From fireplace to woodstove (pic heavy)

Hank Chinaski

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Placed here in lieu of a firewood subfourm:


Thought ya'll may be interested in my fireplace to woodstove upgrade I did. It might answer some questions or raise more, and I hope it generates discussion.

Researching to pick THE woodstove was a very difficult and time consuming issue. Manufacturers brochures all made extravagant claims and the EPA ratings are skewed by a non real world testing that is only rated by particulates and not actual heat output with a properly/fully loaded stove. I'd suggest lowering the manufacturing sites to a third tier search and place actual long term reviews by actual owners as well as technical reviews by actual installers above them.

After much internet research and gnashing of teeth, I decided that the Osburn 2400 woodstove would suit my needs for the price I could pay better than most others out there. It may not be the best for your exact setup, and I suggest you determine your needs based on your specific setup. The 2400 has a very good mass, good sized firebox and excellent warranty, even on the glass door.

Our all electric 1800sqft house is 13 years old. I consider the construction "light", as it's not particularly heavy or well built. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bath on the opposite end of the house from the woodstove and a LARGE (approx 1/3 of the house) 25' vaulted front room where the woodstove is. I'd consider the house low-medium on insulation levels.

The house originally had an open faced fireplace without doors of any type and only a damper in the top of the box that I could never get used to adjusting properly without smoking the house, or giving up and leaving it wide open, thereby leaving an 8" hole to the outside when the fire would completely die during the middle of the night. Not very efficient as our electric bills would range from $275-500 during the winter months and we'd burn 2.5-3 chords of wood as well.

I reviewed the stove manual describing the clearances required and appear to have enough room for using non combustible interior. This was THE determining factor in weather my woodstove would have to sit in the front room, or if I could inset it into the fireplace surround as I wanted to.

Original fireplace:



Mantle removal:



Fireplace removal:



 

Hank Chinaski

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Hole is pretty close to final size. Note the inner stainless walled pipe isn't connected to the outer chimney pipe at all which elevated the difficulty level a little:



Missed quite a few pics here to make it an actual step by step install, but this is after the sheet metal went on the top, insulation on the outer walls and ceiling, cement board installed and mortar lathe installed:



Flooring by orig home builders/owners in front of the fireplace was cheap vinyl sticky tile. It got upgraded to ceramic tile (all on cement slab foundation):



Floor tile laid, scratch coat cement completed:



and onto skipping several steps of suckage, feaux rock installed, stove placed, 6" pipe from stove goes to 6-8" adapter at ceiling level into existing double wall 8" chimney pipe. First fire and my boy is happy about it:




added temporary trimming around the surround. It will eventually be a massive built in with a slab mantle above the surround:



To show "some" of the scale of the wall, the actual ceiling top is approx 8-10' higher than the top of this pic:



First fire was at the end of November, and the season has been 5* warmer than last year. I've been adjusting the fire, 2 ceiling fans in the front room, box fan in the coldest bedroom and the blower and damper on the woodstove and finally have it about figured out for a pretty good burn. Last night it got down to 23* here and the electric heat (set at 70*) only came on for about 20 minutes before I got out of bed this morning. I could fix that by adding a couple logs in the middle of the night, but I"m too lazy at this point.

Reviewing our bills, our electric rates have gone up, the last month was 5* average warmer than last year, and we cut [span style='font-weight: bold;']2/3 OFF[/span] our electric bill from last year. It's a significant decrease and the stove will pay for itself within a few short years (definitely under 5 years), as well as allowing us to cook on top of it in emergencies and power outages.
While it was a significant investment of time/effort and money, the piece of mind is wonderful.

Project costs:
stove, blower, outside air intake (didn't use): $1800 (bought online, delivery included in price)
tile/flooring: $15 (local tile supplier)
rock/wall materials/insulation: $400 (great leftovers deal off craigslist)
ceiling tin/insulation: $20 (local heat/air guy)
wood trim/stain: $25 (lowes)
I was able to reuse all the framing wood from the fireplace to rebuild the surround ceiling/walls like I wanted them and reused the hard wired blower switch/controller to control the electrical outlet that the variable speed woodstove blower is plugged into.

While not perfect, I did all the work myself and saved quite a bit of money that way. I'm very happy overall with the project so far and look forward to doing the built in wall unit this spring. On the DIY scale, I'd give it a 7/10, its not rocket science, but it is a lot of work/effort.
 
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cjcocn

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nice pics and nice result :)

i recently swapped out a too-small stove for a stove that is rated for the area it is heating .... or it would be rated for the area if they did ratings for this stove back in the late 70s - early 80s.

all i had to do to swap mine was: pick it up 6 hours south of me, carry it up the garage steps and down the basement steps, then buy some piping to fit the new (to me) stove.

yours looks good and im sure you're enjoying the extra heat :)

:thumbsup:
 

Hank Chinaski

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Thanks gents!




and by gents, I mean guys...




and by guys, I mean midgets...




and by midgets, I mean Stumpy and cjcocn... (since ArtV hasn't posted here yet or I'd have included him too).
 

