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Am I crazy for wanting a "Classic" woodstove?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by bigbear, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. bigbear

    bigbear Member

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    I currently have a 4 year old Harman TL 300 in my house that I do not like. It does not put out heat like I am accustomed to with other woodstoves. My dealer actually had to remove my stove today to repair it. I offered to sell it back to him and cut my losses and move on to another stove. We have an old Schrader in our hunting camp that heats like nobody's business. A few of the guys I work with have old Kodiaks and Alaskas. If I can dump this harman am I nuts for wanting a no bells, no catalytic this, no that, no whistles, crap that can just go wrong. I need heat and don't care how I get it.

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  2. jreed

    jreed Member

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    I dont think you are crazy...in fact Im inching your way as well. I bought a new stove to replace my old Alaska and cant get the heat I need either.
  3. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    It's an adjustment, and I sympathize. My Blaze King is great for 6 out of the 8 months I burn. BUT,..those two months when it's really cold, I still miss that old Timberline. That thing put out some heat.
    Try a big radiant heater- NC-30 comes to mind.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    jreed has a 30. And a basement install heating problem.

    Crank it up jreed. It ain't gonna split down the middle.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    A footnote. Folks that have been burning in the old stoves without a door glass always get nervous rocking an EPA stove with a view of the fire. Think they are overfiring, think they are wasting wood with all of that flame etc. Nothing going on in front of your face that wasn't going on in that old stove that you couldn't see when it was putting out the same heat. And all of those flames are stuff that was going up the pipe un-burned before.
  6. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    This will probably get a reaction out of the mods (they hate hearing about my old stove) but my old stove can kick my summit's ass for heat, now that I am running it in the shop I know why I like it so well, heats up very quickly and puts out a ton of heat, so with good burning practices and a fairly tight house the old stoves (some of them) work great.
    I am sure it uses more wood but a big block chevy uses more gas then a small block chevy.:)
    UncleJoe and jjs777_fzr like this.
  7. jreed

    jreed Member

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    LOL! If I could get it cranked I would :) Getting myself a half dozen old pallets that Im going to mix in...hopefully that does the trick. I cant seem to get the thing consistently over 250*...Im sure it's my wood.
  8. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

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    I think you're crazy. With good wood they work great!
  9. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    250 stove top? Thats no good, I can get the summit up to 700 or so, its not your stove.
  10. jreed

    jreed Member

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    On ocassion I can get it up to 400 but rarely and it doesnt last.

    But, I can sympathize with bigbear...my old stove cranked the heat out. Im sure this on will do as well once I get it and my wood dialed in.
    JohnKoP likes this.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Give it air and burn it like the old one.
    WiscWoody and oldspark like this.
  12. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    No more crazy than I am. I have had my Buck for over 30 years and won't part with it until it dies. I have another stove that is EPA rated and I will not dispute technology. It is amazing. The old stove is quicker to heat and will out heat the new stove, and does not use more wood than the new stove.

    That said, hang in there, maybe you will figure the thing out and get it rockin. This forum can help you do that. The new stoves can be great heaters, use less wood, and put out far less emissions.
  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    "The old stove is quicker to heat and will out heat the new stove, and does not use more wood than the new stove"
    Just for fun over the holidays I am going to do a comparrision between my 2 stoves, start with the same amount and type of wood and keep track of the temperatures (both stove top and stack) and how long the fires last.
    WiscWoody and tfdchief like this.
  14. vasten

    vasten Member

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    I just came across your post because I am researching a new stove. I had a small regency wood stove that I heated with for yrs. I then decided I wanted a large stove and found a magnolia stove looks beautiful ... this is my second season with it and last night my son looked at me and asked if we could put the old 1.3 cu ft regency stove back in because it heated better.

