retain what will be a shallow vault compared to the traditional Teplushka. The vault of the traditional teplushka springs from a header course at hearth level forming a barrel shaped bake chamber with no vertical side walls. The shallow vault and high walls of this bake chamber will allow more, and larger, pots to be placed in the oven at the same time.

The fire box, and avaloire could be located in any of the 4 faces of the stove.

The first of three courses above the arch. The brick of the rear and front walls on this course are cut out on the bed to accommodate the threaded bars of the oven ties.

The vault.

The vault is gasketed against the front and rear walls, and after the springing line, against the side walls. This gasketing is continued up to the last course.

Common concrete is poured onto the gasketed vault, adding inertia.

The facing brick are cut back on the sides to accommodate the oven ties.

The avaloire opening is bridged using an angle bar lintel The skew cut brick on the last course of each side of the opening are a traditional architectural element of the Russian Oven, probably used to reduce the span slightly, when a hard wood lintel was, by necessity, used to bridge the avaloire opening.

The opening above the avaloire is reduced from the right. The portion of this course above the the bake chamber is layed on to two steel ‘T’ bars which rest on the facing. This preserves the free floating integrity of the bake chamber. It is this course that forms the floor of the upper captivation chamber or bell.

The vertical extension of the avaloire in to the bell (top centre left) and the transmission tunnel from the chimney (top centre) to the opposite side of the bell (right)

The 4 support pillars of the bell ceiling and final courses of the stove.
The gases enter the corner of the bell (right) from the horizontal channel coming from the updraught channel 'chimney' (top centre). They then flow between the support pillars to the up channel in the opposite corner (left) This up channel is bridged on the next course and continued up before running horizontally in to the chimney. The chimney proper will be located directly above the avaloires opening, and have an opening in side to accept the short portion of horizontal channel coming from the up channel out of the bell.
After bridging the up channel the bell is continued for three courses before being closed by the final three courses of the stove. Images of this work are unfortunately not available.
The upper bell and exterior walls of the chimney within the stove, are the only areas of the stove that are not double skinned. Double skinning here, for any reason other than code, would probably be superfluous.

The two doors in the upper facing give access to the bell.

Two dampers control (left) the avaloire, and (right) the main smoke path as it rises from the bell.

The door at top left allows access to the horizontal in channel from the chimney to the bell.
The two doors at the bottom left allow access to the first lower chamber, and the door at bottom right access to the second chamber through the base of the chimney.

Flashing of the chimney.

The chimney on the upper floor.
Note the corbeling of the chimney as it passes through the ceiling of the ground floor. This is a local code requirement and gives Russian stoves a distinct style of chimney.

A third, and auxiliary damper, can be used to close the chimney, just below the attic.

Marcus Flynn


Articles by Marcus Flynn

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