Question about Thelin Thompson Gnome older wood stove

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Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
I have been keeping an eye out for another stove to rebuild but while snooping around I found this Thelin Thompson Gnome Stove. I am not going to buy it but was wondering what the big U shaped cast iron thing is inside the stove? These pictures came from Craigslist so hope it OK to attach them. And I hope I posted this in the right location on this forum. Thanks

Thelin Thompson Nome Inside.jpg Thelin top view .jpg
 

Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
Well I was hoping that someone understood how this stove works. Here is a picture of the whole stove which might help jog someone's memory. I am always interested in how things work on these older wood stoves. I have even emailed the company to see if anyone there knows how this stove works. But so far no reply.
 

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Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
Hi I finally got a reply from the company about this stove. I sent them pictures same as on this site. He stated that this was a very old model and the item I was referring to is called a "heat exchange tube" but offered no further information. I have emailed them twice since and will update this when I find out. Perhaps some of you stove people understand what a heat exchange tube does? But if not I will wait.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,834
South Puget Sound, WA
Is there an opening underneath it or on the outside of it that a convective blower could attach to?
 

Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
Hi begreen, this is a good question. I wished I could have seen this stove in real life as I would have like to see how it was built and operates. But as you point out a heat exchange usually has a blower fan.
 

David O

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
3
Sacramento
Well, I, too, recently acquired a similar Gnome stove, circa 1983. The stove is in great shape, and I have polished up the chrome parts and replaced some bolts holding on the glass panels on the front door.

When I moved to my current location in 1981, I listed after one of the larger stoves that Thelin made at the time.
However, wifey prevailed, and we got a large masonry round stove made by a lady named Renaja Soleil.

It has been an excellent stove. But has deteriorated, with cracks in the casing: and it is no longer airtight.

Thus I went looking for a stove after which I used to pine, only to get a reflection that they ain't the stoves they used to be. , I was happy to find this early Gnome wood burning stove, (not a pellet stove,.) Only 150 miles away.

The stove is arranged in such a way as to allow a water coupling to be attached to the back so that it can be a source of hot water for both the radiating Mass that develops, or simply for domestic hot water. I believe the two parallel 3-in (approximately ) vertical cylinders towards the rear of the unit are the heating Chambers for the hot water, which can thermosiphon out of the unit by virtue of the two pipe nipple extensions on the back of the stove.
, Into a remote storage tank.

My stove has a damper mounted on the bottom, which can be manually or electric electrically operated if hooked up to a remote thermostat.

All of this verbiage precedes the question relating to why I've signed up here:

"Does this early 1983 Thelin Thompson Gnome wood burning stove require fire brick to be placed in the bottom and surrounds"?

Does anyone have an owner's manual for this model or similar stove?

Thank you for any response you may have and thank you for the internet which allows such transactions to occur.

Peace, out!
I
 

Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
DavidO, is seems that this is not a common stove and from reading this thread you can see that most are not familiar with it, Or some who are have not seen this post. I searched the internet diligently and could not find much info on these older stoves. You can still contact the company and they might be able to help you out. They helped me the best the could with my questions.

I am not sure what you are referring to about the fire brick but my guess would be they put it there for a reason. Just like with most stoves the fire brick is to protect the metal from over heating and cracking and warping.
 

David O

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
3
Sacramento
DavidO, is seems that this is not a common stove and from reading this thread you can see that most are not familiar with it, Or some who are have not seen this post. I searched the internet diligently and could not find much info on these older stoves. You can still contact the company and they might be able to help you out. They helped me the best the could with my questions.

I am not sure what you are referring to about the fire brick but my guess would be they put it there for a reason. Just like with most stoves the fire brick is to protect the metal from over heating and cracking and warping.
I've not found the Thelin Company to be responsive, so I'll say what I think may be the answer.

In your opening post, the first picture shows what appears to be an accumulation of ash around the base of the "U" shaped tube (which provides pre-warmed air to the TOP of the burning wood..), which my stove also had developed. In cleaning it out, I soon realized that it wasn't "ash", but concrete or ceramic cement with aggregate.

I surmise that the whole bottom may have been covered to that thickness of ceramic cement, supplanting the usual firebrick, (which then fractured over time and was removed..)
or, (more likely I'm thinkin') was used merely to stabilize the air duct against
the frequent battering of wood being added to the firebox.

Whatever the answer is, until it is nailed down, I will use the red lava rock in a thick layer before laying in a fire.

Regards,
D
 

Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
David O, Thanks for sharing this information with me. Your surmising may be correct as the hot coals from the wood should not sit right on the metal on the bottom of the wood stove. I like the looks of these stoves. Hope it servers you well.
 

David O

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
3
Sacramento
Hey blazing hot, have you any new experiences with your stove? I have hooked mine up, and I'm using the lava rock in the bottom as insulation until I attain , buy, steal or otherwise acquire a user's manual. Seems to work very well, although the interface with the thermostat is not understood.

Now, if I just had some dry wood!

Peace,
Out...
 

Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
Hi David O, I don't own this stove. I was posting it because I was curious how it works. Did you ever get more information on the stove and how it is working for you? Hope you can find some dry wood to test out your stove. I have a Country Striker set up in my home. But am thinking about other options for next year.
 

RonPajt

New Member
Jan 10, 2022
5
Auburn Calif
I've not found the Thelin Company to be responsive, so I'll say what I think may be the answer.

