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I am doing maintenance on the following cooking stove:

enter image description here

The top deck is composed of three cast-iron (or steel, not sure) tablets. All three are in direct contact with flames from the bottom; hence they were all covered in soot. After removing this soot, I see that each tablet has circumferential grooves and protrusions which neatly fit into each other. The fit is not perfect, however.

Do I need to seal the gaps between the tablets themselves and between them and the stove? If so, can I use fire rope? Should I glue it to the tablets themselves, to the stove, or it doesn't matter?

enter image description here

Recently I was using fire rope to seal the door of a fireplace, and I intentionally left a small gap. The air rushing in through this gap keeps smoke away from the glass pane, which stays clean longer. Are the gaps in these cast iron decks also intentional? Perhaps also to let the air rushing in slow down the formation of soot?

UPDATE: I tried out the stove without sealing and it works fine - no smoke or carbon monoxide detected. Thank you!

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  • Some explanation of why you would want to start a wood fire in this wood stove would help to guide answers. Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 4:42

2 Answers 2

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I suspect that they are designed not to be sealed. Otherwise, there would be an asbestos-style rope to form a seal. They are called fire-rope nowadays.

If you were to seal it, the fire may not burn properly. I would leave it unless smoke is escaping into the room from the gaps.

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    The draw from between the plates would be insignificant compared to that from the bottom vents; and in any case it would be unhelpful to introduce air there (since it's well above the firebox). And some smoke will escape from there when lighting the stove, and that is not a reason to seal them.
    – Sneftel
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 8:29
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Those gaps do not need to be sealed.

Why you ask, well the draw created by the chimney is more than sufficient to drg all the combustion fumes up the chimney and that also means that a tiny amount of air is drawn through those gaps.

Had several similar stoves growing up and even when opening to put in a log the smoke would still not come out.

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    Yep. The entire reason to have a vertical chimney is to create negative pressure in the stove or fireplace. Of course, when the stove is starting from cold and no draw is established some smoke may escape; but even then, more smoke will escape through the vents than from between those plates.
    – Sneftel
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 8:24

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