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Hearthstone Clydesdale wood insert - help please

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by bluesisgreat, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. bluesisgreat

    bluesisgreat New Member

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    I would like to get a wood insert, and was about to order the Clydesdale, when I came across some bad reviews, so I'm asking for your direct input.

    What drew me to the Clydesdale is the large viewing area and the availability of a screen for open-door viewing. I envision using it with the door open 1-2 hrs per day - I LOVE watching and hearing the fire. I had been looking at the Jotul Kennebunk 450 (because of the larger viewing area than the newer 350 and 550), but the screen is what tilted things towards the Clydesdale. The soapstone lining also seems like a nice feature.

    I know that there will always be things that can go wrong, etc. - but some of the complaints were pretty serious, like not putting out enough heat, the window self-cleaning not working, the blower being very loud, no manufacturing support, etc. And I only found a few positive comments - but few comments in general.

    Could you please help me understand more about the issues? I'm totally new at this - whatever I learned was during this last week when I read a lot of manuals.

    My house is from 1959, about 1700 sq. ft on the main floor, where I'll get the stove insert. The living room is pretty large, opening into the kitchen and hallway, only the 2 bedrooms are tacked away in the back, where the heat would not get to.

    I would be so greatful if you could help me with your input!

    Thanks,
    silvia

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  2. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Just a gut reaction, but if you are really looking to have the stove in use with the screen in front - no matter what you get - it will probably not do the job of heating well. I think even the 1-2 hours per day of open fire is just sending a lot of heat up the chimney.

    With the door closed - I think it would do fine to heat the area, but there's some Clydesdale owners here that could give you a much better read on it than I can.
    ditchrider likes this.
  3. bluesisgreat

    bluesisgreat New Member

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    Thanks for your quick reply.

    Actually, I would keep the door open only while I sit around and just look at it; 1-2 hrs is really wishful thinking :) . Most of the time I would keep it closed.

    I'm also planning to have my regular water heating system on, so the rest of the house is heated, as well. Do I have to worry about that? I imagine that the thermostat in that part of the house would control the heating, so my gas bill will be reduced.
  4. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    Silvia,
    Someone else asked about the Clydesdale a day or so ago. I am posting a link to that thread below and including a "copy/paste" of my response. It sounds like you have done your homework so the info I include may simply duplicate what you've already done.

    I have to say that I seriously considered the similar, but smaller, "Morgan". From everything I've read my overall impression of both inserts was positive. If I could find one at the right price I might replace my Vermont Castings Winter Warm small some day.

    As far as "putting out enough heat" my best guess is that is a matter of perception. I do know it takes longer for the room to "get up to temperature" but that once it does it is a genter heat and it lingers longer once the fire starts to die. If you aren't used to the gentler radiant heat and want the stove to heat the room quickly then you would probably be disappointed in any soapstone stove or insert.

    I think your question regarding ash is answered by at least one knowledgeable poster in the thread I am linking. I got the impression it isn't an issue.

    That leaves the question of customer service which usually depends more upon the local dealer since they service the stove. Although it may depend to some extent upon information they get from the manufacturer on what may be a defect requiring correction.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/12266/

    spinner00,
    Check out the three links below which should give you a good overview of this particular insert. The first and third links are self-explanatory. The second is to the results of a search of the term “Clydesdale” on these forums.
    As BeGreen suggested, please post back with any specific questions you may have.
    Member Review
    http://hearth.com/ratings/art.php?id=1695
    Results of “Clydesdale” search
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/search_results/36bcd86006814403143a7160d9cfbf7d/
    Hearthroom thread: Hearthstone Morgan Insert
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/7368/#84500
    In particular, see Post # 10 by Rhonemas - EXCERPT: “I have the Clydesdale, the big brother of the Morgan. It takes a while to warm up, takes me 1 - 2 hours before I start feeling heat and it does buffer the heat well. I find it strange watching the fire inside roaring and not feel any of it for an hour. But, when I see just a few embers it is still throwing out a lot of heat for a couple hours, occasionally reloading it’s like “Poof” instantaneous combustion and secondary burn happening before I even shut the door. I agree with him it stores and takes time to heat/cool if yours is anything like mine. The first year before I knew what I was doing it took me over 2 hours before I started feeling any heat. Takes time to learn it.”
    ~Cath
  5. JimWalshin845

    JimWalshin845 New Member

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    I'd nix the insert and get a stove. You state that you have a large living room so space should not be the problem.

