Thinking about converting my Kent Tile Fire to a cat stove

MnDave Posted By MnDave, Dec 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM

  1. MnDave

    Guest 2.

    I was reading that some stoves can be converted to using a cat.

    "It is possible to retrofit a stove with a catalytic
    combustor, but the add-on devices are usually
    only about half as effective as a new unit with a
    built-in combustor."

    Taken from

    I think that my Kent Tile Fire would be an excellent candidate for cat conversion. It has a horizontal steel baffle plate with a bypass damper in it. At the front of the baffle plate there is a vertical plate that attaches to the stove top. That vertical plate has quite a few holes in it.

    I am thinking that I could cut that vertical plate out and weld in a new plate that would hold the cat.

    I would use this stove to heat my gameroom which is above my detached garage. It is an insulated space.

    This stove has a lot of good memories so I hate to sell it (read I need a challenging project).

    Anyone done this?

    Any advise?

    One question I have is do all cat stoves have firebrick? The Kent Tile Fire does not have the brick.

  2. mellow

    Resident Stove Connoisseur 2.

    Jan 19, 2008
    Salisbury, MD
  3. MnDave

    Guest 2.

    Thanks for the input mellow. Keep it coming.

    What gave me the idea in the first place is that this model of the Tile Fire has a bypass damper. It also has a vertical plate in front of the burn chamber where the cat could mount. I read somewhere that a vertical mount reduces flame impingement which can shatter a cat.

    Holy S, 2000 F !? ... agreed.
    I have designed and built quite a few projects but this would be a step up in complexity due to the fire safety aspect.
    In the end I may not do this because the stove is fairly efficient.

    It would be close quarters to work inside the stove. If the top has to come off that will be a deal breaker.

    At that point I would consider adding tubes as this would not require having to remove the top of the stove. I can use my Quadra Fire as a design model and even buy the tubes/baffle board/etc from them.

    I have read that the Tile Fire has 9mm (almost 3/8 inch) thick walls. Maybe that is why they do not put firebrick in them.
    I would probably add firebrick as I think that having a more active secondary burn is going to increase temps significantly.

    It is a decent running stove as-is but the secondary action is short and unpredictable. Maybe the firebrick would help that so maybe that would be phase 1.

    It also has the connector for an OAK.

  4. ddddddden

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Oct 20, 2009
    Central Va
    With it's restrictive baffle, it sounds like the Kent is already halfway to being a non-cat secondary burner, Maybe they just hadn't quite figured out air supply for secondary combustion. I dunno which would be easier to kludge together, better non-cat secondary burn or a good cat burn.

    This thread by Precaud might give you some stuff to chew on.

    Sounds like a surplus 6-cu-ft dragon might be a better candidate. . .dunno if many of those have a bypass though.

    If you used a stainless cat, you wouldn't have to worry about shattering. But clogging with fly ash might be more of a problem.
    Also, as I understand it, flame impingement is only a problem when flames are being sucked into the cat with too much draft; flames tickling the surface of the cat isn't much of a problem.

    The newer designs put the cat next to/into the firebox, so it warms up sooner and stays hot longer, but the cat also gets more air. I think this might be one of the reasons the older designs don't work as well. Anyhow, here are some good pics of how Woodstock integrates the cat into the Fireview 205.

    What you can't see in those pics is the plate(Air Chute W-172) that directs the airwash down over the glass; it has ~10 holes in it that shoot air back toward the cat.

    For comparison, here's the older Fireview 201, which has no airwash and no air supply dedicated to the cat (The 3 large holes in the baffle = the bypass.) All air comes in through holes in the loading door, AFAICS, but maybe there is some unseen plumbing. The 201 is rated only ~5% less efficient than the 205.
  5. MnDave

    Guest 2.

    I was hoping that a few real stoveheads would throw their buck-two-fifty in. :)

    Precaud's opinion of this stove is part of the reason I want to put mine back into action some day.

    After seeing the diagrams dddden included, I thought that maybe I could cut an access into the stovetop and fit a bolt-in cat assembly into the secondary chamber. That access would be covered by the grate.

    So I measured the vertical distance between the top of baffle plate and the bottom of stovetop and it is only 1 7/8 inches. To make matters worse there is a vertical baffle in there and they welded it to the baffle plate and the stovetop.

    I now think it would be too hard (for me) to convert the Kent Tile Fire into a cat stove.

    This stove had a nice (Aurora Borealis type) secondary burn under the right conditions. It only seemed to happen accidentally.

    dddden I think you nailed it I will look into adding tubes.

  6. agartner

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Dec 9, 2009
    Southern NH
    I find the Kent TileFire burns fairly good as-is. I lined the floor, sides, and back with firebrick to help kick up the firebox temps a bit to help with burn efficiency. If you do end up modifying for some secondary air, throw some pics up.. would love to see the mods.

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