Looking for a small wood stove with tight clearances

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handwedge

New Member
Nov 10, 2021
4
Vernon, BC, Canada
Hi all, first time poster -- learning about wood stoves, slowly but surely. We have an old enclosed A-Frame cabin (~1000 sq ft) built by my grandfather in the 60s. We had a wood stove in there until recently, but the insurance company said they could no longer insure it (it was about 70 yrs old -- see attached pics).

We'd like to install a new wood stove that will meet Canadian clearance standards and allow us to use the space we have (without having to reconfigure the surroundings, add heat shields, or large hearth pads etc). We don't need huge heat production, just enough to take the chill off the main room (which is 300 sq feet) in the mornings (and hopefully, we'll get some radiant heat off the chimney upstairs).

I've attached several photos of the current stove and space, along with some measurements.

Wondering if anyone knows a model of wood stove that might work in this space. The key is small footprint and small clearances. The rock wall behind the current stove is attached to a combustable surface. The rock wall to the left is non-combustable (the pipe enters above).

Appreciate any help or suggestions.
Thanks!

IMG_5295.jpg IMG_5296.jpg IMG_5297.jpg IMG_5298.jpg IMG_5299.jpg IMG_5301.jpg IMG_5303.jpg IMG_5304.jpg
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,773
South Puget Sound, WA
That's a tough one. Unfortunately, the original installation was most likely illegal due to the rear clearance of the stove. The stone behind the stove does not qualify for a clearance reduction. Otherwise, a Petit Godin came to mind.
 
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handwedge

New Member
Nov 10, 2021
4
Vernon, BC, Canada
Thanks, Begreen -- that's what we were afraid of. There may not be a good option without extending the hearth pad and moving the stove out further (which doesn't really work with the space). We're considering leaving the current stove in place and dropping the fire insurance on the cabin (only purchasing separate liability insurance in the event that someone's hurt). It's an old cabin and the stove is used rarely. This might be the easiest way to go (until we ultimately gut/renovate or completely rebuild). The current stove is a very cool old stove -- my grandfather found it (stole it) from the basement of a court house sixty years ago. They think it's from the early 1900s.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,445
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
What about a Vermont Castings Aspen? Other than they are unavailable right now. Only needs 3" clearance to combustibles on the backside, as long as the 14" side wall clearance can be reduced given that wall is considered non-combustible.

My concern comes with the stove pipe itself, even with double wall can the required 6" of clearance by observed if the back wall is considered combustible? Looks pretty tight back there.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,773
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, good suggestion. I thought of the Aspen, but it will project further into the room and will need a hearth pad or extension.
 
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handwedge

New Member
Nov 10, 2021
4
Vernon, BC, Canada
Good point, ABMax24
We actually had a WETT installing/inspector on site and he said the chimney shouldn't be an issue -- the main challenge was the clearances to the walls and the extension of the hearth pad. If we can't find that, then other options might be to install a gas stove (but we'd really like to do wood because the cabin is in the middle of nowhere and there's plenty of wood to burn).
Thanks for all your feedback.
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,574
NW Wisconsin
Maybe a small Morso 1440 Squirrel stove would work?
 

Smolder

Member
Dec 25, 2019
120
Ashton, Ontario
I might suggest a small Blaze King like the Ashford 25. It can be used installed very close to things and the hearth doesn’t need any insulation value, just spark protection. We have one in Ontario. Clearances and hearth material were important in out selection.
 
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jpm995

New Member
Nov 1, 2020
19
Lindenhurst, New York
I have a True North TN10 and it's very small with tight clearances. It's not pretty like your antique stove but says it heats up to 900 sq ft. It's a pain to use as it only takes wood up to 12" long.
 

handwedge

New Member
Nov 10, 2021
4
Vernon, BC, Canada
Thanks again for all your feedback. After long discussions, and given our space restrictions, we've decided to keep the antique wood stove we currently have (the one in the photos above) and forego insurance (as we can't WETT certify). Our cabin is old and doesn't have much value anyway. We will still get liability insurance, of course.

There are a few small cracks in the cast iron. We plan on using JB Weld Extreme Heat to seal them up. Any other tips about the stove or chimney safety would be greatly appreciated. I suppose we should have the chimney cleaned and inspected as well.

Thanks again!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,156
central pa
Thanks again for all your feedback. After long discussions, and given our space restrictions, we've decided to keep the antique wood stove we currently have (the one in the photos above) and forego insurance (as we can't WETT certify). Our cabin is old and doesn't have much value anyway. We will still get liability insurance, of course.

There are a few small cracks in the cast iron. We plan on using JB Weld Extreme Heat to seal them up. Any other tips about the stove or chimney safety would be greatly appreciated. I suppose we should have the chimney cleaned and inspected as well.

Thanks again!
My only tips are don't use the setup as it is. There are so many safety issues I don't even know where to start. The stove isn't even a wood stove it's meant for coal.
 
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Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
700
NW Wisconsin
Thanks again for all your feedback. After long discussions, and given our space restrictions, we've decided to keep the antique wood stove we currently have (the one in the photos above) and forego insurance (as we can't WETT certify). Our cabin is old and doesn't have much value anyway. We will still get liability insurance, of course.

There are a few small cracks in the cast iron. We plan on using JB Weld Extreme Heat to seal them up. Any other tips about the stove or chimney safety would be greatly appreciated. I suppose we should have the chimney cleaned and inspected as well.

Thanks again!
Nope, don't do it. Epoxy has no place in a fire box. I don't care what the heat rating is. Brazing would be a much better option, but even that is questionable. Stoves can get very hot, and can melt even brazed joints. If it is cracked, stop using it.

You need a new stove for heating. I have seen modern stoves at our local hearth store that look just like yours. They have near-zero clearances. Do not ever glue/epoxy a stove together.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,773
South Puget Sound, WA
Not to be contrary, I share your skepticism, but just last week I read about an older VC or Jotul repair with a big crack in the fire back, and side burn plates using this epoxy. It sounds like it has made it through several burns. I don't recommend it, but truth be told I haven't tried it either.
 

Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
700
NW Wisconsin
Not to be contrary, I share your skepticism, but just last week I read about an older VC or Jotul repair with a big crack in the fire back, and side burn plates using this epoxy. It sounds like it has made it through several burns. I don't recommend it, but truth be told I haven't tried it either.
From what I have heard/read about high temp epoxy, it will last a while, but will eventually degrade. I sometimes use jb weld on chainsaw cylinders when porting, but not in the combustion chamber and not inside the exhaust port. I have used it to repair pinholes in exhaust ports with good results, but the aluminum is a heatsink in that application, so not exactly "in the fire".

I would not be leaving an epoxied stove unsupervised in any case.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,773
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, I would be leery using it in a place that could leak, but not so much so with a baffle or side burn plate repair. Have you tried the high temp JB Weld?
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Wow. I can’t see that fix holding with the heat/cool cycles of a stove. It reminds me of the things I’d try to fix exhaust leaks on my car when I was in high school and college. They didn’t work long, but when they failed the exhaust didn’t push into the house.

To be fair, the stove should be at negative pressure during most of the burn cycle. It’s only at the end when CO may start leaking out. Make sure you have good monitors!