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Wood stove

  1. #76
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove


    My buddy just clogged his chimney completely with his VC Resolute. He had to use my chimney rods without a brush to poke a hole through. There was molasses like goo coming out of the chimney seams.

    He asked me what it would take to rebuild his stove. I told him that I did it twice and when it was time to buy a larger stove, I went steel.

    Vermont Castings isn't something I'd go with.

    You want it to work well or look good?

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  2. #77
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    FWIW on the Resolute model I haven't heard very good things. It's VC's entry level stove - basically the cheap version of the Encore (similar BTU's, log size, burn time.) They had a few reman'd Resolutes at my local shop, he highly discouraged them for being a problematic stove that runs hot. That said, the Encore is definitely going to be more upkeep. Resealing doors isn't a big deal, but the inner workings are definitely more complex. There's a rod and linkage system that opens and closes the damper, similar with the draft control. Cast stove are also apparently much more picky about the wood you feed them. Then there's resealing the panels periodically.

    The Regency will definitely easier to operate and maintain. One door, single damper, front loading, very few moving parts. I guess I was hoping to hear some good feedback on the Encore. I'd venture to say there's something between having a good looking cast stove and a stove that burns well.

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  3. #78
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    I used a Vermont castings vigilant as my main heat source for about 20 years. It was used when I got it, and it's still in use heating my neighbor's shop, now. Never had a problem with dirty chimneys, all in all happy with the stove but the doors are now warped and it doesn't seal great so it's not that efficient anymore (doors available online, though). Not surprised they warped, the stove was red hot many, many times.

    I replaced it with a Jotul wood stove, the biggest one they make (non catalytic), on a recommendation from a friend who already had one for a few years. Max BTU output seems similar to the vigilant but it's much much more efficient with the amount of firewood needed. It still eats a lot, but I'm heating 2400 sf of space with vaulted ceilings and lots of glass. The Jotul was around $2200, would buy again. The Vermont castings, I wouldn't rule one out if the price was right and someone was going to be around to feed it frequently with cheap wood. If you are around Boston paying 400 a cord, efficiency is more important than out here in the woods in terms of money but even if the wood is cheap, it's nice to still have orange coals after a full night's sleep with the Jotul.

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  4. #79
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    I run a Hearthstone Mansfield heating a touch under 2000ft^2. It hits its stride when the outdoor temperature is around 15. What I really like about it, especially with little kids, is the outer surfaces don't get hot enough to instantly sear skin or combust flammable materials. It also looks really nice. The downside is due to its huge thermal mass, it takes a fairly long time to get it completely up to temperature.


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  5. #80
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    I went from using 2 cords of hardwood with my Resolute in a 1600 square foot house to using 2 cords of hardwood in my Harman TL300 in a 2400 square foot house. 8 hour burns are easy. Reminds me that I'm due to open it up and vac the whole thing out, it's been a couple years. Starting to get less efficient.

    Having a nice big, but efficient, low maintenance stove is a thing of beauty. One that can run outside air is even nicer (my TL300 is piped that way and works mint).

    That's not to say that I don't have some complaints with the TL300, but they are small vs the Resolute.


    If you are using it once in a while to heat your house, the Resolute does fine. If if it's an all day, every day thing, spend the $$ for an efficient modern stove.

    I've heard the Jotuls are nice (my sister has one). The Quadrafires are beasts, but also highly recommended.

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  6. #81
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    I'm glad I got rid of my wood stove(s) 35 years ago and went with a central wood heating unit, I have FHA, it runs in parallel to my oil fired furnace with the plenums joined together, tey each have their own flue, with a barometric damper on each

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  7. #82
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    Re: Wood stove

    My parents had the biggest quadrafire made and that thing worked amazing. Heated the 2000 sqft cape awesome. Really dug that stove. Ran a forester in there before that. Huge difference with efficiency.

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  8. #83
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    I went from using 2 cords of hardwood with my Resolute in a 1600 square foot house to using 2 cords of hardwood in my Harman TL300 in a 2400 square foot house. 8 hour burns are easy. Reminds me that I'm due to open it up and vac the whole thing out, it's been a couple years. Starting to get less efficient.

    Having a nice big, but efficient, low maintenance stove is a thing of beauty. One that can run outside air is even nicer (my TL300 is piped that way and works mint).

    That's not to say that I don't have some complaints with the TL300, but they are small vs the Resolute.


    If you are using it once in a while to heat your house, the Resolute does fine. If if it's an all day, every day thing, spend the $$ for an efficient modern stove.

