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Stove Floor filled with mortar?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by burnhot, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. burnhot

    burnhot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    I have an older - probably 1985 or so wood stove that came with the house when I moved in. I initially took the stove outdoors, where it sat for the past 3 years. If anyone can help me identify the make/model it would be greatly appreciated. Picture attached.

    I decided to give the old iron a face lift with a good sanding and a fresh coat of paint. It looks quite nice now, nestled back in the masonry fireplace where it originally sat prior to my arrival.

    When I was blasting and sanding the stove, a large amount of mortar that was lining the floor began to crumble. I removed all of this material. At first thinking it was just old ash that had gotten wet from being outside and had hardened up a little.

    I'm now quite sure that the material was mortar - possibly used in place of fire bricks?

    Anyhow, I'm thinking that I might get some fire bricks, and cut them to fit nicely in the bottom. Any thoughts?

    The stove seems to perform ok. Burn times are a little short even when choked down. Also there are no hot coals in the morning after loading fully 6 hours prior. I'm hoping that a good lining of fire bricks might help with the coals and burn time.

    Again - any advice is appreciated!

    Attached Files:

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  2. HaTaX

    HaTaX New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Minnesota
    I am not an expert in any way with stove makes and models, I just know how to keep a fire going and how to keep the house from becoming part of the process. ;) That's a pretty cool looking insert you've got there, almost modern looking with the edgy sides.

    If you've got a Menards or similar near you, I would stop out and pick up a few things possibly. Some firebrick, new rope gasket for the door, and maybe some fireplace mortar. If the box has zero firebrick in it currently you'll want to at least get something in the bottom there. Burning on the bare metal will wear the stove quickly there, and it won't burn nearly as long without the thermal mass of those bricks to regulate the heat inside the firebox, also could be hard to damp the air down far enough without the fire going out. Fire bricks are easy enough to shape with a chisel and hammer, score them and break it where needed. Fireplace mortar is to fill any cracks or weak spots you come across, shouldn't need much of it, but it's handy to have near by for $3 while you're fixing it up.

    Most likely your door seal is leaking a good amount of air into the box and you're not able to restrict the air flow down far enough to get a slow burn out of it. 6 hours and no coals means it was either a small load or it is chewing through that wood quite quickly. Might want to get yourself a stove top thermometer so you've got a better idea of what's going on temp wise, ideally you'd like to see the stove top between 400 and 600 to get a clean burn. Give the door seal the dollar bill test and see how tight it is all the way around. (close the door with a dollar bill between the door and frame, you shouldn't be able to pull it out with the door sealed shut, if you can the gasket needs to be replaced)

    Maybe you can snap some pictures of the inside of it for us? I'm sure you'll learn the ins and outs of the stove after running a few dozen loads through it, every stove behaves differently in every house and it can take some patience to find the sweet spot.
  3. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    That may not have been mortar but fireclay, which is used in lining the bottom of forges and such. I'd use brick in its place, cut to fit your stove.....
  4. burnhot

    burnhot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I'll be pickup up some fire brick this week. I'll let you know how the install goes.

    Thanks again!
    ScotO likes this.
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,778
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    A couple inches of dry sand and a little wood ash on top of the sand would work well too.
    ScotO likes this.
  6. burnhot

    burnhot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    I like the sand idea - I'll likely try that this weekend as I'm not sure I'll have time for cutting the bricks for a couple of weeks.

    I'll let you know how it works out!
    Dune likes this.

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