    So to answer your question I don't think you are nuts I am looking at getting out of epa stoves and going to fisher or timberline
    I will start my own post here as well.
  15. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    I have a classic earth stove, and it heated well, but burned a lot of wood in the process, and filled the chimney with creosote. I will admit that the wood burned through it was not as dry as it should have been, so maybe not fair, but there is no way I would go back to that old stove. No glass to see the fire, not as much air control, and made the room it was in too hot. My cousin is using that stove, and the dining room it is in is extremely hot so that the back rooms will have at least a bit of heat.

    I would not call anyone crazy for going back to an old stove, but if I had a good epa stove that was not heating the way it should, I would be trying everything possible to make it work properly before going back to a classic stove.
  16. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    No its not really fair and you see it mentioned on here many times, good dry wood and not smoldering the fire by keeping track of flue temps and you will have little creosote.
    My old stove heated my house well below 0, the new one does not, smaller stove though.
  17. vasten

    vasten Member

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    Well I took the plunge I accepted an offer a guy extended to me last yr to try out his Vermont castings vigilant. This guy bought itbrand new from the factory in 79-80... and still looks new. So with that being said.

    I installed it necking it down from 8 in oval to 6 in round. I can burn it with the doors open in fireplace mode. I can load it with zero smoke roll out. Where my magnolia would set off the smokealarm daily.
    So using the same wood same burning style I am getting 7-800 griddle temps and 600 max flue temps. I have stopped using the space heater in my bedroom and the kerosene heater in the adjacent room. The stove can hold a true overnight burn where I come down and still have splits still burning in the morning

    When I pulled the old epa stove out I found the chimney to have at least a half in of creosote on the pipe it was so bad the brush got stuck in the pipe when I tried to clean it. Even though the glass was clean the flue temps couldn't stay hot enough to keep creosote from forming.

    So in a nut shell I am very happy with my old non spa smoke dragon and have already put my epa stove up for sale on craigslist

    I don't worry about creosote because the flue
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You're a lucky man to find a low mileage Vigilant. This was a revolutionary stove in its day. With a true secondary burn system it is not exactly a smoke dragon. Keep burning dry wood though or watch the flue for creosote, particularly in milder weather when you have it dialed back.
  19. vasten

    vasten Member

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    It is funny when I was researching this stove I was told it wasa ddangerous smoke dragon. And I find it to be the opposite with the ability to hold higher flue temps and the veritcle horizontal options plus the thermostatic controlled damper I really like. Because unlike a conventional stove that you have to keep watching ..as the stove heats up it closes and opens as it cools to give you a more consistent burn... so if this is unsafe by today's standards I'll take it... again I am amazed by the technology that went into this stove 30 plus yrs ago
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not sure where the comparison to modern stoves is coming from. I load our modern EPA stove and watch it for 15-30 minutes and then don't touch it again for 6-8 hrs. This is pretty typical for a current 2-3 cu ft stove. There are some dogs out there, but they are few and die and smaller in sales these days. That said thermostatic dampers are nice. They are on a few new stoves but not enough. I'd like to see this option on a lot more stoves.
    tfdchief likes this.
  21. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    EPA standards have nothing to do with safety.
  22. vasten

    vasten Member

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    OK I should clarify that I am not referring to not " actual" safety but perceived safety of these older stoves. I am finding they heat really well and are more impressive than the epa stoves I have encountered.
    tfdchief likes this.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I had the brother of that stove, the Resolute and never considered it to be a safety issue when correctly installed. VC was a leader in stove design back then. They were premium priced and considered the best back in the late 70s for good reason. Their integrity was never questioned. Safety comes with correctly installing and operating a well made stove. It's the same story today as it was when the Vigilant was made.
    tfdchief likes this.
  24. vasten

    vasten Member

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    I agree I think the innovations he put into this stove was far a head of its time. And it works seems to be as safe as any other stove. Sorry to have hijacked the thread but topic was new vs old
  25. valley ranch

    valley ranch Feeling the Heat

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    Interesting thread. Sounds like we have a consensus here. There are some great well made stoves out there to be had, stoves that have been around for years. You have to find the right one, and one large enough for your needs.

    Richard
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
    tfdchief likes this.

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