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Andirons inside a "glass" front stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Harley, May 10, 2006.

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  1. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Still going to be doing a SS chimney liner this year but now you guys got me thinking about going to the 6" versus the 8" I was previously thinking about (adding to the possibilities of different stoves).

    Now, as I think about some of the other possibilities, as I get ready to replace the old Vigilant (was considering only the defiant, or encore, mainly because of the top loading, and my "brand loyalty") I did a lot of looking around (online), and am now heavily leaning to the Hearthstone - most likely the Heritage, maybe the Mansfield, depending on what the mason says when he gets here to see how he can get the liner down through. It may be real tight to do the Mansfield, and still keep the required clearance on the hearth - but we'll see what he can do.

    Now to the question - looking at just about every online picture of different models, I did notice something, which may or may not warrant any concern on my part. It seems that most "glass front", or stoves where you can view the fire do not have andirons either built in, or as an option. The only ones I've seen them in are VC or Woodstock soapstone - maybe a few more, but not many. Doesn't the burning wood have a chance to roll down and hit the glass? Is this a potential problem, or just something you may have to be careful of while loading?, or not an issue at all?

    Lastly, maybe a question to DonCT, and Mountainstoveguy (Both very nice install pics by the way) - the main "bad" comments in the review section of the Heritage seemed to point to the ash pan, and that it doesn't seem to have a good design to work really well (but, hey... I'm used to shoveling out to clean ashes), so I'm not really bothered by that - just wondering what your experience has been - as well as overall with the stove.

    OK.... now this is really the last question, and sorry for getting off topic about the andirons.... there was a previous post about QC at Hearthstone and being the result of getting rid of (warehouse manager?). I don't remember who posted that, but have things improved or deteriorated since then?

    Thanks, and my appologies to the moderator... I didn't mean for this topic to go off in all directions by my questions.

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Thank you for the compliment.
    You will love a stone stove. I dont have issues with logs rolling in front, but thats because the way i load it. Occasionaly one does roll forward and when it does i use the sideload. Andirons are only good for top loaders in my opinion. The mansfield is designed to be loaded from front to back, so no problem with log rolling there. The ash pan is useless. I shovel. I havent seen any ash pan design that i consider worthy. I think the manufactures put them there because consumeres ask for them. You will love the thermal mass properties of soapstone stoves, its wonderfull.
    I poseted the comment about the warehouse manager, the problems we had were mostly gas related, and handle related for woodstoves. If your woodstove has 2 set screws, you wont have a problem. IF your handel has one, then you might have a problem and hearthstone will take care of it. I have never had any stone warrenty issues, but i have had a bad frame casting once this year, but thats one out of 114 hearthstone stoves we sold. Not bad. Any stove you choose you will love, for get brand name and just focus on what type of heating properties you want, they all exist for different situations.
  3. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    In the few fires I've had, I haven't had a problem with the ash pan. It may take a few wiggles, but it generally does a good job of clearing out the unwanted ash.

    As far as the andirons go, I've had a few logs roll down and hit the front glass. The most it will do is mark up the glass and would have to be cleaned (if your anal about clean glass like me). Like MSG, if they roll to the glass, I just load from the side, another nice feature of the Heritage. I think you would be very happy with the Heritage if you chose to go with it. It doesn't work well for quick fires, but it will clean up the competition, IMHO, when it comes to overall heat output and comfort. I have mine installed in my living room and the floor plan is not very open. The soapstone keeps the room from getting cooked out, while providing heat for a good 4-5 hours after the coals die down. In the short time I've fired it, I've had coal up to 14 hours later that I could stoke to build on.

    The QC on my Heritage has been great. No defects noticed so far. And they even shipped my touch up enamle overnight!!!

    I can't wait for winter this year to see what difference it will make in my heating bills. I already know it will keep me nice and toasty, which is something my heatpump wasn't able to do in the middle of winter.

    .02 given :)
  4. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    The ashpan in my Regency was worthless. Shoveling out for a 4am reload WAS NOT FUN.

    The ashpan in my Woodstock is excellent and very useful. Open ashpan door, slide out tray, dump in "cute" little steel trashcan, replace tray in stove, and done!

    The ashpan in friends VC Resolute also works fine.

