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Help Selecting A Quality Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by RossB, Oct 4, 2013.

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  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The IR and F600 are strongly radiant stoves. I considered the IR long and hard for our house and nearly bought one. The reason I didn't was because of close by windows and a nearby overstuffed chair and a desire for less dramatic temperature swings throughout the burn cycle. That and our open floorplan indicated that a convective stove would be better. The T6 ended up being a good choice. It has the steady gentle heat like a soapstone stove that keeps releasing warmth long after the fire has died down. I also like that it runs nicely with a partial load of wood. If I want it to run at 500F instead of 600F it is possible by just running a partial load of fuel loaded E/W. But when you want serious heat load it N/S and give it a bit more air. It will jump up to 700F without hesitation. What I particularly like is how even the heat is in our house since switching to the T6. We never get blasted out of the living room in spite of it being of modest size. That said I really love the looks of the Isle Royale. It is a very classy stove and a strong heater. If you end up choosing it you will not be disappointed.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013

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  2. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    I'm looking forward to reading and seeing the progress of construction of the hearth and then installing and using the stove.

    It will be interesting to see how the stove performs for you. One thing you mentioned early was that you weren't looking so much for a 24X7 whole house heater. This is probably good, because the stove location isn't ideal for that goal either, but you may find that stove heats so well, and you hang around here long enough.. you will hate the sight of "the evil oil man".. and/or the sound of the furnace.

    With a nice tight home, and some strategically placed fans you may well do quite a bit of round the clock heating.

    Here's another hint.. no such thing as enough wood. :)
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  3. RossB

    RossB Member

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    I was fairly confident that the location of this room and my proposed location for the stove would prevent this from being a whole home solution. That's why I was initially thinking of a small to medium sized stove like the Intrepid II or Encore. My chimney is dead center of the house with a woodstove flue in the basement and the fireplace in the living room. A stove or an insert in either place would probably be a better solution for heating the enitre place 24/7. What I was initially after was just a way to shift the focus of our winter activities from the living room where we have the fireplace running non-stop from Friday to Monday each week to the room pictured above. This room is twice the size of the living room and has the potential to be a much nicer space. Unfortunately, the wife and the dog are cold blooded and attracted to a lit flame like moths; they never move more than about 4 feet from the fire all day and night when the fireplace is lit. I admit to getting caught up in the wood burning fervor here on the site and may have diverted from my initial plan to have a nice warm room on weekends and holidays. However, assuming that I can run less than a full load in the IR and based on what I'm reading, I think I can get what I was after and have the added potential to provide significant heat for the first floor of the house as required. Here's a floorplan of the first floor of the house.

    8DubisStreetfloorplan1stfloor.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2013
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    To aid heat circulation I would try location A for a fan on the floor running on low speed. Location B is an alternative. This can be a small box, floor or table fan as long as it is directional.

    8Dubis.jpg
  5. RossB

    RossB Member

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    LOL. My sketch seems to be missing a couple key features. Fan A is right in front of my front door and Fan B is in front of my door to the garage. I am interested in the rationale behind your proposed placement of the fans though. Is it meant to push the coldest air toward the heat source? I don't know that I would have arrived at either of those locations based on my layman's logic. I might have just tried pushing the hot air out of the room and into the dining room. I assume that's flawed logic.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Cold air is denser. Pushing colder air, down low toward the stove is often more effective than trying to push warm air. The displaced cold air will convectively be replaced with warm air from the stove room. Try it, it works.
  7. RossB

    RossB Member

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    I think I'm going to buy the stove tomorrow. My wife's grandmother made the grandest of gestures last night by offering to buy us the woodstove. She's concerned about the impending fall of civilization and is happy to hear that we'll have a source for heat, cooking, and hot water after the entire infrastructure of the U.S. collapses. She worries about her great-grandchildrens' welfare. It's overly generous of her, and we tried to decline it, but she wouldn't take no for an answer. In the end, we conceded and agreed to let her pay the entire cost of stove, chimney, and installation...$500 ( ;

    Now she's going to be after to me to get it installed posthaste so she can sit in front of it.
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  8. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Perfectly logical.
  9. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    LOL. You must have found a great deal:)
  10. RossB

    RossB Member

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    In 1950 dollars (her perpetual point of reference), that's a lot of money...she thinks we may be going overboard with this kind of extravagance...spending way too much at $500...but we assured her that the price would include the chimney and the hearth.

    After all, a wood stove cost like $30 in 1954...for $50, you could get a kitchen wood/coal stove with 6 burners and 2 ovens. If we told her the real number, her head would explode...then she'd still want to pay for it, but she'd be living on Saltine crackers and broth for the next 2 years with the thermostat turned down to 59. She is generous to a fault.

    Just shot an RFQ out to dynamitebuys.com for all of my Class A chimney material. I think I'll use the Class A all the way from the stove to the roof so that I can take advantage of the better clearances. The walls behind my hearth will effectively be just for show and not much else. I'd at least like to know what the rough cost of the chimney should be before I talk to the dealer selling methe stove.

