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Let’s make purchasing wood stove chimney components easy

Ben's sauna stove with free range organic sauna rocks

I have had a few people ask me for a list of all the components needed for installing a wood stove.  Home Depot doesn’t stock the chimney gear.  Selkerk website is pretty lame. 

For purchasing all the chimney and stove pipe components for your wood stove, I suggest:

  1. Visiting a fireplace supply center in your area. Or
  2. Go to Menards, if you have one in your area.

Menards stocks all the Selkerk “Super Vent” line of products.

I have built a bunch of saunas and have purchased many sets of wood burning stove components. Here is my list of what you need (not official names) from the stove up:

  1. A deep breath.
  2. Stove pipe.  black. Hard to assemble but you put it on soft ground and snap together with your knee. Tricky but good news is that sections of this black metal pipe are not expensive. 2 sections should get you from the stove to the ceiling.
  3. Damper. (optional but recommended depending on stove).
  4. Stove pipe adapter. Transitions from black to silver, drops down with gravity onto the ceiling flange kit.
  5. Ceiling flange kit.  A big round circle piece with four flanges that get screwed to your 12″ x 12″ rafter boxed opening.
  6. Chimney pipe.  Comes in 1′, 2′, 3′ lengths.  Expensive.
  7. Boot.  Two pitches, either 1/12 – 6/12 or a steeper one, 6/12 – 12/12.  nail or screw under shingles. Seal with Lexall or similar.
  8. Storm collar.  Secures around the chimney pipe above the boot, with a screw. Seal with a bead of Lexall or similar around chimney pipe.
  9. Chimney cap.  The cherry on top.
Ben’s sauna stove with free range organic sauna rocks


UPDATE : 3/14/19. Thanks Tony for link below. It looks complicated, but after #1 above (a deep breath) we can work through the brochure found alongside the products for sale at Menards. Those with no access to Menards, I encourage you visit a fireplace supply company in your area.

Here is a screen shot of a page in the Selkirk brochure which guides shoppers to purchasing all the stove components available:

Daunting, but with a deep breath, we can work our way through adding the chimney components for your wood stove to your “shopping cart.”

13 thoughts on “Let’s make purchasing wood stove chimney components easy”

  1. * When I sell my Finnish Sauna stoves to folks building their own Sauna, I guide them to a local Selkirk supplier-a hardware store-operated by a fellow who knows the code,and the Selkirk product line, and stocks all of the pieces and parts… (I don’t sell these kits as a rule)
    I see several details in the photo that look non-compliant…the one I’d like to mention is the connector pipe-from the stove to the insulated Stainless sections above.
    I recommend using the painted stainless double wall pipe that Selkirk sells for this purpose, the clearance to combustibles is critical – and the double-wall is excellent for this reason.
    The rule here is: when in doubt, ask qualified people to help.
    Saunas burn down all the time,I like to avoid that outcome!
    Thanks Glenn

  2. Thanks for this. Iā€™m in the process of building a mobile sauna, and the chimney setup is one of the last things Iā€™m thinking through. Quick question: you mentioned damper depends on the stove. I have a Harvia M3 and a 6×7.5 hot room…any thoughts on damper vs. no damper? What do I need to consider to make that decision?

  3. Nils: Absolutely and thanks for the input. A side story about saunas burning down. In the ’70s and ’80s Canada must have had a good salesman for expanded polystyrene. It was sold everywhere. Expanded polystyrene was big here in Minnesota also, where it was used, at the time, as the preferred choice for rigid insulation.

    The product is still for sale everywhere. I avoid its gaze and push my shopping cart faster when I pass by it at Home Depot.

    Many sauna builders, amateur and otherwise, used this product in walls and ceiling rafters. You know the stuff. It’s white and when you break it, it breaks down into little white marbles. Anyhow, expanded polystyrene is super dangerous. It is flammable and has a low ignition temp. And once ignited it burns like gasoline. This is the worst stuff to use for sauna. I know of 4 former sauna owners that, at the time, became non sauna owners because their saunas burned down to the cement blocks, and in all cases expanded polystyrene was the direct culprit.

    Batting, on the other hand, doesn’t want to burn. You don’t want to, but you could put batting directly against chimney pipe (not stove pipe) and after many saunas, go back and look at the batting and it may not even show signs of wanting to combust.

    All this chatter may be best as a separate post “how not to burn down your sauna” but I wanted to acknowledge and appreciate your sentiment, Nils, as it triggered a thought not so much about proper wood stove pipe installation, but distances to combustibles. In this case that awful stuff that we should run far away from.

  4. I have built saunas with and without chimney damper. Many stove companies spec a damper, as mentioned. I don’t think they are too expensive. I use a friend’s sauna that I built and installed a damper and 95% of the time, the damper is in the “open” position. There is some tuning that can be had once a large base of coals is established, but in my experience, I have been able to tune the burn rate by the damper within the sauna stove. Dampers do provide a safety feature. If there’s every a chimney fire, from creosote build up, one can cut the oxygen in the chamber by closing the chimney damper. The sauna stoves I own and use are super efficient burning. I’ve opened and inspected the inside of chimney pipe after 20 years and have noted 0/no creosote build up. Anyhow, there’s a rabbit hole for you.

