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SoapStone Veneer around NC-30

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by adams614, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. adams614

    adams614 Member

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    I've got a NC-30 but this would apply to any stove.

    Has any one attempted this or retrofitted some soapstone around a steel stove like the NC-30. I have thought about some simple thick tiles placed on the top of the stove. Attempting to gain thermal mass with the stove.

    I may be way off on its practicality or feasibility.

    Thoughts?

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I don't think you would gain anything. Several have tried just laying soapstone on top; even on soapstone stoves. Not much benefit gained as far as I know. However, you can get small soapstone blocks to use as boot driers/glove driers or even use them for bed warmers. Using like this they are wonderful.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    A member that hasn't ever reported back was going to replace the firebrick in his PE Summit with soapstone. Wish we would hear from him how it worked out.
  4. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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  5. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I enjoyed reading that old thread. I've been trying to think of things to spruce up the "basic black" look of my stove and I like the idea of a marble or soapstone top, custom fitted.

    I tend to agree with Dennis that a single slab of stone may not be too noticeable functionally, although it probably would give off heat a little longer. It would take longer to heat up also, so if you like your stove top to get hot fast, it may be worse. OTOH, if done right, it may look really nice.

    Maybe FFJake or member Sheri could weigh in, having had some experience with this idea.
  6. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    My concern would be that if the stove is not designed for it the soapstone would trap heat. This may cause the steel to overheat.

    KaptJaq
  7. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I am wondering the same thing also.
  8. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    The only thing the soapstone will do (IMHO) is dampen the heat spikes of the 30 and release stored heat as the fire dies down. I have found the sweet spot with my 30 by loading wood east/west. Three mid size diameter splits across the bottom on a bed of coals and I get a nice long, even heat burn. The heat is similar to my Woodstock Keystone soapstone, only difference is if I want to crank out double the heat, I drag out the damper a little more - that Englander 30 is a heat bomb... ::-)

    IMHO, how one lives with heating their house is more dependent on the stove position in the house relative to the rest of the space, layout - open vs segmented and insulation to hold the heat in - once the stove makes it.

    Good luck,
    Bill
  9. pen

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

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    My concern with doing this is if the stones aren't in perfect contact with the stove surface, conduction isn't going to transfer the heat to the stones as well as it should, and could perhaps overheat the steel top in a worst case scenario (and you wouldn't know since it's under the stones) or else not transfer heat as well to the house as it should.

    As BB eluded to earlier, if I were to try anything, it would be replacing firebrick with soapstone.

    pen
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As others have said . . . sadly adding a slab of soapstone to the stove top will not gain you much . . . but it can look pretty cool. If you want thermal mass . . . you need a lot of just that . . . mass.
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    After many years of heating I can honestly say I don't know if that soapstone slab is really retaining heat all that much longer than the big ol' hunk of cast iron . . . in general they seem to be about the same temp.

    As for heating . . . I was concerned about the stone damaging the stove so that's why I have an air gap underneath it and have it up on soapstone "feet" (coasters, if you would). From a cold start the top does take a bit to warm up (much like the stove itself), but once warmed up it will hold heat for a while . . . just not as much as one would hope . . . again . . . about the same amount of time as the stove itself retains the heat . . . which to me speaks somewhat to the value of thermal mass.

    I have had some thoughts since doing this little experiment . . . I have thought that at some point I may do as Brother Bart mentioned and try soapstone firebricks . . . although once again the Oslo only has a few firebricks in the back so I'm not sure if the limited amount of thermal mass would make much a difference.

    I have also wondered if making a large hearth with a large slab of soapstone at the base and on the sides would result in the desired effect of having the heat radiate slowly even after the fire has long gone out. I do know of one member who has built a hearth out of soapstone . . . perhaps he will comment as to whether this has worked out as well as he had hoped . . . or if it did not work out as well, but still looks sharp.
  13. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Feeling the Heat

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    Garrison used to do it. looked nice.

    seen a soap stone box full of river bed stones on top a garrison years ago. looked cool and a conversation starter.
  14. adams614

    adams614 Member

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    Good info guys. I've been running my 30 for about 4 months now. Love the stove. I'm still in the process of finishing the room the stove is in. Need to throw up pics.

    Honestly I've noticed that I need to pay some attention to my windows (replacement) to get the most out of my stove. Some of my windows are very drafty. Very noticeable with this latest cold snap , (-15).
  15. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    And the winner is. . .

    Cptoneleg!


    . . .or Jim E!
    Come onnnnn downnnnn! ==c

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