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How to Fit a Soot Box

Updated November 21, 2016

A soot box is a metal drawer that slides into the bottom of a wood-burning stove to collect the ashes. The ashes fall through the floor of the wood-burning stove via small holes. Over time, the soot box can warp, crack and corrode, thereby warranting replacement. Unfortunately, some wood-burning stoves are quite old and it can be difficult to find a soot box made by the same manufacturer. Therefore, you'll need to fit an after-market soot box to your stove.

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  1. Remove the old soot box from the wood stove. Do not use this as the basis of your measurements because it will be warped due to age.

  2. Slide a dowel to the very back of the empty soot box slot and use a pen to mark the point where the stove face meets the dowel. This mark should be located in the spot where the front of the soot box will sit.

  3. Measure the dowel from the tip to just before the mark to determine the depth of the soot box slot. Record this figure in a notebook.

  4. Measure the width and height of the empty soot box slot and record these figures in your notebook. Be sure to measure the inside edges of the slot.

  5. Measure the width and height of the soot box face by measuring the indentation or other space on the exterior of the wood-burning stove. Similar to a dresser drawer, the visible panel is often larger than the portion of the soot box that sits inside the slot.

  6. Make note of the wood-burning stove's finish and hardware colour and style. Most antique stoves are unfinished black cast iron, but many newer models feature a heat-resistant paint.

  7. Purchase a new soot box, using the two sets of dimensions obtained during the measurement process. Also match the colour and hardware.

  8. Compare the finish, hardware and general appearance of the new soot box to the wood stove.

  9. Measure the new soot box's dimensions and compare to your measurements. It's OK if the soot box is slightly smaller than the slot.

  10. Check the interior of the soot box slot for ash and debris. If necessary, use a vacuum with a hose attachment to clear debris from the slot.

  11. Slide the soot box into the slot situated on the lower portion of the wood-burning stove.

  12. Tip

    Keep the receipt and packaging until you're positive that the new soot box will look right and fit inside your wood-burning stove. Remove all tags and stickers from the new soot box prior to use. Some retailers that specialise in wood-burning stoves offer custom-built replacement parts.


    Do not force the soot box into the slot, as it may become stuck and extremely difficult to remove. Do not use your wood burning-stove until you've replaced the soot box.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Dowel
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Flashlight
  • Vacuum with hose attachment

About the Author

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