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CFM Vermont Castings Dutchwest Everburn Non-Cat Owners Discussion and Review Thread!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tradergordo, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    On the "V" setup.....yes, two short splits facing N-S would be ideal, however I buck all my splits to about 18-20" which obviously wont fit in N-S orientation. The reason I place the vertex at the front is because I dont want the open end to cut off the intake tubes in the lower/back section of the stove outside the throat. Also concerned that they would interfere with drafting which is so critical to making everburn work successfully. Probably a trade off between reduced velocity & blockage of tubes, altho likely lopsided in one direction......question is which direction? :)

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  2. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    Since it's been a while since you last reviewed the Dutch West are there any updates? How do you like the DW and would you buy another one again?


    Thanks
  3. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Well I can say that I keep trying new ways to improve performance... For example, for the last 3 days I have not let the fire go out or the coal bed die down (maybe part of this is that I'm burning wood that creates excellent coals) and the stove is SO MUCH easier to run this way. For example last night I loaded up on a big bed of coals, no fussing, dampered immediately after putting on the fresh splits, and it everburned continuously, with the air control completely off, at 400 degrees. I've never even got the everburn to work that low before. Bedrooms upstaris stayed between 71 and 76 while overnight low went down to 14. When you keep a big coal bed, this stove can burn cleanly 24/7 with no problem whatsoever, you can toss logs on whenever there is enough room to fit one in, and damper down immediately with no waiting (and still have the everburn super efficient burn work). The challenge is keeping that big hot coal bed around all the time, especially overnight.

    Another thing I did which I think helped a lot was "speed drying" the wood - this is NOT something I have been doing at all previously, I just tried it for the first time this week after reading about someone else on the forum doing it and my friend telling me that's how he does it too. I should start a whole new thread on that... but basically its not a big deal, just storing my wood next to the stove for 24 hours before burning it, it seems to seriously drive out all the moisture and results in better burning (of course its also probably a fire hazard which is why I've never seen it recommended before :) ).

    To answer your question would I buy the Dutchwest again: I think every stove has its quirks, and I also think every few years someone is going to make a better stove. That said - based on all that I have read about various other stoves, I think I'd probably go for a model that is able to achive more consistent clean burning with less fiddling and coal bed management. The price is right on the Dutchwest, its big heat is great, its firebox size is great, its ash removal and gasketed doors and side loading are great. But lack of consistent secondary combustion is a major flaw. One of these days I'm going to have to collect all of the operational details found scattered though this thread and turn it into a "how to run an everburn stove" document/wiki/thread of its own.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    TG, have you considered or tried a stack damper as a way to keep the heat in the stove more? Seems like it might be overdrafting a bit with that high a stack temp?
  5. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Doesn't seem to be overdrafting to me, what is a normal stack temp? When its dampered down I can pretty much get 400 with air off all the way to 800 depending on how I manage the fire/damper/air.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The video shows stack temps starting at 950 and going to higher than 1000 degrees. That's pretty hot and prolly means the interior pipe is glowing blood red. FWIW, mine runs at 300-400 normally.
  7. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    I like to get a new fire quickly up to 1000 before dampering down. I guess its just my way of operating the stove without having to babysit it. This is necesary IF a decent coal bed has not yet been established. The raging 1000 degree fire generally levels out around 800 depending on conditions, after about an hour its usually down to 700, and slowly tails off after that. When there is a nice bed of coals it can burn efficiently at 400. I do not see any signs of overfiring. The one guy complaining about his dutchwest said he was getting 3 hour burn times - a pretty clear indication of an excessive draft problem. My burn times are more like 7 hours typically on a full load, although I like to add a log or two at a time instead of big full reloads.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If the stovepipe was single wall it would be glowing. I would think that frequent high heat will accelerate oxidation and reduce life. According to Condar website for their probe thermometer that's overheating. They recommend reducing draft. Whatever, it seems like a lot of waste heat heading up the chimney.

    http://www.condar.com/meteruse.html
  9. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    My flue IS single wall, it doesn't glow, but it does give back a lot of the heat going up that pipe. Steel doesn't really glow until it hits 1375, I've never seen any part of my stove or flue glowing and no paint has flaked off anywhere. I don't think my temps can damage the pipe and the markings on stove thermometers (for example overfiring lines) are not appropriate for all stoves, I've seen some that say 700 is overfiring.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I'm here to tell ya Green, that chart is right. And 3/8" plate glowing at 1183* didn't scare me as much as 24 gauge tin pipe would. This house would empty out.

