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Mama Bear restoration and installation project

Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by Todd67, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Todd67

    Todd67 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Carthage NY
    I was planning to install the Baby Bear this year and the Mama Bear next year but we decided to go ahead and ditch our pellet stove and install the Mama Bear instead. The Baby Bear will get installed next year.

    The Mama wasn't in bad shape but we removed all rust and replaced all firebricks. We painted it with Rutland flat black spray paint (2 coats) and fired it up in the driveway on a flat dolly. That's when we noticed some smoke leaking from the top of the right side, where there was an additional weld at some point. I welded it and repainted it, re-fired it and the leak was fixed.

    We removed the pellet stove, built a hearth, used 2 layers of 1/2" Durock cement board, cut 4" long vent holes in the bottom metal studs so that any warm air under the hearth can escape out the back 2 walls, which were also left open at the top. My wife is making the stones from a cement/vermiculite mixture, and then hand painting them, so the back walls of the hearth won't be finished for quite some time. The mesh on the back walls are what she will attach the rocks to when she finishes making them. I also installed a floor jack in the basement before I built the hearth so that the floor was supported before I put any additional weight on it.

    I ruined two 90 degree elbows trying to crimp the male end small enough to fit into the flue pipe on the back of the stove. I bought the good crimper tool from Lowe's and had no luck at all. The female end of the 90 fit perfectly over the flue, so I decided to cut a straight pipe just long enough to slip over the flue and attached it with 3 screws and furnace cement so the the elbow would fit properly inside the homemade flue extension. It's not what I wanted but I was running out of time and patience. I'll monitor the back of the stove for leaks but I don't expect any. We use a Rutland thermometer on the stove pipe and the stove top so that we can monitor the temps. I used 21' for Duravent chimney pipe, with 9' above my roof due to the 8/12 pitch and the 2 foot/10 foot rule. I went without a damper on the stove pipe. I bought one but decided to use the stove this year without the damper just to see how well it would work. The stove works like a champ!

    I installed a 12"x15" baffle plate (5/16" thick) on three firebricks. The back brick support is laying on its side and the 2 side bricks are standing upright. This puts the baffle plate on a 45 degree angle, about 3 inches from the top/angle of the stove top.

    The stove burns the wood so completely that there's almost never anything but soft ash left in the stove. There's also hardly any smoke coming out of the chimney. This is my first wood stove restoration and installation, and had no help other than my wife and 14 year old son. We're extremely happy with the way it turned out, and most importantly, with how well it works. Enjoy the pics...

    IMG_0530 (640x360).jpg IMG_0534 (640x480).jpg IMG_0536 (640x480).jpg IMG_0542 (640x480).jpg IMG_0582 (640x480).jpg IMG_0587 (640x480).jpg IMG_0605 (640x480).jpg IMG_0614 (640x480).jpg IMG_0617 (480x640).jpg IMG_0637 (640x480).jpg

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  2. Todd67

    Todd67 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Carthage NY
    Here are a few more pics...

    IMG_0643 (640x480).jpg IMG_0669 (640x480).jpg IMG_0670 (477x640).jpg IMG_0710 (640x480).jpg

    I forgot to put the "before" pic in here, with the pellet stove installed.

    Our pellet stove 2009 (492x640).jpg
  3. Todd67

    Todd67 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Carthage NY
    Coaly,
    I've seen other stoves on this forum with some numbers or markings inside the door, but this mama bear has no markings at all, other than the PA84 on the bottom of the stove. Any idea when and where this stove was built? I bought it just south of Rochester, NY. The person I bought it from had no idea what year it was installed in the house it came out of (his "new" house).
    IMG_0612 (640x480).jpg
  4. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,176
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    That stove looks awesome! Great work! I just had my Papa Bear fixed up (new sides, firebrick, and baffle) but mine doesn't look anywhere near as good as yours. Enjoy that stove this winter! I've fired up mine twice already and have enjoyed it a lot!
  5. Todd67

    Todd67 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Carthage NY
    Thanks. I got a lot of great information from this forum and from the internet. It's been dipping into the mid 30's to low 40's at night, and these Fisher stoves are every bit as hot as people say they are. They hold the heat long after we let the fire go out in the morning. We use a Coleman camp oven on top of our Fisher to bake in, and it makes corn bread and brownies like a champ! Can't wait to try a loaf of whole wheat bread., and I can't wait to complete the back walls with the rocks.

    Did you have a local business fix up your Papa Bear with the new sides?

    IMG_0671 (640x480).jpg
  6. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,176
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    No, my father in law has the welding equipment so he cut the sides and welded the new ones on. Then I put the new firebrick in, along with a stovepipe damper and baffle. I haven't tried cooking on my Fisher yet but I can already tell with the baffle it would work a lot better. We are expecting high 30s later this week. Here are some pictures of the new old Papa Bear.

    DSC02012.JPG DSC02013.JPG DSC02014.JPG
  7. Todd67

    Todd67 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Carthage NY
    I'd say you accomplished something that probably can't be accomplished with a newer UL listed EPA stove. You recycled an old Fisher to keep it as a working man's stove rather than sell it for scrap metal. It just further proves how durable these Fishers are. Those Papa's have a huge firebox!

    My Mama takes 24" logs but I keep them at 20" to 23" or for better air flow through the draft caps. It took me several hours to get the old firebricks and all of the dust and particles out of my Mama. It makes me more careful about how gently I place the logs inside the stove so that I don't break them and have to replace them again.

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