    So I'm thinking about the hearth and I have an idea of what I'd like to make...the stove platform probably about 6" above the floor...the brick walls going up 5-6'...some sort of grey stone for the platform and the mantel...1.5" - 2" thick with a rough edge...maybe round off or mitre that front corner...cinder blocks beneath the stove with a brick facade around the front edges...I have no idea what the grey stone material would be though. I'll have to ask the building supply guy. The floor is concrete so I don't think the load will be an issue. I'll be treating the studs as the combustible surface and spacing the stove out accordingly.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2013
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I would not run class A to the stove unless there was absolutely no alternative. It never looks right and costs a lot more. You will gain no clearances. The double-wall clearances listed in the manual are for double-wall connector pipe, not double-wall, class A chimney. They are different animals with different temp ratings. Revise your bid request and switch the pipe to connector when it enters the room at the support.
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  12. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Ahhh...thank you sir! I thought the two were synonymous. I suppose this is part of the value of having a local dealer with subject matter expertise. I suppose I should just defer to the dealer and let him tell me what I need for my application. I just want to be knowledgeable enough not to pay $1500 for $600 worth of material. I think Dealer #1 had me at about $1300 for the 12' chimney.
  13. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    Then you'll have a new best permanent resident from November till April.
  14. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Whatever makes her happy. Nobody expects to have grandparents around when you're well into your 40s...my wife still has 2 of them...we do what we can to keep them happy.
    Oldhippie likes this.
  15. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Just bought the Isle Royale from Dealer #2 for $2400. I found a coupon on the Quadra-fire web site for $100...that didn't suck. I should have it in a week or so. Enough time to figure out what I'm going to do with it I hope. I spoke to Sean at the chimney place today and I should have a quote for that this afternoon. He knew that I didn't actually want Class A inside the house so clearly he knows more about this than me. That's comforting. Now it's time to start reading everything I can about laying some bricks.
    Woody Stover likes this.
  16. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Just FYI Random Factoid: Sean from dynamitebuys.com has recently launched http://www.woodstovepro.com/ I think he will be phasing out dynamitebuys.com I like that company. Kind of the new generation mom and pop store. Very good service and the owner answers the phone every time I call. Sorry for the side bar.

    Ross, great choice! My buddy has the Isle Royale with the white enamel. It is a beautiful stove and a serious heater. One of my favorite stoves.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Keep us posted Ross. You're going to love that beauty. It's a serious heater and one of the best lookers on the market.
  18. RossB

    RossB Member

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    OK...things are moving along now...I'm waiting for my stove to arrive, ordered all of the chimney materials from Sean at DynamiteBuys, and I'm prepping the room for the installation. I'll post a few pics of my progress later, but I have a question. As I lay out the raised hearth, I've been thinking about ducting in outside air through the hearth and up to the stove with an outside air kit. The house is really tight and between the fireplace and the oil furnace, I'm afraid that all 3 things will be competing for the available air supply. With my luck, I'll be inducing cold drafts in the furthest reaches of the house where the heat of the stove never reaches. Any pros or cons regarding the use of an outside air kit? Anything specific to the Isle Royale? I'd like to make the accomodations for the air supply beneath the hearth before I start laying the bricks. Thanks.
  19. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I don't think there are any cons with an OAK. Sounds like you'll probably need it anyway.

    Looking forward to the pics ;)
  20. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Just called and ordered the Outside Air Kit...somewhere around $100...should see the stove this week.

    Went down the the building supply store today where they carry mountains of bricks in a hundred different flavors...picked up some for show and tell with the wife. While I was there, I saw these big beautiful slabs of bluestone. That stuff looks like it would make a nice surface to place the stove on and then maybe a couple smaller pieces for the mantel. Does anyone have experience with this stuff?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2013
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  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Search on bluestone. There are several hearths done with this material with pictures here. They look great.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  22. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Been looking at them for 30 years - I think they've been talking to me for a while. Unfortunately Bag of Hammers doesn't equal Bag of Cash. Still dreaming though....
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  23. RossB

    RossB Member

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    I ordered the stove and set about making preparations for it's arrival. The corner hearth that I was imagining would require me to remove a window and the sliding glass door. I got busy while waiting for the stove to arrive. I removed the window and ordered a new 36" door.

    Here's the before picture...

    [​IMG]

    I pulled the window and boxed in the hole. I picked up a few bricks for some show and tell with the wife.

    [​IMG]

    Prepping and painting the new door...

    [​IMG]

    Foolishly, I opted to uncrate it at this time...not realizing that my hand truck would be virtually useless once the stove was off of the pallet. It was just as well though as the stove was no longer bolted to the pallet. The lag screws that secured the feet were no longer engaged in the feet. I would have gotten a big surprise if I tried to tilt the crate with the hand truck and the stove flopped inside the box.

    It sure looks nice...

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2013
  24. RossB

    RossB Member

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    WooHoo! Stove came in last Friday. I cruised on down to the dealer with my trailer and had the man load me up. He used the fork truck to load it and asked me if I had some buddies to help move it. I assured him that I did, but 5 minutes later I was sitting in my driveway and realizing that all of my friends and family were working on a Friday at noon. Being the impatient person that I am, I set about formulating a plan to move this 480lb pig into the house on my own...make an afternoon project of it and surprise the wife when she gets home. After all, how heavy could it be?

    First thing, I parked the trailer as close as possible to the deck...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  25. RossB

    RossB Member

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    I wrestled it off of the pallet and onto the deck of the trailer. Then I set about trying to use the handtruck. No matter what side I approached it from with the hand truck, I just didn't like what I was seeing. I couldn't tell if the ash box would support the weight of the stove, the heat shields on the back seemed susceptible to damage, and I didn't want to scratch the front or sides. In the end, I just couldn't find a good way to use the cart. Instead, I'd have to go the manual labor route and lift-drag-lift-drag-repeat. I'd pick up one side, move it 3 or 4 inches in the direction I want to go, and then put it down...move to the other side and do it again...30' in 3 inch increments. Some quick math led me to believe that if it took me one minute to move it 3" (assuming some huffing, puffing, and cursing between lifts), it would take me 2 hours to get into the house. The sun was shining and the birds were singing so I set to work.
    Oldhippie likes this.
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