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  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As mentioned . . . I tried this . . . and as mentioned by others . . . you will not get the result you may be hoping for . . . due mainly to the lack of sheer mass.

    In my own case I kept the soapstone top since I thought it gave the stove a neat look . . . and while it isn't giving me any signficant advantage, it also isn't hurting things.

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    dylskee likes this.

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  2. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    You are 100% correct, Firefighter Jake. There definitely is not enough mass in soapstone panels placed on top of a stove to add significantly to heat emitted after the fire burns down...just not enough mass to store significant therms. Can be nice for appearance and other uses, but don't purchase a slab or two of soapstone and think it will change your home heating experience. A large soapstone installation, such as a hearth and backer, could add enough thernal mass to absorb and radiate a lot of heat. It would be an expensive install, though.

    I wanted to put in a soapstone hearth, and Woodstock advised against it, saying that a log dropped on the soapstone could fracture the soapstone. FWIW.
  3. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    Can anyone replace the inside bricks with soapstone???
  4. pen

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

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    You could, if you source the soapstone and then have a means of cutting it to the appropriate sizes.

    However, as others have mentioned, I doubt it will really amount to much real difference.
  5. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    So soapstone is better suited for outside application than inside... is that the drift I'm getting here?
  6. pen

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

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    Nope, soapstone stone stoves essentialy use the soapstone its made of as the firebrick. For some like the hearthstones, if you look at the stone on the outside of the stove, the other side of that rock would be getting licked by fire.

    pen
    neumsky likes this.
  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Mass is necessary for the properties of soapstone to make a significant difference. It can be your stove, your chimney, a wall or floor...but there has to be enough mass of soapstone for there to be enough soapstone to absorb, and subsequently radiate, a significant amount of heat. 300 pounds of soapstone is going to retain and emit a significant amount of heat...30 pounds, not so much. Doesn't matter where it is installed, as long as it is close enough to a source of heat to absorb the heat.
  8. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    Than is there anyone out there that has put soapstone in place of the interior fire brick and pros and cons of the experience?
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    If my memory serves me right . . . someone here actually built a very nice looking soapstone hearth . . . I would love to hear from them to see if the hearth acts as a heat sink or not . . . and how well it has held up after a year or more.
  10. thetraindork

    thetraindork Member

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    someone told me the outside of the house is suppose to be covered in bricks, not the inside ;lol
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    A few Hearthstone models, like the Clydesdale insert has internal soapstone panels which is essentially their version of firebrick.

    But, lets say you remove your firebrick and replace it with soapstone. I would be willing to wager that you would notice a minimal difference and it would be hard to justify the time and expense to do such a thing.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I dunno about soapstone vs. firebrick, but I gotta say... thetraindork's avatar is about the funniest I've ever seen. I laugh every time I see it.
    ditchrider likes this.
  13. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Garrison stoves offered a nicely cut piece of soapstone as an option for mounting on top of the steel & I know a couple of folks who still burn that model in their homes. They've had no issues with damage to the steel tops & the heat transfer is as good as other pre-EPA smoke dragons..
  14. pen

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

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    That's good to know, thanks. Did they have the soapstone sit directly on the steel? Or was it elevated with an airspace?
  15. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Sat right on the steel. The Garrison tops have a top that is rectangular - with the corners clipped & the soapstone is cut to that same configuration...

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/Garrison_Stoves/
  16. Jim E

    Jim E Member

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    Responding to firefighterjake about soapstone hearth. I built my hearth and back wall using 1/2" thick 16"x16" soapstone tiles a couple years back. I posted here briefly about construction after building, but haven't really posted about this since.

    Couple pics: One picture is of finished hearth w/trim and mantle (double wall interior pipe, so clearances are more than minimal) from phone pic so poorer quality, other higher quality pic is from before trim was added.

    Overall, we have been really happy with the outcome. We use the stove as sole heat source for 1650sq ft ranch (we have oil furnace but don't need to use it with stove). The hearth/surround definitely does hold the heat well after sustained stove operation, but takes some time to warm up as one would expect. Area directly in front of stove front glass door, as well as areas drectly behind stove on hearth and wall get very warm, and radiate heat for significant periods of time once warmed. The hearth has two layers of 1/2" cement board bonded with thin set under tiles, the wall has single layer of 1/2" cement board behind the tiles. Overall a less than scientific review I realize, I can repost this winter taking hearth and stove temps w/IR and duration times if anyone is interested. I don't remember the tile weights off top of my head, but seem to remember a rough estimate of 400-500 pounds of additional soapstone on the hearth (i.e. approx. weight of a second Heritage sitting there, although obviously not being heated to same extent as stove). Again, I can re-weigh a tile and port w/ exact mass of stone used.

    I don't think this hearth setup necesarily shines after a single stove firing in shoulder seasons, but rather after several successive firings during sustained burning top get tiles completely warmed and then allow to radiate to help even out overnight temp drop in house. As to durability, the soapstone tiles have held up well overall. Couple minor scratches here and there from our dogs running across them, but then again the tiles are on a raised hearth so no human foot traffic. I tried to use one of the harder varieties of soapstone (Beleeza) as there are also some softer ones available. Haven't dropped a big chunk of firewood on them yet so can't attest to that, but at some point I am sure I will. Can't say this setup is any better nor worse than any other type of stone hearth, just that it works for us and we are happy thus far with look and performance.
    hearth_resized.JPG 100_0962resized.jpg .
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Jim . . . thanks for posting and updating us . . . and proving that I am not losing my mind . . . I thought I remember someone doing their hearth in soapstone . . . and for the record I still think it looks fantastic!
  18. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Looks great!. I'm envious. I rather wish I had not listened to advice, but had installed soapstone as was my choice. I have to admit I have dropped a few chuncks of wood on the hearth. Please post what the results are if this ever happens to you. And thanks for posting. I admire your install, and regret not having all that warm heat radiating into the room....

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