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cracked Baker's Choice Woodstove  RSS feed

 
Nancy Troutman
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Location: Swanton, MD
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I have a Baker's Choice Woodstove, it is about 16 years old.   It has a hairline crack where the firebox meets the jut-out that you close the door onto.

It used to be my main source of heat, and I ran it 24/7 during the winter.   I have since put a building around my mobile home which completely covers and surrounds the mobile home from weather.   So now baking bread, etc. in the winter is enough to heat the mobile home.   I only light it solely to heat my home when the temperature outside drops below 0°F.    And even then, I just allow the fire to burn out.   I am "patiently" waiting for Paul's DVD's to come out so that it is only used for cooking.

I am concerned that spot welding the crack might create a bigger problem.   The crack is wide enough to see a tiny sliver of light when there is a fire, but shrinks to nearly nothing when cold.  The slight rust spot in this picture is where the crack is.

I don't want it to get worse by neglect, but have no idea what to do with it to fix it.

Woodstove-Hairline-Crack.png
[Thumbnail for Woodstove-Hairline-Crack.png]
 
Jack Edmondson
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Nancy,

Do I understand correctly, this is a cast iron stove?  A good welder can do cast iron repair with Silcon Bronze rods.  A small crack should be no problem to someone familiar with the material.  You may need to call around a bit; but you should be able to find someone in your area.  Getting someone to do a mobile repair might be harder, which means lugging the stove into their shop.  Can it be moved?
 
Nancy Troutman
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Jack Edmondson wrote:Nancy,

Do I understand correctly, this is a cast iron stove?  A good welder can do cast iron repair with Silcon Bronze rods.  A small crack should be no problem to someone familiar with the material.  You may need to call around a bit; but you should be able to find someone in your area.  Getting someone to do a mobile repair might be harder, which means lugging the stove into their shop.  Can it be moved?


I believe it to be cast iron, but it does not rust.  This might be because of the stove paint.

As it happens, the stove was put in before I surrounded the mobile home with a larger building.   Should anyone want to remove the stove, they would have to cut a hole in the wall of the building outside it which is about 4' larger all than my mobile home on all sides.  This means no weather outside touches my mobile home inside.   And I get the benefits of a stick house while paying the taxes on a mobile home.  

Anyway - because there is not a straight shot out the mobile home door and the exterior building exit, moving the stove is not possible.   However, now that you have told me what is needed to repair it, I am now able to call around and ask for someone who can do it for me.    Thank you for your advise! 
 
Sunny Baba
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Hi Nancy..... We have a bakers choice.... wood cook stove like yours..... they are hand made by the Amish...they are made of sheet steel, they are NOT cast iron..... It would be very easy for a welder to come and weld the crack... look in your local yellow pages for a portable or mobile welder.... call one to come and weld it... any welder could do it in 10 minutes... not a big problem....
 
Joe Braxton
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If the welder says anything about drilling a hole in your stove to fix it, do not be alarmed.
Drilling a hole at the end of the crack will stop it from cracking farther while welding and will be the last part to be filled.
 
Nancy Troutman
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Joe Braxton wrote:If the welder says anything about drilling a hole in your stove to fix it, do not be alarmed.
Drilling a hole at the end of the crack will stop it from cracking farther while welding and will be the last part to be filled.


Good to know about hole, and it makes sense.   I do the same thing to stop rips when patching garments!   I called a local welding shop about it.   Might be pricey, but it sounds like they are willing to do it.   Waiting for a call back from them now.  Will listen to what he says and see if he mentions drilling a hole.
 
Nancy Troutman
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Sunny Baba wrote:Hi Nancy..... We have a bakers choice.... wood cook stove like yours..... they are hand made by the Amish...they are made of sheet steel, they are NOT cast iron..... It would be very easy for a welder to come and weld the crack... look in your local yellow pages for a portable or mobile welder.... call one to come and weld it... any welder could do it in 10 minutes... not a big problem....


Thank you for correcting me.   To be honest, I don't the difference between cast iron and sheet metal.   However, if forced to leave this home for any reason, that stove is coming with me.
 
Sunny Baba
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Nancy wrote
 
However, if forced to leave this home for any reason, that stove is coming with me.
 

We feel exactly the same way Nancy! Although we've only had our Bakers Choice for a year now, we have totally fallen in love with it and will take it with us when we move.....whatever it takes!
 
Eric Hammond
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I would definitely drill a hole in the end of the crack. For two reasons. One to stop the crack and two, to find out what metal it is. Normal steels will produce chips called swarf. Cast iron turns to powder when drilled and is very dirty
 
Todd Parr
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Nancy Troutman wrote: I have since put a building around my mobile home which completely covers and surrounds the mobile home from weather.   So now baking bread, etc. in the winter is enough to heat the mobile home.   I only light it solely to heat my home when the temperature outside drops below 0°F.  


Nancy, If it's possible, could you start a new thread with more info about this?  I'm fascinated.
 
Nancy Troutman
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Todd Parr wrote:
Nancy Troutman wrote: I have since put a building around my mobile home which completely covers and surrounds the mobile home from weather.   So now baking bread, etc. in the winter is enough to heat the mobile home.   I only light it solely to heat my home when the temperature outside drops below 0°F.  


