Removing PE ash door - safe??

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New Member
Nov 19, 2022
Western Massachusetts
My Vista seemed pretty leaky in the first couple burns of the season. I bought a new gasket for the trap door that drops the ashes into the ash pan. This is not a feature I use or like much so, in the process of taking it apart to replace the gasket, I just decided to scrap it. It’s also optional and my manual mentioned removing a cover plate to install so I decided to fabricate my own. I measured the thickness of the stove body (3/16”) and bought some 5”x8” stainless “safety plates.” They’re 1/16” each so I marked the location of the carriage bolts and drilled some holes. Cranked three of them in with the nuts and some fender washers - of course now with the new gasket - and no more ash door.

I haven’t done this kinda stuff much so I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. I’ve used the stove quite a lot the last week since making this modification and it is functioning much better.

Is there any reason why I should be concerned that this isn’t safe?
As long as the gasket material is high temp ceramic fiber it should be ok. I just let the ash hole fill up with ash. Haven't used the ash drawer in 12 yrs. or so.
Clean the drawer and use it to warm up bread or (choc chip) cookies :)