Mama Bear?

bacato

New Member
Dec 28, 2020
5
Arkansas
Hello All - what a wonderful source of Fisher Stove information here!! I've been reading all of this for a while now.

I'm looking to join the fold, I want a simple old stove for my shop. I'm looking at what I think is a Mama Bear - can someone confirm this?
I'm working off of some photos sent from the daughter of an older couple. She has no idea which model, etc.
I have not seen this stove in person yet.

What would this be worth - generally speaking?

That back side picture concerns me. However, with the rest of the stove showing normal rust, I'm wondering if the stove pipe is somehow contributing to that massive amount of rust on that back? I figure a wire brush on the angle grinder will clean most all of this up. That back side though....

Thoughts?
-Brett

stove-front.jpg


fisher-stove.jpg




stove-back.jpg
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
‘76 or ‘77 Mama Bear.

The rust is where the highest heat was. It burned the paint off and may have been exposed to weather or maybe in a damp basement? Probably only surface rust. A wire wheel will show if it’s pitted underneath. Damage in that area is normally cracks emanating from around the outlet pipe. They are fixable by stop drilling the crack, V groove, then weld. A lot can be repaired on 1/4 steel plate. These things are a tank. A baffle added inside will direct the heat forward eliminating overheating around the outlet area.

Welcome to the Forum!
 

CamFan

Feeling the Heat
Aug 21, 2011
343
North East Georgia
I would not worry about rust much. Like Coaly said they were built like tanks. But when I buy a stove in that condition 200,00-300.00. I bought a grandpa for `125.00 not long ago. It is worth whatever you are willing to pay.
 

bacato

New Member
Dec 28, 2020
5
Arkansas
Thank you for your responses so far. The seller seems to be firm on $500 - it is not really local to me so I can't take a better look at the back side. IMHO I think it's been outside a bit too long and the value is not there. I think I will keep looking. In the meantime, wow, there's a lot of good info here for me to absorb! Thank you for all of the contributions over the years.
 

Don H

Feeling the Heat
Aug 19, 2015
280
Maryland
I have bought and sold many Fishers over the last several years. In that condition I would not pay more than $150. After cleaning, new paint and replacing broken fire brick I would list it for $500. It would sell within a week.

You should be able to find a nice Mama for $500.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
At $500 an old stove like that should be perfect. Decent old smoke dragons that are useasble but may need some brick or paint typically sell for $200 to $300. Fishers being on the upper end just because of the name.

A stove in that condition you would be lucky to get $100 here.
 

Don H

Feeling the Heat
Aug 19, 2015
280
Maryland
A lot of what you can buy them for depends on the time of year. I've picked up Fishers for free or next to nothing in the summer. Sometimes people just want them out of the way for a remodel. Now is the worst time to buy but the best time to sell (even a little late for that now). I've noticed that Fishers are getting harder to come by around here and they're asking more for them.
 

bacato

New Member
Dec 28, 2020
5
Arkansas
I do see several of the larger double door models around for sale, all about $500 - better condition than this one. Not sure where the pricing comes from for this Mama Bear. Maybe because they are rare [here], likely being the time of the year as Don mentioned. They are definitely waiting on the impulse buyer, its been listed for 8 weeks. When I first checked, the seller (or daughter of) was very responsive, but simply knew nothing about it - which model, etc. I asked about serial numbers, said she'd send me pictures. A couple of days later (after christmas) I got a few more pictures but no more info. When I asked if the price was negotiable, she said her parents were FIRM on the price. "Many people are interested, just haven't gotten around to responding to them." I'll keep looking around.

I do appreciate everyone's help and information.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
I do see several of the larger double door models around for sale, all about $500 - better condition than this one. Not sure where the pricing comes from for this Mama Bear. Maybe because they are rare [here], likely being the time of the year as Don mentioned. They are definitely waiting on the impulse buyer, its been listed for 8 weeks. When I first checked, the seller (or daughter of) was very responsive, but simply knew nothing about it - which model, etc. I asked about serial numbers, said she'd send me pictures. A couple of days later (after christmas) I got a few more pictures but no more info. When I asked if the price was negotiable, she said her parents were FIRM on the price. "Many people are interested, just haven't gotten around to responding to them." I'll keep looking around.

I do appreciate everyone's help and information.
Most sellers have no clue what they have or its value.

All older stoves are worth what buyer and seller agree upon. As mentioned, they are a seasonal item that prices vary greatly from seasons to areas.

Worth depends on what you are going to do with it. For collector purposes I can give you how much each model sold for, rarity, options like brass or nickel plating and other options or accessories that should influence price..... if you are going to use it legally, you need to look into your local codes. Arkansas adopted the 2010 ICC Mechanical Code. That is where you will find any new installation now requires any appliance to be UL Listed. So you can only legally install a stove with a UL tag. This one is before UL testing became the standard used nation wide. It was tested, but not to UL testing criteria used today.
Most sellers aren’t aware they are selling something that can’t be installed legally or may have trouble insuring.

Notice the term “install”. Codes do not prohibit USE of stoves installed before codes were adopted. Older installations are grandfathered. Some states require EPA Certification for emissions as well, some areas require the removal of non EPA certified stoves when selling the home.

Many sellers claim their stove is comparable to a new one selling for 2000 today, so 1000 is a fair price. They don’t understand new stoves cost that much due to UL testing, and EPA Certification that the new stoves have passed.

Buyers are installing these older stoves either not knowing they are installing illegally and find out when trying to insure it, (or here) or install to the safe NFPA 211 Standard and claim it was existing before the jurisdiction they are in adopted codes requiring a stove to be Listed. It’s difficult to prove when an older stove was installed, so there is a market for older stoves.

Explain to a seller it’s worth scrap price without a UL Label making it illegal to install and you may get a fair price. It will either educate them or they will argue in ignorance of their local code.
 
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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
There were no serial numbers on stoves without UL tags. Some fabricators numbered stoves with a consecutive stove number and their state initials. Georgia even initialed the stove bottom with the name of welder making the box, and later the finisher who cut the vent and hung door and smoke shelf under the shelf in weld. Some stamped the upper back corner with state initials and stove number. As far as I know, the builder in your state was unmarked. Marks inside doors are foundry markings.
 

bacato

New Member
Dec 28, 2020
5
Arkansas
Interesting.... new years eve one popped up for sale which was not too far from me, another Mama Bear, but it was in much better condition, at least in the photos than the first one I pictured above. It was listed for $350. It sold within 4 hours.

As you might imagine, there's a lot of rural living here, lots of workshops and such that people are looking to heat. I'm not sure there's too much concern or real knowledge of what codes that might exist. Probably most folks couldn't tell you Underwriters Laboratories is what UL stands for.

There's a Papa Bear that looks to be a good condition it's listed for $750.
Guess I just shouldn't get in a hurry.