    May I ask why you are going with an insert versus a stove?
  6. bluesisgreat

    bluesisgreat New Member

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    Cath - THANK YOU for referencing that last post!! I'm not sure how I did my search that it did not come up. That post has more details about the Clydesdale than all my other findings together.

    It also brings up another issue: that of mounting it. By attentively looking at the drawings in the manual I discovered that it can be mounted with the surround flush with the door (like the Jotul) - and thus stick out the least possible. There were two reasons why I wanted it mounted flush with the surround: one, I only have a small hearth (16" - need a hearth pad anyway, to extgend it to 18"), and second, I don't think it is particularly beautiful - it is viewing the flame that I'm after. The dealer was not sure if that was an option or not, they had never installed one like that. So, I emailed the company, and they answered that yes, indeed, that is no problem. From the post it sounds like it may not be a good idea - I guess there was a reason they show the picture with the insert sticking out more.

    Any other thoughts on mounting the Clydesdale flush with the surround?

    Jim - thanks for taking the time to aswer the post. Even though my living room is big, it is kind of full, and there is no room for a stove. The fireplace pit is just open - so it is not easy to use as a fireplace. I was going to just install a fireplace, when one of my colleagues mentioned the stove inserts. I had no idea that you can actually get inserts that have a decently large viewing area - once I realized that, I started looking at this option. I first looked at the Jotul and did a lot of research on it, almost making up my mind. Then, when I visited the dealer, I happened to notice the Morgan they had in stock - and I liked the large simple window. And the Clydesdale has it even bigger. The nice decorations on the Jotul in my mind obscure the beauty of the fire - and in the summer ... oh, well, I'll just ignore the plain-ness of the Clydesdale :) . When I learned that you can actually use the Clydesdale with an open door - that just did it for me.

    On that note, and getting back to the post #10 by Rhonemas mentioned by Cath - what would be the effects of using the Clydesdale with the screen/open door in the beginning, just like a fireplace, until the soapstone heats up enough for the blower to take over once you close it? I have plenty of oak wood from my property, so my viewing pleasure is definitely worth putting up with less efficiency for a bit.
  7. JimWalshin845

    JimWalshin845 New Member

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    Sounds great and great reasoning behind your choice.... sometimes aesthetics do win out along with not having a stove sticking out into a room.

    Good luck and keep us up to date on your progress.
  8. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I have the Clydesdale, on my 3rd season. I think I'm the grandfather, when I purchased it there was no mentioning of it on the internet until I made my first post! My glass stays extremely clean. Sure it gets a little dirty at the corners and a little where the air blows out, but to say that's it is really amazing. All units glass gets a little dirty and the bigger the window the more engineering required to try to keep it clean so, I have to praise Hearthstone on how clean the glass stays. The only unit I'm aware whose glass may not get dirty at the corners is Pacific Energy, their windows are 1/2 the size. You won't hear the fire, the unit is near sound proof and moisture in the wood causes the crackling, hissing, and popping so if you get that during the burn your wood is too wet. The unit has blowers which sound like an AC or medium, or if you turn it down sounds like a whisper. You can turn them off, but I don't recommend it if you want to use it for heating. It's more entertaining to watch with the door shut. You'll get secondary burn, which is quit amazing to watch and can last for a couple hours depending on what wood you put in there.

    Now, who is saying it doesn't throw out a lot of heat!? I have a 1300 sq ft house and, 4 splits of oak which is the smallest load I can put in there and burn efficiently raises my house temp 9-12F! Recently I've been burning red maple (25% less heat than oak) and every fire raises my house temp 8F. Personally I do not believe one unit is any more efficient than another... they're all about 70% so I don't think it matters which you get if they both have a 2.4 cu ft firebox they should both heat your house similarly. The benefit of the soapstone is, that it will be more subtle and never need replacing (firebrick units frequently need their firebrick replaced) but other than that, per fire they should heat the house the same in the end. My wife and I are extremely happy with it. Been 3 years now, each night I still can't wait to come home and have a beer and start a fire and watch it... I most certainly love it's big view. I watch it for hours thinking about life and things. My wife will come home and cuddle with me usually with a wine and talk to me about her day or reads a magazine/book. I absolutely love the Clydesdale and, it's big window and the fact that I like the way it looks is all the difference to me. Important note, it must be installed sticking out the 5" you don't want it flush.

