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Newbie needs help

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by kevinmoelk, Nov 29, 2006.

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  1. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Hello everyone, I'm a newbie, my name is Kevin. I stumbled across this forum after spending a couple hours on-line trying to get help with a wood stove I'd like to install.

    My situation is that I have an old wood stove, Frontier model #1980. This stove is grandfathered into the house I purchased 2 years ago. Apparently it was installed in the late 70's or early 80's according to the previous owner. I've never used the stove. Considering I have oil heat, I thought I'd use the wood stove to supplement heat and keep costs down. I had someone come over and take a look at the stove to evaluate the set up and his comment was something like, "I'm surprised the house hasn't burnt down yet".

    Well, I wanted to move the stove anyway, so receiving such news wasn't too bad. However, I'm on a little bit of a tight budget this year after some heavy home remodeling. My thought was to buy and install an ICC chimney (supposedly the best?) and build a proper hearth with a slightly elevated base (6") and proper wall protection all covered in 12x12 slate. I've estimated this will cost me about $800 to $1000. That will pretty much restrict my budget from buying a new stove. Maybe next year or the year after that I'd buy a new stove. The stove guy by the way, said the stove was just fine. He suggested replacing a few fire bricks and the seal around the doors.

    Is my overall plan viable? Or should I wait for next year and just install a new stove? What design considerations should I take into account to be able to make future adaptations for a newer stove?

    I've read all about stove clearances but I'm very much interested in seeing some photographs of people who have made their own hearth pads and/or reduced clearance walls. Forgive me if I'm not using the proper terminology. Thanks everyone.

    -Kevin

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    as long as your not planning on installing a new 8" chimney it sounds fine. If you decide to install a 8" that size is obsolete, and 99% of the stoves out today wont get optimum draft on a 8". Hopefully your old stove is 6"
    A non combustable covering a combustable is the same as a combustable. Plan accordingly
    Old stoves usually have higher clearacnes then new stoves, so you might have to offset the pipe or have the new stove in the same location as the old. On a new stove, the flue collar location will be important because of this, and might limit your choices.

    Welcome to Hearth.com!
  3. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Hi guys. Thanks for the replies. The "someone" is a friend who at one time in his young life installed wood stoves for roughly 2 years. He still installs chimneys on the side. He's a stickler about safety and gave me numerous reasons why my old chimney and previous location were dangerous. The old chimney is double walled through the attic, is too large for the stove, and does not extend far enough beyond the roof line high enough for code. The old hearth is too small for clearances for an unlisted stove. He advised me to simply start over with an all new chimney and hearth. I could of course use the previous hole cut in the roof, but since I'm going all new anyway, what's the point if I intended to relocate the stove?

    Let me give you guys a little better idea of my plans. The stove is roughly 22 inches deep, is 26 inches wide, and stands 27 1/2 inches tall with 6 inch legs. I planned to build a pad at least 46 inches wide and 53 inches deep. The pad itself would be set on thin cinder blocks which would allow air to circulate underneath the stove. On top of the cinder blocks would be a 1/2 inch layer of wonderboard and then tiled with 12x12 slate. I estimate the total height of the finished pad to be roughly 6 inches.

    The walls would be constructed with a one inch air gap behind the wall, and one inch of clearance on the bottom, top and sides. I planned to construct the walls using a metal channel used to hold loads of electrical conduit (very strong stuff) and cover the frame with 1/2 wonderboard using toilet bowl bolts (because the heads are nice and flat) to secure the wonderboard to the frame. The frame itself would be isolated from the drywall 1/2 inch with metal spacers.

    In the final set up the stove should sit 13 inches from the reduction clearance wall, have 10 inches to either side of the stove, and 18 inches in front of the firebox.

    I want to construct the hearth properly, and any help or advice is much appreciated and taken to heart. Thanks again.

