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Anybody seen one of these ("Early Times")?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by FanMan, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Anybody seen one of these? It was installed in my cabin when I moved in... it's a plate steel freestanding fireplace, marked "Early Times" on the brass plate above the doors. Just curious, really, when it was made... I'm guessing 1970's sometime. It's not terribly efficient as a heating stove, burns a lot of wood fast for the heat produced. It produces a lot more heat with the glass doors open (there are flexible screen "curtains" inside which I should probably remove as they just get in the way) but it produces a lot more smoke in the room, too. Up until this year it was the only heat source in the cabin but this year I installed an antique coal stove in the bedroom and that, at least, burns all night.

    When I got it was truly scary... it was vented with B-vent pipe (!) going all the way through the roof... touching the wood of the roof, with the inner liner completely melted through. To top it off, there was a wood box lined with aluminum foil and faced on the outside with fake brick resting on the top of the stove surrounding the chimney. How the cabin didn't burn down years ago I have no idea... the previous owner said it was used "nightly". Obviously I tossed the stupid fake brick chimney cover and replaced the pipe with proper black stovepipe into stainless chimney pipe before using it.

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  2. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Looks a little like the one in the deer hunting cabin I used to stay in. Like yours, it was a scary beast and I have no idea how I woke up every morning, but I did and it kept us warm. That was a long time ago and I have learned a lot since then. Sounds like you have made all the right improvements.
  3. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Old thread, but same stove, still inefficient. Replacing it is a good idea, but not in the cards right now. But a couple of things I can maybe do.

    This thing has a grate. It was in it when I got it, but I don't know if it's supposed to be there... I know wood stoves don't normally have a grate. As such, the coals that build up don't do much to sustain the fire, until they build up quite a bit, and I have to do quite a bit of poking for the first few hours to keep the fire going... so I'm wondering if I should take the grate out? Note there isn't much of a lip on the bottom to keep things from rolling out, though. Another thought is to put a sheet metal pan on top of the grate.

    The air inlet is (can't really see too well it in the pictures) a 1" high strip of steel with slots under the doors that slides back and forth, covering or uncovering the slots. However...

    The doors have no gaskets. No evidence that there ever were gaskets. When they're closed, there is about a 1/4-3/8" gap all around. I've considered cementing rope gaskets on there, but I don't know if the tiny air intake slots would be enough if there was no leakage around the doors.

    Thoughts (other than a new stove which I will do, just not in the next year or so)?


    loaded_952.jpg 2012-03-12_12-45-23_230.jpg 2012-12-12_20-03-25_962.jpg
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Save your time and money for a decent modern used stove or a new one.
  5. Boil&Toil

    Boil&Toil Member

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    Gasket isn't much of an expense. If (and I doubt it) the air intake isn't enough after that, you could remove a little section of gasket in the bottom, OR make the air holes in the slidy thing bigger.

    If you start thinking about adding secondary air tubes, etc., that might be a sign of the disease of putting too much time and money into a clunker.
  6. valley ranch

    valley ranch Feeling the Heat

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    Does that stove have a plate in back so that the draft goes over then dips down before exiting out the pipe?

    Is it built like a real Franklin? I've seen blue prints of the true Franklin stove, as I described. What they call Franklin stoves today are not made that way at all.
    Richard


    It is my understanding that the from the design of the Franklin stove came the down draft furnace, used to this day to process steel.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  7. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Believe me, I'm not going to put too much effort into this. Gaskets are easy, as is removing the grate or tossing a piece of sheet metal over it. I'm just concerned about the safety aspects of removing the grate.

    There is a plate inside in the back, but it appears to be just a heat shield; there are no openings behind it for airflow. It's not a Franklin stove at all; a true Franklin (as I understand it) draws combustion air from the basement or the floor underneath.
  8. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    In the Spring the Englanders will go on sale at HD and Lowe's: that would look so nice in that spot. You might get a deal on CL that wouldn't cost much more than a few of the fixes you are thinking of. Stove, glass door, tubes, clean burn....hmmmmmmm.
  9. valley ranch

    valley ranch Feeling the Heat

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    I have never used a wood grate in a wood stove, just bought a Buck, when I use that I'll remove the grate. I think they are more for people who use little wood, just enough to watch the fire. If you consume a lot of wood the grate would be buried in a short time. Yours looks like it's up off the floor and on bricks.

    Richard
  10. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    The bricks are on top of the insulating board that's on the floor; the stove itself has legs which hold it some distance above the bricks.

    I was going to go up there this weekend but the road is closed, probably not plowed, and the weather isn't forecast to be good enough to make it worth snowshoeing a mile through crusty snow from the nearest plowed road... :)
  11. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Some years ago, to attack a similar situation, I put chicken wire on top of the grate. It did work pretty well. But, as you may guess, I had to replace the burned out chicken wire every year. (Had lots of spare wire hanging around....no cost). Got the idea from a commercially available grate that was expensive.

    Replaced the whole thing with my Quadrafire after a couple years, but no complaints.

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