After becoming familiar with my buck stove through my first winter in the house, learning to peer through certain peekaboo cracks, and listening to the expanding and contracting of the iron stove, I knew by replacing the vision impairing steel door inserts for glass ones, I would be able to greatly improve the efficiency through using visual cues to adjust the flues and consequently, the stoichiometry.
Once I took shipment of the glass insert kit (which came complete with gaskets from this online retailer) I removed the doors from the hinges and placed them in a container as I used wire brushes and spatulas to remove the soot deposits. In this comparison of clean on the left and untouched on the right I was pleased to discover stainless retaining hardware and a neat Buck Stove logo built into the casting.
Removing the steel insert from the door revealed the original fiberglass gasket which was scraped away most effectively with a screwdriver. You may be able to see where the gasket has browned, leading me to believe this may have been a possible leak.
Freshly installed tempered glass, with a recently replaced Grapho-glas door gasket to seal it all up nice and tight! It will never look this great again…
This stove has become much more efficient now that I am able to fine tune the air mixture without having to guess or unnecessarily open the doors. My fuel burns longer, the heat output is much greater, and I open the doors less – minimizing the risk of rogue smoke escaping into my living room..
One handy tool I now keep close to the stove is a flat bladed scraper which quickly and easily cleans the glass better than any solvent soaked rag. The success of this tool relies in the sharpness of its blade. Keeping a stash of extra blades is a good idea, and having a smooth, no-lift technique improves service life. Scraping often will also reduce the heavy deposits that would otherwise cause the blade to get nicked and dull faster.