Woodstove in Old Fireplace?

I posted about this a while back, but did not get a response, so I'll try again. My house has a fireplace that is large and somewhat drafty. The FP was originally used for cooking when the house was built (about 1820). I am thinking of putting a wood stove in the fireplace, and blocking off the chimney immediately above the fireplace except for the hole for the stove pipe. The fireplace opening in the room is 6' X 7'. I think this will make the room much warmer and less drafty in the winter. I have two questions about this:
1) What would you use to block off the chimney with? Is there some sort of fire/heat resistant board I can use?
2) Is it necessary to run the woodstove's stove pipe all the way to the top of the chimney (two story house with attic), or is it acceptable for the stove pipe to simply exhaust into the chimney? Note: the chimney is not a modern flue chimney, but is a large old chimney (probably 3 feet by 2 feet inside). Also, the chimney is topped off on the roof with a flagstone which prevents rain from falling into the chimney.
Below is a pic of the fireplace:
http://home.epix.net/~robgray/temp/fp.jpg
Rob
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You need to get the chimney inspected. If it is as porous as most old unlined chimneys, you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning the folks on the upper floors. Not to mention, it probably won't draw worth a damn- small fire, big mass of air in the stack to get moving when you light it up.
Any outfit that sells woodstoves can probably recommend someone to do an inspection, but they are likely to tell you to add a pipe all the way up to be safe. Woodstove inserts are rather common in older houses- this won't be a new concept to them. Making the needed plugs and standoffs will be something they know how to do.
aem sends....
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Yes
Given the age of the house, I'd want a new liner of some sort. A good fireplace/woodstove dealer can help with what you need. Some (most?) of the work may be a DIY job, but you need advice from someone that can actually see what is needed. Fire codes come intoplay on this also. Woodstove burn hotter than the fireplace, so the likelihood of a chimney fire in the old one is more likely to happen. Have it checked.
For starters, go to www.vermontcastings.com and look at both the stoves and inserts. To preserve some of the historic value and style, an insert may be a bit more appropriate. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Rob Gray wrote:

You definitely want a stove pipe run all the way to the top, probably want to use double/triple wall which is expensive. The hard part is getting past the damper depending on how wide it is and the stove requirement for a stove pipe (6 or 8 inch). Sealing it off only requires light metal and fiberglass and it should be sealed off at the bottom (at the damper) and at the top. You will also want to remove that flagstone top so the stove pipe can be cleaned, and you will need to provide a means at the bottom for removing ash and carbon. A good stove place will be able to help and as would a lot of money.
You are certainly right to abandon use of the fireplace. The old fireplace is useless for heating and a stove would provide the same amount of heat with a tiny fraction of the wood used in a huge fireplace.
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I agree, run relining all the way to the top of the chimney.

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