    MSG, there are ashpan designs that are worthy and useful. Based on my Regency experience, I would not own a stove without a functionable ash pan.
  5. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for your input Guys!!!

    I think that's the direction I'll be heading. I have to take the bike down for service this weekend, maybe I'll stop in at the stove shops, and start taking a look at them in person. Then it's going to be waiting for the mason to get here to do the work.
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I had an Efel Belgium made stove, where logs rolled and I constantly replaced glass. . I fixed that problem using a couple protruding 3/8" bolts to protect the glass. I drilled and nutted in place.

    Two features I like the most is the top smokeless loading option, in this case andirons are a must. I also like the swing out ash pan with a handle cover, makes for a wife pleasing clean ash removal. Both wife pleasers no smoke or ash spillage.
    Now if only there was a top loading cat soap stone stove, with a rear exit fule collar less than 28.5 " I would have it.
    I do not need a quick warm up, when running 24/7
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Dont you still have to sweep the ashes in the pan before you can empty it? I feel that its a extra step. I also feel like that there is another place for air to leak through the ashpan, so i like it completly cemented in. I dont have to shovel more then once every two weeks anyway. I like my firebox full of ash, it burns cleaner and hotter with at least a inch in the bottem. I shure as heck woundt have cleaned it out at 4 am even if the ashes were spilling out the flue collar! Im not awake enough at 4 am to even light a fire! personally wouldnt make ash pan design a deciding factor in my stove decision, but to each his own right? Sandor i will do this, im going down to the regency dealer and see wahts so special about there ash pan design, there all similar from what i have seen, i just personaly dont like them.
  8. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Did you actually seal the ash pan closed, MSG? Do you think that would necessarily be a air leaking area? Wouldn't just checking the gaskets be good enough every once in a while, even if you don't use it?
  9. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    i didnt actually cement it in, i just havent cleaned it out in over two seasons. Im shure its so packed with ash that it would be a chore at this point to get it out. One thing for shure is that i know it doenst leak air, not that stoves have a problem with that, but gaskets on the ash pan wear like any other gasket on the stove.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I like the idea of the bolts to prevent the logs from rolling out, like onto the floor.
  11. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    andirons are great, as long as they flip down for easy loading of large wood. You will usually find andirons on top load units, and some side load, rarley on front load only units.
  12. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Harley, don't worry if wood falls and hits your glass. Can't find my post I describe it, but it's not actually glass it's see-through ceramic invented by NASA. It has a higher melting point than your stove, so the metal in your stove will melt before your glass does. It can be heated white hot and have ice cold water thrown on it, won't do anything to it. It's stronger than glass and takes a lot more than a log rolling against it to break it. If it does break, it doesn't shatter it cracks and although you're not supposed to many people still use their stoves with broken ceramic. About the only thing it can't handle, is if you have a piece of wood sticking out when you close the door and try to force it shut on the wood. Your door is a lever system and you can put large amounts of force on the glass which will crack it.

    So, don't have any fear if wood falls into your glass. Let it sit there and burn, it's more dangerous to try to fix the situation.
  13. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, Rhon.... That does help

    Actually - I wasn't too concerned about a burning log rolling and breaking the glass (I know it's ceramic, but just generally refer to it as "galss"). I was thinking more that a rolling log would roll down against it, and even if you let it just burn through, then there would potentially be a lot of ash, or hot embers leaning up against the door, and then the next time the door is opened, all that stuff would be spilling out. Without going into a lot of detail from previous posts... my main concern might have been torwards the amount of "ash stoprage" available... something that there really wasn't a lot of in the stove I'm replacing. I know I didn't make that point clear in the post, but that's more of where I was going with the question. And also, now thinking... if/when that does happen... would that interfere with the "airwash" flow if ashes are built up a bit near the "galss"
  14. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    MSG, you misunderstood me. The Regency HAS THE WORST and most WORTHLESS ash pan design.

    Honestly, I have no clue how you get two weeks between ash removal. After two straight burning days with the Regency, you open the door to load, and you will have ash spilling out the front.

    I burn 24x7 when need be, and my heating needs are way less than yours, and I have never been able to burn for more than 2 days without a cleanout. Maybe your stove draws so well that its sucking out the ashes out the flue.

