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quadra fire baffle plate

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mattvt, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. mattvt

    mattvt New Member

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    Hello all. I'm new to this forum and coming into it with some questions. I was poking around here for a few weeks as I researched and purchased a new (old) stove. So, here I am, ready to learn.

    I just picked up a quadra fire 3100f, 1992. It's going into the questionably insulated basement of an old, small house with ok insulation, in northern Vermont. The house is 1100 sq ft - a third of that being basement. The quad is replacing a terrifying ec95 wood circulator or some such thing, like this...:

    http://www.woodlanddirect.com/Wood-...1500-sqft/US-EC95-Stove-Wood-Circulator-Black

    ...that I burned last winter. Terrifying: impossible to shut down without a damper in the stove pipe. Which brings me to another thing - the house has 3+ stories of chimney and it draws very well; too well for last years stove and probably for the quad. I expect that I will be either keeping the damper in the stove pipe (bad, I know) or modifying the air intake on the stove, or both. The limiter screw on the primary air shut down looks easy to pull, as I saw on another thread here.

    My first question, though, is regarding the baffle plate. It is a sheet of 3/8 steel with a lip bent down at an angle along the front edge, and it sits on a ledge that keeps it suspended a bit above the secondary tubes. It is badly warped. There is a pretty new kaowool blanket on top of that. I know that the newer quads have a ceramic board instead of a steel plate, and I'm trying to figure out if I should go out and have a new plate fabricated or if I should just replace it with the more modern ceramic material. I think that I read somewhere that the plate is over 25 lbs(?) and I wonder if that makes it a significant source of thermal mass. Conversely, I have seen the debates on here, pertaining to fire brick, about whether thermal mass or insulation is the preferred characteristic in the firebox... and maybe the ceramic is a better insulator? I don't know if they went for the ceramic in the new stoves because it is better, or because it's cheaper, or because it is better because it is cheaper when the steel inevitably warps! So... replace it with ceramic fiber board, and if so, is there a current consensus on the best DIY version of the expensive board from quad? Lastly, if I do use the ceramic, do I make it big enough to sit up on the ledge like the steel plate is currently, or do I rest it directly on the tubes the way the modern 3100 has it (I think)?

    The bricks, by the way, are a mix of the original lightweight bricks and some new heavy ones - I figure I'll run it that way for now unless something/someone convinces me otherwise.

    I'm sure that I left out some crucial info, and more questions will arise. But... thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.

    Matt

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I would take the old baffle to an iron works and have a new one fabricated just like it. That is the way the stove was designed to burn. On my pre-EPA stove that is what I did every ten years or so when it got too warped. Between times I drove my truck over it to straighten it back out.

    Ceramic fiber board baffles do have insulation value keeping the firebox hotter in theory and probably practice but 3/8" plate steel is probably gonna hold it in there just as well and be more durable. And especially with the fiber blanket on top.
  3. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    x2 BB. That part number is 832-0360. Had an extra lying around at the store, cust paid the nasty 180.00 current quad price for it. Have one made if possible. Good luck.
  4. mattvt

    mattvt New Member

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    Thanks to both of you. Makes sense to me. $180? Ouch. I think I'll spend some time with a big hammer on the plate I have and see if I can get it anywhere near to flat enough for a good fit. If that doesn't work I'll get one fabricated, hopefully for a lot less than a new one!
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you have a log splitter? They make a good make-shift press if need be.:cool:
  6. mattvt

    mattvt New Member

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    No, I don't. Good idea though. Maybe I could find an armchair tank like yours and use that! !!!
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It has been seven years since I had one made for the big Sierra insert but the local folks used their big brake and bent me up an exact copy in 3/8" for fifty bucks.
    Jags likes this.
  8. Ed Williams

    Ed Williams New Member

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    Likely your stove has been overfired a bit. If you can flatten it out, that's great. Most of the older ones also had a fiber blanket lying over the plate to aid in heat retention, but the configuration is such that pulling the blanket out for removing the dropped down soot is a pain, and usually results in the blanket only lasting through a few cleanings. My solution is to make a stainless plate with a 90 degree lip along the back (like a properly sized cookie sheet) that goes over the plate and under the blanket, so you can pull it out and put it back in one piece. Quads are good stoves, other than this issue. If anyone is shopping, consider Lopi or Avalon- equally fine engineering, and have either a bypass allowing swept soot to fall directly into the firebox, or easily removed smoke shelf bricks also allowing soot to land in firebox.
  9. mattvt

    mattvt New Member

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    Yes, I've been quoted a similar price twice now, so I think I'll be going that route. I'm going to have the fabricator add a half inch or so to the back of the plate so that it snugs back against the back wall of the stove. The original, though it managed to reach far enough back to sit on the ledge, just seems a bit short to get a really tight fit. Actually, I wonder if it was made that short to make it easier to fit back in the stove - better check that!

    No luck with the hammer.
  10. mattvt

    mattvt New Member

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    Judging from the condition of the plate I'd definitely say that it was overfired, but other than that piece the stove looks to be in great shape. I've got all the brick out and it's vacuumed, and I can't see any signs of cracks or other warping. The way this is set up at my house there is a 90deg elbow in the pipe less than 2 feet above the stove, so when I clean it I can just pop the pipe off at the elbow and clean it detached from the stove, hopefully avoiding any soot falling on the blanket.

    Lopis and Avalons were possibilities in my shopping process, but this came along and it just had the perfect size firebox, the price was right, the condition was good, and the temperatures have been in the thirties at night recently!
  11. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    Hi Matt think you made a good choice, Quads were robustly built, espec in the 90's. At the store, we sold Lopi as well but Quads outsold them 20 to 1. Their sec burn system was pretty darn bullit proof, most Lopi's from the 90's are done with, altho the Liberty was a great stove. Anyway, good luck with it.
  12. mattvt

    mattvt New Member

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    On second thought (after damaging the blanket)... what thickness is required for that stainless plate to keep it from warping?

    I'm going to move myself over to the "taming the wild quadrafire..." thread now to start figuring out my predicted excess draft problems. Thanks all for your help so far.

    Matt
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Thickness of the baffle won't make much difference in holding the heat in the firebox. What the blanket is for. You don't even wanna know what a piece of 3/8" 304 stainless is gonna cost you. And it will pretty much end up warping just like the mild steel will.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I've had a quad with a metal baffle and one with the ceramic. Would it be possible to use a ceramic baffle in place of the metal?
  15. mattvt

    mattvt New Member

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    Sorry, I meant to be asking for the thickness of the steel "cookie sheet" that Ed Williams suggested for putting between the baffle plate and the blanket...
  16. Ed Williams

    Ed Williams New Member

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    I use ~26 guage stainless sheet metal; no problems so far, over several years...

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