Old Mill stove - install or forget?

anosumo Posted By anosumo, Feb 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

  1. anosumo

    New Member 2.

    Feb 4, 2013
    I recently bought an 60ish year old house (my first!) in the central Maryland area and boy am I learning a lot. One thing I'm learning is heating oil is Rather Expensive. As I sit here in the cold because I can't afford to be warm quite yet (house poor) I think there has to be some options. Someone at least two owners ago had purchased an Old Mill stove and it could feature highly in my holy-hell-I-need-something-other-then-oil plans.

    I don't know much about this thing other then what I've read *here* and some approximate dimensions.

    W = 25"
    D = 28-29"
    H = 28" at its tallest, coming down to 22"

    *here* *are* *some* *pictures* (sorry, my camera is junk)

    This sucker feels like it weighs a few hojillion pounds so I'm pretty sure it's going to stay in the basement regardless of being re-installed or not. There is a handy chimney that appears to have a solid cap up top.

    Someone has cut an unlined "duct" to the ground and top floors and added some fans to bring the basement air upstairs. Good idea, poor execution. I've sealed it for the time being because it only served to purpose of somehow moving the colder basement air upstairs and someone has put in a drop ceiling under it anyway. I imagine the drop ceiling would have to go if the stove got fired up. Seems a bit too drop if you ask me.

    The real question here is if this stove itself is worth my time and money. Is it really going to save me money or just turn me into a lumberjack? Should I go another direction? I'm new to the old stove world so I'd like to get some advice on if this is a keeper or not before I put the money into a chimney inspection.

    I've already learned quite a bit browsing the forums so thanks a ton!
  2. Dune

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jan 14, 2008
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    It is a fisher copy, so all the info in the Fisher forum is applicable.

    A powerful heater, but not the most wood-efficient, Fishers have many loyal followers.

    Definitely a good starter stove, to see if you can handle/like the wood burning lifestyle.

    Reducing heating costs though, starts with weather stripping/caulking, then insulation.

    See if you can get a free energy audit for your home.
  3. peakbagger

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jul 11, 2008
    Northern NH
    An Old mIll is a good starter stove. It will tolerate damp wood that would be "spit out" by a newer EPA stove. Once you have tried it for a season and get a reliable wood source and at least years worth of wood in advance, then you can decide to go with a newer style stove. The trade off is that you will burn more wood than an EPA stove but only if the wood supply is dry and the only way you can assure that is to buy it year or more in advance(assuming you have a lot of oak down your way you may want to go for two years).

    Do make sure that all the firebricks that should line the lower sides of the box are still there. Sometimes they deteriorate and folks run without them. The stove can crank out a lot of heat and is not so great for running at partial load, so it will take awhile to get up to speed on how to regulate temp.

    Before you do anything, inspect the chimney and the stove pipe thoroughly. Odds are a local fire department may offer this service or recomend a chimney sweep. Frequently the stove pipe used may be of a lighter gauge than required. In general its cheap and if there is any question replace it. You also need to call the insurance company, some companies are real difficult about stove, others dont care.
  4. Jags

    Moderate Moderator 2.
    Staff Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    Northern IL
    And some ins. co. (and state/local laws) won't even allow the install of a pre-epa once it has been pulled out of service. Do your due diligence before putting the effort into this stove.
  5. Motor7

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Nov 10, 2009
    East TN.
    I agree with Dune, good old stove, run it and see if you like heating with wood, then decide whether or not to keep it. Btw those make great garage/barn/shop stoves so even if you pull it out you might want to plug it in someplace else.

Share This Page