Finish for cast iron wood stoves.

jim_w_nyAugust 14, 2009

I just posted a message about Lopi fireplace inserts of which I know nothing about. But I have a Lopi wood stove in our family room. It is very difficult to start whereas my old pot belly in the work shop is a dream to start. I would like to switch stoves. The only problem is the Lopi looks great while the PB looks awful. Rusted, even with whitish stuff on it.

So I'm thinking about cleaning it up and painting it or something to get it to look a lot better. Is there something better to use than old fashioned stove polish??



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First thing I would do is find out why the Lopi is so hard to light. Ask at the stove shop. How are you lighting it? Newspaper? Is the room "tight"? Maybe open a window a little when lighting it to create the necessary draft.

Maybe the chimney is too short and needs to be extended. And last but not least, you don't have a 6" outlet going into an 8" chimney do you? You do have a 6" flue all the way up, right?

Remember, the PB is a "smoke dragon". It'll use much more wood to heat the same area. And is it even too big for the family room? That'll mean smaller fires, which are colder which causes more smoke. And if you do have a 6" flue now, you'll have to make it 8" to accomodate the PB.

But if you want to continue, then go to the stove shop and get stove paint. Sand the PB down to remove the rust and paint it, that's all. But remember, the first time you fire it up, it'll cure the paint and it will STINK! But after about a half hour, it'll be good to go.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 7:48AM
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My experience with the Lopi and my criticism of it is based on comparing it with my pot belly in my work shop. A Vogelzang. A bit of paper a couple of sticks of wood and Voila, fire. In contrast the Lopi requires paper or a starter log, small wood then larger wood. Finally a fire but youÂre not finished. It requires constant tending.

I attribute this to the poor design of the Lopi. It is designed as a piece of furniture. It looks nice. The pot belly is designed as a stove. It has a higher than wide fire box. Fires are vertical not horizontal. It has the fire separated from ashes with a grate. You can easily put long pieces in the top. Not so with the Lopi. Frankly it stinks as a stove. Not literally.

So I want to switch which requires painting the pot so it will look more presentable. Now it looks God awful, all rusty and with this white stuff on top of the rust.

The Lopi has a 6" stove pipe straight up through the roof. There is a sort of collar at the ceiling for which I canÂt remember how it is attached. I tried to lift the stove to see how heavy it was and it wouldnÂt budge. Possible that the pipe is screwed together so tight that it is keeping the stove from moving. I need to ask someone about the collar thing.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 7:39AM
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I got my trusty Northern Tool catalog yesterday and there your PB stove was! It's a wood/coal stove hence the grate, and it's 200,000 BTUs! It's also a smoke dragon as so few are made they're EPA exempt. Thye're meant for workshops or cabins. Your Lopi is probably 50-60,000 BTUs and sized for the area you need to heat. I'm heating my whole house here in Vermont on 55,000 BTUs.

The PB has no secondary burn chamber or CAT to control emissions or burn off excess smoke like the Lopi does. So when you start burning a 200,000 BTU stove in a family room, you will start to sweat real quick. So you'll damp down the stove, which means cutting off the air supply. In the Lopi, the secondary chamber kicks in and the unburned gasses are ignited and little to no smoke goes up the chimney. In the PB, that smoke goes right up the chimney and outside. Hence the term "Smoke Dragon".

I would find out why the Lopi is so hard to start. I'll bet the room is too tight and maybe you need an outside air source for the stove.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 7:42AM
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