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Newbie with Fisher Grandpa Connecting Question

Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by esox, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. esox

    esox Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Hello everyone and thankyou Craig for letting me on your site. I've been visiting here for awhile and got some very usefull info.
    My names Dave Frey and I live in Zionsville PA, close to Allentown.
    I just purchased a Fisher Grandpa bear stove after a lot of researching and looking around at different things.
    Dont want to bore anyone but I'll give ya some info on myself and then start with a few questions I have with my new project.
    I live in a 28/48 ranch home which I built in 1984. When I built the house I had a seperate chimney put in the basement with a 7in terracotta liner. Around a year after moving in I bought a Grandma bear stove from a man that had been a dealer that was still in his wharehouse and had never been used. I believe I paid $400 for it. Worked great. I know what I have here is not ideal conditions for primary heat but I could keep the upstairs above 68 degrees until the outside temps dropped below 35. The chimney is located at the end of the house above the bedrooms so I cut a vent in the hallway going to the bedrooms and also cut a large vent in the basement door in the kitchen at the other end of the house for some circulation. Minimal but anything helps.
    At the time I was working for my dad. Small family owned fuel oil business and after a few years decided all this extra work is not worth the effort. Keep in mind oil was under $1.00 a gallon at that time and I was 30 and had better things to do. So I sold the Grandma to a buddy for $250 and its still goin strong in a lower level of an addtion he put on his house.
    We sold the business 4 years ago, thank God, and I'm working for the company we sold to. I now have a lot more time on my hands and as everyone knows oil is now $3.50 a gallon and I'm spending around $2500 a year to heat the house so I decided to go back to the wood program.
    I have a 4 acre property here and about 3 acres of trees. Unfortunately the majority is poplar but I do have a good amount of ash and some hickory and oak. My main source of wood will be from a small cabin I own in Pike county near Lake Wallenpaupak. Its the mother lode of red oak so basically all I have to do is cut up the easy stuff when I'm up there and haul it home in the back of my pickup. There's a ton of standing dead trees and big stuff blown over from storms that dont even have to be split without killing myself.
    I really looked into the stove thing. Thought about a new stove but anything decent sarts around $2000 and then there's the maintenence and the learning process. Couldn't talk myself into it. My main concern all along has been burn time. I know this creates a contreversy. I like to sleep. I need something that will hold some coals for at least 9 hours. I know my old stove was reliable for about 7 possibly 8 so I hope this Grandpa will do the trick. I think the Papa bear would have given me a bit longer burn time but I didnt have any luck locating 1 at a reasonable price. I'm know the Papa bear would take a larger log and has a smaller outlet. Problem with the Grandpa is it will take a 24in log but the opening is only 17 in so I'm figuring 20in wood at best without having to jam it in sideways and busting up the bricks. I'll see how it goes. I paid $425 for it and I would describe it as very good condition so if it doesn't do the job I should be able to at least get my money back.
    Here's my questions after that novel I just wrote. The flue is in the rear and from what I have read the crimp of the 8in pipe goes into the stove correct? Do you think I should have a damper in the pipe even though the chimney is 7in? I want to be able to choke this thing down for longest burn. The stove is on a concrete floor and against a concrete wall. The foundation walls were made extra high so I have around 5ft from the stove to the upstairs wood flooring. Are there any issues at all with that?
    Thanks, Dave

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  2. pen

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

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    7,020
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    Good to meet you Dave.

    I agree, for the money you spent on the grandpa if after more research you feel you want to try a different stove, you could always sell it and try a modern unit.

    First thing I'd say is have you inspected the chimney? A 7 1/4 x 7 1/4 square chimney is the same cross sectional area as an 8in round stove exit. If the chimney has cracked tiles and needs a liner, this stove isn't going to work for you. If it is in good condition and you are willing / able to clean it often (I recommend monthly for this stove on an exterior masonry chimney) then you are ok.

    Reason I mention this is that the chimney I have started to get fatigued and is why I changed to a modern stove w/ a 6 in exit.

    Regardless, if your chimney is ready for the stove then shove her in there and YES, install a damper. Being a rear exit you will be better off than a top exit unit, but nobody says you have to close that damper all the way. It's just another tool that you have the option to use.

    Down the road if you want to consider making additions to your fisher you may think about a baffle if it doesn't have one.

    Here is what I made for my grandma bear.

    [​IMG]

    There is a fella named Coaly w/ a thread in this forum about fisher stoves that you may be interested to read. He's a very knowledgeable and friendly guy.

