Help Picking Stove - All-Brick Rancher

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EmberEnergy

New Member
Aug 18, 2021
22
Silver Spring, Maryland
Price seems fair ($2800) if the condition is good which it appears to be.

I'm trying to find out what thickness the contractor normally works with or what the thickest he has is.

As far as fuel goes, here is my plan:
I have a block shed on our property that has a roof that needs new sheathing up (some natural skylights have formed due to neglect). And I think I can squeeze at 2-3 cords in there. So I'm looking at getting the roof fixed or patched so it stays dry.

I'm have a couple sources of "seasoned" wood identified. I will test some samples if the vendor let's me and get a cord or two delivered and do my wishful thinking check of moisture below 20%. When I'm thoroughly disappointed and let down, I'll put to wood in the shed for (maybe) next year and order a pallet of biobricks for this winter.

Let me know if I missed something. I'll post back here. I really appreciate the information and advice on here. Can't wait to provide my Kuma stove review :D
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
What is the price for the same stove new?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,963
Woolwich nj
Price seems fair ($2800) if the condition is good which it appears to be.

I'm trying to find out what thickness the contractor normally works with or what the thickest he has is.

As far as fuel goes, here is my plan:
I have a block shed on our property that has a roof that needs new sheathing up (some natural skylights have formed due to neglect). And I think I can squeeze at 2-3 cords in there. So I'm looking at getting the roof fixed or patched so it stays dry.

I'm have a couple sources of "seasoned" wood identified. I will test some samples if the vendor let's me and get a cord or two delivered and do my wishful thinking check of moisture below 20%. When I'm thoroughly disappointed and let down, I'll put to wood in the shed for (maybe) next year and order a pallet of biobricks for this winter.

Let me know if I missed something. I'll post back here. I really appreciate the information and advice on here. Can't wait to provide my Kuma stove review :D
I would go to each firewood dealer and test the wood there. I would choose the better of the 2 and it will also let you see how they store the wood.. That will pretty much tell you everything. Most likely the wood will be to wet. Id plan on just putting the wood in the shed. If the woods not really seasoned you could probably get the price knocked down or maybe get a larger quantity of wood.. Id opt for more wood. Get as much wood as you can. You cant put a price on really dry wood and if stored correctly.. will last for years..
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,229
SE North Carolina
I'm have a couple sources of "seasoned" wood identified. I will test some samples if the vendor let's me and get a cord or two delivered and do my wishful thinking check of moisture below 20%. When I'm thoroughly disappointed and let down, I'll put to wood in the shed for (maybe) next year and order a pallet of biobricks for this winter.
Just consider a pallet of saw dust bricks/logs part of the install cost. Buy the wood for next year or the year after.
 

EmberEnergy

New Member
Aug 18, 2021
22
Silver Spring, Maryland
Just consider a pallet of saw dust bricks/logs part of the install cost. Buy the wood for next year or the year after.
Yep, a lot more forward thinking/planning than I originally thought when I started down the wood heating path. I imagine sourcing free wood will be fun once I get a reserve going. It was your comment earlier about a 6-cord wood shed that made me bump up the priority to fix/patch the old block shed that came with our place.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,229
SE North Carolina
Yep, a lot more forward thinking/planning than I originally thought when I started down the wood heating path. I imagine sourcing free wood will be fun
So true. I have a five cord stack right where I would put a wood shed and I’m not restacking that much wood. I’ll wait till it’s about 2 cords then see if I can build shed over it or just restack it all. I have a half dozen axes. Two chainsaws and all the PPE. latest addition was a pair of chainsaw / cut resistant boots. Those should have been purchased with the chaps and forestry helmet at the very beginning of my wood stove journey. ALL my PPE is still less than my ER copay. I’m a complete amateur but smart enough to know my limitations. I’m dreaming of my next chainsaw. Can’t justify a 600$ saw.

Lately I just listened for chainsaws and chippers running in the neighborhood and stop by and ask for free firewood. If a bobcat can lift it I can process it. Second wood stove will be delivered next week.

Evan
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,963
Woolwich nj
So true. I have a five cord stack right where I would put a wood shed and I’m not restacking that much wood. I’ll wait till it’s about 2 cords then see if I can build shed over it or just restack it all. I have a half dozen axes. Two chainsaws and all the PPE. latest addition was a pair of chainsaw / cut resistant boots. Those should have been purchased with the chaps and forestry helmet at the very beginning of my wood stove journey. ALL my PPE is still less than my ER copay. I’m a complete amateur but smart enough to know my limitations. I’m dreaming of my next chainsaw. Can’t justify a 600$ saw.

Lately I just listened for chainsaws and chippers running in the neighborhood and stop by and ask for free firewood. If a bobcat can lift it I can process it. Second wood stove will be delivered next week.

