Old Sierra Mods + Pics!

Status
Not open for further replies.

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
Hello all. I have been lurking around here for awhile and decided it was time to join in the fun. As a child we heated our home with a wood fired Suburban Coalmaster. This is where my brother and I both learned the ropes of harvesting, splitting, curing and heating with wood. Its a terrible addiction for a father to pass on to his sons. HaHa. Any way as the title suggest, I have an old Sierra stove (any help identifying would be great) that I use to heat about eight or nine hundred sq/ft of our home. The area is a fifteen year old addition to a plane jane Italianate circa 1864. The addition has decent insulation and fairly tight windows and doors.

Stove Pics:

P0005_280912.jpg P0004_280912.jpg

I have made some mods to the stove. I removed the baffle and moved the smoke collar from the back center to the top right of the stove. Then I built a fire brick passage into the inside top of the stove open to the fire box on the left side. This did help the operation of the stove a lot.

Looking through the door to the top left of the stove where smoke passage is:

P0002_181213.jpg

So, I plan to add secondaries at some point but I must first seal the stove up tight and that is what this post is all about. Any suggestions on how to apply a seal to this door and any other help to make her as air tight as possible? Thank you all In advance for looking and any help that you may have to offer.

P0001_191213.jpg
 
Hi, Sierras were always well made stoves. I bought wood stove gasket material from Lowes, the kit come in at lease two sizes of gasket and glue to install to doors. . I don't know if they have Lowes in Illinois but there must be a like store there.
The adhesive will attach the material to to metal. That stove of yours will burn nicely for many years once you have it sealed. Have fun.

Richard
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
Thanks Richard. I will give that a try. I have seen the stuff you are talking about at lowes and the local farm stores but was unsure if the glue would hold up to the high temps without a groove for the rope to fit into, Yeah it is a very well built stove, just a little primitive and hard to control at times. Im planning to keep working on making it more efficient. As it is if it gets to hot in the area the stove is in I can open a door leading to the other part of the house and dump the heat there but would love to get this beast under control.
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
Holly Crap! :eek: Well I installed a rope seal to the door and wow what a difference! Im not even sure if this is the same stove. I built a small fire and let her get good and hot, shut the air all the way down and the flames went out like I flipped a switch. When I opened it back up a little it back puffed (something I have never seen this stove do) . Looks like its time for some more mods. Secondary air and air wash coming up! Any one who has done this please chime in and let me know what worked for you and what did not and what you would do different.


After thought:

Any one know if this stove came from the factory with a door seal?

Edit to add pic

P0001_211213.jpg
 
Last edited:
O

oldspark

Guest
Cant help you with the mods but that is one neat stove, never saw a picture of one before, worth the effort.
Old stoves are like old cars, they had a lot more character.
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
Thank you for the encouragement oldspark. I agree this stove has character and its built like a Sherman tank. I will keep everyone posted on my progress however slow it may be. Had to remove the koawook that I had sealing off one of the air inlets this morning to let enough air in to get a good fire going. Headed in the rite direction!
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
I have some 1x2 steel tubing that I am going to use to make a frame/air wash system for the window in this stove. The frame will go between the front of the stove and the window so as to preheat the air flushing over the glass. Any suggestions on hole size and placement would be more that welcome. I suppose the holes should be angled toward the glass a little and flush preheated air from the top down? I will post some more pics when I get started on this. Please feel free to throw your $0.02 worth in!
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
Ok, so I had some time today and did a little work.

frame showing 17 holes on 1 inch centers, Frame ready to weld
P0002_261213.jpg P0001_261213.jpg
Clamped up. Welded
P0003_261213.jpg P0006_261213.jpg

Another view all welded up, Air inlet and shutter
P0007_261213.jpg P0008_261213.jpg

Time for paint , Test run.
P0010_261213.jpg P0011_261213.jpg

The holes in the stove were not drilled plumb hence the out of level look of the new rig, may fix that at a later date. More to come.
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
So, the first test run didn't go all that well. Having the air entering from the top seemed to entrain the smoke and blow it down the across glass causing it to smoke up. Going to call that a fail!

This morning I turned the frame over so the air holes are on the bottom. I also re-drilled the mounting holes in the stove front so as to level the window and new frame (that was really bothering me). Test run #2 in progress.
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
Round two of testing has gone much better. The fire has burned down to coals and the glass shows a hint of smoke but much, much less than last nights test. I am going to bend a a pice of sheet metal to direct the air rite up against the glass. It occurred to me today that I need to look at this as a controlled leak. I may have to make the main air inlet to the air wash frame a little larger as well, I did some figuring and the total area of the 17 holes drilled in the frame is larger than the area of the air inlet in the frame. Also I have not had to use the air shutter that I made for it and I still have the primary air control for the stove (located in the door) open a little so Im thinking I can get away with a little more air coming in through the air wash system. Wow I used the word air a lot in that sentence!
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
Yes, the addition of a cat is on my mind for sure and I think it would have to be done in an add on fashion as you describe. I see great value in having a stove set up as a so called "hybrid". Having the ability to burn clean and efficiently either at a low and slow or high and hot setting seems like the ideal situation to me. However, that may be a project for next winter as I need to study up on how cats function. Im trying to figure out if for example two cats will handle twice as much smoke as one while lowering the risk of over heating them, if that makes sense? Or if that would create a situation where you would starve them of fuel. (If any one has any insight into this please chime in) But for now I am spending time getting this secondary burn system dialed in while at the same time trying to learn how to operate it properly. Haha. That is one of the great thing about this forum, most if not all of the info is here if the time is taken to find it but no matter how many times the same question is asked, it is always greeted with at least one gracious answer and usually more than that. I have learned so much from this forum, thanks to all whom contribute as well as those that make it possible by providing the medium!

So far, I have learned that the secondaries in my Frankin Sierra appear to work best at or above ~550 F (stove top magnetic bi-metal thermometer). I think that if I had more area and distance to preheat the air before the burn tubes this temp could be lower but its ok for now. I am also still playing around with the hole diameter in the burn tubes. I get some standing flames from the tubes but they don't seem to last. I do however get a lot of secondary burn just kind of hovering above the burning pile of wood in the bottom of the stove and very little smoke if any out of the stack so I think Im on the rite path. I think my wife thinks I have gone mad, I ask her to not add any wood to the stove because I want to make a change to some part of it and she just rolls her big brow eyes at me. haha But as of late she has been asking me a lot of questions about it so I think she is coming around.
 

Shwammy

Member
Jan 9, 2010
54
Central NC
This is very interesting to me. I just got one of these and I'm in the process of making a better baffle for it as well as replacing the glass and adding a guard behind it. If you add more length to those burn tubes you'll get hotter air coming out of them, looks like you have room for it too. From the looks of it my baffle will be at about the same height as yours but will have what looks like an upside down dryer vent directing the smoke down to the outlet after passing it over a half oval plate atop the upside down vent. Luckily I have access to plenty of scrap stainless so I'm debating just what thickness I should use.
 

Shwammy

Member
Jan 9, 2010
54
Central NC
Changed my mind, I'm going to make a firebrick baffle with some scrap stainless angle and tilt it up and then over the fire with another section.
 

Smoke Signals

Burning Hunk
Dec 19, 2013
189
Central illinois
Changed my mind, I'm going to make a firebrick baffle with some scrap stainless angle and tilt it up and then over the fire with another section.
I was just looking back over this thread ad saw your post. Did you mod your stove and did you post any pics or start a thread about it? I would like to see it.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.