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Metal back fireplace

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jonl, Nov 21, 2005.

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  1. jonl

    jonl New Member

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    Nov 21, 2005
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    My fireplace has a metal back (cast iron most likely). The metal backing makes the fireplace too small for just about any decent stove insert. Is there anyway to remove it?

    The chimney is new (<30 years) cinder block. I imagine that behind the backing is a bit of cement to make up the gap to the chimney wall. Is there anyway to modify the inside of the firebox to accomodate a larger insert.

    TIA
    jon

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  2. jonl

    jonl New Member

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    I believe it is a heatilator. I drilled pilot holes through the rear plate. It is 1/8" steel plate. There is another metal wall (double-walled - heatilator?) behind the first but the area that needs more clearance has plenty of empty space (>7"). A sawzall cuts through it easily enough but were going to remove the entire back plate using an oxy-actylene torch.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Hate to sound like Elk (only Elk can be Elk), but you are messing with fire!

    There is a reason that this unit is double wall!

    I hope someone really knows what they are doing, insert or not.

    If it were mine, I'd get a hearth stove (more efficient anyhow) or one that is 1/2 way in and 1/2 way out (See the Avalon Rainier 45 model)......why mess with something when you don't have to.
  4. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Poughkeepsie, NY
    I agree with the previous post. Don't modify that fireplace. If you put in an insert, the protection built into the original fireplace won't be adequate. I do have a suggestion for a stove though. (I don't sell stoves nor have any interest other than helping) Look into this one: http://www.hearthstonestoves.com/Stoves/Wood/index.cfm?Prod=Homestead_Insert

    They refer to it as a hearth mount insert. From what I can tell, that simply means that they include a couple shields that help reduce clearances and the peice of metal that covers the fireplace hole.

    Good luck.

    Warren
  5. jonl

    jonl New Member

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    Interesting, thanks for your thoughts.

    Not sure what is meant by "modify the fireplace". The original fireplace did not have the existing "insert", it is obviously an add-on.

    I am not installing this myself, the stove insert will be installed by professionals. After I posted the original message, I had the installers come back to make sure that removing the backing is the right way to go. They have had to do this before,
  6. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    Nov 20, 2005
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    I've got the Hearthstone Homestead Warren is recommending. They make it in two models. The hearth mount model has shorter legs than the free standing model and is meant to sit on a hearth in front of a fireplace just as you suggest. The part that covers the fireplace opening though is an optional surround which they clip you $250 for. The surround will lower some clearance requirements but not drastically. I'm interested in adding that to my installation for esthetics but I'm waiting for my dealer to set one up in his showroom so I can see it in person first. The Homestead is a great option if you don't want (or can't have) an insert. We love the stove.
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