How to run a grandma bear

Enplater Posted By Enplater, Mar 25, 2018 at 12:14 PM

  1. Enplater

    Enplater
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    Jun 6, 2017
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    So I bought a brand new englander 30 last season and used it quite a bit this year. It is very picky on wood quality but does work excellent with seasoned wood. Last summer I found an old rusty fisher grandma bear for free. I sanded off the heavy rust as much as I could and welded a couple cracks I found on it. My plan was to fix it up, paint and sell it but it ended up in a corner in the garage being used as a shelf. Yesterday I got a little motivated and curious to see if it worked so I got an elbow and reducer 8"-6" and moved the big 30 over to the side and installed the Grandma. I think it is a 78 or 79 model year. No baffle just straight through. My question: this thing is almost uncontrollable, I loaded it up pretty good, not stuffed to the top but a good amount of seasoned hard wood mixed with black birch with about 40% mc. Even with the door dampers closed and pipe damper closed the stove top was 780 measured with an infrared thermometer. Is this normal?? Seems way too high to me. I can hear the doors sucking in the air with the controls closed, I am thinking maybe I need to install rope gasket to be able to control the fire better. My setup is in the basement, through the foundation wall and 24' of double wall chimney. Any thoughts? Is it normal to hear the air going by the doors with the knobs closed??
     
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  2. bholler

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    Get your wood dry and install the 30 again it is a much better stove
     
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  3. Enplater

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    That's the plan but for now I want to make this thing run correctly
     
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  4. bholler

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    It shouldnt need gasket but sometimes it csn help. I would guess something is warped or worn because you should be able to all but put the fire out by closing the vents.
     
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  5. Enplater

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    I was thinking the same thing. I had to shim one leg with some steel so it didn't wobble, it's probably warped and leaking air. Just put in 3 medium splits on a good bed of coals and closed the doors with the knobs open 100% and it was making an insane huffing sound. I shut the exhaust damper half way and the control knobs all but 1/5 turn each. Stove is staying at 500 and stove pipe about 270 after the damper. Completely different beast from my englander.
     
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  6. coaly

    coaly
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    It should glow or go out with air dampers closed.
    Does this have a round rod welded to stove front for door seal? Or is it the later channel iron door seal?

    Normally start a fire with air dampers open a few turns. Not usually more than 2 or 3. Close down to 1 turn as fire is established and close from there as needed for heating requirement. Usually just cracked overnight when not too cold, to 1/2 turn or more when colder.
    Make sure the back of doors is clean and no one added a gasket that has any gasket cement remaining in door seal channel. Worn hinge pins may allow it to leak.
     
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  7. Enplater

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    It is the newer style channel iron door seal. I just put another 4 medium pieces of wood, left the doors open for a few minutes to start the fire then closed the doors with the dampers open 2 turns each, once the stove pipe reached 650-700 range I closed the air dampers completely and the exhaust damper 1/2 way to get the temps back under control, there's definitely a lot of learning to be done. When it's really cranking I can hear the air going through where the door seal is, so this is not normal right? As I slowly type this I have opened the exhaust damper all the way and the stove top is around 560 degrees, I should be able to crack the air controllers in a few minutes. Those hinge pins are very old and rust pitted, maybe I could get some new ones and try that. Does anywhere still sell them? One of the pins won't come out of the door, i've tried using the torch to remove it and it won't budge but the other 3 are free. This thing throws great heat though. Does anyone have the dimensions for making a baffle plate?
     
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  8. rowerwet

    rowerwet
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    I made my baffle out of angle iron and firebricks.
    It made a huge difference in the heat output and burn time.
    The firebrick fits in the frame, matching the firebrick in the back of the stove
     
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  9. coaly

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    That's way too much air. Leaving the doors open to start the fire is more detrimental to the draft and doesn't get the fire more oxygen than opening air dampers so the air rushing through mixes with the flammable gasses escaping from the wood. You want the air mix going through the wood, not up and over it, cooling the chimney.
    If you are using a magnetic surface thermometer, it reads 1/2 the actual inside temp. So close it down to one turn each at about 300. If it continues to climb, shut it down more.
    You should not hear air leakage around door seal. Wire wheel the back of doors and door seal to make sure you have clean bare metal. Does the right door handle angle match the left when closed?