  5. Go to Lowes or better yet, Ace Hardware. I ordered all of my chimney stuff from Ace Hardware. As a matter of fact, the store owner gave me access to his distributor supply, ordering system, allowing me to make the order, then charged me a few bucks to throw him some profit, and I picked up a few days later. The company that supplies, Ace Hardwares (at least in my area, DC metro) had all of the items in stock. In my area, some, Ace Hardwares have a very robust fireplace department, others not so great. Fireplace shops are so crazy expensive, the market up is nuts! Sadly, I have a cousin who owns one. They’d rather sell stoves and fireplace eq, then wood burning stove chimney’s. Margin must be low for them.

  6. The proper Sauna stoves-(the ones available in the US and Canada from Finland : Harvia, Helo, Karhu, and so on) have to comply with current clean air rules in the EU, and are very efficient, but intentionally not airtight.
    According to the Mfr’s guide that comes with my Helo stoves,flue dampers are not required.I do not use them, and expect that people that do are slowing flue gas exhaust rate, flue gas temperature, and encouraging creosote build up…not good.
    I would ask Glenn D to clarify this with the dealer he bought the Harvia wood burner from, and follow chimney and stove install guides to the letter…
    Trust me, you never want to hear ” Hey, what’s that funny orange glow in the back yard”
    *It is very tempting to cheat and jury rig chimney and heat shield details in order to save time and $…and it is never ever ( did I say never ?) worth it.
    * Many people use or adapt commonly available air tight wood stoves for use in Sauna-as a cost saving measure, or because they believe them to be more efficient…
    And no, it is not so…The Finns have a pretty good track record with this stuff; spend the money on a proper stove…And as always: Thx Glenn!

  7. Nils: I could play sauna stove conversation tennis with you, as I enjoy the volley back and forth.

    I like where you’re coming from on many levels.

    We pay for our sauna stoves one time, and we get to enjoy good heat for the rest of our lives.

    Same goes for proper chimney installation. We install it right once, and can sleep soundly every night for the rest of our lives. (safety first).

  8. I’m likely going to build a small sauna up at our cabin on Big Lake, about an hour from where we live in Anchorage, Alaska. I’m just starting to read about constructing one. Can you please describe the primary reasons I should buy a sauna wood burning stove specifically rather than a standard, heavy, good quality wood stove and weld some braces on top to hold rocks ? I’m ignorant so be easy on me boss šŸ™‚

  9. Jim: Fair question. Wood stoves with after market cages to hold rocks, in my experience, just don’t create the kind of Loyly (steam) that decent wood fired sauna stove create. Others reading this with different experiences, please chime in.

    If you have a standard, heavy, good quality wood stove hanging around and are hankering to try it, then please do and let us know how it rolls for you. If you find it takes way too long to heat rocks or just is too clunky, well, you can remove it from your sauna, sell it as a stove, and apply funds towards purchasing a wood fired sauna stove as “done it, tried it, and onto Phase II.”

  10. Re: Jim M.’s query: yard sale /conventional stove verses Finnish Sauna wood burning stove…
    Hi Jim-
    This is a chapter in the book! ( still writing it…),but here are the high spots:
    The Finnish stoves I’ve been using in my work all of these years is steel firebox inside of a ventilated shell, this means that they heat more via convection than your yard sale version , which heats primarily via radiation; the former is much more comfy to be around, does not produce the radiant blast, and if one leans up against it, the surface temp. is much lower, so that the resulting skin burn is much less severe. It will also heat the room much quicker, and use less fuel…so far, so good!
    And unlike the cast iron stoves in our living room-they are lighter and come to temp. much quicker.
    And by design, they can be placed much closer to the wall/corner of your room.
    It also heats rocks very efficiently, as the rock compartment encircles more than half of the firebox…so good steam!
    The ship weight of the one I use is about 110 lbs…The Jotul in my living room weighs in at ~ 375 lbs…another plus, eh? I’m not signing up to Portage my Jotul,no thanks !
    And the standard issue item comes with a glass door and ash drawer-features that many of the ‘converted’ stoves will not have.
    I tell folks on a budget to cut costs elsewhere, but buy a proper stove!
    and thanks Glenn!

  11. Many of the stoves have an EU spec exhaust of 4ā€ and require a 6ā€ adaptor for North American sizing.

    Is it possible to use 4ā€ pellet stove pipe instead of 6ā€?

  12. Steve:

    Yes! I think you will have good luck with this. The 4″ stove pipe is not at all expensive. If you incur drafting problems or other limitations with the more narrow stove pipe, you can come back and convert to 6″. Please let us know how it shakes out for you.

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