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Thread: Fixing wood stove warp

  1. #1
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    Default Fixing wood stove warp

    Stove has a built in damper plate above the fire box. (rectangular with a long bar through it)
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345493639.436284.jpg

    The damper plate is not warped but the top of the fire box is a bit. There is 3/8 fiberglass that seals the contact when closed. It still seals on three sides but there is a curved gap on the fourth side as seen below from inside the firebox , gap is about 3/8" in the center but disappears towards either corner.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345493803.174250.jpg

    It still performs well but definitely have noticed some loss of efficiency and shorter burn times.

    I'm overhauling all the gaskets and trying to figure out what to do about the gap. While the stove has a good design that allows for removal and maintenance of most parts, the warped top is part of the main body of steel so can't be practically removed.

    I had two thoughts, one is to just double up the gasketing in the middle of the gap and try to use cement to get the proper curve, but it won't be easy as there really is no gap at the corners as seen in photo so getting the taper right will ideally take different thicknesses of braid. I'm sure I could improve it with not much work, but I'd like to get it tight as possible.

    I also thought that a good welder might be able to easily lay a couple of beads on each side of the gasket on the firebox top to make a flat mating surface where it's now warped. I'm not sure how flat someone could make the welds, but if it would seal better than I can do with the fiberglass than i will go that route. The damper plate can be removed to get it out of the way.

    I realize the odds of the top not warping further are slim, but I don't think it will much or quickly, I believe the main warpage happened when it was overfired once when I was gone.


    Stove may come out to be reblacked so loading it in a truck and driving it to a welder would not be much extra work.


    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Is this stove a old Vermont casting or Englander? If so its cast iron, I have seen this same design many times but the top normally does not warp but the damper or the damper housing will. Is this stove a catalytic stove?
    If you are sure it is warped on the top and not the damper plate or housing. The easies option would be to get some larger gasket rope in hope to fill that gap. There is a little trick you can use to the rope if you go with a bit larger style. That is while you are laying it in start it a bit tight and when you get to location that is warped push it up to expand it which will make it thicker in size and then once you have gone past the warped spot go and let it size down to fit properly.

    The welding idea is not a bad idea but it will depend how good your welder is and if he can build it back up to fill that gap.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  3. #3
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    I misspoke with the casual mention of steel the stove is definitely cast iron, Dutchwest is the make which falls under Vermont castings, it is not very old, perhaps 6-8 years, and the same model is still sold, I believe unchanged. It is non-catalytic.

    No doubt that the top of the box is warped, not the damper plate. If you look at the second photo I posted carefully you can see the top is what bows down in the middle substantially (lighter colored surface in photo), while the damper plate which is just barely in the photo at the very top is pretty darn flat still.

    Both are about the same thickness and considering the path of travel for the flue gasses in some ways it makes sense that the top warped. Also maybe the damper plate is made of a more durable iron?

    I did look into it a bit further finding a repair manual for these models and it sounds like I could remove that top plate if I wanted, though I'd rather not get too carried away.



    Sweep- Can you tell me will the gasket cement stuff holdup in a location such as this where it would be exposed to a lot of flame and heat? If not is there another putty that would? I am thinking I could add a bunch of it in the middle in the groove on the top plate where the rope goes to shim the gasket level and just keep the rope at the designed 3/8" diameter. I hesitate to use a larger rope because it is only needed in the center of the gap and not at either side (you can see this in photo ), so it would make the other three sides of the damper where the top plate isn't warped to not seal well. I could just put a short piece of thicker gasket in the very center of the gap and then try to mate the 3/8" to it on either side, which would not require quite as much cement but still a fair amount to thicken up the 3/8" stuff. Do you think one of these options (all 3/8"with lots of cement vs. a bit of,say, 5/8" and less cement) would likely be better than the other?

    If the cement will indeed hold up for a full winter then I'll use it versus a welded bead but I'm not that familiar with the stuff. This is my primary heat source. I don't thinkI can really get the gap closed without quite a bit of cement being exposed and I just don''t know if it holds up to extensive heat or not.

    I know most welds are not particularly smooth but I imagine it could be done and the fiberglass rope placed on top would help to smooth it out is my thinking. However, if the cement or some sort of putty exists that I can put in and smooth quickly on my own then that is probably the best route.

  4. #4
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    I do not know of any other glue up here that will hold up better. If I was outside I would try some Flue goo but I can't get it up here. If you wanted to do the three piece option on the gasket rope would work well I think. I had thought of that but was trying to keep it a bit simpler by using one piece of rope for the whole thing. Gasket glue will hold as well as anything out there, as it gets old it will get a bit brittle but I think it will hold for you for the winter.

    Old Dutch west I have worked with those for years and your right they are cast iron. You might be able to find a replacement top on eBay or with Dutch west. I over hauled several over the years and itís not too difficult to do you are more than half way there.
    Welding would be tough because the stove has been over fired and keeping the bead weld out of the gasket area + the case iron welding is a bit hard to do as well.
    I hope I am helping

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  5. #5
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    I think the gap is just too much to compensate by stretching/loosening one diameter of rope. Will probably go with copious cement in in the gap to level it and a single piece of 3/8" all the way around, as I am thinking that will seal better than trying to work a piece of thicker stuff in the middle.

    A new top plate is looking about $200 by the time it is shipped, which might be an option down the road but I think I will hold off. Didn't think of the online auction site I might look just for kicks but not a light item to ship.

    You've been very helpful sweep, thanks a bunch.

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