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  • MHA’s 2020 Annual Meeting

    The 2020 annual meeting of the Masonry Heater Association of North America will be held in April from the 6th to the 12th. This is a week-long event that offers educational opportunities for professionals and non-professional masons and homeowners. This one-of-a kind all-inclusive event and includes:

    • Lodging (double occupancy)
    • Meals
    • Seminars
    • Clinics
    • Workshops
    • Demonstrations
    • Auction
    • Pizza Party using built wood-fired bake ovens

    See below for full list of Workshops & Seminars.

    Cost of the event per person is $475.00

    Registration is now open for “Full Voting” members and will start for “Affiliate” members on Jan. 1st. This event has been a sell-out in years past and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

    Open the link below to register for the Annual Meeting
    Registration Form

    For more information contact the MHA office.

    2020 AGM Workshops & Seminars

    LIME… not just a tart wedge for your beer. The History and mysterious extinction of Lime Mortar by Simone Leverette. Join Simone as he discusses the oldest handmade building material still in use today. Learn how it disappeared and why we should bring it back! Learn the difference between Lime mortar and Type N Portland and when to specify Lime. We will explore the difference between carbonation and hydration and how it relates to modern masonry.

    Lime Workshop – Lime kiln construction and firing workshop. Simone and David Zeltwanger will lead a workshop building a small lime kiln which upon completion will be fired to produce quick lime.  the product we make will be available to stucco some projects and demonstrate stucco techniques. We will have opportunity to discuss how lime finish is different from Portland based products and how it can be utilized in modern projects. The build will proceed quickly from day one so that the firing process can be completed (23-36 hours) in time to generate useable quantities of quicklime. Volunteers will be needed to feed the fire through the night. Please sign up if you are willing to take a shift firing the kiln through the night. 

    Bread Making, Start to Finish by Richard Miscovitch, author of “From the Wood-Fired Oven: New and Traditional Techniques for Cooking”, will present:  

    • Simple and easy bread recipes
    • Fuel and firing ovens
    • Temperatures
    • Type of heating; i.e. radiant, convention, etc.

    Masonry Heater Basics by Boris Kukolj  This is a presentation for those who are not entirely familiar with masonry heaters. The main topics are:

    • What defines masonry heaters and how do they compare to other heating appliances?
    • How do hand built units compare to kits and manufactured units?
    • What are the main firebox designs and the main heat exchanger configurations?
    • How to use a masonry heater and care for it ? How are they regulated? How are they tested?

    Earthen Bake Oven With Shikkui Finished Plaster by Jim Schalles This project will feature a domed, wood-fired earthen oven that is built from local Wild Acres clay soil, sand, and wood ash.  These materials will be mixed into a monolithic refractory dome and will be finished with an artisan Japanese style Shikkui lime plaster.

    Building A Small Room Contraflow Heater by Dave Wilcox and Dan Givens. Hands-on course that will allow the novice bricklayer to practice laying firebrick during the design and construction of a Finnish contra-flow heater core.

    Advanced Heater by Eric Moshier, More information with title and description to follow.

    Firebrick Pizza Oven Hands-on by Jon Santiago  In this workshop we will build a medium sized firebrick oven specifically aimed at live-fire high-temp pizza baking.  The skills and concepts covered in the class would be equally applicable to personal projects or commercial applications.  In the process of building we will cover the basics of oven theory (thermal mass, insulation, air flow), materials choices, and the nitty-gritty of details and techniques relevant to the actual build.

    Combination Cookstove and Masonry Heater w/ Heated Bench by Max Edleson. We will experiment with two different exits out of the same firebox controlled by dampers – one towards the cooktop and the other into a downdraft rocket-like riser to heat the mass behind the cooktop.  We will experiment some with the firebox configuration and aim for very high efficiency numbers. We may plaster the main project to give it a more modern look.  The length of the attached heated bench will be determined by enthusiasm in the project!

    Using Simple Test Equipment to do Diagnostics on Heaters by Technical Committee.  We will use a 5 run heater core kit to demonstrate how to do diagnostics on heaters using very simple low cost test equipment.

    SketchUp Clinic For Beginners by Boris Kukolj (C.E.U. credit 1) SketchUp is a popular Computer Assisted Design program that is free of charge and easy to use.It’s the perfect program for heater masons as it allows to quickly create site specific drawings. It’s also perfectly adequate for masonry heater designers. We will learn to use the basics tools and get familiar with the design process. Must have SketchUp downloaded on your computer and have a mouse with scroll wheel.