    A torch should never be needed to remove a hinge pin. You would have to heat the hinge ear to expand it while trying to keep the pin cool. Pretty much impossible. Soak overnight with PB Blaster. Aerokroil works best if you can get it. Then use vice grips on the head to break it loose by turning. Soak some more until you can twist and tap it out. If not, drill it out. They are available on eBay and are simply 3/8 diameter solid rivets. Keep them greased with silver anti-seize as well as the air damper bolt threads.

    See the baffle thread for lots of tips on size and angle. You're making the baffle for the chimney and connector pipe configuration, not the stove.
     
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  10. Enplater

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    I took the doors to work and glass beaded them last summer, they are clean but I'll double check anyway. I'll double check the channel in the stove too. Also the right door latch was busted off at some point, they guy I got it from tried welding a latch to it but it just fell off so I welded some re-bar as a new latch and got the angle as best as I could. It is standing up nicely to the heat. I have a couple pictures I'll try to attach. If I get new pins I'll put some chrome on them to make them slick. The thing heats great though, almost seems to put more heat then the englander but doesn't last nearly as long.
     
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  11. Enplater

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    image.jpg image.jpg
     
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  12. Enplater

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    image.jpg
     
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  13. Enplater

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    You can kinda see my rebar latch in the second photo
     
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  14. Enplater

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    So like I said the I have already cleaned the doors with the sand blaster but I took a wire brush to the channel on the stove itself, the rust is very heavy so it didn't really help much. Nothing obvious is keeping it from sealing except for the rust pits. I took some pictures of the gaps between the doors, can tell me if it looks normal? Also I took some pictures of the channel on the stove to show how rusted it is. I'm guessing the leakage around the door seal if being caused by being warped or the rust in the channel. I wish I had a new one to compare everything. Any input helps, I know Coaly is filled with knowledge. Thanks guys
     
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  15. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    No pictures.
     
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  16. Enplater

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    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     
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  17. Enplater

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    Got distracted, it's tough to see but there is a wider gap between the door and stove where the doors meet vs the outer edges. You can see the rust pits on the channel
     
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  18. CamFan

    CamFan
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    Put a standard thickness piece of cardboard in the channel 1/2” wide on both sides where the hinges are. If you can shut the doors as normal add gasket. If you can’t find hinge pin I have them. Boxes of them. You should replace pins before adding gasket. If the doors are shut can the left door move slightly if you jiggle the handle. If so it will leak air. Add hinges then probably gasket. 7/8 flat gasket.


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  19. Enplater

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    I can definitely get the doors to wiggle when they're latched. I'll try to get some pins and see what happens. Thanks
     
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  20. coaly

    coaly
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    Does your replacement door handle latch on the wedge designed to tighten the doors??
     
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  21. CamFan

    CamFan
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    If they still wiggle after new pins I would say gasket is in order. I can tell you what to do when you get to that point. I’ve done hundreds of them.


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  22. CamFan

    CamFan
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    I went back and looked at the pictures Your locking handle is in the wrong position. Coaly is right about that. It is more for appearances unless when locked the right door does not seat tight. You can heat the elbow of the door latch then slide a 1/2” pipe over the end and bend towards the door slightly. Check handle position to match left side. It does not take much bending to do this.


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  23. Enplater

    Enplater
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    My latch contacts the wedge on the top like it is supposed to. I'm pretty sure I got the handle angles and positions correct, I'll take better pictures after work today. I do remember one of the handles had to be heated up and bent away from the stove, can't remember which one though. It's dangerous the way it is right now, if you open it up just a little too much and look away for a couple minutes it'll start climbing past 750 quickly.
     
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  24. CamFan

    CamFan
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    The handle on the right should be the same angle as the left door handle


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  25. Enplater

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    That was before I fixed it. The first picture I put up shows how it looks now
     
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