    The Woodstock I use has an airtight ash pan drawer, and is very functional, and works like a champ. Check out a Woodstock Keystone and see what a correct design looks like!!!!!!!

    I've been at this for more than 20 years, and I'm sticking to my story!
  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    sandor, sometimes tone is hard to express through type. My type sounds crabby in the early AM. My point is that everyone has different needs and whats clean is relative. The wood i burn doenst produce much ash, its not going up the flue. After two weeks of solid burning, sometimes three, i will clean it out. When i do clean it out its full and spilling out the front. Mabye its the way i burn my stove. I never crank it down. Woodstock doenst have a booth at the HPBA. maybe you can snap a photo and show me what your talking about? The design problem i have with ashpans is that only about 1/3 of the bottem is the grate. You have to sweep it in the grate to get it in the pan. Pans seal all sorts of ways, the hearthstone homestead has a ash pan that seals it self. If your going to go to all the trouble to sweep in the pan, its as easy, in my opinion, just to scoop it out. Im not trying to make a believer out of you, just explaining my reasoning and method. Now if a stove could drop the ash in a pan without having to brush it in, that would be something. Maybe thats how the woodstock works, that would be cool.
    Ryan
  16. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Harley, the air wash usually comes from the top of the firebox, ash aginst the bottem usually wont effect it at all. Now if you dont clean the "doghouse" in the bottem front, they can be a bear to start.
  17. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I do the same thing with the big Sierra. At the end of the season I clean it completely, including the ash pan. But once burning starts I let the ash pan fill up and forget it is there. It was even suggested in the owners manual to let it fill up and keep a few inches of insulating ash on the bottom at all times.

    As to clean out times, when I am in a mode of burning straight pine or poplar two weeks between cleanouts is common. They just don't create a lot of ash. Hardwood is three days max unless I am burning at 800 or over and then it is five or six days. Yes, 800 or over. I tried that 550-600 stuff after I started reading this forum and for the first time in twenty years I crapped up that chimney something fierce. Next year it is back to the old way, hot. Except that now it has a SS liner in it.
  19. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    That Sierra is pre EPA and it was advised to have atleast one hot hot---t burning cycle aday. At 800 it must be pushing
    out some heat. In many cases there is nothing wrong with owning a pre EPA stove ,especially to one that knows how to use it.
    Most of my concerns are newbie buying older stoves clueless not the formula for sucess Either the stove condition existing
    chimney and ability to properly opperate is in doubt
  20. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    well - looks like it will be a rainy weekend here, so I guess I'll be out to look at them up close. MSG... you mentioned 2 set screws on the handle... was that the front door handle to check to see if it was the "redesigned" version?
  21. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Harley, i miss typed. The old one has two set screws, the new one has only one. The difference is on the old the handle slips on a shaft and two screws hold it to the shaft. the new one the handle threads on the shaft and only has one set screw to hold it place. If you have a old one and you have a problem with it its covered under warrenty. I have the old one and havent had a problem yet. Ohh yes, its the front and side load handles.
  22. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Your'e right Harley, a log that does roll against the glass interferes with the air wash and it blackens the glass. It does on mine anyway. As MountainStoveGuy mentioned about the air wash, once a log rolls onto the glass the air wash blows air over it and it burns fast and hot and will be completely burned before it's time to reload. At which, it will just be 1/4" - 1/2" ash right against the door and not hot glowing red embers. Open the door slowly and very little if any will fall out, I push the ashes into the unit. That's what happens in my situation, but the glass gets dirty and needs cleaning.

    I really like this technique. My unit being an insert has air channels running underneath so it's best I minimize the ash. You probably have done your research and know you should let your fire burn in cycles, not as good to keep throwing on an occasional couple logs every hour. When you reload you take a metal rake and push the solid black wood coals & embers to the back, what's left in the front is only extremely fine powder ash, scoop out only the front, and then push everything coals, embers, ash to the front (if your unit loads side/side make it two seperate piles in the front with the middle open). Then, reload. Works much better than I expected. Keeps my unit constantly clean, those black unburned coals from the previous fire burn in this one being next to the air wash, and I focus the embers on a single log on reload so it catches fire fast and creates less smoke.
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