A longtime, faithful blog reader posted a comment this morning, and here is an excerpt:
"While I love the look of the older stoves, I have been leaning towards a new stove due to the smallish space I have in which to place the stove. It is my understanding that greater clearances are required for the older stoves. I note that the pic of the stove in your summer kitchen shows your vintage stove very close to the walls. Can you talk a little about clearances?"
She is quite right that the green and cream Riverside Bakewell is installed very close to the wall in our summer kitchen. The picture at the top of this blog shows that it is basically up against the wall behind it. This wall is protected by 1/4" cement board mounted to the studs with ceramic electric fence insulators used as spacers. There is no drywall behind the wall protection.
|This picture shows the wall protection behind the|
stove in the summer kitchen better.
For the installation of any vintage wood cookstove, the most recent requirements that I have say that the clearance from the stove to any combustible wall (or furniture, etc.) is 36". The required distance between single-wall stovepipe and combustibles is 18". These distances can be cut in half by using approved wall protection.
Furthermore, the reader is correct that newer stoves often need lower clearances. This reason for this is twofold:
1. Most new wood cookstoves are tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories. They can establish different clearances for different sides of the stove, etc.
2. Many new wood cookstoves are equipped with heat shields which are standard parts of the stoves' construction.
Such is the case with our Margin Gem. The entire rear part of the main body of the stove is covered with a heat shield. This makes it so that the rear clearance from the back of the Margin Gem to a combustible wall is only 6". This was a major consideration for us as we chose our stove.
|The rear of the Margin Gem.|
|The Margin Gem in place.|
As I mentioned before, most new stoves are UL listed. Your home insurer may require that your wood cookstove be UL listed, which would then make it impossible to have a vintage stove, so be sure to look into that before purchasing.
If space is a concern, many great new stove options still exist, so don't give up the dream!
Readers: Please be sure to click on Stephen B.'s informative comment below for valuable additional information.
P.S. (12/28/2013) It occurred to me to add that stove owners need to exercise some common sense, too. When I purchased the Qualified range, the installation instructions that came with it said that only 8" of clearance were needed on the right (non-firebox side) of the stove. This was not a concern in either of the places that it has been installed so far since nothing was that close to the right side of the stove. However, after operating the stove, it became quite obvious that the 8" listing was for Qualified ranges which were equipped with a reservoir. I don't believe that 8" would have been at all safe for that stove's right side.