My house has a free standing, pot-belly stove about 100 years old. (Actually I think it's a parlour type). The front, top, and bottom are cast-iron, and rest of the body is a heavy gage tin or similar metal. The tin body is bent or formed into a semi-circle. The body is open on the top and bottom which fits into the cast iron bottom and top. The problem is at the bottom back, there is a gap as wide as a penny, and 3 inches long. At the gap, the tin body has pulled away or been dented away from the cast iron base that it sits in. The cast iron base has a lip that extends maybe 1/2 inch upwards. Because of this lip, no materials will easily slip out the gap. But when the fire is going, you can see the flame reflected through the gap. I suppose a spark could blow out the gap, but I haven't seen it happen. My questions are: 1. how serious does this sound? 2. would using a high-heat sealant such as 3 AM Fireblock caulking seal the gap effectively or is the stove likely too hot for any sealant. 3. Could a welder weld the gap closed? 4. Would hammering the tin body outwards be a decent alternative. The problem may have been caused when a previous owner moved the stove and dented it.
Any suggestions you have would be much appreciated.
I would not trust a 100 year old stove or a damaged stove in my home with my family. I am sure it is a nice unit but it is way past its safe use life, any "repair" would be a bandaid at best and suspect. you have till the end of the year to qualify for a $1500.00 tax credit on new stoves.