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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    It was about this time last year that I saw the writing on the wall and seriously began my wood stove search and found Hearth.com. My first thoughts were on Pellet stoves, but I found pellets to be way too expensive, and not much of a cost savings over oil given that pellets were going for 300/ton at the time, and not very available. I began hacking at the huge Oak tree in the yard and thought that I could easily have wood for a year of more out of that, so I began stackin it up on boards and neat piles and my thoughts went to coal, then quickly to wood.

    My neighbor had about 8 cords of wood and has an Avalon stove that heats her house, and I began thinking...the Sh** will hit the fan on oil prices. Then as I began reading this site it became clear that wood heat wasn't JUST a cost savings, but also and environmental benefit. Coal was quickly out, plus installing a coal stove would have been VERY hard to do in my home.

    So...

    Craig....thanks for operating this site. You've done a very good job with it.

    To the many folks who post here:
    Notables in my decision:
    Elkimeg - a wealth of info and made my install much safer.
    Eric Johnson - Made me realize that you can cut 12 cords in a year, and it's really not that much wood, plus it's kinda fun.
    Roo, Corie, Sandor, Lime4x4 (where are you these days), MSG, Bruce56bb, begreen, dylan, BrotherBart,Harryback, FrankIvy (Where is Frank these days?)babalu,donCT,Willhound, and I'm sure I'm missing a lot of others. - thanks for all the advise and input.

    To the newer folks who are where I was last year... - Listen to EVERY thing these folks are saying. If you do, you'll end up with a very happy situation, and be doing your part for using domestically produced and environmentally responsible way to heat your home and enjoy your stove/fireplace/ etc...

    Good work everyone!!!!!

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  2. hilly

    hilly Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Well said Warren. Not only are the people on here very knowledgeable, but they are very kind as well. Thanks everyone!
  3. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    917
    Loc:
    Deltaville,VA
    We all get testy at times, but that just means we care.

    Amen Warren, great post.

    And Gid, tell Frank he opened my eyes to many things.
  4. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,859
    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    What I think we are going to see more of now in this community is more of "US" as we were last year . Lots of questions , some more debate . As a lot of issues have been covered already it will be easy to tell the new members "awe , do a search" and get grumpy about the same old questions . This should not be so because it tends to scare off new members and or are afraid to ask as it is sometimes hard to join a "new" group ( new to them ) As new members to come along we need to remember this is a community with new members and some of us ole hacks and to welcome new members as we felt welcome as the new Forum was started . Great web site forum as hearth.com , lot of great people , lots of great information . Lots of safty issues have been addressed and new install questions have been answered . And we all found out that the Pacific Energy Summit stove will burn 2 logs for a 20 hours burn time and keep your house warm when its -10° outside . Keep on keepen on. Good post Warren .
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,352
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    This darn site. Like I said a few months ago, for years and years I just whacked some trees, split the stuff and forgot about it until winter.

    Now this site has got me lining chimneys, repairing stoves and reading here about wood every day of the week.

    Eeeeeek!
  6. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    517
    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    Interestingly Warren and I have nearly identical timing, and from what I've gathered, are only about 30 minutes apart or less.

    Same story for me last summer - finally decided to see if a chimney would really fit where I thought it might. In fact, it was about one year ago exactly that JP Chimney installed our class A chimney. Good guy with very fair prices and thorough explanations over e-mail - something few contractors are willing to do, and a big plus for me with a busy day job.

    Come August it was time to start installing floor protection, tile, and a backerboard spaced from the wall. The tile places in town were exorbitant - ended up ordering some slate through a place in NYC, picking it up out at a Newburgh trucking terminal. A $77 wet saw from Lowes and I was off cutting my 1/2" slate 12x12s into 6x12s and 6x6s to do an interlocking pattern for the backdrop of the woodstove. A long month with a return of the wet saw after the motor burned out...

    Finally in September, our trip up to NH to pick up the stove at the factory!!! Camped at Ascutney Mt. State Park Friday night, picked up the stove Saturday, and stayed another night camping Saturday night. Highly recommend the campground in late Sep - cool nights, and very quiet. Really nice facilities from the depression-era works projects.

    At last in early October the stove was connected up and the burn in came. (not without some confusion over stove pipe clearances that were more restrictive than stove clearance that finally sent us to double wall - highly recommended...)

    Over the course of the season we burned about 3 cords of wood and saw our oil bill drop over $800 compared to prior years, and the whole time we enjoyed indoor temperatures about 4 degrees warmer throughout the house. I also dropped about 10 lbs. since this project started - combination of taking up tennis again in the warm months and cutting/splitting/stacking/hauling wood in the winter months to stay active all year.

