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    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

About to take the plunge and would appreciate some insight; Jotul, VC or ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Black Locust Burner, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

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    I disagree, The napoleon 1450 i had in my old house never spilled anything out the front door when i opened it and it was a much "cleaner" (mess-wise) stove to operate. My first year with the Oslo and i find it extremely annoying that front door is basically useless because of the mess it makes. It’s fine using the side door, but this limits you to E/W loading unless you want to burn your arms off trying to load shorties N/S, also makes logs rolling onto the glass a daily occurrence.
    With that said, I do love the stove, heats my entire 2100 sq foot house to the 70s when it’s in the negative numbers outside and is quiet attractive while doing it.

    I also never use the ashpan, i let the coals/ash build up in the firebox until they get too deep and then i shovel them out them out through the SIDE door (grrrr) leaving a little bit in the box.
    jotulguy likes this.

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  2. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    After seeing those photos, I think I need to go home and clean my hearth. There must be a half inch of ash on the ash lip.

    Black tile? Good God... you must dust it after every second reload!
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Slindo . . . ash definitely builds up behind the ash pan . . . and fairly easily. What I've found is my ash shovel (similar to the one below . . . but much cheaper) works pretty well as it is quite flat . . . after I remove the pan I make a few scoops into the ash pan box and drag out the ash . . . takes maybe 20 or so seconds to clean most of the ash/coals out.

    http://www.northlineexpress.com/fir...tools/18-mini-rope-design-shovel-wrm-02s.html
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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  5. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I'm no expert, but I would think the steel stove would be the harder one to be close to, they throw a ton of heat off them close by. I think the best material to be close to is Soapstone, then Cast Iron, then steel. Soap being the softwest heat, followed by cast and then steel.

    So why are you going away from Soapstone? If you want to/or have to be close to it, get soapstone. I've been suprised by how much heat the PH throws out in total, yet not much heat when close to it. I expected to feel more heat when close by, but I instead feel it heats the whole room. Which can be bad and good, depending on how you look at it. It puts a tramendous amount of heat out, with very little wood, but it does not blast you when close to it. One of the steel box type stoves I looked at was buring in the showroom and did the complete opposite. You could not stand anywhere near the thing.
  6. slindo

    slindo Member

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    This is what we did, brazing scrap of flat stock to an old spring-handled poker handle. Works great, and quickly. Jotul ought to include one with every Oslo, the way they give gloves with the Rangely.

    Hey, I just noticed woodsmansparts still has those mickey mouse flue pipe cats - I didn't know they still made them. Wonder how it would work to put one of them on an old Encore etc. with a blown cat and refractory package? Only $200 or so. Seems if VC had to put all that refractory in there to get the cat to work a simple flue pipe is unlikely to do the same job, but who knows? VC made some lovely stoves, but always did have a tendency to get too clever for their own good.


  7. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Hunting,
    Do you have TWO PH's? Both hearths your pictured have a similar design to them with the extra space to the left for wood storage. I love that idea, wish I had done something like that.
  8. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Jotul lae hee hoo! Running the F600 for 2400 sq ft. Not including the basement where the stove is located. Monster heater and looks dang nice!
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    If it looks so nice, why are you hiding the beast in the basement? ;lol
  10. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    That was where the thimble was located when the house was built. Also, I am not looking for a 90 degree living room. The 76 degree kitchen, 72 degree living room and 66 degree second floor bedrooms works quite nicely for us.

    Edit: someday the basement will be finished.
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  11. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    You and I seem to be havin the same experiences even tho different stoves.....I compared and I think our stoves are very close in many ways.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Don't confuse the capacitive effect of soapstone with comfort at a particular distance. Saying soapstone is the "softest" heat is true in that it has an enormous capacitive effect, to store energy without experiencing as much temperature rise during the hottest part of the burn cycle, this energy being radiated over a longer time later in the burn cycle. In that regard, soapstone will see less temperature rise during the early part of the burn cycle, but that's often the opposite of what people want. When bringing a cold room up, or sitting in front of the stove on a cold night, it's most often the searing radiant heat that you want to feel! When you hear people talk about how wood heat feels different, despite your room being nearly the same temperature as with central heating, this is usually the reason. Cooler on one end of the room, with strong radiant heat coming from the stove... feels great to us humans, for some reason. The folks at Woodstock realized this several years back, when they started putting large glass panels in their stoves, now providing the best of both worlds.

