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New (to me) Jotul Firelight 12 CAT (added pics 2/24)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Nater, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Nater

    Nater Member

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    I picked up a Jotul Firelight 12 CAT stove this weekend to replace my old pre-EPA stove. I got a great deal on it (at least I hope so), it needs a new rear burn plate, one piece of glass, and a little cleaning up. I haven't checked out the condition of the cat yet, but bought it assuming that it would need replacing. Also, one of the top hinge parts is broken. Would it be possible to repair this or would I need a whole new top plate?

    I was also thinking I might rebuild it over the summer. Does anyone have any good links to learn about rebuilding a wood stove?

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. jotulguy

    jotulguy Feeling the Heat

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    If i remember correctly, those hinges were cast. If one is broken you will need a whole new piece. Is it on the lid or on the top plate of the stove?
  3. Nater

    Nater Member

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    It is on the top plate. It is the other half of the hinge. Could a piece made out of steel then cemented or glued using liquid steel or something? Not looking for a permanent solution, but something that would last for a month or so. I haven't priced out a new top plate but I can imagine they are quite expensive and probably take a while to get.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It doesn't sound like this stove has had the care. Clean it out thoroughly, then do a close examination of it, inside and out with a bright light. Look for hairline cracks near the grate in the base and check all interior parts for warpage and cracks. I wouldn't burn in the stove without this inspection and at least the top rebuild. You can't glue or epoxy a hinge, it won't stand up to the intense heat this stove is capable of. The last thing you want is temporary fix failing while tending a raging fire. For rebuilding, this posting should be helpful.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/54469/

    Shop around for the door glass, it is actually a ceramic and can sometimes be cut by a good local glass shop for much less than dealer price.
  5. Nater

    Nater Member

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    I checked it all out besides pulling the cat out. There was no warpage or any other cracks besides the glass and the rear burn plate. I was afraid there was no way to fix it. The lid is still securely attached, it just won't open fully without the other hinge piece. And it can be front loaded anyway.

    I did see Summit's thread on rebuilding one, I am just not familiar with the whole process. Is it basically just taking all the pieces apart, cleaning them up, inspecting them, then reassembling with new gaskets and cement?

    Has anyone heard of Cast aloy? I found it with a google search on repairing cast iron and it sounds too good to be true.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2013
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's sounding better if there are no cracks. If the lid is secure, I could see running it front door loading only to finish out the season. You have the gist of a rebuild. It helps to have the blow up diagram and to pay close attention on disassembly. Take pictures for reference. Hopefully Summit will see this thread and be able to provide additional guidance if needed. Don't worry too much if bolt heads break off. It is pretty easy to drill out the threads and then retap.

    Castaloy flows freely at 500°F. That's about 50-100F below the temp the stove will be cruising at. It may repair, but is not suitable for this application.
  7. bobforsaken

    bobforsaken Member

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    I bought the same stove used this summer.. I love it. Although I have not yet proved my theory... if you need to replace the CAT I would get a SteelCat from Condar. I bought a standard ceramic cat (not OEM) and its a bit annoying how hot you need to let the stove get before you can fire the CAT off... The SteelCat is supposed to light at lower temps. With the stove being so large it seemd to me that it takes a good amount of wood to get the stove hot enough for the cat. When I replace my cat, I'll be going Steel...


    Keep in mind, though, that I've had marginal wood all season as a first year burner, so I might change my mind next year...
  8. Nater

    Nater Member

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    Here are some pics of the new stove. Please disregard the mess :).

    In the pics you can see the broken glass, the cracked burn plate, and the broken hinge. The rest of the stove looked good to me but I'm no expert. I've never owned a cat stove before so I am not sure how to tell if the cat is bad. The previous owner owned the stove for 6 years and didn't replace it, or even know much about the stove. When I took off the rear burn plate, a bunch of ashes fell out from around the cat, so I am guessing that he probably just burned with the bypass open all the time.

    Does anyone know if the Jotul short leg kit will fit this stove? My fireplace hearth only has a 29" opening and I measured the stove top at 30".

    Attached Files:

  9. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I wonder if a machine shop in your area could fix that broken hinge.

    I broke a cast pulley on my Nissan a few weeks back changing the timing belt. Nissan wanted 230 bucks for a replacement and I would have had to wait a week. I took it to a machine shop who welded it for 20 bucks (15 he charged then I gave him a 5 dollar tip for doing it very quickly).

