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Author Topic: Woodstove Brainpicking  (Read 15836 times)

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Offline tcsmpsi

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Woodstove Brainpicking
« on: January 24, 2009, 10:44:10 AM »
I have burned wood primarily for heat for quite a while.  I've used most things available at one time or another.  Old, open fireplaces, box heaters, the 'mod' freestanding, cone-shaped fireplace, pot-belly stove, sheet-metal rendition of a cast iron box heater, Ben Franklin (tried everything for about 3 weeks to get 'satisfaction' from it...and didn't), and what I've been using the last 20 yrs or so, a good ol' cast iron parlor stove. 

Mine has developed a couple of cracks, small holes and has just overall been an excellent provider, but  I am looking at replacing or upgrading.

I've had a moment to do a little checking, but not much in depth, and am not going to spend bookoo bucks to burn wood.

I did find another parlor stove, Vogelzang for about 350% more than I gave for mine new. 

I am curious, about many of the others in that price range, with glas doors, sealed doors, etc., sheet metal construction, have less rated btu's than the parlor stove.

For anyone that might know, is that a 'paper number' matter, or do they really burn wood that much cooler?

I might would like to get in to something like that, but not if it's not going to produce the heat or last me like my old parlor stove has.

Any thoughts or ideas in the matter would sure be appreciated.
\\\"In the end, it is a moral question as to whether man applies what he has learned or not.\\\" - C. Jung

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2009, 11:02:18 AM »
I think you have to look at efficiency as much as anything. Also, I find cast iron made stoves have more radiant heat, meaning it takes longer for the firebox to cool down. With that thin stuff, your cooling down faster. Even a heavy cast firebox in a furnace gives more heat (longer duration) for each load of wood into it, again because it doesn't cool down as fast. A good draft and damper makes a lot of difference to as does the wood moisture. With good seasoned wood you should be able to close down the draft and damper (not close up tight) and have a good flame and that's when you really get the heat radiating off the appliance. Everything wide open and a lot of heat is going out the flu and getting the flu dangerously hot. If you have a good damper and draft and still need everything wide open then your wood isn't seasoned too well. A good drying shed is a lot better than sitting out in all the rain and ground dampness. Sitting out in the weather for 2 years and calling it seasoned is a stretch. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2009, 11:25:31 AM »
I've enjoyed the looks, feel, and performance of the Vermont Castings Defiant.. a whole lot.

But then, I can enjoy the simple barrel stove too...just can't beat some wood heat. ;D ;D
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Offline tyb525

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2009, 12:11:01 PM »
We have a "Federal Airtight" by Dutchwest India. It's a cast iron stove with glass in the front doors and a side door to put the wood in, all are sealed. It has a catalytic converter and a blower, and it seems to work really well. No idea how much it cost though, or if it is even made anymore.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009, 12:39:15 PM »
Mine's a soapstone stove.  It has a cast frame with 2 half inch thick pieces of soapstone all the way around.  Holds heat for a long time.  I've had it for about 25 years and it will last another 25.  It was expensive then, but it has outlasted most stoves.
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Offline tcsmpsi

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 01:20:12 PM »
Well, Swamp, I'm not too concerned about being effecient.  I just want the house warm when it's cold outside.   ;D

Actually, the parlor stove that I saw available from Voglezang (which is just like the one I have), has a 'btu rating of 88,000' and will 'heat up to 1800 sq ft'.  One of the things that I like about it, is the ability to load it from the top, in which I can get much bigger wood into than from either of the doors.  And, we do use it to cook during the winter, from time to time.

The retail on it is about $900 I believe, but have seen it 'on sale' for $599 (+ considerable shipping, of course).  I gave $249 for mine (not 'on sale') over 20 yrs ago. 

The other things in that round about price range, are steel plate (I know, I called it sheet metal) from Vogelzang, US Stove, etc. 

Does anyone have any experience with any of those?  (Defender, Moutaineer, Highlander, etc.)

That Vermont Castings is a good looking stove alright, beenthere.  Is yours the catalytic or non?  And, if you don't mind me asking, about how much was it?

I have wondered about the soapstone, Ron.  I haven't been able to find pricing on any of them yet (haven't looked to hard, though).

Can you cook on it? 


\\\"In the end, it is a moral question as to whether man applies what he has learned or not.\\\" - C. Jung

Offline Warbird

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2009, 01:25:25 PM »
Mine is a Blaze King "ultra".  Huge firebox, catalytic, dedicated air intake, dual fan blower kit which also acts as a rear heat shield.  It ain't that purdy but it has been the most functional wood stove I'd had the pleasure of using.



If you don't want to go with a catalyst, I recommend you get a reburner type.  Either one, along with a direct air intake for the combustion air, makes for a much higher efficiency rating.