Evan

Ones you get a 600 dollar saw in your hand.. you'll justify it pretty fast.. and you'll justify the next 700/800 dollar saw pretty easily.. A really good saw that cuts quick that feels good in the hand needs very little justification.. pro.. its the way to go..
 
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EmberEnergy

New Member
Aug 18, 2021
22
Silver Spring, Maryland
Best flex is just standard light wall corregated stuff it works but absolutely not the best draft or most durable.

NECS offers pre insulated and uninsulated heavy wall and mid weight liners that are far better on both counts
I've just confirmed with the contractor they typically use/recommend the light wall Best Flex 316 and wrap insulation onsite. They warranty the liner for life, conditional to coming out and performing cleaning/inspection at least once annually, which marries my maintenance with them.

I asked if he can instead use the Best Flex heavy liner 304 (since I don't need the 316 for wood) for peace of mind instead. He thought it was way overkill and 3 times as expensive, but said he'd get final quote numbers for the heavy liner after the holiday.

I'm just trying to understand the difference in application. Are the advantages of light wall purely cost savings?

Couldn't one also just use a straight section and connect it to a flex section for the 2 bends that need to be made in a typical masonry chimney? Seems that would be the least drag for draft and make it easier to clean any accumulation out of the liner cause you wouldn't have ridges for the top 2/3 of the liner.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,564
central pa
I've just confirmed with the contractor they typically use/recommend the light wall Best Flex 316 and wrap insulation onsite. They warranty the liner for life, conditional to coming out and performing cleaning/inspection at least once annually, which marries my maintenance with them.

I asked if he can instead use the Best Flex heavy liner 304 (since I don't need the 316 for wood) for peace of mind instead. He thought it was way overkill and 3 times as expensive, but said he'd get final quote numbers for the heavy liner after the holiday.

I'm just trying to understand the difference in application. Are the advantages of light wall purely cost savings?

Couldn't one also just use a straight section and connect it to a flex section for the 2 bends that need to be made in a typical masonry chimney? Seems that would be the least drag for draft and make it easier to clean any accumulation out of the liner cause you wouldn't have ridges for the top 2/3 of the liner.
Yes the only advantage of light wall is cost. And the "lifetime" warranty is for the predetermined lifetime of the liner not your lifetime. I will have to check with NECS but light wall is typically 15 or 20 years. Heavy wall 30 years.

And no heavy wall is not 3x the price at all.

That being said light wall liners work very well for many many people for quite a while.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,229
SE North Carolina
They warranty the liner for life, conditional to coming out and performing cleaning/inspection at least once annually, which marries my maintenance with them.
That cost will add up to more than a new liner in 10 years. And I’m guessing the warranty does not cover labor. I chose to sweep it myself and not utilize the warranty. I take a picture each time I sweep just
So I have a record if I want to fight some manufacturers defect.

Evan
 

EmberEnergy

New Member
Aug 18, 2021
22
Silver Spring, Maryland
I'm now considering installing the liner and stove myself after the chimney is swept, rebuilt, and lower tiles knocked out. My chimney starts at 13x13 up top but then narrows to 7x13 or something for the lower section of tiles. That seems like it could be a good balance of hired professional and cost savings to me.

I'm curious how one makes the decision to leave the damper frame in place and ovalize vs cutting out part of the damper frame vs removing it all together. I believe I have all the tools (angle grinder, hammer, chisel, hammer drill, impact driver, PPE) except I'd need to fashion an ovalizer to ovalize properly if I went that route. Wondering how hard it is to just remove the damper frame. Anyone have any good videos or articles on removing the damper frame completely? I saw the UK video here on the article for relining the chimney and that was encouraging. Removing the entire damper seems like the more straight forward option so long as the chimney doesn't collapse on my face.

The damper flap is 4" wide and that seems like a heavy ovalization, vs if the entire damper and frame is gone I'll have at least 8" of clearance for a 6" insulated liner.

Damper.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
What if the damper adjust mechanism is removed? Would that allow it to open further?
 

EmberEnergy

New Member
Aug 18, 2021
22
Silver Spring, Maryland
What if the damper adjust mechanism is removed? Would that allow it to open further?
Thanks. I think the damper flap opening in the frame is 4 inches wide. So the most I could get out of that opening without cutting anything is 4 inches.

