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Old style stovepipe, wall thimble?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by FanMan, May 14, 2013.

  1. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    319
    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    When I moved into my old cabin, it had a small coal stove. It was connected to ordinary 4" galvanized stovepipe (necked down from the 5" outlet on the stove). The stovepipe passed through a wall thimble to the outside where it extended straight out past the eaves, then an elbow and it went up a bit past the roof. At one point I replaced the pipe because it was rusted out (to be expected when you're burning coal). The inside of the thimble had some kind of insulating material, I'm guessing asbestos.

    It actually worked quite well, drafted OK, but my question (strictly curiosity as this installation is now history) is, was this once considered an OK installation? Were asbestos wall thimbles the way it was done? I know ventilated wall thimbles are used for interior walls nowadays. The stove and cabin were both 1920s vintage, but I don't know when the stove was installed in the cabin... it was likely a later installation of a used stove, and considering the way these places tended to get remodeled (amateur renovations with no thoughts of code) , somebody may have stuck the stove into the pipe left over from a hot water heater installation.

    Not to worry, when I moved to a new cabin, I took the stove with me as the buyer didn't want it, and did a proper install with 6" insulated chimney.

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  2. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    Ive never known thimbles to be made of asbestos, I have seen asbestos "filled" thimbles (the asbestos used as an insulator of a double walled thimble). Certainly someone could have packed the outside of a typical terra cotta or clay thimble with asbestos gasket material in that time period (this is a more likey event).

    If you burning coal in your new location/home you cannot beat a simple terra cotta lined chimney,it will last a lifetime and more and you will never have to touch it (as your aware stainless+coal+moisture=bad).
  3. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    319
    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    No, this was a metal thimble for the 4" stovepipe. When I pulled the old stovepipe out the space inside was the insulation, whatever it was.

    In the new cabin a stainless chimney was the only option.
  4. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Duxbury, MA.
    @ fanman, The Thimbles ive seen with asbestos are indeed those insulated metal thimbles with the asbestos packed inside.

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