Eccentric

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Great job. I'd like to do something like that with my house (which is an early '70s spec house that has a fireplace)....................but the Ca and local emissions/building code nazis won't allow it. Can't even BUY a new non-pellet stove for use here. Can't install a used one legally. I could bootleg something in.......................but would be ass-out with the insurance pukes if I ever had a house fire. Not worth the risk. I just burn my firewood in campfires when away and in outdoor 'recreational fires' (not allowed to burn brush anymore either) at home. I've been giving the bulk of my firewood away since I moved here three years ago. Almost cleaned out. About time to cut some more!

Wish I could use it to heat my own house though. The original fireplace is a lousey way to heat. Also, local ordinances here actually ban ALL burning of solid fuel (even pellets) for heat during "winter spare the air days" in my air management district. If my house was slightly farther north, I'd be out of that air district and mess. They only "allow" you to burn wood/wood products for heat if that's the ONLY source of heat for your house. If you have central heat, you're forced to pay big money for gas/electric heating. Sorry guys for the tangent. Rant off....:ranting:
 
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mweba

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Couple more reasons I will never live in Cali.....may visit if coaxed across the border by a micro brew or two
 
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DSS

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I've got that exact same stove. Had it for about 5 years. Only thing I don't like about it is I find the blower noisy and it's hard to regulate the draft, but that has a lot to do with it being so windy here I think. 60 mph gusts tonight.

I assume you know there's lifetime warranty on the glass. Even if you put your foot through it.:)

I think I gave 1300 for mine, I just forget.
 

Hank Chinaski

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thanks additional gents.


dss, it didn't take very long for me to figure the draft out on ours, and I'm happy with it although like you say, it's no where near that windy here and I've got a 30-35' chimney pipe so my draw is pretty good once its heated up.
I really like the fact that the glass is covered, and I'm really happy with the thick top and overall mass. The rock surround actually acts as a thermal mass, although it only gets to about 150* or so. Using an IR temp gun, the hottest part of my stove right in front of the neck for the chimney, it gets around 600* on average.
 

DSS

Steps right, throws right. Swings both ways.
Jan 10, 2012
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thanks additional gents.


dss, it didn't take very long for me to figure the draft out on ours, and I'm happy with it although like you say, it's no where near that windy here and I've got a 30-35' chimney pipe so my draw is pretty good once its heated up.
I really like the fact that the glass is covered, and I'm really happy with the thick top and overall mass. The rock surround actually acts as a thermal mass, although it only gets to about 150* or so. Using an IR temp gun, the hottest part of my stove right in front of the neck for the chimney, it gets around 600* on average.
I liked the double wall design, I don't even have a wall protecter behind mine, just the one on the floor. You can almost put your hand on the side of the stove. Do you use that ash drawer? I find it's less mess and easier to just scoop the ashes out the normal way.

I have a IR gun at work, I should bring it home and take some temps of mine.
 

Hank Chinaski

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Great thread Hank. Very nice work too. Getting me to do carpenter work is like pulling teeth. I did that for 30 years......
thanks man. I've done a little of everything, so I'm not afraid to do anything :D although I do find it easy to sit on the couch, so getting me off that is a job in itself.
I just really don't like doing sheetrock finishing, and after this project, I don't like brick/mortar work much either lol I'd much rather run a saw or a tractor.
 
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NORMZILLA44

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Nice thread, and install Hank:thumbsup: Aaron are you part of the leaf blower ban area? Some of that west county sebastopol s### kills me. I have been busting my ass cutting with the cdf crews again. They dont want anything sprayed, so its all cut by hand, they dont like the mowers. We cut with saws, and they don't want that either! 2 lane roads are one lane because of the overgrowth you know, no news for you.
 
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Eccentric

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Nice thread, and install Hank:thumbsup: Aaron are you part of the leaf blower ban area? Some of that west county sebastopol s### kills me. I have been busting my ass cutting with the cdf crews again. They dont want anything sprayed, so its all cut by hand, they dont like the mowers. We cut with saws, and they don't want that either! 2 lane roads are one lane because of the overgrowth you know, no news for you.
I'm thankfully outside of the Sebastopol city limits. I run blowers and saws all I want. The crap that I do have to deal with (and you don't, 'cause you're farther North) is the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (or the ####ing BASTARDS as I think of them). They don't allow brush burning AT ALL unless you're a winery (gotta prove ag income from your property), and are constantly telling us to not burn ANY wood products on cold nights. I'm sure you're seen/heard the "winiter spare the air day" warnings on the news and radio. They also banned Safety Kleen type parts washers (in 2006)...:banghead:
 
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