I actually found a couple threads of people asking the same question about damper cutting vs removal so I will read through all of those. I don't care to return the fireplace to a damper-ed state just looking to optimize for wood burning stove draft and maintenance. It would be awesome to install rigid liner. I remember a thread where bholler said rigid liner on an insert is a PITA, BUT, in this other thread, the guy did rigid liner with a Kuma Alpine insert and had a couple bends and that looked like a great install. Maybe not too far off from my situation.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,229
SE North Carolina
I am planning on taking the whole damper assembly out and running flex liner . The pro that did my upstairs stove did the same. From what I could tell is that it just sits on the brick all the way around and mortared in place. Some well placed chisel and hammer blows seems easier than ovalizing. Gives you a lot more room to line everything up and connect it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks. I think the damper flap opening in the frame is 4 inches wide. So the most I could get out of that opening without cutting anything is 4 inches.

I actually found a couple threads of people asking the same question about damper cutting vs removal so I will read through all of those. I don't care to return the fireplace to a damper-ed state just looking to optimize for wood burning stove draft and maintenance. It would be awesome to install rigid liner. I remember a thread where bholler said rigid liner on an insert is a PITA, BUT, in this other thread, the guy did rigid liner with a Kuma Alpine insert and had a couple bends and that looked like a great install. Maybe not too far off from my situation.
We had a rigid liner in our old setup. It worked really well and was not that big a deal to install, but it is a bit slower process for installation and a pita to insulate. DuraLiner is pre-insulated rigid that works well. A heavy-duty flex liner is another option that solves these issues.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,564
central pa
Thanks. I think the damper flap opening in the frame is 4 inches wide. So the most I could get out of that opening without cutting anything is 4 inches.

I actually found a couple threads of people asking the same question about damper cutting vs removal so I will read through all of those. I don't care to return the fireplace to a damper-ed state just looking to optimize for wood burning stove draft and maintenance. It would be awesome to install rigid liner. I remember a thread where bholler said rigid liner on an insert is a PITA, BUT, in this other thread, the guy did rigid liner with a Kuma Alpine insert and had a couple bends and that looked like a great install. Maybe not too far off from my situation.
Just cut the damper frame out. As far as rigid liners go they are perfectly fine but I really don't see any benifit of them over a heavy wall flex liner. And yes I hate installing them. Dura liner may be easier I have never used that product but for me dealing with the insulation while putting sections down the chimney and riveting them together was a real pain.
 
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EmberEnergy

New Member
Aug 18, 2021
22
Silver Spring, Maryland
I am planning on taking the whole damper assembly out and running flex liner . The pro that did my upstairs stove did the same. From what I could tell is that it just sits on the brick all the way around and mortared in place. Some well placed chisel and hammer blows seems easier than ovalizing. Gives you a lot more room to line everything up and connect it.
Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking regarding removing the damper vs ovalizing. The damper frame does *appear* to not have anything sitting on top of it so to just loosen it and pull it out would be a win.

Also, PS, I've seen the Mr. Cool products but never looked that far into. After getting some HVAC quotes and mini-split quotes it drove me to check out Mr. Cool promotional videos - that's got me considering it. Too many things going on, #serenitynow
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,229
SE North Carolina

EmberEnergy

New Member
Aug 18, 2021
22
Silver Spring, Maryland
I spoke with my local county department of permitting services, an inspector, and my homeowner's insurance. Here's what I found out:
1) A mechanical permit is required for any heater installation. A passed inspection is what I'm seeking so I can have it all saved in the event something bad happens,,,

2) Any formal documentation from the stove manufacturer, such as an installation manual or guide, takes precedence over any other code or guidance in determining a correct install from an inspectors point of view.

3) Homeowner's insurance has me covered so long as the wood heater isn't my primary heat source and as long as I have my heat-pump installed and in-service, that will be considered my primary heat source. I think if I ever planned to install a wood burning furnace, I'd give them a call back, ha

Kuma Cascade requires a minimum 16" of hearth extension out from the face of the stove's firebox, and an R value of at least 1.4 (I assume if it's sitting on something combustible). This will be my challenge. All of the other measurements and clearances from wood trim and mantel etc, I've got more than enough. Kuma also cites NFPA 211 as an example of code in determining code-compliant fireplace.

Beneath my current hearth extension (currently made of who-knows tile), I can verify a concrete hearth extension pour appears to extend out 21" and has no combustible material below it - it's just suspended. If the face of the Kuma Cascade protrudes from the face of the fireplace opening at least 3 inches, that's 16+3, so 19" of total hearth extension is required by this stove. My 21" of concrete pour should have me covered plus some if I match it with 21" of granite slab. I'd like to maintain the look of the 67" hearth extension width.

If for some reason, after cutting stuff out, I find that the concrete pour falls short of 19" from the face of the firebox opening, then I'll need to worry about R-value for the portion of the granite slab that extends onto the wood floor beyond the concrete. The only potential snag here is the current 2019 NFPA says the hearth extension is to be "wholly" supported by and integral with the chimney structure.

Did I miss anything? Picture attached. Don't mind the little dudes. They are cast iron George Washington's.

MasonryFireplace.jpg
 
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