    Never hurts to take it in and ask.

    pen
  10. Nater

    Nater Member

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    I don't have the piece that broke off so I would have to have something fabricated. Does anyone know anyone in the southern Maine or Southern NH area that has a portable welder and can weld cast iron? (It hurts just thinking about moving it :))

    My other idea was to make up the hinge, drill a small hole from the bottom side of the top plate and into the bottom of the hinge, then bolt it in place. Still just in my planning stages at this point, it is going to be my summer project to rehab the stove and get it ready for next season.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Looking at the picture, to get through the season, I'd be tempted to do a simple fix by finding a short, L bolt of the right diameter, drilling out the top to fit it and using that as the hinge. If none found, maybe take a 5/16" bolt, heat it up and bend it to fit.
  12. Nater

    Nater Member

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    I hadn't thought of an L bolt. That is a great idea. I just have been looking for a simple solution so I can test the stove for a season before I put a lot of money into it. Thanks!
  13. Polishfalcon

    Polishfalcon New Member

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    I have the same stove. Firelight 12. This year the back burn plate cracked and the window split in the same spot. Must be a known problem with this stove. Has anyone ever looked up if it is possible to make it into a reburn unit? The f600 has all the same basic castings as far as i can see. Im also wondering if anyone knows a parts brake down for mine?
  14. Nater

    Nater Member

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  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The burn plates are sacrificial. They will burn out after a decade or two of use and should be replaced if the crack is bad or the plate is warping. If the crack is minor, you might try drilling a small hole at the very end of the crack to stop it from spreading. That might buy another year or two in the life of the plate. The ceramic glass can crack due to user error like over tightening the clips or overfilling the stove. Be sure to replace it with the right type of ceramic. I wouldn't try to convert the stove. It is a reburner already, just that it reburns with a cat.

    Jotul has a copy of the model 12 manual here: http://www.jotul.com/en-US/wwwjotulus/Tools/Old-Jotul-manuals/
  16. Polishfalcon

    Polishfalcon New Member

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    My question is. Where does that heat from that cat go? It seams like it is absorbed into the asbestos type fiber in the back of the stove. My cat is just sliding deeper and deeper into that material. After 1 year the stainless steel sleeve is warped and the insulation around it is bulging. Or does it go up the chimney? Thanks for the link.
  17. jsb

    jsb Member

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    For anyone interested, attached is a picture of the parts of the stove from woodmans site.

    Attached Files:

  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    As stated, those rear burn plates are known to crack. No big deal. They last 10+ years, and replacement cost is under $100. Consider it a cost of operating the stove.

    When buying cat's for this stove, make sure the cat does NOT have an expanding gasket around it. The ceramic cat Condar makes for this stove has one, and this will deform / destroy your refractory if used in this stove. If you're going with Condar, go with their stainless steel cat.

    I spoke with one of the Jotul application engineers about converting this stove to a non-cat reburn (i.e. F 600). They stated that although the same exterior castings were used, they added many new bosses and fittings to those casting patterns to permit the attachment of the non-cat reburn components. In short, there is no way to convert at less than the cost of a new stove.

    Easiest way to get into the Firelight 12 is to remove the top. It takes two bolts, reached from inside the firebox. The top is sealed to the sides with a gasket (no cement), so it just lifts right off. The most important thing you'll learn when removing the top is to keep the top-load door CLOSED! Obviously, some previous owner of your stove missed that, which is how the lid hinge is typically broken on this stove.
  19. jsb

    jsb Member

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    When buying cat's for this stove, make sure the cat does NOT have an expanding gasket around it. The ceramic cat Condar makes for this stove has one, and this will deform / destroy your refractory if used in this stove. If you're going with Condar, go with their stainless steel cat.
    What choice would I have If I want a Ceramic Cat?
    What do you see as the benefits of the stainless steel cat?
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    In my case, I was already dealing with Condar, and found their ceramic cat unsuitable for this stove, so it was just the easiest option. The steel cat's light up quicker, which enables you to engage it sooner, but some manufacturers have been having trouble with their steel cat durability. Condor stands behind what they make, though, and rarely make any fuss about replacing a cat if you're not happy with it.
  21. jsb

    jsb Member

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    Why was the ceramic cat unsuitable? Are you referring specifically to the Firelight model 12? Please explain.
  22. dznam

    dznam Member

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    Nater:

    I am in Southern Maine also and have a mostly complete (no cat, burn plate or glass but everything else is there and in good working order) plain black Firelight Cat in the garage that I'm not going to use. It is in much better condition that than the one you're rebuilding and you are welcome to it (yes, free). E-mail me at kdznamataol.com if you want it - will may be a lot cheaper than replacing parts.
    teutonicking likes this.
  23. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    The Condar ceramic cat has an expanding gasket wrapped around its perimiter. I believe it's designed to provide a tight seal in cases where this cat is dropped into a cast iron holder (other stoves). As you already know, the Jotul 12 has a refractory cat chamber, and this expanding gasket on the ceramic cat will either damage your refractory chamber, or the refractory cat chamber cover as it heats up and expands on initial use. The Condar steel cat has no such expanding gasket, and so is more suitable for this particular stove.
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Posts like this are just one of the reasons I like the folks here at hearth.com . . . both newbies and veterans alike.
    teutonicking likes this.

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