    pen
  3. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,487
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Welcome Dave,
    Sounds like you have it covered. An 8 inch damper is best since the hole in the center is about what you need to run it closed when up to temp.
    I'm about half way between your two places, close to the south end of Rt 402 near Marshalls Creek. You should shoot me a PM when you're coming up so you can stop and check out the baffle plates in the stoves I've added them to, and the factory ones as well. Not many get to see a new XL in the flesh.
    I've got a Papa Bear here now that I'm using to trade for a Coal Bear, that came from Lakeville near Paupack. $200 over the summer. I could use a second one for a neighbor with an old cast stove that's been through it, so I try to pick them up cheap, recondition them and sell for 3 to 400. I have a waiting list for Papa and Mama's, but they do come up from time to time. Just be prepared to drive 3 or 4 hours sometimes. Seem to be upstate NY lately. It has to be special to go farther than that.
  4. esox

    esox Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Thanks guys for the replies.
    I get what your saying Pen about the chimney. I bought a new 8in round brush today and will get up there tomorrow and clean it and see how it looks after that. I always cleaned it faithfully when I was using it but thats been 20 years or so. Dont know what happened to my old brush. Probably loaned it out and never got it back.
    I do have a small baffle plate in mine. It measures about 5x11. Doesn't seem like much but I suppose it will help a bit. I remember seeing a picture of the 1 you built when visiting this forum before. Very nice job you did there. I believe my stove to be post 1979 after reading some of Coaly's info as it has the domed style doors and I'm assuming as time went on they experimented with baffle plates.
    I'll definitely install a damper as you both suggested. I still have to get the stove pipe. The pipe we use for oil boilers is 26 gauge but I realize I need the heavier gauge pipe for this stove. I believe it all to be black? Am I correct that the crimped end will go inside the collar of the stove? If I remember the pipe will not fit over the collar of the stove so it has to be run with the crimped end first. I did see somewhere that a collar was available to fit over the stove and reduce down to 8in but I really see no reason for that.
    Coaly. I probably drive right past your place on my way up to the cabin. I get on 402 off of 209 at Marshalls Creek. The traffic jam center of NE PA. Cant wait till they get that bypass completed. Looks like their making some headway. My cabins at White Deer Lake so your neck is by far the quickest route but if the timings wrong I'll go out of my way to avoid the backup so as not to irritate myself. Love to stop by sometime and check out your stuff if that would be ok?
    Take care and have a great weekend, Dave
  5. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,487
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Just give me a PM before coming up, and I'll give you directions. You don't need to go to Marshalls Creek to get on 402. There's a back way at the end of RT 33 that you don't go to RT 80, it takes you right past me, and drops you on RT 402 via Sno Hill Road. You're going out of your way east to take the main roads and getting into a mess. We call that Little New York, we stay in the woods. I'm at the southern most point of Delaware State Forest. My back yard starts the 80,000 acre state game lands that includes most of Pike County.
  6. esox

    esox Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Well I've had the stove hooked up and running now for about 10 days. The legs were only 3in and I'm assuming they were cut to enable the stove to be placed in a fireplace at some point. I set bricks under each leg myself using an old johnson bar which raised it somewhat but I figured without really getting involved to raise it significantly to a point that I didnt have to get down on my knees to load the thing would be a real project and i can live with what I have. I used gray metal 24 gauge pipe bought at the local hardware store. I haven't installed an inline damper yet and dont think there will be a need for it. I'm getting a good 10 hour burntime from it as it is using red oak and ash and I really think I could put this thing out by completely closing the knobs.
    Coaly, you've been a great help to me with this and I'm looking forward to stopping by your place in the future and checking out your stuff. I think at this point the only thing that could make my setup better would be an improvement on my baffle plate which you and a few other guys on here have perfected. I'm more than happy with the 10 hours but if I could get even more with a bit of fabrication that would be a bonus. I dont have a gauge in the exit but being familiar with that from a lifetime of work with oil burners I'm saying my stack temp is around 350 with the controls set around 1 turn open which is giving me a nice fire and plenty of heat.
    I'm going to use this thing for awhile and see how it goes. I wouldn't mind spending the money for a new stove if I felt I was gaining anything but from what I'm researching I cant really see that I'd be saving much as far as fuel goes. Yes it would be cleaner perhaps but from what I see I might gain a couple hours burntime but I'd be sacrificing maintenence costs and a bit more babysitting. So far so good.
  7. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,487
    Loc:
    NE PA
    I guess Bob said it best on the inside cover of each manual;
    Welcome to the growing family of Fisher Stove owners in North America............

    Not familiar with gray pipe, as long as it's not galvanized.
    Oil burners huh? There was a bumper sticker with Fisher logo that read Burn American wood not Arab Oil ;-) Looking forward to meeting you too.
  8. esox

    esox Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Gray pipe I believe is just the name of the manufacturer. It is actually 24 gauge black pipe which I saw advertised online and was very easy to work with with an electric shear. I know you guys heavily recommend a damper but I really dont think I need it after burning this stove again after the long weekend. Granted it wasnt that cold this weekend but after having a good fire going, about an hour or so I set the control knobs at 1/2 turn and I had good heat all day. I didn't load it before retiring for the evening as the upstairs was above 70 degrees and the basement where its located at 74. Time period between adding wood was 11 hours and still had a good bed of coals to start with in the morning without having to start with anything real small. I'm impressecd with this old hunk of steel. I'll be throwing a load of oak on the truck from now on every time I'm up at the cabin and hauling it home for future use now that I see its potenttial for being able to use it without being a chore. I feel confident I can keep it burning even with the both of us working. The abundance of poplar I have here at home I can use up on the weekends when I'm fiddling around the house.

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