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  1. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,174
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    Greetings all! I moved into a house several years back with a Fisher Baby Bear stove. I believe it was the original wood stove for the house that was built in the late 70s. After using it for a few years, I noticed the sides were warped and there was a hairline crack on one. I also noticed that a lot of the firebrick was cracked, and some sections were missing. This was my first ever wood stove and I feel stupid for not checking the firebrick sooner.

    Anyway, I decided to stop using the stove when I saw the warped metal, and after the sides started to glow a dull red. I stopped immediately, managed to find another wood stove, and haven't thought much about the Fisher for a couple of years.

    So now I have a friend who does some welding who offered to put some new sides on the Fisher. The work would be free, I would just need to pay for steel and firebrick and any other supplies needed. It's a very generous offer and I'm definitely considering it. So my questions are: Is this economically worth it? And is there a certain type/thickness of steel that I should make sure he uses? Finally, is this something that you would recommend?

    Sorry the stove is not at my house now so I can't get any pics at the moment. Any advice would be welcome! Thanks!

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  2. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    304
    Loc:
    NorthShore, MA USA
    I assume you know in hindsight what you did wrong to overfire the stove to cause the sides to glow red ? Was it user error or a bad seal somewhere on the door letting in too much air ? A stove top thermometer is essential I think to ensure you do not overfire any stove - it's saved me a few times.
    Anyways I'd say its worth fixing it if you want to run an older stove. You could also try out the baffle idea where it is said to decrease the amount of smoke getting vented.
    More knowledgable folks will be along to help I'm sure.
    I just picked up a baby bear a few weeks back - added a baffle - and hope to see how it runs once the weather turns.
  3. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,174
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    Thanks for responding! When I bought the stove it was missing some fire brick and I'm pretty sure that's what caused it to overfire, the door looks fine. If I get a stove thermometer, what temp should I be looking for? Thanks again!
  4. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    304
    Loc:
    NorthShore, MA USA
    If you can post pics please do so - outside and inside.
    My baby bear has a first course of bricks inside - and then a second course on top. If yours does not you may consider installing them.
    I haven't run my baby bear yet - its new - but past wood stoves I've run I generally like running between 450-550F. Anything higher is just too much for me...I'd rather throttle down the air and get longer burns with steady heat.
    I would say its safe to say no one should run a wood stove without a thermometer. It's like driving with your eyes shut.
    .
  5. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,174
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    The stove's at my friend's house in Pennsylvania so I can't post pics right now. Some of the fire brick was cracked and some sections were missing - I definitely want to put new fire brick in before I run it again. Getting a stove thermometer sounds like a good idea. I'm hoping that new steel sides plus new firebrick will equal a safe fisher I can use this winter. Thanks for the insight!
  6. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,663
    Loc:
    NE PA
    1/4 inch thick mild steel, called A-36. Normally stop drilling the crack at the ends and welding it shut is all that is necessary. There will be a small hairline crack extending farther than the crack you can see with the naked eye. So a 1/8" hole drilled a half inch or so from the end of the crack will allow the crack to continue into the round hole. Once it gets to the hole, the stress is radiated in all directions around the hole and the crack will go no farther. Grinding a groove in the crack gives more surface area to the weld other than a bead on the surface only. The weld can then be ground smooth and flat with the surface.
  7. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,174
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    Coaly - Thanks! I appreciate the information and hopefully will be able to give an update/pics sometime soon.

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