    More importantly, when someone talks about being roasted out of a room, they're rarely talking about the searing heat radiating from the front of a stove. They're usually talking about the ambient temperature in the room being too high. A hot stove radiating in a cooler room can feel wonderful, but 80 degrees ambient feels like 80 degrees ambient (fill in whatever temperature is "too warm" for you), whether driven by soapstone, cast, or steel. In fact, one could very easily argue that soapstone has the most trouble in this regard, with enormous energy storage and inertia. You can feel the effect from and quickly correct a very responsive steel stove. With soapstone, you have to better anticipate where things are headed, as that high specific heat mass will continue to heat you for some time after you've decided you're too warm and turn down the air.

    So, soapstone is a great material for stoves, but like all others, it also has its disadvantages.
    Black Locust Burner likes this.
  13. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    No I got me a Volgelzang Performer stove, onsale for $600 , took me less than a year of saving on the electric bill to pay for the thing.

    The stuff I said was from everything I have read on here about the Wood Stock and their stoves.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Having owned both, I think top-loading is a bit overrated, but if it's a priority I would suggest looking at the Jotul F50 Rangeley. The Jotul F50 is a cast iron, jacketed, steel stove (top loading) that will be radiant in front, but much less so off the side. It's similar to the PE Alderlea series. You are correct that the F600 or Isle Royale is going to be highly radiant. Look at the stove clearance requirements without shields. Of these two stoves, only the Isle Royale is top loading. The F600 is a side and front loader. (Note, an unjacketed steel stove will have similar radiant properties as a full cast iron stove.)
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  15. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I don't confuse that at all. I agree 100% with all you posted, your dead on. That's why in my post I said "which could be a good, or bad thing", that is exactly what I was referring to. ;) The reason for my comment was, the OP was asking for a stove that did not burn him out sitting close to the stove. The soapstone is good at that, while that is an area steel is not good at.

    I have noticed, it can take a while (1 or even 2 hours) before you really start heating the room up from the PH after starting a cold start fire. As you mentioned, you can feel the radiant heat immediately if you are right in front of the glass, but not anywhere else until all that mass starts heating up. In my case, I notice first the firebox needs to heat up (15 mins), then the cast iron and soapstone (30 mins to 1 hour depending on how big/hot I make the fire), and then the hearth stone (1/2" slate tiles on floor and walls) need to be warmed up as well, before my room really starts to bake. It does take some planning, and if you overdue it trying to "rush" it, you will bake yourself out of the room later because again as you mentioned, even if you tone the fire down it will be a while before those affects are felt and all that mass will continue heating for a long time. I've noticed 2 or 3 hours after the fire is completely out, the stove is still heating as if there is a raging fire in there. This makes for a very easy re-start if required, the hot stove (with no coals or fire) re-starts very quickly and heats immediately. The cold start takes a while. The PH is definitely better suited to continuous burning I think.
    Joful and Huntindog1 like this.
  16. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    You know, when I was researching my purchase especially on here (hearth.com) I read alot of comments on how nice the top load is and for a short period was shopping for a top loader. I found just about every dealer would first try and sell the top load feature: "It's a top loader, makes it very easy, no bending over especially when you get older....". But then when questioned on it further, and they got to know you a bit better and started opening up more honestly seeing you had no preference, most of them started saying: "it's really not that great, and many people aren't that happy with them after getting them because you often get more smoke on reload, have to reach directly over a hot fire...".

    Now that I have real experience loading a hot side loader, I really can't image having to open the top to load. I don't think I would like that at all. I can see the benifit of not having to bend so much, but I would think having to open the top of a hot stove would outweigh having to bend over or kneel down a bit to re-load.
  17. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I don't know that I agree about the suitability of PH for less than continuous burn.

    A small cottage for weekend use would heat quickly with this stove...maybe a large weekend use home in a very cold climate would do better with a different stove. However, how many people have a large weekend use home that doesn't have some auxillary heat during the week? If not, one must drain all water everytime one leaves....When I leave my (large) home in the winter, I leave electric heat on in the basement and the bathrooms, set at 40 degrees. Just returned from a ten day absence to 50 degree home. Took an hour to get the stove room to 60..10 degrees in an hour is pretty good. Stove room is 46x32. Second floor in one hour was 56 degrees. I should mention I arrived in late afternoon, 14 degrees F out, heavy wind from the North, and temperatures plummeting. Was 25 below the next day, so the stove did that in an hour in challenging conditions.

    Shoulder season, I light one small fire a day, few splits, and the house stays very comfortable. Certainly don't burn continuously until sometime in late November, and this stove works just fine for me.