    I do wonder though, has your house been insulated & updated? If you haven't done much with the insulation, windows, etc. I think you'll need to light 4-5 fires a day in the Clydesdale and may wish you had a bigger firebox. And, make sure you understand inserts & stoves heat differently you have decide which kind of person you are. Inserts heat the floor & extremeties better than a stove but since they heat the floor, unless you can shut the room off if you come home to a house that's 65F and want to bring the 1700 sq ft floor up to 72F the room with the insert won't reach 72F until it's also brought your entire floor to 72F. You have to think with inserts of them trying to heat the entire floor & extremeties... not just the room they're in. A freestanding stove will take even more time with the extremeties, but it will quickly bring the room it's in to 72F. If you're one who likes a hot room (say 75F+) you're probably better with a stove since it can heat a room fast and the rest of the floor will linger well behind. If you're one who wants the entire floor heated evenly or spend a lot of time in other rooms of the floor you're probably better with an insert whose blowers are much bigger, and cycle all the air in your house through the insert and repeats, and excellent at heating an entire floor. Walking into a house/room heated with a stove is totally different than walking into one with an insert. I'm an insert person, always wanted the heat somewhere else and always tried to force my freestanding stove to heat like an insert which they are not. Probably the most common question asked by stove owners is, "How do I get the heat to spread more to other rooms/areas of my house?" which is what inserts are best at and coincidentally I've never seen asked by insert owner cause that's exactly what inserts excel at. But, insert owners can ask why they can't get the room with the insert to be 75F+ like their friend who has a stove... that's exactly what stoves are good at. You're either a stove person or insert. Spend some time thinking about which you are.
  9. bluesisgreat

    bluesisgreat New Member

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    I'm definitely an insert rather than a stove person, I have no doubt about it. I'm actually a fireplace person - but am thinking stove for the added efficiency and ease of operation/maintenance of the fire, as long as I can get my visual in. The visual is a yes/no decision point, and then comes the rest. As we speak, I'm sitting in front of my downstairs fireplace, watching the flames - perfect day to do this after being out in the constantly falling snow (about 9 inches so far).

    You are right that my house is not insulated well - but that will be a much bigger job. I am planning to use the insert as supplemental heat - hoping that it will contribute somewhat, so my gas bill will be lower. I notice that when I run the fireplace on my lower floor, it raises the room temperature by 1-2 degrees - but it is absolutely wonderful to just sit in front of it.

    How bad would it be to install it flush with the surround? I did not quite understand the details of your previous posting on this, only the gist of it.

    Do you have a screen? Have you ever run it open? I understand that it takes maybe one hour to start feeling the heat - this is when I was thinking that it would be a perfect time to burn it with the door open. Even with dry wood, I would get the extra pleasure out of it - the direct radiating heat, plus the instant gratification to warm up immediately, like with a fireplace.
  10. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like the Clydesdale will do very well then! When push comes to shove I think you'll hit about 6 weeks a 2.4 cu ft firebox will struggle heating a non-updated 1700 sq ft 1959 house in Upstate NY.

    I don't run it with door open cause it sends all the heat out the flue, like you said it might heat the room it's in 1-2F but having it shut heats my entire house 8F and, I use it mainly for heating and watching. I can't handle watching it open, knowing I'm sending heat out the flue. Having it open will probably burn all the wood in it within an hour, shutting it will have that same wood burn over 5-8 hours. I think you're the first I've seen to want a screen! Watching the secondary burn happening (which can only happen with the door shut) is unbelievably beautiful, I'm not sure after seeing it you'll ever want the door open plus, you won't be sending all the heat out the flue. Again, with the door open the wood will burn at least 5x faster.

    The reason it needs to be pulled out 5" out of the surround is because the tubes the heat comes out of at the top are fixed. If you have it pulled out 5", they will end in openings of the surround and all the heat will blow into the living space. If you push it into the surround 5" so it's flush you also push the channels into the surround 5" so they'll end BEHIND the surround. Not going to do much good there. It's easy though to extend them out of aluminum flashing.
  11. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    That's not my experience. I'm in my living room with the insert at the minute, with the blowers on and the ceiling fan to distribute the heat around the house. It's 80 degrees in here and 65 in the rest of the rooms.
  12. ClydesdaleBurner

    ClydesdaleBurner Member

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    I have had my Clydesdale for a few weeks and I notice that the whole house warms up a few degrees in the first few hours of good burning, but the living room with the insert heats up a good 4-6 degrees in that time. When I burn the stove all weekend the whole house gets up to high 60s from 60, which is where we leave the furnance thermostat set at. The living room will get up to mid 70s at the peak of any burn cycle. Now all this depends completely on the layout of your house and insulation. My house is 1800 and was built in the mid 90s so the house is well insulated. Also the living room has two entrance ways so I think the air can flow easily in and out of the room.