Nancy, If it's possible, could you start a new thread with more info about this?  I'm fascinated.


Sure.   let me get pictures of what I started with at first - as in just the mobile home.   I did it as the $$$ were saved, never borrowed a dime from the bank in my life.   So I will have to dig up the oldies.
 
Nancy Troutman
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Thank you Eric.   That gives me some feedback on how to tell if the person I am talking to will do a good job.  Some people take advantage of us "dumb" females.   I have 3 choices it would seem to repair it.   All seem to want about $100, which is reasonable and doable for me finically.   The one that matches you , and a few others have recommended here, will get the job.
 
C. Letellier
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Looks like steel in the picture so a mobile wire feed welder should be able to do it on site or run the leads in and stick weld it.  That part is easy.  Problem is spark control.  Likely the welder will want to encase the area in fire control blankets to keep sparks from other things.(special blankets or just damp wool blankets)  He will also want you where you can watch for any sign of fire for the first 24 to 48 hours.  He may want you to wet mop the floor and baseboard and baseboards after as a secondary fire control measure.(if so get the floor wet and don't dry mop it)   Personally I hate welding in close quarters flammable structures because the fire control measures take so much effort and because the risk is so high if something goes wrong.  With care it shouldn't but the risk is always there.  Expect procedure.  Build a blanket fort around the stove for spark control as well as covering any fabric, carpet or other withing about 15 feet of the stove in spark control blankets as a secondary.,  Stop drill the crack, grind surface to eliminate contaminates,  preheat the area, then weld.  For welding he may just preheat the area but he might want you to have the whole stove hot.  PS if there is carpet anywhere close it is a great time to wet shampoo the carpet just following this as a just in case fire control measure.

The other option would be to braze it.  Lower fire risk because of fewer sparks but minor risk of the stove getting hot enough to melt the brass out.(it needs to go dull cherry red to even begin to be a threat.)  Still need to take spark precautions simply lower risk.  Rest of procedure is the same as above.


A final option is to stop drill the hole to stop the crack and then patch both sides with high temperature furnace cement.(push cement through the hole to completely plug it and cover the crack.  If it was cast iron and you couldn't take it out to be welded this would be my recommendation.  You will have to redo the cement every few years up to about once a decade but the fix is cheap and easy.(it is also ugly)


 
Jack Edmondson
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C. Letellier wrote: ...  Problem is spark control.  Likely the welder will want to encase the area in fire control blankets to keep sparks from other things.(special blankets or just damp wool blankets)  He will also want you where you can watch for any sign of fire for the first 24 to 48 hours.  ...  Expect procedure. 


Damn, now there is a thoughtful informative post!  If there is no apple forthcoming, I don't know what warrants.  I did not even think of OSHA 'hot work' standards or requirements.  'Fire Watch' is a pain in the butt, but necessary precaution.  Well detailed and explained. 
 
Nancy Troutman
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C. Letellier wrote: That part is easy.  Problem is spark control.  Likely the welder will want to encase the area in fire control blankets to keep sparks from other things.(special blankets or just damp wool blankets) 




How far would the sparks fly?   The wall behind the stove is cement board, however the floor and furniture would be flammable.   I do have a fire extinguisher.  No insurance though - I could not get mobile home insurance on a home with a woodstove in it.

I threw 2 apples at you, hope they stick!
 
C. Letellier
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Nancy Troutman wrote:
C. Letellier wrote: That part is easy.  Problem is spark control.  Likely the welder will want to encase the area in fire control blankets to keep sparks from other things.(special blankets or just damp wool blankets) 




How far would the sparks fly?   The wall behind the stove is cement board, however the floor and furniture would be flammable.   I do have a fire extinguisher.  No insurance though - I could not get mobile home insurance on a home with a woodstove in it.

I threw 2 apples at you, hope they stick!


On rare occasions I have seen welding sparks fly 20 to 25 feet.  In reality welding outside nearly all fires that start are within 10 feet of me and most are within 5 or 6.(I do farm equipment repair so most of my welding is in the field)  Sparks that fly farther almost never start fires because they have cooled to much.   I did set a trash can on fire in the shop welding from a distance of about 15 feet one time.   But that is probably my longest distance fire from where I was welding.  The big thing is to take the appropriate precautions.  I prefer fire control blankets to hard barriers because the sparks don't bounce.  But even damp cardboard will make a good spark barrier.  Simply be ready to put it out if it catches fire.(unlikely if you have the spark side damp) and then after you are done take it outside to a burn pit location just in case it has a hot spark trapped in it that will later start.   There are safe ways to weld inside but it always scares me anyway.  I have been welding since my preteen years so I have nearly 40 years experience.  I have never had a fire get away from me welding but I have had 30 or 40 real fires in that time and many hundreds of small pop can size blazes.  When welding in the field a 2 gallon weed sprayer is my best friend.  Catch a fire small and it works well and is far cheaper than a fire extinguisher.  Then I can spray the area with water just before I leave just on principle.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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