In your opening post, the first picture shows what appears to be an accumulation of ash around the base of the "U" shaped tube (which provides pre-warmed air to the TOP of the burning wood..), which my stove also had developed. In cleaning it out, I soon realized that it wasn't "ash", but concrete or ceramic cement with aggregate.

I surmise that the whole bottom may have been covered to that thickness of ceramic cement, supplanting the usual firebrick, (which then fractured over time and was removed..)
or, (more likely I'm thinkin') was used merely to stabilize the air duct against
the frequent battering of wood being added to the firebox.

Whatever the answer is, until it is nailed down, I will use the red lava rock in a thick layer before laying in a fire.

Regards,
D
Hi David,

This Thelin-Thompson "Gnome" model came in two sizes; ours is the larger. It's been our main source of home heat for 40 years. Our home in the Sierra Foothills is two-story, 2600 sq ft. The stove is downstairs, and convection takes heat upstairs.

There were questions about firebrick - ours never had fire brick. Tapping on the floor of the firebox makes a sound that suggests it is simply heavy gage steel; we've had no burnout in 40 years.
Lava rock will make cleaning the ash out a little more difficult.

I found that wood wouldn't burn completely if the fire was damped down. Coals would fall off the logs and get buried in the ash, and go out. Much of the ash I removed had unburnt coals. I made the grate you see below, so that when coals/embers fall off, they have space below the grate to continue to burn. Now the residual is completely ash.

The damper at the bottom was intended to connect to an outside air duct; that's why it's a tube. I tried it with a thermostat, but once it close, it never reopened, until the fire was out. I found a way to damp further, with a plastic lid (with half-inch hole) that I place over the air tube. It strangles the fire so that I can get an 8-hour burn. Air flow keeps the lightweight cover in place until the fire burns way down.

We think it's a beautiful stove, as do our visitors. Let me know if I can answer any questions.

Ron

IMG_4751.jpg IMG_4752.jpg IMG_4753.jpg
 

Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
Ron very nice for you to post these pictures. That is one cool looking stove it reminds me of the old parlors stoves with a face lift. I also like the tile and the hearth very nice set up.

How does that big chamber work inside the stove?

Thanks
 

RonPajt

New Member
Jan 10, 2022
5
Auburn Calif
Hey blazing hot, have you any new experiences with your stove? I have hooked mine up, and I'm using the lava rock in the bottom as insulation until I attain , buy, steal or otherwise acquire a user's manual. Seems to work very well, although the interface with the thermostat is not understood.

Now, if I just had some dry wood!

Peace,
Out...
David,

As I understood it, the thermostat would be used as a conventional 'stat: it would keep the damper open (more combustion air) until the house got warm, then the damper would close (less combustion air) when the set point was reached.
When the house cooled down, the 'stat would open the damper, allowing the fire to burn more actively.
Ours never opened after the house warmed enough to close the 'stat. Perhaps our house was so well-insulated that it took too long to cool down and activate the 'stat. In a house with less insulation, it might be a viable temp control.

Ron
 

RonPajt

New Member
Jan 10, 2022
5
Auburn Calif
David,

Thanks for your comments. The river rocks came from Mammoth Bar 40 years ago, before the park service banned taking of the rocks.

"...big chamber work inside the stove?" Are you referring to the 4-inch U-tube on the right side?
I've not heard any verifiable comments on the func
tion of the tube in the stove. It's the source of combustion air; physics would suggest that it pre-heats the air, making for a better burn.


Ron




Ron very nice for you to post these pictures. That is one cool looking stove it reminds me of the old parlors stoves with a face lift. I also like the tile and the hearth very nice set up.

How does that big chamber work inside the stove?

Thanks
par
 

RonPajt

New Member
Jan 10, 2022
5
Auburn Calif
Is there an opening underneath it or on the outside of it that a convective blower could attach to?
begreen,

I'm new here, so I missed you question....
I have this stove, 40 years now, and still in use.

There's no provision for a blower. That tube is for combustion air.

On the underside of the stove, right side, there's a 4-inch diam air intake. It was designed to allow outside combustion air, and minimise use of the warm air in the room. We built our home (40 years ago) and had an air tube in the slab that went to a vent outside.

That air intake goes straight up for 15 inches or so, then makes a U-turn and comes down 8-inches or so.

Ron
 

Blazzinghot

Feeling the Heat
Dec 5, 2019
253
New Plymouth, Idaho
You are new I am not David or begreen but I am sure they would like to know about this stove as well. But I do appreciate you taking the time to talk about your neat looking stove. Thanks for explaining what that U-turn pipe is as it sounds like preheated primary air. I laid some tile like yours some years back and it is very hard to install as they are not uniform in size or thickness.
 

RonPajt

New Member
Jan 10, 2022
5
Auburn Calif
You are new I am not David or begreen but I am sure they would like to know about this stove as well. But I do appreciate you taking the time to talk about your neat looking stove. Thanks for explaining what that U-turn pipe is as it sounds like preheated primary air. I laid some tile like yours some years back and it is very hard to install as they are not uniform in size or thickness.
Blazzinghot,

Yes, "preheated primary air" is the prefect term for the U-tube.

I know what you mean; our tiles are more irregular than most, as they were made in Mexico. I had to put shims under the feet of the stove to get it stable.

Ron