    My point... the insert does heat the whole house, but the room with the insert can still get warm, just no quite as warm as with a stove, which can put the room into the 80s.
  13. bluesisgreat

    bluesisgreat New Member

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    thanks, everyone

    Rhonemas - what do you mean by saying that the floor heats up? You mean the air just above it, as it blows out of the stove? I have hardwood and area rugs - do I need to worry about that?

    Bokehman - I'm sure that the ceiling fan makes a HUGE difference - it should have much more power to move the air around than the blower in the insert.

    I wish we could get those Hergom inserts over here - they look SO great!! And all have a very large viewing area, almost like a fireplace.

    Interestingly enough, it looks like the only foreign stove they carry is the Clydesdale. No Jotul! It is also interesting that the information on the Clydesdale is much easier/faster to understand than from the manual, and I could finally see a picture of how it would look installed deeper into the fireplace. Had to go to Spain to find better information - what's wrong with that picture? :)

    Here is the link, for reference:
    http://hergom.com/pr_in_in_clydesda.../en/gamas/estufas/productos/ficha/Clydesdale/

    and here is Bokehman's insert:
    http://hergom.com/pr_in_in_c4.php/0...n/coleccion/Serie-Classic/productos/ficha/C4/

    Just as a curiosity - I noticed that in all the pictures of the Spanish stoves the hearth is just a thin sheet, if any. Is there no code that require a certain R-value, or do they have more advanced materials?

    ClydesdaleBurner - did you ever try to use the stove in the beginning with the door open? Do you get the same effect as with a fireplace? How big is your living room?
  14. JimWalshin845

    JimWalshin845 New Member

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    Get realistic Bokehman,

    You gotta move that heat and ceiling fans move it way too slow. Get a high volume low velocity like this one.. 3 speed and 27".
    [​IMG]
    We tried all different fans and have ceiling fans too. When it gets too warm in the living room we crank the fan to medium and push the heat to the adjoining room.

    You don't want to put the fan on HIGH unless you want gail force winds.

    NO INSERT/STOVE WILL MOVE VOLUMES unless it is hooked up to a central system.
  15. JimWalshin845

    JimWalshin845 New Member

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    Great post about a insert/stove. You took a lot of time to describe your experience with something you are very happy with.

    Koodoos to you young man! :cheese:

    You should post this in the section about rating your stove.... good read too! :coolcheese:

    Safe journeys and warm burns.
  16. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    No, he means if the stove is on the ground floor it heats all the rooms on that level rather than just the room in which it is located.

    It makes lots of difference to the other rooms. The blower on the insert gets the heat from the insert into the room; the ceiling fan distributes the warm air around the house. The ceiling fan is running in reverse so there is not a big downdraught (1.35 metre fan).

    I don't know to about the regs (we're not a nanny state here yet) but the bottom of the insert runs pretty cool anyway; You wouldn't burn yourself if you touched it. Anyway things are different here because homes are not built from combustible materials. Most floors are either stone or tiled, certainly no carpets (which are a terrible health hazard anyway).
  17. ClydesdaleBurner

    ClydesdaleBurner Member

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    Bluesisgreat - I leave my door open about an inch when I start the fire to promote a strong draft, however I have noticed if I open the door fully when starting the fire it does act just like a fireplace. You don't have a strong draft, but that is how our fireplace used to be. However I don't know if the blower would turn on with the door open as so much room temperature air would be filling the firebox.

    A bit off subject, but I've noticed when the fire is reduced to really hot coals, if you open the door the heat comes out about 10 times hotter than with the door closed, now I'm sure this effects the soapstone and probably cools the stove down a lot, but it does kick out some direct radiant heat that way too...
  18. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Bokehman (love that name) did a great job explaining what I meant with floor I did mean level of the house, the actual floor in front of it stays cool as Bokehman says even during the hottest of burns I can easily touch it, only just be warm to the touch.