    Even at full load blast off on a bed of hot coals in the 3.5 cube box I haven't seen higher than 750-800 stack probe temps. And don't plan too any time soon.
  12. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Vermont Casting/DutchWest Stoves has thousands of Everburn units in the field with very few warranty issues. It does sound like your stove is burning hot. I would suggest conducting the “dollar bill” test on the door and ash door gaskets. Pinch a dollar bill between the door and the gasket, close the door completely and pull the dollar bill out. The dollar bill should resist being pulled out but come out without tearing. Try this every few inches all the way around each of the doors. If you find lose gasket seals the door should be adjusted. You can do this by adjusting the handle pawl or the hinge pins or both. If you are not comfortable adjusting the doors call your dealer and have him/her adjust the doors. It is very unlikely that the gasketed joint assembly found on Everburn units is leaking. Vermont Castings leak test 100% of their stoves at final assemble. Another place to look would be the primary flap. Open both doors and reach a finger up between the primary air manifold and the inside of the front of the stove. Open and close the primary air lever. You will feel the flap opening and closing. When the flap is closed it should lie flat on the manifold with no gaps. It is possible for a piece of debris to keep it from closing completely. Don’t hesitate to call the customer service number for help. Vermont Castings is very concerned about satisfaction of their customers.
    Profile

    this is the responce from vermont castings you post about opperations appeared above his the bold letter Vermont casting is telling you you are burning your stove too hot

    PM

    Quote
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    TG, I'm just concerned about the safety and efficiency of the stove. Not trying to bug or single this install out. It's up to the individual to chose how to run the stove, but this seems above normal running conditions for the woodstove. Have you asked your dealer what normal flue temps should be for this stove? Are any other folks with the CDW running in this range? Maybe I'm all wrong. I have an email into VC asking what they recommend.

    With a 19', straight up stack, it could be on the borderline of too strong draft. The hotter the stack, the more energy is wasted. That's why it sounds like a stack damper may really help get even better performance out of the stove. At less than $10 for a single-wall damper, what's to lose by trying?

    PS: Visited your website. Loved the arcade game. You did a nice job. Also perused the blog. We are very much on the same wavelength.
  15. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    That was posted in response to the guy with the glowing red encore, the guy had an 8 inch flue, 31 feet straight up. If VC thinks I'm overfiring my stove, I would really like to hear this from them. They should also put operating temps in their user manual so people have an idea of what is overfiring in cases where nothing is glowing and no paint is flaking off (or maybe those ARE the only signs of overfiring?)

  16. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    I'll do some research on the damper (and my need for one).
    p.s. The arcade machine was a great little project.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Cool. Seems like a win win situation to me. You get more heat and burn less wood. I totally agree that VC needs to get on the ball and supplement their documentation for the high draft cases. Harman has done it for the Oakwood.
  18. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    After reading in that overfiring encore thread about how the guy's problem was an ash pan door gasket (no idea why he didn't check that first) I decided it was about time I did the dollar bill test on my own stove, especially since you guys were buggin me about overfiring :)

    OK - I'm man enough to admit it - when I did the dollar bill test on my gaskets last night I DID indeed find a small problem - specifically a low spot in one area on the ash pan door (latches also needed slight tightening on the front and side load doors but nothing major). At any rate, I repaired the gasket, and expect the stove to burn a little cooler now. This kind of makes sense in light of the fact that when I built up a huge pile of ash from 3 days of continuous operation with no cleaning the stove was able to "everburn" at 400 degrees on low air setting for the first time ever - this was because the thick layer of ash was blocking the air coming from the ash pan door. I don't really think this will have a huge impact on how my stove runs, but I hope to achive lower temp efficient burns, and longer burn times.