    Wall tile was finally grouted in April - did I forget to mention we couldn't stop burning long enough to get in there and finish that part of the job? :)

    Best thing we've done yet with our place and I'm SO glad I found these forums. At first I thought soapstone stoves were just an oddity - turned out the more I looked and read posts/reviews that Woodstock makes a really solid product that I recommend to anyone. In fact, good friends of ours installed one last Dec. with similar satisfaction. Glass stays clean, drafts strong, phenomonal burn control, holds coals 12 hrs+, easy to maintain catalyst and hardly a drop of soot to be found in the chimney.

    -Colin
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,629
    Loc:
    Northern Colorado Mountains
    Im a new here compared to all you old salts. I was very excited this spring when i found this place. I realy like to help people, and i have learned alot here over the months. Its funny, when you work in the same shop for so many years, and you never get out, you get in a habit of the same speil, same routine, and same answers, weither there wrong or right. I have found this form a wealth of information, its made me a better stove guy, its made my shop better, and i feel like i can give customers here more accurate information. This place realy makes the saying "you learn something new every day" true.
  8. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    How did you make out with Honey Elk says we need a trailer? good post till you put it down in prose most was taken for grant it

    I forget how many years ago for me. Dylan has the longest tenure, beside Craig. I have hung around long enought to see attitude change with a concerted effort of most geared towards safety. It was not always that way I got involved in epic debates. Little by little backed by codes common sense and posters willing to do it right, this forum /site has evolved. Most regular posters have educated themselves and that makes this the best site on the web for hearth issues the posters transend age s gender all are treated with respect. Thanks to Corie Shane and the younger participants for caring and setting the example for the younger guard..

    Nokita I know you are out there watching and monitoring the site along with many other female menbers including Webwidow. thought she might just be checking on with Craig.

    What can I say about Mo the most entertaining post written analized as only mo can. That flash of light one is classic..

    Quickest wit or fastest retort BB as only BB can digest and report it

    Finally Our Webmaster who had the dream and made it happen. making it all possible. Without his vission there is no hearth.com
    At some time he and I will meet, both with real strong personalities but a lot of common ground Respect is earned not granted Whether I agree with Craig at all times he has my respect as do many posters here. I cannot think of one regular poster I have a problem with, all bring a differnt perspective and background into the mix here. Thanks Craig
  9. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Loc:
    Bristol, Connecticut
    You all know my sob story, but I thought I'd chime in here with a hearty Thank You!!!

    Everyone here has something to contribute to the community as everyones heating needs are different. And I wouldn't have been able to get my hearth and stove done without a TON of help and guidance. I really can't wait for late fall/winter to fire up my stove for my first winter as an official wood burner. The fiance should be very happy with the improved indoor temps :) Plus I should shave an easy $200-250/mo off my electric bill.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    No group hug at ESPN, Cost Harold Reynolds his job
  11. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,629
    Loc:
    Northern Colorado Mountains
    the other place i hang out in is The Art of Problem Solving , ther are no group hugs there, only 7th graders that will pound you in the sand in mathmatics. I feel like the village idiot in that place.
  12. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    awww shucks :)


    Glad I could help.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,066
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Almost a year ago I had just installed the new Jotul 3CB. I'd been on Hearth.com several times in the years before, but mostly for the stove reviews, either posting or researching. The reviews helped me decide to rebuild our 602 in 1999 and definitely influenced my purchase of the Quad 1200i in 2000.

    When I found my new Jotul wasn't burning up to snuff, I contacted a few other 3CB owners and by comparing experiences determined that most 3CBs were burning just fine and were good heaters. The dealer and Jotul tech support were giving up and I needed answers or a new stove. Poking around for an answer to my problem led me to discover the bulletin board. That gave me a sounding board to test ideas and questions with friendly folks, many of which knew what they were talking about. Eventually this led me to having a eureka moment and discover that I not set the stove top correctly when I knocked out the rear vent port. Once that was fixed I had a totally different stove.

    About the same time there was a lot of interest in pellet stoves so I hung around for a bit to share what I'd gathered over time. Then Craig brought in the great new forum and about 1100 posts later, the rest is history. I've learned a lot here and enjoyed the company. Thanks so much Craig for the support and contributions and thanks to all for the help, lively discussions and fireside chats. Looking forward to another heating season where wood, efficiency and common sense trumps big oil.
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    :) :lol: :cheese: :coolgrin: :snake:

    The forum is so cool......
    The real power of the net, as some have said all along, is the empowering of all the people on the network. The sharing of information that results proves no man (or woman) is an island and is a testament to what we used to call "the group head".

    I agree that hearth dealers have a good decade ahead. Too bad I am not one any longer. I keep making less and less from hearth.com - not because it is worth less, but because I am lazy when it comes to sales and would rather spend time improving the site and arguing with Ivyism. Maybe someday I'll get a ad sales manager.