    I think Bokehman things are different over there (do you have the Clydesdale that's soapstone?) your houses are usually earth material ours are made of wood with insulation. I can't say why you're getting that much difference unless your house is heavily if not all earth, or as can be typical over there very old. There was a person who purchased an insert for a 100% brick uninsuated house here, the insert tried to heat his entire level and he had so much heat loss it was not possible for him to have a warm room anywhere even the room with the insert. He then purchased a wood stove so at least he could have at least one room that's warm. They do very well with wood houses. I don't have experience with how they perform in the the house types of Europe (which can often be earth). My house, the room with the insert hangs around 68F, rooms adjacent around 73F and, rooms at the other end of our house 66-68F. The room with my insert is lower temperature than those next to it because it's a sunken den. Cold air is more dense so settles in the lowest portion of ones house and, since my den with the insert is 3' lower than the rest that's where it goes. It's then sucked up and heated through my insert and heat wants to flow to the coldest parts of ones house so it flows to adjacent rooms and the other side of my house. That keeps the room with my insert cooler than those around it, and I think as much as cathedral ceilings interfere with heat flow, sunken dens improve upon it. But, you're right layout plays a factor.
  19. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    I don't have the Clydesdale, I have an Hergóm C4. I've added it to my signature now.
    About 25 years old, tiled concrete floor, 9 inch hollow concrete block external walls, sealed insulated apex roof. At the moment I light the fire once a day around 7pm and burn about 10/12 kilos. Next morning the room with the insert is still around 20C/72F degrees (outside temp about 4C/39F). Temp fulls throughout the day until it reaches the outside temp which by 2pm is up to 16C/61F in December on a sunny day (315 sunny days per year here).
    That's kind of deceiving though because that's the air temperature and doesn't take into account the radiant heat which comes through the glass and really makes you feel warm.

    Edit: I just found turning on the ceiling fan raised the temperature in the room from 23C/73F to 28C/82F in about two minutes so there must be a huge bank of warm air up by the ceiling.
  20. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    Silvia,
    You're welcome, glad to help.

    I see that Rhonemas and some others have given you a lot of info. Rhonemas was instrumental in helping me come to understand that I would be better off with a fireplace insert than a free standing stove in our uninsulated basement. It's my great good fortune that after years of thinking about this a fellow member here referred me to a Craig's Listing for a newer used Winter Warm insert (small) for about 1/3rd of the retail cost, otherwise my husband and I would still be debating this and I would be pining away for a Morgan insert that I couldn't easily afford and certainly couldn't have talked my husband into.

    I took quick look at the Spanish insert (the name escapes me at the moment). And I can see why you would favor it over the Clydesdale. It's slightly more decorative and since it is more "flush" with the fireplace, the look is less obtrusive. However, I would think that all other things being equal, the insert that projects into the room is going to put more heat into it.

    Initially I didn't like the look of the Morgan and the Clydesdale, this is what I had to say about them in an earlier post.

    To Soapstone or not to soapstone, that is the question – Hearthroom posted by qwerty on 9/18/07
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/9194/#106609

    "... The Hearthstone inserts do have blowers on the side but according to one senior member, Rhonemas, to realize the benefit of these blowers you shouldn’t install the stove flush but rather have it sitting about 5 inches out, which encroaches on the room a little and arguably creates an aesthetics problem.

    Which brings me to your observation about the appearance of the Clydesdale and the Morgan. When I first started thinking about inserts several years ago this wasn’t the look that I favored either. However, I’ve come to appreciate the way that form follows function in these particular units. It is an understated modern look as opposed to a fussier decorative look. That’s not to say that you can’t find something in the middle but arguably Clydesdale’s and Morgan’s are simply show cases for the main attraction, the fire itself. Especially in the Clydesdale; if memory serves correctly this has one of the biggest viewing windows for an insert.

    Another way of looking at it is that Hearthstone seems to approach insert styling the way high end manufacturers design kitchen appliances. That is to say that they are sleek and functional but don’t call undo attention to themselves.

    Of course, personal preference, and possibly the overall style of the room, are pretty important when considering aesthetics. ... "


    I will be keeping my eyes open for a used Morgan with the intention of not installing it flush and extending the hearth as necessary. With the cost of fuel I am more concerned about fuel efficiency than I am aesthetics. Which reminds me of your question about leaving the door open. I would defer to Rhonemas on the effect this has on efficiency. Having said that, perhaps you would want to leave it open on special occasions. However, making a habit of it could get expensive.

    One more thing, due to the nature of soapstone you won't get enough heat to actually cook anything, nor is there enough surface area to, but if you do project the Clydesdale 5" into the room that should create enough room to keep a cup of coffee warm and possibly enough to keep a small pot of water there to put some moisture back in the air. Just a small perk (coffee pun intended).
    ~Cath
  21. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    I've been away from the forum a bit lately, but Silvia contacted me offline about my experiences with the Clydesdale insert. Once I started typing, I just didn't stop. I'm going to paste it in here so it turns up on someone else's search.

