Bringing a 1981 Hearthstone II up to 1986 standards

  • Active since 1995, is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.


New Member
Apr 17, 2023
Last summer I purchased a 1981 Hearthstone II for $300 on Facebook Marketplace. I grew up with one of these model wood stoves and this one, although in terrible aesthetic condition, appeared for the most part to be in good working order. I brought it home and spent a good amount of time cleaning the stone that was either covered in a heavy layer of smoke residue or else someone at some point decided to use stove blackening on it.


It turned out nice, and I replaced all of the gaskets for the stove and purchased a few replacement parts for it as well, the most important of which was the internal damper which had been so bent out of shape it was almost unrecognizable. The issue was that this particular part (while ordered in August 2022) suddenly showed as backordered and was promised by October...then November... then no later than the end of January... it finally showed up on my door about 2 weeks ago just before we started to have daytime high temps near 80º. I had bent the damper back into shape as best I could and I did use the wood stove all last winter, but I ran into some issues. The most important of which was the fact that I discovered the whole thing needs to be disassembled and properly sealed. I just had too many air leaks between the castings and the stone. So I've decided to tackle this project over the spring and summer and I figure that while I'm at it I should probably replace the parts that need it and or upgrade to the features of the final year run. So I plan to replace the back burn plate, redo all of the gaskets...again, finally install the new damper and bushing assembly, upgrade the primary air control, and install the interior front door glass retainer frame. But the challenge that I'm running into are these:

Here is what the original front glass retainer frame consisted of; two strips of metal at the top and bottom are all that hold it in place. The image t


But this is what the later versions of the stove use to secure the glass. My question is this. What does this look like installed. It doesn't look correct to me and it appears that the frame is in the way of the door latch functioning properly. If anyone can post a picture of what this looks like installed I would greatly appreciated it because I'm completely stumped.

The second question that I have is in regard to the damper on the side. I do realize that this should be in the open position during normal operation. This stove does not have the secondary combustion tube as do the later ones as you can tell by the location of the damper on the side of the stove. This does seem strange to me, but maybe this is just how the original versions were manufactured. Although it is curious because the internal right side burn plate does have the cut-out/provision for the secondary burn tube... unless this maybe was a replacement piece? Don't know.

Anyhow, I appreciate any feedback in regard to this rebuild project.

On a side note, this stove lives in our basement and so we've actually decided to install a Hearthstone Tribute on the main floor of the house. We had originally purchased it new for our old house and sold it a few years later to friends of ours. Sadly it was just too small to make any kind of a difference in the drafty/uninsulated house. The new house will be the perfect place for it, so we're excited about it's homecoming. Hopefully I won't have to do as much work on that stove as I have on the Hearthstone II LOL.
  • Like
Reactions: Todd
I thought the stove had a simple secondary tube entering on the right side and situated in the back middle of the firebox. The original tube was steel I think. Replacing it with stainless would be better, though a friend replaced his with some iron pipe that he drilled out and it's been that way for about 5 yrs. One possibility is that this is the fireplace version. If that is the case, there is no secondary combustion tube, but I thought that was just for the H1 stove.

Get the Hearthstone stove cement, part 6300-34080. There are a few online sellers. It's the best for the job.

Kevlar_vw rebuilds these and has some documentation of the process.

Heartstone Tech Docs for this stove
Last edited:
i have a 1986 model and it does have a secondary burn tube. it is made out of black pipe and it expands the hotter you get the stove. the access hole is on the right side of the stove. it has a cover incase of a chimney fire to block the air to the tube. it is looks like 1 inch pipe with holes facing the door. i asked the stove tech jim casavant from hearthstone if it would be better if the holes where facing up and he told me in the lab it didn't make a difference. you are right take the stove down and seal it all between the base and the stones and stone to stone. you'll find steel biscuits between each stone you'll want to seal there also but put very small amount of cement there just enough to seal and not interfere with how it goes together and you'll be done. if you can't find parts have a metal or welding shop make them for you. i did with the top baffle that sits on the back burn plate and the front is hung with threaded rod from the top that is cast iron. then the last thing you do is put the three stones on the top with cement all along the cast for a good seal. oh by the way the stove is so much lighter when taken apart so if you are going to move it then will be the time. it weighs over 450 lbs. thank god you don't have the h1. that is 750 lbs
I just purchased aHearthstonell made in 1981 with a right hand door for 75.00 dollars,needs a total rebuild.I am new at this also,but have been soaking up info on this site.I also have an H l and am H lll that are in excellent shape,will post pictures when learn how.
  • Like
Reactions: Todd