Beginner with Some Experience.....

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Apr 15, 2022
Ok so here's the story: About four years ago my friend was flipping a house and called me and said there was a wood burning stove in there and did I want it. He sent a picture and I said "YES. LET'S SAVE IT" even though my house in suburbia has a gas stove. I couldn't use it at that time. I went to help move it and re-remembered how heavy those things are. We moved it to my other friend's house who has an outbuilding where he does welding and stuff. We encouraged him to run a pipe and start to use it. He didn't, but like a good Dude he hung ono it. (ironically resting his Buddy heater on it to heat the room). At one point two years ago, my friend from Minnesota passed through MD and was settling down out there in MN. I suggested he take it. No Luck. And there so there it sat for 4 years. Flash forward to 2022, and now my incredible wife fixates on having a 20 x 20 screened in porch built on our 20 x 30 deck that I built with my brothers and dad. I start looking at window/screen options and look at YouTube videos of vinyl windows. Thinking it will extend our use...and then BOOM it hits me...lets use the stove. If we have vinyl windows, a stove could extend the deck time deep into the Fall and possibly all the way around, with a good fire...?

PAST EXPERIENCE: I remember it being too early in the AM with my dad and a tasty cake bun going to some wooded spot when I was like 7 years old to scrounge some oak. I would be on the other end of branches, holding them in the work horse so he could trim them for the stove. I split wood a little at 13 but nothing big. Our stove was pre -cat and in our living room we could get it toasty. I remember cast iron pots with cinnamon in them. I knew how to dial the air intake down and pull the heat out of the logs. The fire would lick the windows of the stove.

Years later I had an insert with an electric blower. In my 20's newly married. I scored a motherload of wood and split like 5 cords by hand one Spring. I know how to split logs. We had a toasty house.

Now I'm 52 and I get this Vermont Casting Stove for free. I look inside it. What is this Styrofoam stuff i see? I find out the model number, I think about selling it but my friend gave it to me. I hear about nightmares and about successes . What will I do. Ok so it needs a Cat (none in there) and a refractory cover and wedges for the fireback and new gaskets and I probably should get thermometers from what I see for the stove top and the pipe. I had a fireplace guy come out and look at it and said I was on the right track. helped with that.

The minute I thought i would use the stove I started gathering wood. I had a friend with oak rounds. I had to borrow a sledge and some splitting wedges, and then borrow a maul. I don't have a chainsaw yet but will treat myself this Christmas I think to a Stihl so I can scrounge. I had another friend with Apple,. then Facebook Marketplace with a huge Oak score. Then helped my friend take down an old Maple. My wife is saying "Don't you have enough?" I'm saying yes but still looking for free wood. I have a tire I filled with sand yesterday. I split a few logs at lunch today. I gave some of the apple to a friend who smokes meats..

So I have a pile of wood, some pieces drier than others, and a stove that I need to repair (I'm thinking my Dremel will work great on the old cement for the gaskets). We are planning to have the stove and the screened in/Vinyl windowed in porch all set by the end of July. I hope to have the stove firing nicely this fall, with a cast iron pot and cinnamon sticks in the water!! My two things for Christmas will be a chainsaw and a moisture meter...Cheers everyone and thanks. I am enjoying the process! I really appreciate!

Beginner with Some Experience..... Beginner with Some Experience.....
The model number will be on the UL plate on the back of the stove. That will be necessary for ordering parts. This stove will need at least a 16' tall flue system. Will that be possible in the porch location? Also, the location of the porch relative to the house may dramatically affect draft. Something to consider, especially for mild temperature burning.

In addition to sufficient draft, this stove needs fully seasoned wood. The oak will need 2 yrs to dry after splitting and stacking. See if you can get some ash and some softwood like pine. That will dry faster.
Thanks yes the model is 2091. I have some seasoned oak for this fall ( it was standing dead for a while I can tell it’s super dry. The rest needs to season. I will have right about 16 or more feet up as code here has it going 2 feet above the highest peak and we have a peaked roof over an 8 foot ceiling height which will be about 16 feet away from the house. The chimney guy is quoting to install that. Very exciting times.
There is no styrofoam in the stove. Most likely that is crumbling refractory. This thread would be good to post in for help with the rebuild.
Cool backstory. You’ll like it here.