How to Seal Cast-Iron Stoves
A wood stove is a time-honored method of heating and cooking, and nothing else quite compares to the warmth emitted from a wood fire. Proper and safe wood stove functioning requires that all joints be properly sealed. Without sealed joints, smoke will escape the stove, potentially leading to problems like wall blackening or smoke inhalation. Whether you are restoring or repairing a wood stove, use specialized, heat-resistant cement to ensure airtight seams.
Remove any old cement from the seams by lightly tapping the back of a chisel handle with a hammer to chip away the material with the chisel blade.
Brush any last, stuck-on bits of cement away with a wire brush.
Eradicate any rust from the areas to be sealed, using the wire brush with white vinegar.
Clean the joint areas by wiping them down with a sponge dampened with a solution of hot water and dish soap. Rinse the sponge with fresh water and wipe down the areas again to remove the soap residue.
Wet the areas where cement will be applied before applying the cement. Apply a thin covering of cement along all joints, using a trowel or putty knife. Force the cement into joints to ensure they are filled. Stove cement caulk tubes are also available for extruding consistent beads, which can then be smoothed down. Re-wet areas if they dry before cement is applied.
Apply a thicker, second covering of cement along the joints, using the trowel or putty knife.
Clean up smears or drips promptly, using a damp sponge.
Start a mild fire in the stove and slowly build it to higher temperatures to heat-cure the cement.
Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.
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