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FISHER Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear Details (Bear Series)

Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by coaly, May 11, 2012.

  1. Dell

    Dell New Member

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    Coaly - I took a closer look at that corner of rear and indeed it is stamped "4033". I thought the "FP" on the underside was for Factoryville, PA maybe. Just thought I'd get back to you on that number.

    Added a pic of the hot Papa in action for my avatar. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for your help and Happy Holidays!

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  2. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    That makes more sense, yes it's the 4,033 rd stove made in PA.
  3. helpmeburn2012

    helpmeburn2012 New Member

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    Hi,
    I have a Fisher Wood stove that has D237798 on the front door. It also has two twist vents on it with the handle on the left. Height is 30.5 Width:20 and the length with the front ash catcher piece is 39 inches.
    I have to get the manual for the inspector in order to install it. I think it is a Mama or Papa. If anyone has the manual they can email me or any info at all about my stove that would be great.
  4. Dell

    Dell New Member

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    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/8529a99d5734895193b2df8a6249feb7/

    Sounds like you have a Papa Bear to me, same as mine. Above is the Wiki link to a Fisher manual for the Grandma/Grandpa series, but I would think the wall and ceiling clearances are the same for your stove. The only major difference is that the Grandma/Grandpa is 8" outlet and yours is 6". Most folks will recommend installing a damper in the section of flue pipe above your stove. (I have one).

    When you say "inspector" do you mean building inspector? Some local codes/inspectors will not allow older stoves to be installed now, I am not clear on the rules/regs or where you are from but I'm sure there is discussion on this forum. My stove was already hooked up and I made sure I told my homeowners insurance the that I was using it and it is a pre-UL labeled stove, etc. I am not trying to suggest you shouldn't use it, as I am currently burning mine for heat and many here do also. The Pre-UL and pre-EPA means the older stoves were not rated for EPA guidelines of grams of smoke output; the Fishers are known to be smoky, but they also excel at heating! See what your inspector says and go from there.
    Your stove looks older than mine; you should consider installing a baffle plate if it does not have one inside above the fire bricks. See the baffle related thread and photos on this site. The baffle helps to reduce smoke, increase efficiency, and improve burn times. There is a ton of good info on here on these Fisher stoves including tips on how to properly burn it, I suggest you just spend some time reading up on it. Hope this helps you get burning before 2013.
  5. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum,
    Yes, that is the size of a Papa Bear. As long as that is your stove in your avatar, here is the manual from this website, found in the Hearth Wiki section; This is for the older flat top door with angle iron down the corners. That was the style BEFORE 1980.
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/1803ed61c450729660b7c4c916156793/

    The link given in the above post is for Fireplace Series (double door) models AFTER 1980 .

    Washington, California, and Oregon are the only states that do not allow thier use. NFPA 211 has installation standards for unlisted stoves. (not "listed' by UL. They were tested by other testing facilities that are not recognized by today's codes)
  6. Fort Wisers

    Fort Wisers New Member

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    WOW, what a great forum this is!
    So much great information on such a legendary stove.
    My first introduction to Fisher stoves was about 14 years ago when my brother installed one in his cabin (located in mid Quebec Canada).
    The stove was a double door grandpa bear and it did a great job (too great at times) at heating his cabin regardless of the outside weather conditions.
    Winters in mid Quebec get cold for long periods of time. Its very common for the area to fall into the -30 to -35deg C (-22 to -31deg F) for weeks at a time with dips at night into -40s being common.
    Yet, despite the cabin having only 2x4 construction, 40 year old insulation and an uninsulated floor, the big fisher always kept us toasty.
    In the winter the only access to the cabin is by crossing the lake (either x-country ski or snowmobile).
    After a cold, windy crossing nothing made you feel better than stepping into that cabin after the big Fisher had been roaring for a few hours!

    Anyhow, my wife and I recently (October 2012) purchased a cabin in the same bay, on the same lake as my brothers cabin.
    The cabin we purchased was not well looked after by the previous owner but we're excited to fix it up and make it ours!
    One of the first things we decided to improve was to replace the old GSW wood stove (I thought they only made water pumps?!?!) with a new Jotul Black Bear F118CB......
    What a waste of time, money and resources this has been!!!!
    To make a long story short, we just found a Fisher Papa Bear that will need some love but will be our Jotul replacement!
    It's too late in the season for a stove replacement now, but next year I'm looking forward to being heated out of my cabin;)

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed (especially Coaly, my new personal hero) to this forum, it is a great testament to a really great stove!
    Everyone who has contributed to this forum should be very proud of the heritage you're helping to preserve.
    Sorry this reply is a little off-topic, I just wanted to share the Fisher Love!

