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Country Flame Model CMD, new owner, new burner...just plain new

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by jamendjr, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    So........this will be my first post here at hearth.com.

    For the last few years I have stopped in here as I dreamt of burning wood for heat. Unfortunately I lived in the big city and burning wood was not an option in our old brick row home. However, I recently moved to the ex-urbs, just past the suburbs, and have the chance to burn some wood!

    The house we purchased came with a Country Flame model CMD, freestanding wood stove. We had the chimney cleaned during the house inspection. At which time I believe the sweep told me that a fire brick was cracked. Many months later, and a few months post inspection, including months where the stove was in use, I get around to cleaning the flue. I just finished building the wood shed so I was pretty excited to move on to phase two...getting the flue and wood stove ready to burn.


    On the roof, do the chimney sweep thing, all looks good. I come down, get ready to clean out the stove itself and the flue inside the house, and I see that there are no fire bricks, and there is a grate...in the stove.

    My neighbor was puzzled, I am puzzled.

    My questions are:

    1) Does anyone know anything about this model of stove?

    2) Could it be that no fire brick was ever in this stove, and I could be imagining what the sweep told me?

    3) Can I use this stove with the grate, and no fire bricks?

    4) Can I add a layer of fire bricks to the floor of the stove only? There are no metal clips of any kind to hold bricks vertically on the side walls.

    Any help would be appreciated. I have attached pics, thanks!



    IMAG0874.jpg IMAG0871.jpg IMAG0885.jpg IMAG0878.jpg

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  2. 930dreamer

    930dreamer Member

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    I have a Country Flame 02, the manual states not to elevate the wood on a grate. Here's a list of CF manuals but I don't see the CDM model.
    http://www.americanenergysystems.com/owners-manuals.cfm

    That looks like the CAT holder in pic #4 without the CAT? Welcome to the Hearth.
  3. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I thought that could be a cat holder as well. I guess burning without one would be fine though...thoughts?

    There is no "bypass" mechanism anywhere on the unit. Everything I have been reading in regards to cat stoves is that they have a bypass mechanism. Also, there is no air intake in the rear as in the BBF model, only in the lower front as shown in the photo. The grate above the doors is a chamber that the blower comes through.

    The previous owners were definitely burning with the grate in there, and judging by the build up on the walls I am guessing there were no fire bricks in place either. Would there normally be some sort of clip or shelf to hold the fire bricks on the side walls if bricks were recommended/required?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
    jrems likes this.
  4. 930dreamer

    930dreamer Member

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    I would think the sides would have a metal bracket for holding the brick.
  5. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    Yeah, nadda...nothing. No clips, or brackets on the sides.

    I am stumped, but as a casual wood burner dreamer for years and no real world experience, I figured it was time to start posting!

    I gave the scoop to my neighbor and like I said he seem puzzled. He was friendly with the previous owners but didn't know all the details concerning their day to days.

    I guess I will just get some bricks, one course vertically along the outside, and than fit some in between across the floor to keep the sides upright. It won't give me to much height on the sides but from what I have seen, it would seem to be common to only have bricks one course high stood vertically on the side walls.

    I tried to search out Country Flame dealers locally but the only one who actually did any "dealing" was into pellet stoves and coal burners...no help there. I had considered having the sweep who did the inspection come back out. That would run me around 150-200 bucks, and if he didn't know much about the stove either...well, that would be money down the drain. I guess its not rocket science, so if I can get some bricks in there I can use it. The previous owners were obviously using it with no bricks.

    I also sent an email to Magnum, who seems to be the new Country Flame manufacturer.
  6. 930dreamer

    930dreamer Member

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    My CF02 only has the two bottom bricks, I plan to fit side/back bricks if possible.
  7. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Not all older stoves came with bricks, this one looks like it didn't. Can't say I am to crazy about that design with no bypass, I can see why they ripped out the cat, but as you can see it is a creosote factory now, you will have to burn that stove pretty hot to keep it from looking like that and plugging up your chimney with no cat in it.

    You can always add bricks to it, not sure how much good it will do if you burn it with no cat as the bricks help to hold in the heat to help the fire burn cleaner at lower temps when using the cat.

    Btw, that stove already shows signs of being over fired quite a few times.
  8. 930dreamer

    930dreamer Member

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    You could clean all the creosote from the insides, maybe gently with a sandblaster. Line the inside with firebrick and fire it up. If it were me I'd remove the stove and test it outside, you might check into a chimney liner for your home. I used (4) pieces of cheap 6"x36" pipe for a makeshift flue/chimney on the driveway at my shop to test my CF02. Good luck with this, by testing outside you have the stove removed already in case you find another stove.
  9. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    Thanks again guys.

    I know the previous owner had been using daily. What are the signs of over-firing?

    We saw it in operation when we looked at the house prior to buying, everything was toasty, no smoke in the house, and the previous owner did have CO2 plugs in, in th eoutlet near the stove as well as a combo smoke/CO2 in the downstairs and upstairs hall.

    I dropped 60 bucks on firebricks today, bad idea? Magnum got back to me via email this morning. They forwarded me a scan of the oldest manual they had, it seems they came with "floor" refractory bricks only, which I guess explains the lack of clips or brackets on the walls. I tried to upload but its to big. My plan was to stand up a row along the walls( only one row stood vertically ) and hold them in place with the floor bricks. Any thoughts?

    I think a better stove may be in our future, but for now I wanted to use this one. I cleaned the chimney, the previous owner stayed on top of this as it wasn't very dirty at all and I know he had been using the stove prior to our move in. I think I know the answer to this, but should I go ahead and remove the elbows in the house and give those a cleaning while I am at it, as well as chip away at the creosote inside the stove?

