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New to Woodstove Heating -Fisher Papa Bear

Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by emsflyer84, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. emsflyer84

    emsflyer84 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
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    Central NH
    Hey everyone, lots of great info on this site! I am now to wood stove heating, and our new house has, what I think is a Fisher Papa Bear wood stove in the living room area. The stove appears to be in fairly good shape, but does have some rust forming around the outside. I think it was used last winter, but I can't be sure. What kinds of things should I be looking for to be sure the stove is in good working order? Any advice would be great, thanks!

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  2. pen

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

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    Most of the old fishers are bullet proof (literally, actually). I'd be most concerned with making sure that distance to combustible surfaces are met properly (36 inches for that beast) and that the thimble / chimney are in good order.

    Pics would be great!

    Welcome to the site. That is one serious heater but it also consumes a serious amount of wood. I have a good amount of hours clocked burning a grandma bear fisher (double door) and a mama bear.

    pen
  3. emsflyer84

    emsflyer84 New Member

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    Central NH
    Thanks for the info! I took a look inside the stove yesterday and it definitely needs to be cleaned, but other then that it looks alright. I may end up putting in some new fire bricks, just to start off on the right foot. I don't believe the stove ever had any kind of a baffle or anything inside. Am I right? Also, any tips on refinishing the outside of the stove would be great!
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The ones I've seen had no baffle, only fire bricks.
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I would highly recommend that you engage the services of a professional chimney sweep to come and thoroughly inspect the appliance and the installation. Rick
  6. emsflyer84

    emsflyer84 New Member

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    I will be having a professional come and check everything out. My biggest concern at this point in the clearances. The floor was just replaced in the living room and is now pergo imitation wood flooring. Unfortunately there is no good base under the stove, which is now sitting on the pergo. There is decent "fire mat" under the stove, so it's not actually sitting directly on the floor. Any thoughts? Thanks so much for the help!
  7. pen

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

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    This is from the pre-1980 manual for fishers found in the hearth.com wiki.

    This recommends 16 inches in front of the stove legs. Today's stoves require 18 inches (which I think I'd want with the fisher too).

    I know my stove was hotter than hell underneath it and in front of it. Mine was in my basement and if that thing were ripping I couldn't open the doors and look at the fire w/out putting shoes on because the floor would be too hot to stand there.

    If it were me I'd follow the recommendation here (other than an asbestos pad for obvious reasons) then a layer of brick, then that stove.

    It all really depends on how much money you want to spend and how important aesthetics are. It can be done safely and cheaply, but the looks won't be there.

    pen

    Attached Files:

  8. Redbear86

    Redbear86 Member

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    SE Idaho
    i was wondering if any one had any suggestions on if you were butting an old fisher against a concrete wall how much room you'd want, not really a combustibles issue but an air-circulation deal?
  9. pen

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

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    the concrete behind my stove was blistering hot. If I still had the stove knowing what I know now that I have one w/ a built in shield in the back, I would have added a shield to the wall to keep from losing so much heat to the earth. The simple shield behind my NC-30 keeps that wall just about room temp now even w/ the stove cranking.

    pen
  10. CamFan

    CamFan Member

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    Many people wanted to cut the legs off to set them on the hearth to go into a fireplace. It was always said that there needed to be a min of 3" clearance around the stove for air flow. There are 2 problems with putting a stove to close to the concrete wall. ! if it is to close it will retain the heat so if when the top and sides start to cool down the back will not. There have been isolated cases where uneven cooling caused cracking. It was more common if a freestanding stove was installed, modified to make it an insert. The second issue would be extreme heat could cause spauling of the concrete wall which is flaking or chipping of the concrete.
    coaly likes this.
  11. emsflyer84

    emsflyer84 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the great info! I'm very excited to endeavor into the world of wood heat. My stove and stovepipe will be inspected tomorrow and should be up and running after that. Now for the all important question.... How much wood will this monster burn through? I understand it is not the most efficient stove. I will be using a combination of wood and oil to heat my house, which is around 2500 sq. feet, around 1800 on the first floor where the stove is. I will not have raging fires all day, but will be using it primarily in the evening and night hours. I also do NOT keep my house very warm, hopefully around 60-65 degrees. I will have mostly seasoned, dry red oak. How much will I use and how quickly? I know this is strictly estimates, I just want to have some idea of how much wood to split and stack (or buy if I don't have enough time). Thanks!
  12. CamFan

    CamFan Member

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    You have just asked a question that there will be different answers for everyone responding. I always figured burning hot twice a day and shuting it down during the day and at night. I would use a wheelbarrow load every day and half. One time I counted about 430 pieces of wood on a short bed pick up truck. I had nothing to do I guess. You can fill a wheel barrow and you can estimate how many loads on a short wheel base truck. I knew that at one time too but I can not remember right now. All will depend on the wood, and how you set the air supply. I saw one stove that was kept so hot the paint turned white. That was not good for the stove or the chimney. Good luck and I will be interested in how others pass the time with figuring wood use. Now I just get a big pile or two and cover them and say that will do me. I will go through 6-8 truck loads a year to keep things simple.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    You need to build a serious and thick hearth for that beast. A stove board or mat will not do the job. There are quite a few articles on this site about building a hearth.......using either simple (wonderboard) or advanced (Micore, etc.) materials. Check the articles section and wiki. Example article:
    /hearth_design
  14. emsflyer84

    emsflyer84 New Member

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    Thanks Craig, I'm looking into that now...
  15. gooney

    gooney New Member

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    Looks like I'm a bit late to the discussion. This is my first winter with a papa bear.Let me know how it has been burning.

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