Removing metal plate in chimney chase

  • Active since 1995, is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.


New Member
Dec 30, 2022
This is probably a very unusual situation as I've searched and cone up with nothing. We have a metal plate built in to our chimney chase that is blocking the flu from reaching the fireplace and I need to figure out how to remove it. Apparently, the fireplace was built with 2 flues (too close together for one thing) with one leading to the fireplace and the second leading to a thimble for a wood stove that sat directly in front of the fireplace.

We are in the process of installing a new, insulated, rigid liner for our wood stove and intended to have the cleanout drop through the fireplace damper (which we already removed). The previous installtion did not have a cleanout. I was able to break out and remove the clay liner and I expected to be able to knock the metal plate out once the flue tiles were removed, but no dice. The metal plate rests between the fireplace bricks on 3 sides.

I will need every inch I can get in the flue based on the way the chimney was constructed, so trying to grind away at it blindly with a metal cut off blade at the end of a 6ft pole from the top of the chimney is probably not a great idea. I can cut farther out from the bottom where the surrounding brick is wider... but the grinder would also have to be attached to some type of pole and I can't figure out logistically how I would get at it through the fireplace damper and be able to see what I'm doing while sparks are cascading down onto me if I try to cut it from below.

So, I guess the question is, has anyone every seen/dealt with something like this? And if you came across it, how the heck would you get it out of there?

view from the top... bottom flue drops into the fireplace, top flue (clay tile removed) ends just below the thimble with a metal plate. Resting on the metal plate is my a pry bar that I dropped and a steep pole with a chisel end that I used to break out the tile. I had started breaking out the fireplace flue, but it didn't seem necessary since my liner is rigid and it needs to line up with the thimble.


Attempted views from the bottom, looking up through the fireplace damper (still need to cut off that skinny bit of the damper frame). The fireplace flue is on the right, metal plate on the left blocks off the flu I need that connects the thimble to the chimney.

Update... using a grinder with MUCH persistence and some help from a tall friend and a cannonball-esque hunk of metal that happened to be here, we got the plate out and successfully installed the chimney liner.
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P