    Get Years worth of Email Marketing Experience in a short time! (C.E.U. credit 1)  By Aaron Wesley Means.In this class you’ll learn hands on, in your account, in real time, from a Master Certified Constant Contact trainer. We will walk you through, step-by-step, how to create highly effective email marketing.
    During this class we’ll cover:  Creating a mobile friendly and mobile responsive template and how to Brand-Match Your Email with colors and themes like a Pro. We’ll cover:

    • Adding features only Constant Contact has!
    • Avoid formatting errors that cost you time and readers
    • Adding images and how to get the most from them
    • Adding links, tables, videos, surveys, and other impactful content
    • How to sell in an email (it’s not what you think!)
    • Why subject line is only the begging, the secrets of pre-header text
    • How to avoid the spam trap 
    • How to build your list both online and offline
    • How to read simple reporting and analytics to measure your success
    • How to get your emails opened right away 
    • MUCH MORE!

    This class is included in the price of the annual meeting. However, it is limited to 12 students and will meet for a total of 3 hours, 1.5 Tuesday evening and 1.5 Wednesday morning. Register for the class by contacting the MHA office.

    Masonry Skills Clinic by Mike Ellis, Dan Peltier and Richard Larsen.  The bricklaying clinic will give non-masons a chance to get on the line and learn the basics of bricklaying in a relaxed atmosphere and others a chance to brush up on their skills or even learn some new ones.  Learn the basic motions it takes to lay brick in a real-world scenario and how to use the tools in a practical application.  There will be several different stations to expose participants to various bricklaying scenarios.  Skills that will be covered are; how to gauge brickwork, lay out bond, tool selection and use, different techniques of laying a brick and anything else you may want to know.

    Soapstone Mini-Heater Carving Workshop by Pat Manley. Pat will offer the soapstone, tools and guidance for anyone to carve their own miniature fireplace, masonry heater, or bake oven, fired with a tea candle. Heaters can be made authentic with flue passages, and the courses of stone can be left unglued to show clients how the insides of a heater work. One tea candle will make a mini heater too hot to handle! Class size will be small. I will have a limited number of rasps and files for about 6 people per class, more would be possible depending on experience in carving soapstone, and having their own tools.

    MHA Member Slideshow by Jon Santiago. A narrated slideshow featuring projects by participating MHA members.  Take inspiration, learn about new techniques, think critically about challenges we face as builders of masonry heaters and ovens as we hear about interesting projects that have been completed by MHA masons.

    Basics and Theory Class by Jim Frisch and the Education Committee. During the 2020 annual meeting of the MHA, the education committee will once again offer a class titled the Basics and Theory of Masonry Heaters. It is a great educational opportunity for the mason or homeowner who wants to learn more about masonry heaters.The cost is normally $800 for a MHA member. However, during the annual meeting, MHA has lowered the cost to $600. That is a 25% savings and is limited to only 12 students. 


    The class is schedule for approximately 32 hours.  About twelve of those hours will be classroom and the remaining 20 hours will be a “hands-on” demonstration where you will have the opportunity to be part of a masonry heater core build.

    The curriculum for the class includes:

    • What is a Masonry Heater?
    • Types of Masonry Heaters
      • Core Kits
      • Complete Units
      • Hand Built Units
    • Governing Bodies
      • ASTM
      • Building Codes
      • EPA
      • Insurance
      • Local Regulators
    • Methods and Materials
    • Core Materials
    • Insulation & Expansion
    • Facing Materials
    • Professional Trade Association
    • Suppliers, Customers and Builders
    • Masonry Heater Association and Certification
    • Hands-On Demonstration Build

    As part of the class, students will be participating in a build of a masonry heater core.  You will be introduced to the following:

    • Selected tools and safety equip.
    • Skills needed for the build
    • Construction of the heater

    This class is designed to help understand how a masonry heater functions, the various designs and construction techniques.  It is not intended to give the attendee the impression that after taking this class the student will have enough knowledge to construct a heater.  A person’s masonry skills, conceptual ability, regulatory knowledge and other factors are needed to obtain a level needed to safely and professional build a heater.