Wood Stoves: what's new in the world of wood heat.

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by A-Bone, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    Gawd I love the first couple weeks of heating season... getting the stove fired up for the year... This is my favorite form of renewable energy...

    This is our Woodstock Soapstone Fireview model... We run about 6 cords a year through it...

    Four years in and no issues with it yet other than this: There is a piece of cast iron on the inside that runs across the front just above the window that I thought had gotten bent out of shape... It is designed to cause air to wash down the window to keep the flame and smoke from etching/discoloring it.. The manufacturer calls it an 'air chute'. (Part number W-172 http://www.woodstove.com/images/editorial_support/FireviewPDF-Instructions/parts%20blow-ups%20fv205%20interior.pdf )

    It is supposed to be about 1/4 inch from the window...but on the left side it was touching the window and on the right it was more like 1/2 inch away from the window...

    I figured I had bent it jamming a piece of wood in while the iron was pretty warm... I called the manufacturer (surprise: they actually make them 20 miles from me) and they walked me through the process of taking a couple pieces of iron apart to get to bolts that adjust the clearance of the air chute... Totally servicable with simple tools.. love it...

    Took 30 minutes on a Sunday morning... Thing is running like a champ... window has never been clearer...

    Love this stove...

    Anyone else love burning wood???...


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    #1
  2. oj may

    oj may Have bike, will travel.

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    We now have a Jotul 3 and I have burned wood for thirty years. We also have 2 solar panels for hot air, as well as a sun room. Wood heat has a certain 'soul' that other forms of heat do not. It feels alive, and must be cared for, but the pay backs are many. I will always strive to have a wood stove, even after I get too old to cut my own wood. No matter how cold it is outside, you can always warm your fanny by the fire.
    #2
  3. MudWalker

    MudWalker Long timer

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    I don't have a nice photo to share of my stove, but I'm also feeling pretty darn gaga about my now 3 yo rock that make us warm. The past few days, I've been feeding it some of the cleanest, perfectly seasoned hardwood I've ever used. It's a real pleasure.

    I give you the Hearthstone Equinox

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    This is not my kid or my house........if it was, I would tell the kid to shut the door before she gets a hot coal in her ear.:lol3
    #3
  4. MudWalker

    MudWalker Long timer

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    I forgot to mention, I really love the Fireview too! I'm suprised you are able to process 6 full cords thru it in a season, thats a whole lotta wood! From here on out to April my stove will be burning, I have 5 cord set aside but will only use 4. You burning softwood?

    Have you seen/heard about the new, not yet released really big Woodstock stove?
    #4
  5. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    Yup.. Six cords... not softwood... we just run it 24/7 for 6+ months a year... started it last week for the season... couple small fires before that.. but it will run well into April without being shut down...

    I've gotten to know the guy I get wood from a little bit.. he has a pretty cool little operation.. he makes dimentional lumber at his mill and runs a kiln with the shavings in which he dries cord wood...

    I was at the mill a couple weeks ago and he was showing me his new wood processor that he got last year... anyway.. he had a couple different picker load piles sitting next to it.. I noticed one was all oak... :evil ... Half joking I mentioned that if he wanted to give me all oak I'd be happy to take it... To my surpirse he lit up..and said "Sure!'

    Apparently a lot of people don't like to burn oak... which upon thinking about it makes perfect sense: If you were starting fires every night when you got home, oak would suck because it takes so long to get going... but for people like me that burn 24/7 it is perfect because it burns so slow and coals down so nice... Very clean wood to deal with..

    For the non-wood burning geeks: oak is great firewood because the energy density is at the higher end of the scale... Birch might be at ~23,500,000 BTUs per cord, while oak (in this case, red oak) might be at ~27,500,000 or about 16% better than the birch... which over the corse of 6 cords is an additional ~24,00,000 BTUs; almost like getting an extra cord of BTUs...

    So we'll see what happens this year running all oak.. I am curious to see how much we go through...
    #5
  6. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    The Jotul #4 is one of my favorite looking stoves:

    Crazy Easter Island looking thing... crappy picture (from google search).. great stoves..

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    The front opens up which is really cool, but a lousy way to load a stove:

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    #6
  7. chorizo

    chorizo Been here awhile

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    I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains and burn in a Hearthstone I got 12 years ago. Traded for labor to tearout an old brick wall suround. Took me and a helper about two hours. The lady was tired of wood and wanted to go gas.
    She was happy and I was stoked. It is now in its third (3) house! The last time I went and got a permit for it and had to get documentation from Hearthstone that it was a 'wood burning fireplace" apparently a fireplace has much less restriction in CA than a wood stove. I will take it with me when I go. and the stainless flue!! You will always find the terriers curled up on the hot floor and the laundry hanging on the line in wintertime. Love it. Burns any wood. mostly construction scraps and fallen wood. Not much scraps this year though. Glow on!
    #7
  8. MudWalker

    MudWalker Long timer

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    I've always liked oak but it's gotta be seasoned.....nothing oak (outside of kiln dried wood) that hasn't seasoned for at least 12 months is going to work good in a modern stove, especially one with a cat. Go ahead and ask how I know.......yea it will burn but it won't heat until half the load is wasted.

