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Papa Bear Reclamation

Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by red oak, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
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    1,171
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    So my old Papa Bear is having new sides welded on it. Haven't used this stove in several years so now that I'm pretty sure it's coming back this winter I want to make it as efficient as possible. So here's what I plan to do, and any feedback or suggestions would be welcome. Also please remember that when I used this stove before I had never burned wood before and was young and stupid.

    1. I'm installing a baffle similar to the one Coaly suggested on a thread recently. Steel plate 5/16" thick installed at about a 45 degree angle. For the Papa Bear I believe that would be about 17 X 8 for an approximate 2 inch opening above the baffle. Coaly can you confirm that I have read everything correctly? The stove didn't have a baffle before, so I'm also wondering how much more efficient it will be. Hoping to use less wood!

    2. Gotten a stove thermometer and will put it on the stove pipe. Plan on monitoring temperature closely - didn't have a stove thermometer before.

    3. Plan on leaving the door dampers closed more. I used to leave them almost all the way open but from what I've read on here they can be closed down much more.

    4. Installing new firebrick - the old is cracked and has portions missing. Coaly thanks for the diagram posted earlier - the timing was excellent!

    5. Wood is much more seasoned than when in previous years - most of it has been split and stacked for 2-3 years.

    Last question: do I need to install a damper in the stove pipe as well? If so when should I close it?

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    NE PA
    I've been away, purchased a log cabin in the woods that putting it lightly, needs attention !

    That's right for the baffle angle and size. You'll find you're heating more with the stove top than the elbow out the back.

    Yes you should have a damper in the pipe. Each chimney drafts differently, so you'll figure that out quick. A masonry chimney will require open burning to slowly heat the mass, while a fabricated insulated metal chimney can be closed partially minutes after lighting. Overnight is closed to cracked open slightly, depending on the hole size through the damper plate when closed. I try to find the single large hole dampers instead of the type with many smaller openings along the shaft. They clog easily.
  3. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    1,171
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    Thanks for the response! Hope the cabin project goes well!
  4. Tim3

    Tim3 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
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    2
    I am new to Post to this site. My wife and I have a farm that we just built a house on. We found an old wood burner at her dads and that is how I stumbled on this site. After reading your folks threads I found that it was a mama bear fisher stove. This stove is in worse shape than any of the pictures I have seen yet. Basement always flooded. Anyways I decided to grit blast and refinish and starting to look great. Problem is that the metal angle "seal" that goes on front is not there. I would like to use it soon. Question is: can I use a 5/8" rope seal in it's place and try to replace later or is that metal seal necessary for safety reasons? Thanks guys I really appreciate your enthusiasm with these stoves. You have inspired me to refinish this stove.
  5. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the Forum;
    It should be channel iron welded flat onto to the face of the stove.

    Sure, just make sure the rope gasket is going to stay in the groove of the door. Rutland black gasket cement will hold it there. It just makes a mess to wire wheel out of the groove to seal on the metal door seal when the correct piece is put on. Close the door on a dollar bill and pull the bill out. It should have the same resistance pulling out all the way around so you know it makes good contact all the way around the door opening. There is nothing wrong with using gasket material, the inventor came up with the metal to metal seal to prevent people from needing to replace gaskets all the time, like they had to do on all cast iron stoves back then.

    When you're ready for making the original door seal, let me know. The stove drawings are quite detailed, and there is a page for each part. So the print shows the length of each piece with 45* angled ends to fit the door opening like a picture frame. The original prints were for the licensee to buy the materials locally and fabricate them to Fisher's specs, so it gives material size required and welding pattern (tacked at ends and center, not welded continous all the way around for expansion)

    Does it look like the door seal was removed? There should be tell tale signs of welding on the stove front - at door corners and about an inch long bead in the middle of each piece around the door.

    If posting a close up picture is a problem figuring out how to do it, feel free to send it to bearstoves@verizon.net so I can see if it's a Fisher for sure. Never heard of one missing the steel door gasket. They don't come off without a lot of grinding.
  6. Tim3

    Tim3 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
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    2
    Thank you for your help. The old seal was there when i started this project, but was broken off and and put back on with epoxy. From reading this forum for a while I found this was not right plus the expansion of the epoxy and heat kept the door from sealing properly. This also caused the seal to eventually rust out. My uncle is a machinist so having one remanned is not an issue and hoping that the old one that i still have would be a good blank to go off of. I would still appreciate the diagram of that just to cross reference. I was trying to beat the weather to be able to repaint, with stove black satin. That is the reason for the rope seal. 80* in Kentucky right now. After that afraid the weather wont permit the curing. I still can't believe the damper Knobs still turn. After the Blasting they freed up smooth as glass. The door looks really good with the paint as well. You really know your stuff.
  7. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    1,558
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    The door seal material is 1 inch wide channel iron. This is the same material as the ash fender edge; 1/8" thickness, measures 1 inch wide, 1/2" high.
    All ends are cut on 45* angle, and the short side of the top and bottom piece is 10 inches. The short side of the two side pieces is 11 inches. This will give you a picture frame type piece that the door opening measures 10 wide X 11 high.

    Set stove on it's back and lay new frame in place. Close door to make sure the door groove fits the cannel iron and the door closes properly. Open door and clamp in place. Weld a bead around the outside edge only, approx. 1 1/2" long at each corner. (3" long weld around outside corner) Then a bead 1 1/2" long at center of each piece. Again, only on the outside edge. (some are welded continously around the ouside edge, others are only tacked in a few places on both edges - sometimes only a half inch tack; it doesn't take much)

    High temp paint dries soft, heating the stove is the only thing that provides final cure. Fire it good and hot outdoors with a couple pieces of stove pipe. The burn off smoke will not be indoors during the first fire, and the paint is much harder to be able to use a hand truck and not scuff it getting it into position.

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