    -Kevin

    Oh, yes fortunately the stove pipe is 6", so the new chimney should be okay, right?
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Your reduced clearance wall description sound ok but there is a simpler way one could cut 1" 3/8" metal pipe and use them for spacers one could also use washers so as not to compress the drywall. But 1" is the minium space having a little more. 1.5" is an added safety margine.. Do not place any connectors directly at the mid point behind ythe stove area.
    One can attach cement board with 3" drywall screws. what you have to do is locate a stove you like and download the manual and build your setup to meet tyhe manufactures specs.
    They are not all generic some stoves may require 18' infront or to the side for loading doors It also helps to know the height of t a rear vent exit options as height can become a factor when venting There still are stoves that used 8" venting Vermont castings has the Encore Defiant and ladge Dutch West models the Encore also can be used witha 6" vent

    Most stoves are 6" but one can Vent a 6" stove into an 8" flue
  5. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Thanks for the input. My rationale for the added frame structure for the wonderboard is that the slate I want to attach to it would be to heavy to merely be supported by using individual spacers. Seems to me that using individual spacers would result (over time) in a distortion of the wonderboard/slate wall. I could be wrong here, and frankly that's why I'm seeking the advice of folks who have more experience than myself. I've read about not attaching any connectors directly behind the stove. How close can I get? How does one properly support the wall?

    My design plans essentially makes the wonderboard/slate wall an individual piece that would be supported by the metal rails which in turn would rest on the floor. The wall would then merely be balanced or supported to stand upright. In this manner, little direct attachment to the wall itself would be needed, and the board should not warp since it is reinforced by the metal frame. Again, maybe I'm wrong here or grossly over-building and over-thinking my design.

    I don't completely understand your concern with the height of the vent? There is no vent, is there? Or perhaps you are referring to the collar to which the stove pipe would attach? If so I believe this collar would stand approximately 1-1.5 inches above the top of the stove... so at 28 1/2 inches or 29 inches respectively. It's my understanding that stove pipe can be trimmed to extend into the chimney above to allow for adjustment. Maybe I'm confused. The collar itself is located on top, right at the back of the stove, centered. Again please excuse me if I'm not using the correct terminology here.

    As far as the manual is concerned, I'd love to get a manual, but cannot find one on-line. I believe the stove to be built in the late 70's or early 80's. I've looked around, but have come up short in finding any help except to build with the suggestions on installing an unlisted stove. With that in mind, I believe the size dimensions of the pad I plan to build would be sufficient. Or would you suggest making the clearance 18" all the way around?

    The outlet of the stove is indeed 6", so it sounds like I'm in luck as far as the chimney itself is concerned regarding future upgrades. Thanks again.

    -Kevin
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    It might be going overboard to use the ventilated cinder blocks and wonderboard. In general, a couple layers of wonderboard - like three, would do the job for most stoves. If you really want to overdo it, put a sheet of metal either under or between one of the sheets. Then tile over, using thin-set mortar. If you want to raise it, you can build wood frame and then cover with plywood then wonder board.

    If you are more comfortable with masonry than carpentry, then the block version would work. That hearth size would surely work for the majority of modern stoves, so that will be good when you upgrade. It sounds like your buddy knows what he is talking about, and I am comfortable that you are on the right track.
  7. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Thanks Webmaster. I was wondering if I could use wood underneath. I'm much more comfortable building with wood than with masonry. I had also considered using steel studs instead of cinder blocks. I really like the idea of using the sandwich of wonderboard, metal, then wonderboard again. Would aluminum be okay as the metal or should I used a galvanized sheet?

    Oh, I forgot to mention. The framing underneath this area of the house has been resupported to easily accomodate the added weight of the masonry and stove. The framing underneath is 2x8 16 inches on center over a post and beam structure that measures roughly 3 feet by 8 feet. The posts and beams are 4x6. The floor upstairs has a 1x6 inch tongue and groove subfloor on the diagonal and a 3/4 inch oak tongue and groove flooring above that. I'm not a structural engineer, but I estimate the structure should support about 1000 lbs.

    Thanks for the ideas guys, please keep them coming.

    -Kevin
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The weight is really spread out.....most normal floors will take a piano or 5 people standing near each other, so the stove should not be a problem.

    Aluminum would work but the best to use would be 24 ga sheet metal, which can be bought cheaply at many heating supply houses. Aluminum softens or melts at a much lower temp...
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