    Also, leave for extended periods not infrequently during the heating season...sometimes as often as once a month. No problem getting the home quickly from anywhere from 40-50 up to 65. Second fire gets the home over 70. Could get it to 70 faster, if I burned hot and fast, and reloaded after the first fire after about six hours. However, I usually get the fire going, feed people, unpack essentials, walk the dog and go to bed, so light a regular winter fire, get it hot, then set it for a long slow burn so it will burn overnight. Comfortable for sleeping, then get the stove up to normal room temp with my second fire.
  18. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    What is this in reference to? The OP is at 2,300 sq ft. with an old drafty section of the home to heat. Where are you getting "small cottage" from?
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    No smoke. It's no different than reaching into a front loading stove. Stove isn't that hot on reloads. It is more comfortable than reaching into the back of the 30, which is a front load. Side load annoyed me as it was more difficult rearranging the splits when compared to a front or top loader.

    In the end, it is just one of many ways to design a stove. I've operated all three versions. Front loading works the best for me at this point for packing a tight stove, but I singe my arms and hands more from having my hands/arms closer to the coals. Side loading is third.
    Joful likes this.
  20. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Should have added "for a continuous burn". Was replying to what was, at the time I was writing, the previous post. Another post got posted in between.

    I do feel the PH is an appropriate stove for a 2300 square foot home, drafty or not. Any drafty 2300 square foot home will be challenging for any stove.

    I believe the PH heating abilities are suited to less than continuous burn, and believe it will heat a smaller occasionally used home very quickly. A large (2200 or greater sq. ft.) totally unheated home would take a while to get from ambient temp; my point was that very few homes that large are left completely unheated in below freezing climates because of the necessity to drain the home everytime one leaves, and antifreeze the bathrooms and washer, etc...A large home kept at 40 to 50 degrees is easy to bring to a comfortable ambient temperature quickly with the PH.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Why are we off on this tangent? The OP made it clear he wants a top loading stove. This is not a part-time cottage and have you ever tried to warm up a 40-50F, 2000 sq ft house and it's contents in the winter with a stove? It is not a quick process, even with an oversized stove. Woodstock is a great company and the PH is a nice looking stove but it is not the universal panacea and sometimes not always all it's cracked up to be. They appear to still be working some of the bugs out of this stove. Let's get back to the OP's questions.
  22. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    OK, it is off topic, so I'll respond to your question and then cease. I regularly heat my three story 46x 32 home in zone 5 from an ambient temperature of 40-50: about once a month during the winter. After the home is empty for 7 to 14 days, with the basement (an additional 46x32) heated to an electric thermostat temp of 40, and the three bathrooms with doors shut set to 40 in the house, and all other electric heat off, it takes me an hour to get most of the first floor from 50 to 60, the second floor to 56. The rest of the details are in a post higher up in this thread, if you wish to read them.
  23. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I have no experience with the other two obviosuly, but with the side loading, I've never had to put my hands or arms over any fire or even hot coals. I'm holding the end of a split in my hand, and simply slide it straight in lenghtwise, once your hand is a few inches into the stove, you drop/place the split. I find it pretty easy and safe. I can image front loading being easy as well, except when trying to reach the rear split (assuming e-w loading).

    Where does the smoke go when top loading? I beleive you, I just can't picture that.....

    I wasn't saying it's "not suited" for it per say, just that I think it is better suited to continuous burning. It does take a while to heat it up, so cold starting it constantly could be an issue if quick heat is normally required.


    Yes, but possibly a discussion on the plusses and minues of other types could make the OP re-think what he really wants/needs. As you well know, I certainly did that several times in my search, and I'm glad I did or I would have ended up buying something completely different than what I really needed. ;)
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Scot, I think the limiting factor is going to be the corner install clearances. A side loading stove is out here. For a corner install in a top loader with good clearances, the Rangeley seems like the best fit or the Isle Royale. Both would require a double-wall connector. Of the two, the IR is the more radiant stove. If you want more choices in a 3 cu ft stove that will fit here, I think you will have to consider a front loader or if the stove mfg. permits, adding proper wall shielding to reduce clearances.
    Black Locust Burner likes this.
  25. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Yep my suggestion of the side loading Woodstock Progress Hybrid sounds like it wont work due to the corner install location.

    I was mainly suggesting it as in if he was going to spend some big bucks thats one of the more technological advanced stoves with the Hybrid technology.

    You never know depending on the install some side loading stoves might work if someone wanted to check into it.

    But lots of stoves out there and lots of possibilities.

    Woodstock got a new stove and maybe new technology coming out and should be getting some info on it soon they say. It might be worth checking into it, might be front loading.

    I am a sucker for hi tech so thats the way I lean. If I got the money.

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