    It will be interesting to watch the Forum this season, as we only started the new one at the end of Nov. 2005. We hit the peak of 68 visitors at one time on April 1, 2006. That might not sound like a lot, but it is considering those people were here at the same exact minute. Let's look to break that record.

    The amazing thing is that you can find out about much more than stoves. Have a building problem - Elk is your man! Chemists, engineers....and now Giddy, a foundry guy? Give it up, Giddy - are you pouring iron?
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,066
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Yes, the forum really has made this a second home for some of us. Great stuff. I think the next phase should be getting the review section updated. This is what many folks want before chosing a stove. I'd be happy to assist if you need some design, review or testing help.
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Since everything starts as a thought, I'd love to hear what an ideal review setup looks like.

    I know the graphics and interface (design) can be beefed up, but more interested in the actual information that might be missing, etc.
  17. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  18. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,226
    Loc:
    Lake Wissota
    Dido, This site is great and I have learned so much. Thanks all. BTW How old is Hearthnet? I think I visited this site in the mid 90's a few times?
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,066
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Off the top of my head I'd like to see:
    Mandatory fields
    Stove manufacturer,
    model,
    year of stove,
    year of installation,
    location (city,state)
    radio button choice: rate stove satisfaction 1-5 (1=low, 5=super),
    rate dealer satisfaction 1-5

    Recommended fields:
    Dealer name,
    chimney info - metal or mortar, interior or exterior
    Favorite features
    Least liked features
    Comments
  20. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,629
    Loc:
    Northern Colorado Mountains
    Gideon, you are exactly right, thats the biggest problems with stove reviews. The stove is only one half the equation. And the dealer rating goes hand in hand with that. Lets say you bought a stove installed it your self, you woulndt buy enogh chimney, the stove doest draft properly, you blame the stove and dealer for selling you a bum product.

    There are to many varibles in stoves to get even a close relaible review. For instance, the stove in my shop is the exact same stove that i have at home. Mine at home burns signifcantly better then the one in the shop. Mine is on a proper size flue, the one in the shop is on a 8" flue, and sucks the stove so hard that i cant even get a 3 hour burn time. Mine at home gets 5-6. If i were rating the stove in my shop i would give it a 6 out of 10. the one at home i would give a 9. People have a hard time believing that chimneys are important, and therefor i dont think you will ever get a accurate stove review. Not one singe installation acts the same, to many varibles like negative pressure, oversized chimneys, undersized stove, fuel quality, personal firemaking ability, screwey venting systems etc etc.

    They only way you can realy get a grip on stoves is to burn them in a lab. Having that said, as far as a dealer review, not to fair to only get one side of the equation. And we all know there is ALWAYS to sides to the story. I guess i would get a bad review if someone bought a pellet stove from me, and took it out of my service area, and expected me to fix it under warrenty. Not saying that all dealers are good, its just not equal when both parties dont have the chance to present the facts.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,066
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It would be great to get more reliable reviews. That's why I wanted to know the state, type of chimney, etc. There are lots of variables and sometimes user disatisfaction has little to do with the stove and a lot to do with the installation or the user. I like the idea of adding a radio button selection for installation - self or pro. However, one is unlikely to get every rater to fill out every detail. That's why I separated required from desired fields.
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,352
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Being an old applications developer I say it has to be catorgized some way:

    1. Manufacturer (catagory)
    2. Model (catagory)
    3. Cost, stove and installation
    4. Area heated
    5. Chimney setup.
    6. Problems
    7. Pros
    8. Cons

    Face it guys. A lot of things can screw up a stove's performance but if one stove/manufacturer is consistently in the dumper in the reviews it ain't the dealer and it ain't the chimney it is the stove.

    Leave the dealer out of the reviews. Most cover maybe a hundred mile area at most and the impression with them is meaningless on a site that is available to the world. If the dealer screwed up it will end up in the "cons".

    If ya gonna review stoves, review stoves.

    Example:

    Manufactuer: Pacific Energy.
    Model: Summit Insert.
    Cost: $2,900 stove. $700 installation.
    Area Heated: Northern New Jersey.
    Chimney Setup: Exterior masonary chimney with stainless steel liner
    Problems: Not using enough wood.
    Pros: Burns for four weeks on five splits of wood, washes my car and my kid's acne cleared up as soon as I had the first fire in October.
    Cons: What I am I going to do with all of this left over wood.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,066
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Agree on most all except the dealer info Bart. It may be local, but to folks in the neighborhood buying a stove, this is helpful info. Also, i want to know if the person is trying to heat more or less than the stove is specced for in their climate zone.
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,352
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Craig is going to lose enough sponser money from the reviews. The dealer lawsuits will kill him.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,066
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I don't think so. Craig has no power over user posted opinions. I've read several posted negative dealer opinions on the current reviews. Craig seems to be surviving ok.
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