The Rabbit Hole...

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Bejohnson15

New Member
Aug 28, 2021
3
94546
Hello Hearth Community,


Where to begin...? how about the beginning...

This is a bit of a long post, but I think folks might be able to learn along with me.

I recently purchased a house in the SF Bay Area. Lots of no burn days here "spare the air" so wood stoves are not very popular, but I grew up with them, and like having a fire from time to time. It's not our primary source of heat.

At my last house, I installed a Lopi Answer type insert into a wood burning fireplace, masonry chimney. I hired a company who did everything and the stove worked great.

So at my new house, I wanted to do the same thing. I contacted the stove company asked for the same stove, gave them a deposit and was well on my way to having the same setup.

The technician who came out said I didn't have enough clearance on my hearth. I need 16" and I only have 15-1/4". Burn. The company suggested another insert that would fit, but I wasn't too happy with the look and so I started looking online.

This is where the rabbit hole begins for me. I think this website might properly be renamed the rabbit hole...

I searched through the wealth of information provided by this community and was blown away. The more I looked, the more I found.

I realized my surround was granite tile, over a cement board, over the original tile surround. If I remove the granite, and cement board, I could get my 16" clearance. Hooray, but what to put in it's place? And now my granite hearth doesn't match... Well, I guess I need a new hearth.

Fast forward many check in's on all the various topics found on this site, I ended up purchasing a MF - Nova 1 that will fit in my firebox, with a large glass window.

I decided to go with a free standing stove, recessed into the firebox instead of an insert, as much of this fireplace is about aesthetic.

I would like to thank all of you in this community, for all the posts and information. I couldn’t have done this project without this forum.

Many thanks,

Brian

Specific details, questions and pictures coming momentarily.
 

Bejohnson15

New Member
Aug 28, 2021
3
94546
Details and questions please:

  • I have a single story house with a basement.
  • Sometime in the past, someone put in a gas heat and glow insert, which I removed.
  • The chimney is interior in my house, and runs from the basement, through the single story, attic to the roof.
  • Top of chimney to base of firebox is 15’
  • I removed the damper and cleaned the smoke shelf. There was 80 years of garbage up there, I was kind of blown away at how much I was able to pull out of that area. Probably about 5 gallons of dirt, plastic, creosote and debris.
  • I made a mockup of the MF Nova, while I wait for the unit to arrive.
  • I cut out the top of the granite tile surround to make room for the new stove to be recessed into the firebox and make my flue connections.
  • I capped off the gas line to be flush with the firebrick, and will recess the already run outlet to be flush as well. I’m planning to paint everything black with the recommended stove bright.
  • Based on this mockup, I carefully carved out 1" of the firebrick with an angle grinder where the top of the stove makes contact with the firebox, utilizing a respirator and negative air machine. I'm planning for this carve out to be my 1" of airspace at the top of the stove only. At the base, there is 5" and the sides will be open. This is my first question: Do we think this is enough space for air circulation at the top of the stove? Again, I want the stove to be as recessed as possible for looks.
  • I’m planning to use rockwool and a stainless sheet metal block out plate at the damper location after the liner.
  • I’m planning to get an ovalized insulated duravent liner run through the chimney. I’d rather not demo out the terracotta as it’s in good shape. Can anyone make a suggestion on the size of liner I can fit into a 6” x 14” terracotta that will accommodate a 6” output from a MF Nova? I’m thinking something in the 5 ½” x 10” outside diameter range…? I’ve never run a liner and don’t know how much friction will accumulate from some of the mortar that might have spooged out along with way. So far, I’ve seen bholler be the expert on this topic.
  • I'm now planning for a white marble hearth that I can get from the “drops” at a local stone fabricator for cheap / free. Making a template today. Then more white marble as the surround to cover the granite. I have a reclaimed beam I’m planning to use as a mantle.
  • This is a separate topic probably, but since I live in earthquake country, I’m thinking of using diamond lathe with lots of tap con screws and stucco’ing my masonry chimney as it goes through the attic. I don’t want it to fall through the ceiling in a seismic event…

For now, my two questions are: Air space at the top of the stove / firebrick and the size and type of liner to get through my clay chimney liner.

Tips, tricks and other ideas of what I’m missing are appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
Brian

Heat and Glow Gas Insert.jpeg Insert removed.jpg Mockup in place (red tape area to be removed).jpg Hearth Demo.jpg Granite Tile removed.jpg Gas Capped.jpg Negative Air.jpg Mockup Nova with door.jpg Damper and flue going up.jpg Existing Chimney.jpg Terracotta liner.jpg
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,618
South Puget Sound, WA
DuraLiner 6" oval is 4.75 x 7.75" OD. They make a flex transition to go from oval to 6" round to connect to the stove.
Does that chimney meet the 10-3-2 rule?

10-3-2 rule picture.JPG
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,481
SE North Carolina
Does the Nova have a bypass handle you need access too?

I was considering the nova 2 insert vs stove and the by pass operator goes through the surround on the insert

Evan
 

Bejohnson15

New Member
Aug 28, 2021
3
94546
begreen: No it doesn't, thank you for pointing that out. I will need a 2' extension on the top of the chimney. I'm assuming I can run the oval into an insulated round stainless chimney? Not sure how this will attach to the top of the masonry though.

I have a chimney sweeper coming in a few days to sweep it before running any liner. I'm hoping I can hire him for some or all of this install as I don't know where to buy all the parts / fittings. So far, not too many folks are interested in re-lining around here. I've heard from two companies that they stopped doing relining, as it's too much work and not much demand, especially if you don't buy a stove from them...

Evan, There is a bypass handle and I think you bring up a good point, I don't have that on my mockup. It might be kind of tight if I need to reach back there a lot. I'll have to think about this one. Maybe I can use the insert style bypass...

I should point out, I purchased the top flue option vs. the rear vent

Thank you both,
 
Last edited:

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,481
SE North Carolina
I need to reach back there a lot
You Open it every time you start or reload and then close once the cat is up to temp. Look at the nova 2
Insert parts diagram. I’m sure you can make some extension similar to theirs. you don’t want to be reaching back there with a hot stove.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,618
South Puget Sound, WA
The bypass handle extension and the added blower are why they have an insert version.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,284
Downeast Maine
The bypass handle extension and the added blower are why they have an insert version.
Could the insert version be used so long as clearances to combustibles are honored? Seems like a better option if so.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,618
South Puget Sound, WA
Could the insert version be used so long as clearances to combustibles are honored? Seems like a better option if so.
Yes, I don't see any clearance issues here, no mantel.
 
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