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Fisher Papa Bear, Need help removing broken firebricks from brackets

Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by cfox13, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. cfox13

    cfox13 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Yarmouth ME
    Please Help!!!

    I was wondering if some of your Fisher experts could help a greenhorn out. I purchased a used Fisher Papa Bear 3 seasons ago. I love it. It works great.

    I noticed this year a bunch of the firebricks were cracked and decided to replace them all. I know that there is a procedure with removing and reinstalling firebricks. I have the floor, sides, and back bricks all removed without incident. The trouble I am having is with the bricks slung in the side wall brackets located above the bottom row of fire bricks.

    The trouble is that these firebricks are stuck in the brackets. I believe that over the years, ash has settled down inbetween the wall of the stove and the brick itself. Whatever the reason, the bricks resting in these brackets seem to be cemented in place. I was able to break the bricks apart and remove most of the brick. But the lower piece held in the bracket itself ( about an inch or two deep?) will not come out.

    I have tried using a knife to dig out the ash to loosen the bricks up but with no luck. I have tried a cold chisel. But this was a non-starter as I can not fit both hands through the front door to hold the chisel and swing a hammer. I have resorted to purchasing a rock pick hammer to break up the brick. I have had some success with this, but the going is very slow.

    I want to know if anywone else out there has had trouble removing the bricks from these sidewall brackets, Any suggestions as to how I can easily dig these bricks out of the brackets would be greatly appreciated. Should I use a dremmel tood to break up the brick? Should I get a torch and heat the bracket up to loosen things? Anything suggestions would be appreciated. I am sure I can get there with my rock pick, but its going to be a real pain.

    Oh, I just found a online owners manual for a grandma bear. The "Bracket" I am talking about is called a brick retainer in the manual. Only difference, is that in the grandma bear, there only appears to be one row of bricks. In my papa bear, I have the brick retainers for the first row. Then there is an "upside down" retainer to act as the sling for the second row above the first row. Hope this makes sense. I can send pictures if that would help.

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    Craig

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  2. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,487
    Loc:
    NE PA
    I use a drill that has a hammer feature for drilling cement, or you can set it for hammer only so it's like an air chisle. The air from the fan that cools the motor makes a lot of dust in the stove, but the exhaust from an air chisle is much worse.
    Usually the bricks up top are in good shape. They do not absolutely have to be there. Many (possibly most ?) Mama and Papa Bears do not have the upper course. They were added on a revised drawing sent to dealers, so the older stoves and some fabricators who never added the upper row only have the lower retainers. So it would have been best to leave the upper ones alone - don't sweat it if you can't replace the uppers.

    Possibly try water pump pliers and grind away with the jaws by pinching down and working the jaws to grind away at the small pieces? When working with glass, it's called "grozing" or eating away at the glass edges with pliers. It grinds glass away to make rounded rough edges - just a thought.

    Masonry drill bit in 3/8 drill with one hand ?? Cover your face from the exhaust cooling air from the drill kicking up dust in the firebox. Nothing like the taste of firebrick in the morning. You can tell I adore that job.

    Another hint ; the taller the person, the longer their arms! They have an advantage over us shorter people inside Papa Bears.
  3. cfox13

    cfox13 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Yarmouth ME
    Thank you Coaly!!! I will run out to the hardware store and see what I can find. But it is interesting that you are saying that most Papa bears do not have the upper course and I do not neet to replace? I kind of feel that I started the project, I would like to finish it. But I am thinking that if I just can't find away to clear that broken brick out before it really starts getting cold, I'll just let it be. Thanks for getting back to me. Really a big help!!!
  4. cfox13

    cfox13 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Yarmouth ME
    Oh- And please ignore the second email I sent to you this morning about this. I sent the original email yesterday, but thought it didnt go through. Thanks again for your time.
  5. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,487
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Yes, the many stoves out there with the lower bricks only don't seem to warp or discolor paint at the top where the upper bricks are missing. They were produced 5 years before the upper course was added around mid 1977. It may have been a heat retention thing to keep firebox temperatures hotter to burn off more smoke particles. The difference with or without is insignificant from a damage standpoint if you don't constantly overheat the stove..
    The discolored areas show the hottest surface temps below; No welds opened up or plates warped on this stove, so the rest of us should be good to go!

    Hot Papa Spokane Wash..jpg Hot Papa Spokane Wash. 3.jpg

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