Woodstoves Mailbag

Woodstove-Related Reader Questions

Replacement Glass
Installing a Mantel
Building a Stove
Disposing of a Franklin Stove
Searching for a 'Scandafire'
Burning Paper
Smoking Stove
Selling a Stove
Safety Guidelines for Installation

Replacement Glass

Question:
I am looking for replacement glass for the front of my wood stove, and my local retailer no longer carries it. Do you think it would make sense to just find someone who would custom-cut fireproof glass?
-Joe

Answer:
I do not recommend buying glass separately. I suggest you track down the manufacturer that built the stove or otherwise try another wood-burning stove store. The glass must be 100% ceramic glass, and not just tempered. Tempered glass would explode, so it's important a professional takes care of this. For a selection of manufacturers, click on Product Directory.

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Installing a Mantel

Question:
I would like to install a wood stove with a mantel. I am looking for stoves that have the pipe coming from the back rather than the top. Any suggestions?
-Geo

Answer:
I recommend a company called 'Vermont Castings'. They specialize in wood stoves, will likely carry what you're looking for, and can be found at www.vermontcastings.com. For more selection, have a browse through other manufacturers by clicking on Product Directory.

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Building a Stove

Question:
I am in the process of building a log cabin. I would like to include a wood stove that I can build myself. I am a skilled welder and already have all the materials and equipment. Are there blueprints available, or are there books that might help me accomplish this?
-Eric

Answer:
There are a few major things to consider before embarking on this task. Building your own stove isn't cheap. Even if you did put something together, to get it properly certified, whether Canadian or American, can cost from $20,000 to $45,000. You most likely won't find any blueprints because it's just not realistic to build your own stove, and you can't blame the manufacturers for being protective of their plans!

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Disposing of a Franklin Stove

Question:
I have a wood-burning, freestanding Franklin stove that was installed about 20 years ago by the previous owners of my house. It's in great shape, but I have no use for it. Do you know if it's worth anything? If not, how should I go about disposing of it? Thanks.
-Anonymous

Answer:
Franklin stoves are very easy to dismantle and remove. You may get around $300 for an old stove in good condition. Otherwise, you can easily dispose of it at your local government dump.

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Searching for a 'Scandafire'

Question:
I am looking for a wood-burning stove called a 'Scandafire'. It is lined with steel firebricks and has a back-boiler. I think they originate in Scandinavia, but are also made in Ireland . Any ideas?
-Charles

Answer:
For European fireplaces, the Internet is your best bet. Make sure that you're allowed to install the stove of which you speak, under the proper American or Canadian codes. If so, then by all means order one and have it shipped over.

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Burning Paper

Question:
I would like to burn personal paper in my vented apartment fireplace. Is there any special equipment available for this purpose?
-Anonymous

Answer:
There is no special equipment available for this, but keep in mind that wood stoves are designed to burn wood, not paper. Paper or fire starters should only be used to start it up.

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Smoking Stove

Question:
We just bought a new house that came with a Dover corn/pellet stove. The problem is the stove is continuously smoking. We think a good cleaning is all it needs, but we're not sure how to go about doing this. Can you help?
-Trish

Answer :
Hire someone in to check your chimney venting, and whether or not it's plugged with anything such as a bird's nest. If all is clear, try opening a door nearby to let fresh air in. If this fixes the smoking problem, it means you have negative air in your home that needs to be pushed out with make-up air from the outside. For more on pellet stoves, check out our Wood Pellet Burning Stoves page.

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Selling a Stove

Question:
My parents have a large Woodchuck wood-burning stove. It's about 15 years old, and is in great condition, having only ever been used for about 4 months. We're looking to sell, and are wondering what a fair price would be?
-Al

Answer:
It's impossible to put a price on your stove just given this information. Checking to see what you could trade it in for could give you a rough estimate as to what it's worth. A good guess would be that it's worth about ¾ or ½ of its original price.

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Safety Guidelines for Installation

Question:
I recently purchased a home with a wonderful wood stove insert in our 1978 Timberline fireplace. I would like to install a mantle and wood shelving near the stove, but don't know what kind of safety guidelines to follow. Can you help?
-Jim

Answer:
Each manufacturer has different codes as to how far mantles can protrude, and how far from the heat source they should be. Check your stove's manual and give the manufacturer a ring to see what the code is for your particular product. For more on safety, check out our Fireplace Safety page.

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