*edit* Because of the air ducting system on the top, you couldn't cook on mine but you can get this model without that ducting.  Also, this is a steel plate stove.  With all the fire brick and because it is so large, it weighs close to 500 pounds.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2009, 02:01:29 PM »
The Defiant has the catalytic converter, that is optional when burning, using a bypass damper.

Has a cooktop griddle, and will load from the top or the front doors. Ash pan too.

About $1500 in 2001. Cost more for the chimney than it did for the woodstove.  :) :)

VC has smaller units as well.

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Offline cheyenne

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2009, 02:41:11 PM »
I have a Dutch West airtight made by Vermont Castings. IMHO their the best woodstove going. I heat 2,500 sq ft with it & at 20 below I have the doors & windows open.....Cheyenne
Home of the white buffalo

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2009, 03:50:21 PM »
These type of questions are all over the map as far as brand goes. Everyone likes their own. :D But here in New Brunswick the cook kitchen stoves were usually Enterprise. The firebox is cast and the top is plate steel for cooking. You can heat a hot water tank on them and you can also get them with a warming closet over head and a hot water tank on the far end. My uncle still uses grandmother's stove she got back in the 50's. It has an oven to. He no longer uses it to heat a water tank and it didn't have a warming closet. He heats the house until it gets into December's bitter cold, then it's wood furnace. Oil backup. The Enterprise Monarch was the top stove in that brand with all the options. It was a lot more fantsied up. You can still buy those old stoves. I think the Monarch is $3500, but it's a nice stove. Grandfather's brother bought one for his house and that is still used when my cousins come home in winter or fall. It's probably from the 40's, not sure, but it's a lot older than me and still looks good.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2009, 04:12:58 PM »
I have a Dutch West airtight made by Vermont Castings. IMHO their the best woodstove going. I heat 2,500 sq ft with it & at 20 below I have the doors & windows open.....Cheyenne

Why ::) ::) ::) ??? ??? ???
 :)
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Offline DonT

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2009, 04:25:48 PM »
I have a Pacific Energy super 27.It is about 7yrs old and i have been very happy with it,good burn times,efficient,and lots of heat are characteristics that have appealed to me.   DonT

Offline Warbird

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2009, 05:50:32 PM »
I have a Dutch West airtight made by Vermont Castings. IMHO their the best woodstove going. I heat 2,500 sq ft with it & at 20 below I have the doors & windows open.....Cheyenne

Why ::) ::) ::) ??? ??? ???
 :)


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Offline Michigan Mike

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2009, 08:19:01 PM »
We have one of the Dutch west stoves from Vermont Castings. We have been using it for about six give or take years now. I like the stove it is the only source of heat other than solar gain from south facing windows. This stove has the catalytic and I belive it makes a big difference in the amount of wood we use. Can we cook on it? depends what you mean. It does a great job on slow cook stuff like chili soup or stew. It doesn't fry stuff worth a darn. The catalyst makes a big difference on creosote but I have heard they have become real expensive to replace. On the previous stove also a Dutch West the cat repacment started at fifty bucks by the time we replaced it with the newer model the cost had climbed to about seventy. I hear they are even more expensive now. If I was buying now I would be seriously looking at other clean burn tecnologys.





Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2009, 09:55:39 PM »
I have a zero clearance fireplace that has a secondary burn by air injection tubes, it works great, puts out a lot of heat, and doesn't burn too much wood.  and no catalytic convertor.

after seeing how efficient my fireplace is, I wouldn't want an old style one, too wasteful for me.
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Offline cheyenne

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2009, 10:46:27 PM »
The Catalytic converter & gasket are now $200 bucks.....Cheyenne
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Offline tcsmpsi

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2009, 08:47:48 AM »
I've had a little more time to look.  Mostly what I've learned, the woodburning stove business has expanded and become a nother technological briar patch.

I have seen a couple of the soapstones, that if I had 5 grand to spend, I sure wouldn't mind having.

There are certainly plenty different species.
\\\"In the end, it is a moral question as to whether man applies what he has learned or not.\\\" - C. Jung

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2009, 09:48:31 AM »
They are still selling my style of stove.  Price is less than half that.  Its still pricey, but the stove lasts forever.  I think when I bought mine, it was only about $600-700, maybe less.
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Offline sharp edge

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2009, 12:31:24 PM »
I used a zero clearance fireplace for all the heat for the last 30 years. Use any wood except hard maple and white pine, keep those trees busy making seeds. The rest get a "free ride up the chimney" 8)   A little trick for putting wood in fireplace---use welding gloves, got 3 pair at H/F for $9.99 use them in kitchen too.

SE
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Offline Warbird

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Re: Woodstove Brainpicking
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2009, 05:28:17 PM »
Yup.  I use welding gloves, too.  Got tired of my hands getting so dried out from the heat that they would crack and bleed.


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