    Cheers:
    webbie likes this.
  7. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the Forum;
    September 2012, I bought a log cabin in northeast PA only a few miles from my home. It's more like a 3 bedroom log home on full basement used as an off grid cabin. It was brought down in kit form from the artic circle from slow growth timber from Finland in 1972. Solid log walls, NO insulation yet in the roof, with only summer use with no heat. So I put a Mama Bear in instead of the correct size Baby Bear for 835 sf. for our climate. When it comes to occasional use, It's nice to have twice the stove normally required to bring a cold building up to temp quick. You'll like the larger cooking surface on the Papa. Look into the baffle thread, and you should have the second course of brick above the first since you'll be filling to the top and burning hard.
    Fort Wisers likes this.
  8. double-d

    double-d Member

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    coaly,
    I'm not sure if this information is still accurate, or you may already be familiar with it, I have had it for awhile, but this was given to me about a year ago when I was looking for some Fisher information. Supposedly the guy that owns this shop only rebuilds and sells old Fisher stoves and parts.
    The Wood Shed Stove Shop
    64 Eagleville Rd
    Orange, MA 01364
    781-544-2758
  9. Buck

    Buck New Member

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    Jan 5, 2013
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    Nice forum. I am looking at buying my first stove. Found a Papa bear similar to the one Coaly posted a picture of on this thread but with a few differences. I was wandering why the door is a lighter color? The stove I am looking at has the same door but without the second 90 degree bend in the handle and has ball feet. I copied the picture Coaly posted below. Thanks for any information. [​IMG]
  10. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Just the way the light hit it. That's Stove Bright Satin Black. The texture of the cast iron door compared to the sheet steel stove reflects light different.
    Here's the same stove stamped ser. #DBP198NY top left rear burning outside for final paint cure.

    Papa Bear ready to cure paint.JPG

    The one you're looking at is a bit older.
  11. Fort Wisers

    Fort Wisers New Member

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    Thanks Coaly!
    Your log cabin sounds like my kind of place....
    Looks like we went with a grandpa bear intead, I think it will still have no problem heating our cabin!
    I totally agree with your statement of having "twice the stove normally required to bring a cold building to temp quick".
    Cheers
  12. TIM111

    TIM111 New Member

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    I am looking at a fisher stove to buy that looks just like a mama or papa bear but it has no legs on it. is this a insert or were the legs possibly cut off at one point and is this a easy fix? It is the only one that i have seen like this. It does not look like a traditional fisher insert. I am not sure if it is worth it?
  13. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no single door (Mama Papa and Baby) Insert.
    Many were cut down to sit on a hearth and fit under the smoke shelf of fireplace.

    Depends on box type replacing legs. If this is an older model with angle iron up the corners, grinding off angle iron at welds and rewelding new is not difficult. Common 1 1/2" angle iron.
    Newer stoves with one piece box started with weld on legs, then went to bolt on. A welder can fix anything on a steel plate stove.
  14. TIM111

    TIM111 New Member

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    Thanks coaly for the information I think i am going to get the stove. It sounds easy enough and i would hate to lose my chance at this good deal. Thanks again.
  15. BabyBearOwner

    BabyBearOwner New Member

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    We have a Baby Bear and have been using it every winter for over 30 years (we think we installed it in 1979). The firebricks and the pipe connecting it to the flue need to be replaced and the piece of metal that catches the door latch to hold it shut needs welding. Does anyone know if there is a "life expectancy" for these stoves? It has served us well and saved us a bundle in oil bills and we'd prefer not to have to spend a bundle to replace it anytime soon.
  16. philwarner

    philwarner New Member

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    I've been checking several threads here to try to date my Fisher Baby Bear with a flat top 3 tree door, 3-1/4" diameter aluminum draft cap with fins extending beyond the OD, and "PATENTED D 237798" cast on the door. I've found no other markings on the bottom or the back of this stove. From other posts I am guessing it is between 1975 and 1979, but was wondering if the door and draft cap can narrow down the date.

    Attached Files:

  17. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Back in the day, they were advertised with a "lifetime warranty" expecting to outlast the original owner. With care keeping the moving parts greased, they very well could. DuraVent chimney parts when sold with the stove had a 25 year warranty. The aluminum draft caps with no steel thread insert obviously did not wear well.

    Some Tractor Supply stores have bricks on sale for 1.99 ea. now, cheapest I've found by the box has been Ace Hardware.

