An old-fashioned pot belly wood stove does not offer the same type of heating as the newer airtight wood stoves, but on a cold night you welcome the heat anyway. To improve the efficiency of your old wood-burning stove, use some wood-burning cement to seal the holes in the stove seams. Purchase a container of pre-mixed wood stove or oven cement. Use this material internally or externally on the wood stove because it is formulated to be resistant to the heat.
Place a candle in the wood stove and light it. This allows you to identify cracks, seams or holes in the wood-burning stove that must be sealed. Work in a clockwise direction so that you know which part you have completed. You use the wood-burning cement to fill all openings in the wood-burning stove in all corners and seams.
Moisten the first seam lightly with the wet cloth. The cement mixture is sticky and thick and requires the surface to be slightly damp during use. Use the putty knife and fill the seam carefully with the cement of the wood stove. Spread it evenly over the seam and make sure you completely cover the seam. Smooth it when you’re going to avoid scouring later, wherever possible. Wipe off excess quantity with the wet cloth. Use the cloth to smooth the seam if necessary. Allow the cement to dry well. Repeat the process for each seam, crack or hole in the stove.