    The short version is that I LOVE this insert. I burn 24/7 and love every minute of it. I've even got my girlfriend trained to feed it now, and we sit in front of it every night to relax before bed. I use it to offset the cost of natural gas, and it does that VERY well, but even if it cost me money, I think I'd still light a fire every night!

    My experience has some similarities and some differences from those above and I'll try and hit the high points here.


    -installation - A couple of forum members (big thanks to Elk and GVA) helped me with most of the install, and it went pretty easily. Fabbing a blockoff plate wasn't exactly fun, but mostly due to the shape of my firebox and my back problems. Positioning the insert in your firebox is VERY important. You can set it back for the "flush" look, but if you do, you'd have to extend the blower channels if you want to recover any of that heat. Also, the front four inches or so of the door surround really heat up a lot and throw a significant amount of heat into the room. I think it would be a mistake to forgo that.


    -heatup - Here's probably the biggest difference I've found from what Rhone has reported. My insert heats up quite quickly. Now since I burn 24/7, I almost never do a "cold" start. Even my ash clean outs and relights are glowing coal and hot soapstone affairs.

    That said, it's typically only about 30-40 minutes from reload to serious heat output, and not very long after that that the living room is comfortable again. Maybe it's my insert, maybe it's my technique. Not sure

    -technique - After one full year, here's what I've settled on as my SOP. When the stove is down to coals, (or about 30-40 minutes before I need to sleep or leave the house) I'll reload.
    I've found that primary air inlet is the key to the whole affair, so turn that all the way up, turn off the blowers and then I'll rake the coals into a mound at the center of the stove. If they're not glowing much, I'll leave the door cracked for a minute or two while I study the woodbox and start picking splits.
    Once the coals are glowing again, I'll split the pile down the middle and spread them left and right, leaving a 2-3" wide furrow down the middle from front to back. The idea is to let air from the inlet hit the back of the firebox by traveling under all the splits between the door and the rear wall. If I do this - quick relights. If I don't... agonizing smoldery boredom.

    Then I pile on the wood. If I'm home late from work and want to heat up quick, but reload again later before bedtime, I'll chose smaller pieces of wood. All those funny shaped pieces you had to cut off the end of the logs so the splits would be the right length work great. Workshop scraps too. Just tumble them in leaving that central air channel intact, and they will catch very quickly and burn fast and hot. The more air spaces, the faster the flames can spread.
    The recipe for longer burns is somewhat different. Big, long splits work best. Put the thickest one the furthest back, and pile the rest in packing them as tightly as possible. The key is a) to make sure the first layer "bridges" the furrow in the coals and b) you can still close the door! I also took the liberty of adding two small granite stones inside the firebox on either side of the air inlet. I set the forwardmost split across these and on top of the air inlet.
    I'll leave the door open about an inch to increase airflow until the splits catch and to let the flame spread a bit. If there are a lot of coals, they'll catch before I'm done loading. If not, it may take a few minutes. If there are very few... there is always fatwood!

    Obviously, for safety, I don't leave the door open very long, nor open unattended. Burning wood shifts and changes shape and It wouldn't do to have piece tumble out of the stove!

    I burn wide open until the "warming shelf" reads 250 degrees or so by my little infrared thermometer. At that point I'll damper down half way. The secondary burn will kick in right away, and the stove temps will really start to climb. I've learned NOT to turn on the blowers or damper down any more than halfway til 300, though at that point I'll usually damper down all the way for even heat and the longest burn. If you do damper down all the way before the secondary is really established (magic 300 number), the blowers will pull heat faster than the stove is making it, and you'll lose your secondary burn. You really will get more heat out of the stove, and faster by waiting.

    Sustaining burn - honestly, this sucker burns a long time, and I'm not often in front of during it's whole routine. I mostly concern myself with getting it lit and up to temperature, then making sure it doesn't overheat. With a full load, I think this stove could get away from itself pretty easily if it wasn't monitored. The blowers provide a big safety margin though, they really pull a lot of heat off of the stove. I'm not sure it's possible to overfire this insert when the blowers are running.