    Did the door latch wedge wear or come loose? Usually the handle rod that doubles as the door latch bends straight slightly allowing the handle to drop down too far. In extreme cases, the handle goes all the way around dropping off the high side of the door wedge. Heating the rod with a torch and bending back tightens it right up.
    Let me know if you need the measurements for a new one, or need a replacement.
  18. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    My guess is earlier than later (pre '78) since it has the first style spring, straight handle and early draft cap.
  19. smallpine

    smallpine New Member

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    So I read all I could on the forums yesterday and impressed the pants off of my husband last night about our Fisher Mama Bear. We want to relocate the stove into our new home and have been asked by the county permit office to provide manufacturer specs and a UL listing. From all the info I gleaned on this website, I believe we have a 1973 Mama Bear, pre-UL with no printed specs available. Notice the four trees on the front and the Pat No D237798 Patents Pending. I did find a few welding marks under the body and ash tray. Can anyone confirm the year and provide assistance on how to convince the county to let us use this beautiful antique to heat our home? Many Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  20. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Mama didn't exist until 74, patent date on door was after nov. 75......... could be 76 or 77. Spring handle and draft caps changed after that. Installation depends on what country and state you're in. NFPA 211 has standards for unlisted stoves that would be used, as long as you're in a state that doesn't require EPA Certified stoves.
    Looks like stove #53 ? Is the RJ (welders initials) under the ash fender? The state it came from if in the US may help.
  21. smallpine

    smallpine New Member

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    The RJ is about 3 inches tall under the belly of the stove and the 53(?) takes up the entire ash pan. The stove is in Florida but family recalls it being purchased out of Georgia. Where would the UL be if it was on a stove? Thanks!
  22. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Bottom and rear shields were later added that the UL tag was attached to on the back.
    Below are some examples;

    11-79 Baby Bear Bow NH 3.jpg Baby 8.jpg

    Baby 9.jpg
    Yours should be installed by the unlisted default specs (known as generic clearances) given in NFPA 211. 36" to combustibles, 66% clearance reducion allowable with approved radiation shield...... single wall connector pipe clearance 18", double wall connector pipe for reduced 6" clearance to combustible. Heat shield specs are given in Standard as well. This is a Standard, from testing. Not a code, which local codes are written from. The standard used (normally NFPA standards are accepted nationwide) should be specified in your local code.

    RJ probably built your entire stove that early. During the summer, during the slow season they would make boxes only without hanging doors and cutting vent. This way they could be made top, side or rear vent as needed when sold. The person hanging the door (welding door hinges in proper place) and cutting the vent / welding outlet pipe initialed the stove bottom. Common with Georgia stoves, not sure if any other fabricator did this on a routine basis.
    Camfan may be able to tell you the builders name.
  23. smallpine

    smallpine New Member

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    Oh what wonderful information to have! And thank you for clarification on the use of the NFPA standard vs. having the UL code.
  24. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    UL isn't a code. It is a testing facility that tests appliances and determines how they are to be used and installed. That is where the clearances from combustables comes from. Not the manufacturer. They check for sharp objects, edges, and temperature of stoves parts to keep within maximum safe guidlines. (among many other safety tests) Your stove was tested by one of many independant testing labs of the time. Since the stove was invented in Oregon, western labs were first used. Other states didn't recognize other labs across the country, so testing was done at many different labs for the area of the country they were being sold in. As so many stoves were coming into use, Bob Fisher pioneered this testing, sending and taking his stoves across the country to different testing facilities. Insurance companies and government finally decided on a standard testing facility, Underwriter Labs. That is why they ask for it's UL listing. It's not that the stove isn't safe. It costs about $20,000 to get a product "listed for use" today. Changing fuel (coal use) or certifying a stove for mobile home use is a seperate listing. Each model must pass it's own testing. The owners manual and installation instructions become part of the listed product as well. That is why they ask you for the paperwork. The testing lab gives the applicant the installation specs and makes sure it is correct in the literature supplied with the product. That is why most heating appliances today (gas logs and stoves) have a metal card on a chain with installation instructons on it. It can't get lost and the appliance is not supposed to be sold or used without it.
    Here's an example of a Northwest tag that was the first testing lab used for the area they were sold in.

    Grandma Tag 1982.jpg
    Codes are simply laws written "adopting by referance" of a specific standard or requiring certain "listing" facilities. If your local code requires installation as per NFPA 211, you may have to ask the code official if they allow the section of the code that gives unlisted appliance installation. Some local governments, or entire states, may add "UL listed appliance only" or "EPA certified appliance only"........ If they adopt 211 in its entirety, they should allow the section for unlisted stoves.
    They just like clearance measurements on the stove so they don't have to think. >>
  25. smallpine

    smallpine New Member

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    Have you ever seen a btu rating listed for the Mama Bear; one guy said about 52,000btu depending on conditions.

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