    My new wood guy is a local old boy who works with his son, they use an old National Grid dump truck that holds just over 2 full cords......it's all stacked in rows on the truck so you can measure the load, very professional. He gets $220 for mixed hardwood but like you noticed about your guy, he poo poos the oak. He tells me it takes a year or more to season oak and he won't sell it because most burners burn wood cut in spring/summer and the oak just sizzles and folks complain. He knows I buy a year ahead so the 2 loads I get this weekend won't hit the fire until this time next year. Anyway, he called 2 night ago and scored some oak and hard maple for me......he also will throw on 2 face cords of just ash that I can set aside in case I run low in the spring.:clap He will cut to length and split to size as I wish........damn this beats dealing with log loads, chainsaws and a splitting maul!
    #8
  9. MudWalker

    MudWalker Long timer

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    Damn, that thing is a beast!

    Front loading aint bad if the box is big enough.......I hardly ever use the side door on mine.
    #9
  10. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    We burn mostly oak through my old EarthStove Cat bv4000c

    It takes at least 2 years of split, stacked, covered, in my climate to get it dry enough to burn well, but as you said, its worth it.

    learned to like hickory also, and black cherry. The cherry seasons pretty quick, and coals VERY well, but doesnt pack the energy density of the hickory or Oak.

    It was cold this morning ( 62F in the house)

    I was thinking its time to vacuum the spider webs from the insert, and clean the flu, and get ready for burn season!
    #10
  11. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    Anyone ever install a combustion air make-up system for their wood stove??

    On my next house I want to put one in... just currious how others have addressed this...

    My dream is an insulated piece of power-dampered duct comming from the outside to the chimney and use the heat of the chimney to preheat the combustion air and feed that tempered air to the air intake on the stove..
    #11
  12. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

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    I've lit my Vermont Castings Defiant II three times this fall - it's finally gotten below freezing at night, but I put in 5 small chunks of wood and let it go out - it's plenty warm enough with that.

    I'm not sure I've got enough wood for the winter, but my supplier assures me that he will bring more if I need it.

    Sadly, I mostly get pine here, but at least it's cheap. My supplier has a machine that cuts and splits 5 cords a day automatically - I have to admit I'd like to see that thing.

    I love wood heat.
    #12
  13. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

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    I have a floor vent under my stove at my cabin. Nothing fancy, just a hole in the floor. No basement, the cabin is built on a post foundation, so plenty of air flow to the vent. I boxed in the underside, but it is still pretty lose.

    I have one of those Jotul stoves in my garage, although, I think it is a knock off. I had one years ago in another house and liked it and bought this one when I had the chance. I may put it in the cabin one of these days. Or not.
    #13
  14. gremor

    gremor RS'er

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    Mine is a 20 year old Bronco.

    Heats my ranch style home with 4 cords a year.

    Can take a 22" log.

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    #14
  15. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    Aaron- glad to hear you like that stove- it's one of many things we're shopping for right now!

    I hope you bought it at one of their "you come up here and put it in your truck and we'll pretty much give it to you for nothing" weekend sales. :deal
    #15
  16. Srbenda

    Srbenda Embassy of South Carolina

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    I have an insert, pedigree unknown.

    We burn in the evening, and during the day if Mrs. Srbenda is around and keeps the fire going.

    Last year, we went through about 2 cords of oak, and we ended up running out of wood near the end of February.

    It keeps our 1930-era house warm down to about 30f outside, and then the corners of the house get chilly.

    I get all of my wood from neighborhood trees that are taken down or come down in storms, almost all oak with some mulberry mixed in, and some cedar for starting the fires.
    #16
  17. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    :lol3

    Simple solution....

    Sounds like our house... one of the bonues of a 1823 cape.... lousy foundation sealing.....

    Actually I don't think we are quite that bad... but the foundation is made of granite slabs...as are most older home foundations in the state...
    #17
  18. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    Sup Adam...

    :wave

    Yup..

    Woodstock Soapstone is the real deal.... We looked at a lot of stoves...Vermont Casting, Morso, Hearthstone, Tulikivi, Jotul, Rais... and all are really nice stoves... but only a couple come in Soapstone... which I wanted to try out because of the way the soapstone hold heat overnight... It litterally takes a couple of days to cool down.... so that helps where we run it all he time....

    The fact that it is made in NH and is one of the best built stoves sold it for me.. you pick it right up at the factory... they plop in in your truck at the loading dock (or you can have it shipped)

    The other thing that did it was that it was the only builder to offer the non-polished finish for the soap stone and paint...almost all the others that were painted were gloss enamels that tend to bubble and flake over time... the paint has held up very nicely so far...

    Not the cheapest... but I am happy....

    I don't know about the 'we'll pretty much give it to you for nothing' sales... :lol3 But you're one of those rich guys so I guess so....
    #18
  19. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    It helps when you know a guy that works there. :deal

    And rich?:poser I was gonna ask YOU for a loan...
    #19
  20. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    I think doing these myself adds to the general satisfaction of heating with wood. Not to sound like some sort of Luddite, but the trip into the countryside to cut firewood, and the (usually) cooperative effort of splitting it really is to me integral to wood stove ownership & operation.
    #20