    I've heard the Jotuls are nice (my sister has one). The Quadrafires are beasts, but also highly recommended.
    That Tl300 looks very nice. Very similar construction to the Regency F3100 we're looking at....but adds top loading and is definitely more efficient had produces less emissions. By the numbers:

    Regency F3100:
    BTU 80k
    Efficiency 75.4%
    Firebox 2.9 cu. ft.
    Burn time: 10 hrs
    Price $2,000

    Harman TL300:
    BTU 72k
    Efficiency 83.3%
    Firebox 3.0 cu. ft.
    Burn time: 17 hrs
    Price $2700

    The difference in efficiency and extended burn time are very attrtactive. I also doubt we'd notice much the 8k BTU difference, with an almost identical sized firebox I'd expect the lower output is due to a more efficient and in control fire. For this season and likely two or three more, we will be buying wood. It will take me at least that long to get some renewable wood harvest going on my property. Would you expect we would see significant difference in wood used between the two stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    I'm glad I got rid of my wood stove(s) 35 years ago and went with a central wood heating unit, I have FHA, it runs in parallel to my oil fired furnace with the plenums joined together, tey each have their own flue, with a barometric damper on each
    Eventually I want to do an outdoor wood boiler and I would look at a wood furnace as well. Not getting into that this year though.

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    My parents had the biggest quadrafire made and that thing worked amazing. Heated the 2000 sqft cape awesome. Really dug that stove. Ran a forester in there before that. Huge difference with efficiency.
    Did some reading on the Quadra Fire stoves, definitely very mixed reviews. I'll go check the local dealer out and get the sales pitch.

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  9. #84
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Quote Originally Posted by ZX-12R View Post
    I run a Hearthstone Mansfield heating a touch under 2000ft^2. It hits its stride when the outdoor temperature is around 15. What I really like about it, especially with little kids, is the outer surfaces don't get hot enough to instantly sear skin or combust flammable materials. It also looks really nice. The downside is due to its huge thermal mass, it takes a fairly long time to get it completely up to temperature.

    Sweet. We have their smallest soapstone rated for 1,000 sf, Tribute 8040. As the house is only 1250 I was concerned about room (nothing was there, old stove was removed when it was rented).

    I kept the house at 70 when it was -22, but it burns a full load in 2 hours at full open and 3.5 when damped down. Should have gone the next size up: maybe next winter. Castleton 8030.

    TRIBUTE 8040 | Wood Stoves | Hearthstone Stoves

    CASTLETON 8030 | Wood Stoves | Hearthstone Stoves

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    Last edited by Garandman; 01-02-17 at 03:00 PM.

  10. #85
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    From what I'm seeing you really want to get something close to a 3 cu. ft. fire box or the burn time is going to suffer drastically.

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  11. #86
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    The Regency will definitely easier to operate and maintain. One door, single damper, front loading, very few moving parts. I guess I was hoping to hear some good feedback on the Encore. I'd venture to say there's something between having a good looking cast stove and a stove that burns well.
    If this dealer you like sells Regency, ask about the Hampton stoves. Their websites look like they have standalone models like my insert with the cast exterior. As I say, I'm pretty happy with mine.

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  12. #87
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    If this dealer you like sells Regency, ask about the Hampton stoves. Their websites look like they have standalone models like my insert with the cast exterior. As I say, I'm pretty happy with mine.
    Yep, they have a cast Hamilton with a steel fire box. I like the concept but we didn't like the finish. Instead of a traditional black cast iron it's more of a graphite finish. Kind of odd.

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  13. #88
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Wood stove-img_1828-jpg

    It either ages well or has grown on me.
    I actually think the ceramic finish they offer is gorgeous.

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  14. #89
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Well, update: a VC Encore FlexBurn popped up on local Craigslist today. Guy used it a couple of times and it's too large for his house. It the dual catalytic/non-catalytic, with the cat it can hit 86% efficiency and a 12 hour burn. He has it listed at $1k less than retail and purchased it new this fall. It's really exactly the stove we want, but retail was more than we wanted to pay. I'm going to grab a small U-Haul with a ramp and pick it up after work tomorrow. Even if I can't get the price down, it's still a great buy.

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  15. #90
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Cats needs to be replaced every 2-3 seasons from what I've been told.

    That's why I went non-cat. Those things are $$$$$ to replace.


    If it's a great deal, then just be sure to factor that into the equation for long term.

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  16. #91
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    My buddy just clogged his chimney completely with his VC Resolute. He had to use my chimney rods without a brush to poke a hole through. There was molasses like goo coming out of the chimney seams.

    He asked me what it would take to rebuild his stove. I told him that I did it twice and when it was time to buy a larger stove, I went steel.

    Vermont Castings isn't something I'd go with.

    You want it to work well or look good?
    Creosote at that level is not a stove issue, it's a combination of bad wood and an uneducated user issue. I've burnt green wood in the past and never had an issue, so I'd side on more of a user issue.

    I have a Harman in one of the fireplaces, works great and puts out some serious heat and burn time. My only complaint is, it holds a lot of wood and uses a lot of wood...and I had to bring the wood in the house.
    I'm done with it now and will only use it when there's company visiting. I burn the same amount of wood in the outside boiler, and never have to lug anything in the house. Haven't used a drop of oil in almost a month

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  17. #92
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    It for sure was a user issue. But the seams all need to be resealed. Smoke comes out everywhere when it backdrafts. To reseal that stove properly is a week long job. Chisel/grind out all the cement, put all new stuff in, bolt it together, then hope none cracks. And if one of the plates is warped? Forgettaboutit....