    In practice, I load the stove first thing in the morning, usually damper it down after coffee and a shower, then double check in and turn on the blowers before leaving for work. 9-10 hours later I get back. House is sometimes bit chilly, but still over 60 and the furnace isn't working. I reload and go about my evening. I reload again before bed... usually three loads a day does it. If it's particularly cold, or I'm sitting around a lot, working form home I might do another small load in the early afternoon


    end part 1.
  22. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    North of Boston
    Part 2:


    -glass - I could vote either way on the glass. Sometimes it stays clean, most times not. This is I think more due to how I load the stove and the wood than the stove itself. I pack the stove tight, and wood is often very near the glass or sometimes actually touching. This both blocks the airwash, and deposits smoke on the glass before it rise to the burn tubes and ignite. So dirty glass happens. My wood is pretty dry, but a hissing, foamy split does make it into the pile fairly often. That doesn't help the glass any. I have a reserve stash of two-season dry wood, and when I burn that, and don't stack up to the glass, the dark spots on the glass will burn off except for a small amount in the two bottom corners. Considering the size of the glass, I think that is very impressive. If it bothers you, the glass does clean up easily. I've tried a couple of types of cleaner, but honestly, good hot fire followed by a scrub with steel wool works just fine. (door is some sort of very hard crystal - not glass, so steel wool won't scratch)

    -blowers - love them and hate them. They are a bit of a problem child. I'm on my second set, as the first ones rattled and I couldn't make them stop. This set will rattle at the slightest provocation, but so far I can usually coax them to stop.
    They are pretty loud when on full blast. At ~3/4, they're pretty tolerable. They really do move a large volume of air though. One thing to be aware of, is that due to their location under the ash lip, and how much air they move, they're pretty effective at distribuiting ash throughout the room should you fail to clean up a spill. I keep a vacuum handy near the stove for just this reason. (cool ash - NOT coals!)

    Screen - I don't have this, but I'm occasionally curious. With the door closed the fire doesn't radiate nearly as much heat as it does with the door open. It also doesn't let much of the fire sound out. With the blowers on, it really sounds more like an air conditioner than anything else. Really not much for ambiance :(. I do think that the secondary burn is beautiful to watch though, so you may not miss the screen as much as you think.
    If you do get it, be sure and let us all know what you think of it. My biggest concern would be how effectively does it keep logs and coals inside the stove? And where do you put it when you're not using it?

    Ash removal - one word - ashtrap. I just bought one used that had passed through the hands of a few forum members (thanks matt). It's too big for a lot of stoves out there - which is how it came to be in my possesion, but it works pretty well in the Clydesdale. No point in trying to remove ALL the ash. The stove burns better with a good ash layer, so just get enough of it out of the way to make room for more wood!

    Other tools - a shovel for getting the chunks that spill onto the ashlip, a good coal rake, and a set of fireplace gloves are all mandatory. Long matches and fatwood are nice luxuries too. Forget the poker, log tool, broom combos unless you like the looks - you won't actually use them.

    While writing this and doing a few other things ( like working ) I kept some notes of this mornings burn.



    8:00 stove check, lots of coals, room temp 65 - need coffee more than fire.
    8:30 rake coals into pile, damper open full, room temp 65 9:00 conf call.
    10:30 call over.
    10:34 decide to load (stove top 151 degrees, room temp 64). Few coals left, mostly ashed over.
    10:36 done reloading
    10:46 flame visible
    10:52 close door
    11:06 stretch break - splits~60% engulfed (stove top 167 degrees, room temp 64)
    11:13 full ignition, damper down 1/2 secondary burn develops (stove top 240, room temp 66)
    11:17 telltale heating up ticking sounds coming from stove.
    11:20 stovetop at 342, room at 67, blowers on 3/4. Normally I would damper down all the way here, but out of curiousity, I'm going to wait.
    11.27 stovetop at 390, room at 69.
    11:29 conference call :(
    11:41 the hell with the call, stove at 446, room at 75, going to damper down now!
    12:02 stove holding at 450, room at 74 :)

    I'd say this is pretty true to form for the stove. In an hour and five minutes, the stove is not only throwing heat, but has already made my living room very toasty. If I hadn't waited so long to reload, or if I had even bothered to strike a match when I did reload, I could easily shave 10-20 minutes off the reheat time.


    For a general frame of reference, I'm in a 1964 multilevel. Poor insulation, good windows (I'm getting there) Total sq ftage is ~1700 I think. The lower level isn't really heated by the woodstove, though it's ceiling is about level with the top of the stove surround, and there is an open stairway between the rooms.
    The main living floor is mostly open concept and consists of the living room, kitchen and dining roomis roughly 400 sq ft, and that is where the stove is.
    Up a half level on an open stairwell are two bedrooms and a bathroom. I keep those bedroom doors closed most of the time (no kids) but the stove will heat those rooms if I wanted to feed it more often. The bathroom is heated comfortably by the stove, but the floor is a bit chilly!

