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Replacing the inner top plate in VC Dutchwest Sequioa

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by touchthewindrider, May 18, 2013.

  1. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Have been using this stove for nearly twenty years. Love it!! Last winter noticed the damper was
    not closing properly. Removed the top of the stove and found that the inner top plate had warped and
    cracked, preventing the damper to lay flat. Must have had a "run away fire" at some time that cause it
    to over heat. I've purchased a replacement inner top plate from Discount Stove, with new gaskets.

    Now, how the HECK do I dissemble the stove to facilitate the repair? I've read that VC stoves were
    built tongue and groove, but I'm not sure how to proceed. Also, I notice that furnace cement was used in several areas. Do I chisel those parts free from the cement, or is there another method?

    Any help will be most appreciated!
    Thanks from Raleigh, NC

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  2. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    To do the inner top I think the sides have to come off. It's pretty involved. There is a member on here named Sticks that could do it in his sleep. You might be able send him a message or he might chime in.
  3. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Thanks for the reply webby3650. I anticipated that the sides were going to have to be removed. I'm just not sure
    if I begin from the front, or the rear of the stove. Will both sides have to be removed? Can I get this done by just one side? Remove the door, I gather. It would be nice if I could just remove the front and then slide the inner top plate forward, and out. If anyone can point me in the right direction, "let the games begin!"
    Thanks again!
  4. NACPEYE

    NACPEYE New Member

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    Hey, Touch! My Sequioa had the same problem. Probably one of the best stoves that was out there at the time. Gave me 21 years of great heat and decided to change the cat about a year and a half ago and when I pulled the top I had a nice crack leading from the cat. I did my best of stuffing it up with a gasket and some cement and continued to heat until this past December when I decided to get a Harman TL300. The Sequioa has been pushed out to the garage and will take up duty there...as is, until I get the where-with-all to do what you are now about to encounter. Keep us updated so I can see what I'm in for. Good Luck!
  5. sticks

    sticks Member

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    you could get by with the front and one side but my thinking is you are that far in to a 20 year old stove , it is a good time for a re-build.
  6. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Thanks for the reply Sticks. There's a rumor going around that you have done this in your sleep. I would surely appreciate learning from your experience. A re-build would consist of what? Completely dismantling the stove?
    New gaskets/furnace cement throughout? Where would I begin?
  7. sticks

    sticks Member

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    Yes to both of your hunches. The only difference in cost between the repair and a rebuild would be a few tubes of furnace cement. I have done more VCs and dutchwest convection stoves than Sequoias . You would start with the top which I think has 2 bolts thru the inner top holding it in. Does yours have the removable griddle or the solid top with just aprobe? I probably have an exploded view
  8. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Yes, the top is solid without a griddle, held on by two bolts which I've removed. Top is taken off, as is the refractory cover and the catalytic combustor. Just aft of the front air valve rod, on the right side is an air tube that curves around the right side to the rear of the top inner plate. It looks as though it is held on by furnace cement. I gather I'll have to use a chisel and "loosen" the cement in order to break this air tube free. Correct?

    At this point, would I remove the door/s? If so, do I remove the hinges, themselves, to remove the doors? Or would I remove the front of the stove first?
  9. sticks

    sticks Member

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    there is a channel cap underneath for the cat. air. That channel cap is bolted in place which traps the air tube. It gets a little heavy if you mighr try leaving the door on just so you dont have to align it afterwards. About the only time you will use a chisel is to get the cement out after the parts are removed. I think a key to putting it back together is getting those grooves really clear of old cement .
  10. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    The air channel I'm talking about is #8 in the drawing below. You are talking about #10. Correct? #10 feeds air to the cat. Is that correct? When I remove the top inner plate, will #10 have to be removed from the plate? And #8 is the channel I was mentioning that sit in a bead of furnace cement. I see no bolts holding it in place.


    [​IMG]
  11. sticks

    sticks Member

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    There about has to be a bolt holding it in. Is there a bolt hole in it and maybe the bolt is missing
  12. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    I'll check again. Didn't see, or feel, anything. Just the bead of furnace cement.
  13. sticks

    sticks Member

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    Shouldnt be important to take that out at this time . You will just need it when you put the new one back in place.
  14. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Good deal. So, should I remove the front door first, then the nuts holding the front panel in place? Or just leave the
    door attached?
  15. sticks

    sticks Member

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    I would try to leave the door on if you can handle the weight.
  16. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Okay. I am imagining, that once I remove the front panel, I then would work to remove either of the sides? Following
    that I can remove the inner top plate. Oh, by the way....how do I remove the damper rod? Will it come out once the
    left side of the stove is removed?
  17. sticks

    sticks Member

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    I think all ofthose Sequoias had damper rods that were threade in to the side plate of the stove. If that is how yours is then you unbolt the tabs that retain the damper so you can spen the rod without turning the damper.
  18. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Yes, it looks like there are threads in the inner top plate wall, on the left side, that the damper rod goes through. I'll pull the rod loose from the damper and see what's what. I found a bolt on the back of the stove, on the right side, that apparently secures that air channel I was asking about.

    I'm going to attempt to see what I can get done this weekend. Until then, thanks Stick for the info. I'll be in
    touch! Have a good weekend.
  19. sticks

    sticks Member

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    The front door on that stove comes off real easy . Open the door so that it is straight out. Lift up and let the bottom come towards you and let the door drop off. Good luck.
  20. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Greetings Sticks...Everyone...
    I've had a multitude of "honey do" projects that distracted me from starting the dismantling of the stove, until today.
    Andrea dropped so much water, any outside projects need to wait until things dry out a bit.

    So, I've removed the top, the front/glass door, the side loading door, the damper and rod came out as you stated. I've removed threaded rods, top and bottom from the inside/front of the stove. Now....how do I remove the front of the stove? I can't tell if the bolts holding the legs on, also attach to the front of the stove. There is a lot of furnace cement along all the seams, it looks like. But, again, what's the trick on pulling the front lose?

    The bottom photo is the inside right front side where the bottom threaded rod was removed.

    Thanks!
    Cliff (save me from the "honey do lists!")

    stove.JPG right front inside bottom.JPG
  21. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    UPDATE: Apparently, the four threaded rods, inside the firebox, are the only bolts holding the front on. Furnace cement does the rest. I was able to break the cement lose by working the front back and forth as it broke the cement bond.
    Front off.JPG
  22. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    UPDATE: well, she's pretty much apart. I'll start cleaning all the joint seams and gasket channels later on. I'm thinking a bicycle ride to relax a little is in order right about now.The sun has finally decided to come out. Just don't want to forget how to put her back together.
    right side off.JPG Back and bottom.JPG parts is parts.JPG
  23. sticks

    sticks Member

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    Making good progress! It can get tedious but get all the old cement out you can.
  24. touchthewindrider

    touchthewindrider New Member

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    Yeah, is there a technique that works better than just using a screw driver, or chisel, to chip it out? A brass wire wheel is not hard enough.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to remove the inner-bottom. I can not get to the two threaded rods at the base of the
    back plate without removing the it. I banged, and pried, and banged (with a rubber mallet) to break the cement lose on the other various parts. Same method on the bottom?
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the photo documentation twr. That is always helpful.

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