    For what it's worth, my parents bought the smaller version of my Harman and managed to clog their chimney too.

    Every time I'd go over there it would be smoldering on green wood. "Well if we run it like you run yours it'll heat the house up too much, drive us right out!" was my dad's constant reply when I told him he was making bad ju-ju.

    Took one chimney fire and an inspection of a nearly completely clogged flue for him to realize that the stove needs to be run hot enough, with enough thermal "momentum" for it to do the re-burn and run clean. It's the most efficient that way too.

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  18. #93
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    Well, update: a VC Encore FlexBurn popped up on local Craigslist today. Guy used it a couple of times and it's too large for his house. It the dual catalytic/non-catalytic, with the cat it can hit 86% efficiency and a 12 hour burn. He has it listed at $1k less than retail and purchased it new this fall. It's really exactly the stove we want, but retail was more than we wanted to pay. I'm going to grab a small U-Haul with a ramp and pick it up after work tomorrow. Even if I can't get the price down, it's still a great buy.
    I have something you might be interested in borrowing: a stair-climbing dolly. Most stoves are heavy.

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  19. #94
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Yep one of the things I'm understanding about running a stove is that a constant operating temperature is most critical to the stove running efficiently and cleanly. One of the things that worried me about the Regency F3100 was a 80K BTU output. Since the stove is going to be sitting in the living room/dining room area, it concerned me that it would be too hot with that stove. One of the problems I found in looking at stoves with lower BTU ratings is you also don't get a long burn time. I wanted to get as close to the 12 hour mark as possible, but definitely over 8 hour. The VC Encore is rated at 65K BTU's and can reach a 12 hour burn, seemed like the best combination for the house.

    The things that I understand that are potential problems in running a cast stove and furthermore a catalytic stove are they are much more sensitive to the wood you burn. The Encore is most happy operating in catalytic mode at a griddle temperature of around 500 degrees. After I get the thing installed I'll probably just run it on weekends the first two weeks so I can tend to it properly and figure out where it needs to be run before we put it into 24/7 service.

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  20. #95
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    I have something you might be interested in borrowing: a stair-climbing dolly. Most stoves are heavy.
    Appreciate the offer. We actually ended up settling on the seller delivering it to me for a small fee. I like it best that way, if he fucks it up between his house and mine I get to walk away, plus I don't have to spend my evening wrangling a 470 pound stove. I'm going to drop it in my barn tonight, when I bring it in the house this weekend I only have a 2 step riser to get it in my back door, same room the stove will live.

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  21. #96
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    OK on to the topic of calculating how much wood you'll need. Best way I figure is I take the size of my fire box (2.3 cu. ft.) multiplied by the number of times it will need to be filled per day (2) and the resulting product is my daily usage, 4.6 cu. ft. Then knowing that a cord of wood is 128 cu. ft. in theory I should get about 28 days per cord if I run the stove 24/7. Sound about right?

    Now I can also probably assume that I'm not going to actually put 2.3 cu. ft. worth of wood in because of irregular shapes and air gaps. I also know that a cord of wood includes some air space, right? Do those two offset each other evenly? I'd assume there's probably more air space in my firebox than a cord of wood. Seems a cord per month is probably a safe bet?

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  22. #97
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    OK on to the topic of calculating how much wood you'll need. Best way I figure is I take the size of my fire box (2.3 cu. ft.) multiplied by the number of times it will need to be filled per day (2) and the resulting product is my daily usage, 4.6 cu. ft. Then knowing that a cord of wood is 128 cu. ft. in theory I should get about 28 days per cord if I run the stove 24/7. Sound about right?

    Now I can also probably assume that I'm not going to actually put 2.3 cu. ft. worth of wood in because of irregular shapes and air gaps. I also know that a cord of wood includes some air space, right? Do those two offset each other evenly? I'd assume there's probably more air space in my firebox than a cord of wood. Seems a cord per month is probably a safe bet?
    There's practically no way to accurately predict what you'll use in a season. There's just way too many factors. Wood moisture & density, outside temps, size of your splits, flu & chimney drafts, weather patterns...the list goes on & on. In all the years I've been doing this, we know generally how much we MAY need. However, there's been years when we've actually run out and years when we've had a surplus. In my opinion, you're better off getting a feel for it for a couple years rather than use scientific reasoning or mathematical equations. Once you have a basic feel of how much you'll need, get an extra cord every year from there on in...

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  23. #98
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove


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  24. #99
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    Re: Wood stove

    If the total area you're heating is 800 sq ft I'd say prepare 3 cord to start. I agree it will take a number of years for you to fully understand your fuel requirements.


    FWIW, I heat with ~5 cord/ yr, burning from Oct/Nov-ish to March-ish. Started at ~7 cord the first two years and found where and how to trim back.

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  25. #100
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Wood stove

    Yeah I get there's a ton of variables and I don't need to be down to a quarter cord accuracy. Just looking to see if you guys had a specific way you tried to estimate and that's the best I could come up with. Since I'm buying for the next couple of years I don't want to go overboard. Also with oil prices quite low it's not going to kill burn the furnace if I underestimate.

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