    Up another half level is the master bedroom. The stove keeps that room comfortable most of the time too. Really all depends on how much I feed it.

    The design of this house is such that air moves pretty well. With the stove blowers on, I can sit in the central stairs and feel cold air moving down past my legs and warm air rising past my face.


    Hope that helps!
    -Dan
  23. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    North of Boston
    This just popped into my head as I proofread part 2.

    The other thing to be aware of on the blowers is that they creat a little vortex in front of the glass. air going in at high speed at the bottom of the stove, and exiting at the top.... that means if you open the door while they're on, they can suck smoke out of the firebox... I nearly forgot this because I'm already in the habit of turning them off when I reload. (they'll dry out your eyeballs anyway).

    It would be interesting to see how they interact with the screen. My guess is that you can't use both at the same time. I'd rather listen to the crackle of the flames anyway, and it's probably a moot point too. With the door open, the secondary burn won't light off, and the stove surfaces won't get hot enough to really get much heat out of the blowers anyway.


    -Dan
  24. ClydesdaleBurner

    ClydesdaleBurner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    South Coast, MA
    Dan,

    Great info for us Clydesdale burners. I love reading about how people run their stoves. I'm still very new to mine and I'm trying to learn from others as much as possible. I am going to try the coals with a part down the middle. That sounds like a great idea to promote air flow to the back of the firebox. Also I liked you idea of adding the stones on either side of the air inlet. I use that inlet all the time to prop wood up on to allow for air flow under the wood.

    OK I have 3 questions for you.

    1. What is the hottest temp you've ever had the stove top up to? You just mentioned 450, which is pretty good. I've had mine up to 440, but I still haven't really filled the firebox up all the way yet. I contacted Hearthstone asking at what temp was considered an overfire and they didn't give me a straight answer. What are you thoughts?

    2. I asssume you burn mostly east to west and not north to south, due to the lack of depth in the firebox... or have you experimented with burning both ways? Any results?

    3. You mentioned dampering down all the way at night and when you go to work. Does dampering down all the way kill the secondary sometimes or produce smaller flames? I have found that it does that and then I wonder am I better running it 1/4 open with more flame and a bit of secondary burn or damper closed with less flame and less secondary. (This would be towards the middle/end of the burn cycle) When that firebox is cranking I can damper down all the way and still have a great secondary.

    Thanks!
  25. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    North of Boston
    Midway into my first burning season, the stove hit 520. I hadn't yet learned how quickly the secondary burn could bring the stove temperatures up, and I didn't have the blowers running. Low 500's has happened at least two more times that I know of. I think that is well within the range of intended operation - but that's really just a guess based on a) how easily the stove can get there, and b) that it's really not that different than any other woodstove, and they're generally considered to be just getting going at 500 or so.

    When I get worried, I remind myself that this stove was sold with the blowers as an option, not mandatory - so I have to think that the designers intended it to be burned full, hot, and without the blowers cooling it off.

    I would guess that "overfire" is no different than for any other stove - probably closer to 700 or so, but that the slight air gap between the actual firebox and the warming shelf means that there is a delay in when that temperature would be apparent. For that reason, I aim to keep the stove under 550 - I feel like that should be plenty of safety margin.


    Yeah, I burn mostly east-west, but I've experimented with some short spits, and funny shaped offcuts. I don't think it matters too much heat wise, but you probably get a longer burn going east west. The glass stays cleaner too, as the messy deposits aren't coming out of the end of the spits just millimeters away from the glass.

    Dampering... Every stove is probably a little different, but yeah, late in the burn, the secondary flames shrink and then go away. I've always assumed that there was just less wood left in the box, and less smoke left in the wood! When wood becomes coals... I really don't know, but at some point you have to expect that the secondaries will go away or at least not be visible. ( I suppose this would be different in a catalitic stove). In my stove, I have to damper down all the way or I get more heat than I need, and too short a burn early on. Later in the burn, I'm usually asleep or at work!

    I find that what I consider the coaling stage is usually enough to maintain the houses temperture late in the burn after the early burn made things nice and warm. If you need more heat, by all means, open the damper some. Usually though I'm trying to space my reloads for optimal wood usage, and lower coal accumulation. Of course, if I'm sitting in the living room and I'm cold, I'll open the damper or add fuel.

    -Dan

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