    Great site, thanks again for the help.
  10. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    When the steel turns white as you can see on the sides. Other signs are warping and cracking.
  11. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I would replace the door and glass gaskets before burning as well.
  12. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    Gotcha', thanks for the response.

    The crazy thing is the "whiteness" on the sides is not really apparent in person but the camera really brings it out. I wouldnt be surprised if it was over fired a bit, it seems like thats pretty common. I am glad you mentioned it though, I didnt even notice it.

    I am going to chip away at it a bit, clean the doors down and give it a go with the new bricks I picked up.

    The chimney sweep that inspected it said the gaskets look good. Not sure if they are visible in the pictures or not. What are your thoughts about running it for a year or two more? I definitely think a new stove is in our future but right now funds are a little tight for a new unit. I was thinking that learning the ropes on this one was a decent idea before upgrading. My thinking was that if I do that I would have a better idea as to what I would want out of a new stove.
  13. 930dreamer

    930dreamer Member

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    If you fit the side bricks in first, the bottom ones should keep them in place. Clean everything you have access to. Try the stove out but keep an eye out for any issues. Keep us posted! I still need to pick up some bricks.
  14. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    The picture that shows the gaskets is out of focus and I can not tell. Do the dollar bill test on them, they might be ok.
  15. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    So I did the right thing and looked up the dollar bill test.

    Test complete, results as follows.

    Tops of both doors solid, bill would have been torn pulling it out. Right hand door bottom same result, left hand door bottom had the bill pulling out with a slight tug, definitely not as solid as the other door bottom.

    Thoughts?

    I also have an update with pictures after cleaning the inside of the stove and the pipe and elbows through the wall to the flue.

    930 dreamer: like your stove this one has the bottom bricks! The grate threw me off. I assumed because they were using a grate that under all that ash was metal...not so. There are indeed two large fire bricks, see photos.

    Now I have 60 bucks in bricks, do I use them as planned on top of the existing two bricks? Is there any advantage to this? I was thinking that maybe having the bricks vertical on the sides could help, any thoughts?

    I can always return them to the local ACE Hardware.

    I cleaned the pipes and inside the stove as best I could with a wire brush, all of the large creosote chunks popped right off but there is still some small bits clinging to the metal. The pipe passing through the wall was the worst, the flue was definitely restricted, not sure how often the previous owner took everything apart and cleaned this section. The flue running up to the roof was not to bad, but compared to this pipe and the inside of the stove, my guess is he didn't spend as much time on it. However as previously mentioned by mellow, maybe its a creosote machine and he was cleaning it. My guess is he got to the vertical flue more often though as it was much cleaner than the stove, the elbow, and the pipe through the wall. IMAG0893.jpg Before Cleaning
    IMAG0898.jpg After Cleaning IMAG0918.jpg Fire Bricks exposed
    IMAG0913.jpg Some bits clinging to the pipe

    IMAG0900.jpg Dog waiting for fire.

    I forgot to take a picture of the grate he was using, it had been burned right through, not sure if thats normal or not but it seems no one uses them inside their wood stoves.

    The weather here in the peoples republic of Maryland jumped back up to the 60's today so no burning tonight, maybe by next week. We have the electric heat pump thermostat on 60, 67 in the house right now so we are good...I know, I know, we are cheap.
  16. 930dreamer

    930dreamer Member

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    Looking good!
  17. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    Thanks! Like I said before it seemed to be working fine last season so hopefully we get a few years out of it.

    It looks like we will be firing it up after the weekend, so I will keep you guys posted. Thanks for your help so far.

    Also, every time I read a post from you and see your location I hear "Amarillo by morning..." in my head! Ok, maybe not the whole song, just that line.
  18. 930dreamer

    930dreamer Member

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    Like a fine wine, Amarillo is an acquired taste.
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have always said that six people love West Texas. And the other five send me Christmas cards.
  20. 930dreamer

    930dreamer Member

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    Coming from the PNW it was a big change!
  21. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    Wow, I bet. I always wanted to move out to Washing ton State.
  22. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I wouldn't use the grate like the previous owner, they are a PIA to keep the wood on. I thought you said this chimney was already cleaned? I would be making a call to that sweep asking why I found it looking like that.

    As for the gaskets I would change them, you can find the gaskets at Ace hardware or a local shop, take some off so you can compare them to find the right replacement size.

    Take the bricks back unless you want to figure out a way to attach them to the sides.
  23. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    The chimney was swept, but that was back in February of last year. We had the house inspected a few months before we closed on it. So, the previous owner used the stove for another month or two.

    I will stop in at ACE and see what gaskets and supplies they have there, it seems like a simple enough process. The doors are pretty gunked up though so it may be a bit of a challenge.

    Thanks again, I will post an update after the next step! Luckily I have a few days before I will want to use the stove.
  24. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    That is quite a bit of buildup for only 2 months, that guy must have been burning some very green wood.
  25. jamendjr

    jamendjr New Member

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    Yeah, he never stored wood on site. He would pick up free wood, cut it and burn it. When we looked at the property originally we assumed he was not burning the wood regularly because he had no storage on site. I thought he was burning for the effect when the property was being shown by realtors. After moving in my neighbor explained to me that he was burning wood and bringing it in by the pick up truck as needed. So, I am not sure how dry the wood he was burning was.

    I am starting with some dry stuff so I guess I will have a better gauge on how fast the build up occurs.

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