    At any rate, since gasket material is pretty cheap, and once you've replaced one its pretty easy to do it again, I'll probably be replacing them every year to ensure good air tightness. I bet those gasket kits go on clearance real soon at the big boxes...
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That link shows a yellow stove at like 400 degrees!!!
  20. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    That chart is a little deceptive in that it mixes oxide colors with the emission colors.

    http://www.engnath.com/public/harden.htm

    The oxide colors will only work on steel that has been cleaned to bare metal before heating, there is no visible light coming from the metal so you need good lighting in the room to see them. The higher temper red heat emission colors are best seen in low light conditions since the light you are looking for is coming from the metal. This is why blacksmiths almost always work in the shadows.
  21. cmcramer

    cmcramer Member

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    Hey tradergordo -

    I did check the ash pan gasket first....on the top and bottom.......at the latch end. The gasket was tight, as confirmed by the VC field rep. What I failed to do was continue the gasket test along the length of the ash pan all the way to the hinge end. While the latch end was tight....the hinge end was very loose. It just never dawned on me that the factory installed hinge....BOLTED to the stove body.....on a 8 week old stove....could be loose. But loose it was.

    So, live and learn!
  22. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    That is an interesting design difference between our stoves. On the Dutchwest the hinge is part of the casting, there are no bolts or any way to adjust it. So that problem would only be possible on a Dutchwest with some serious warping in just the right place (not likely, would probably crack before it warped anyway).

    At any rate - I can see how you would miss that in your gasket test, testing the verticle parts where the hinge is (and latch on the other side) is a little awkward to say the least.
  23. efoyt

    efoyt Member

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    Where can I buy door handles for my Duchwest woodstove ? My stove came with a fall away wooden one but I would like to buy some more of them so I can screw them into the stove. I want the wooden kind.

    Also great thread, i've already learned a ton about my stove. I'll post about how mine works after I use it this winter.
  24. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    You should be able to get handles through any stove shop that carries VC products, but they will probably all be the "fall away" style - this is a "safety feature" that VC has, I'm not sure whether it comes from the lawyer types playing CYA, or some sort of code requirement...

    If you want to get something that screws in, you are probably on your own - however they aren't hard to make, depending on how fancy you want to get. What you will need is a 1/4-20 thread screw or bolt, length depends on what you want for a handle, and something to make the handle out of. If you have a wood lathe or equivalent turning tool you can make it as fancy as you like... If not, you may just have to deal with a wooden dowel, or possibly some of the pre-made shapes you can get at the arts and crafts type stores...

    I would reccomend using a hardwood to make the handle, as opposed to pine. I don't think the pine would get hot enough to ignite, but you are slightly safer w/ oak or other harder to ignite wood. I turned my handles on a lathe from an oak tree branch and just stained them with Minwax "Golden Oak"

    Center-drill the handle to be with a hole that will clear your bolt, and recess the end so that the bolt head will be inside the handle - the bolt head will get hot enough when the stove is running to possibly burn you, so you want to make sure it's not exposed. Choose a bolt length that gives you about 3/4" of exposed threads and screw it into the socket where the fall-away handle goes.

    If you have one of the top-load stoves, you can do a similar deal with the griddle top - get a longer bolt, and put a nut and washer on each side of the handle hole in the top. The inside nut (closest to the stove) has to be flush with the end of the bolt - if you don't want exposed threads run the top nut up to the end of the threads, put the inside nut on and cut off the excess threaded bit... Put the handle on the bolt, and then carefully bend the bolt to about a 45* angle.

    Another option for both types is to cut off the bolt head, only partially drill the wooden (or other material) handle bit and slide it over the end with some sort of epoxy or other adhesive (high temp silicone is good) to hold it in place. This has the advantage of no exposed metal, and possibly lets you get fancier with the end of the handle material.

    Hope this helps,

    Gooserider
  25. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Nice detail, gooserider.

    I pretty much did exactly as he described, w/ the latter method (dremel cut off of the screw head, no exposed metal). Works great. I have two home-made handles made on the lathe, one that I coated and the other I left "raw", both sanded. The uncoated one that I use to open/close the bypass turned a little bit black on the side facing the stove, no discoloration on the outer side. Not at all concerned though that it would catch fire. The other coated one on the door handle did not discolor, but it also has the inner door shield to provide thermal protection so wouldnt get as warm.

    I still use the 'drop out' factory provided handle for the front loader & ash pan door to prevent the novice passerby from being tempted to open them (e.g. my niece or inebriated guests, the latter being more likely to play with the stove). Since I also side-load primarily, I dont open the front door very often except when building a new fire.

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