well, that gives me hope. The whole top of the stove is removable so I can clean it if need be. I should just have to pull the top off, line with firebrick, and re-bolt the top on. I was also thinking about firebrick on the outside of the heat riser as well as the brick on the inside. Not sure if that would be pointless or if the idea has merit. Either way, I'm going to try and fix the inside with the brick tomorrow. I will let you know how I make out.