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Hybrid Elm on the Way (on the hearth) Pics

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by REF1, Mar 18, 2010.

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  1. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    After dozens of emails back and forth with Steve Slatter, owner of Vermont Elm Stoveworks, and being a former Cat Elm owner, I decided on getting a Cat Elm again. While Steve has offered parts for Cat Elm owners, he has basically gone down the path of secondary combustion via various air tubes in the firebox, and left off making Cats. In our communications I explained my thoughts and needs here at the house, and he offered to make me a Cat if that's what I wanted, but in the spirit of good ol' American ingenuity and entrepreneurial enterprise he offered a twist, a Cat with secondary tubes in the box and his steel baffle as well. He asked if he could fire it up and post the results on youtube. I said sure. The results are incredibly impressive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JdCQCtJyQo

    I've watched many different videos of stoves in action and have never seen secondary tubes throw off flames like this. They look like gas jets firing off.

    I always liked the Catalytic Elm. I consider the Elm a turn of the century looking stove on 21st century steroids. The 36" unit I had in Maine always served me more than well. The round barrel seems the perfect environment for an efficient burn cycle, and throw of heat for a radiant stove. I couldn't fit a 24" on my heart here, but after asking a bunch of questions settled on the 18" firebox, which has more cubic footage than my current stove, so it should perform well for what we need - fast heat, long clean burn.

    For those unfamiliar with Elms, a few links to check them out:

    http://www.vermontironstove.com/index.html

    http://benchman.smugmug.com/Business/Elm-Wood-Stoves-and-Slatter/8441935_7ZeEF#554797827_5ndCF

    http://benchman.smugmug.com/Machines/Elm-stove-and-foundry-patterns/9963269_DF8UZ#680549169_VvNzi

    He's got a bunch of vids on youtube, showing his stoves in action.

    I have to applaud Steve Slatter for his devotion, not only to customer service, but to pursuit of stove innovation, improvement and passion for his work. I hope he ends up being one of the major players in the stove manufacturing world. Although he may be just as happy to produce these stoves on the level he does. In either case, my hat's off to him.

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Nice video. Wonder what the gph would be with one of those hybrids? The cat was burning awful high, you never want to exceed 1800 for an extended time.
  3. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    He mentioned that. He just wanted to see what kind of heat and performance he would get in full tilt.
  4. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    I should also mention the stove I'm getting is not a new stove per se. The good ol' EPA frowns on such capitalism.

    I find myself more sick of the federal government with each passing week, and alot of it seems tied in with wood stoves, ironically enough. Is there anything the federal government does not stick its nose into anymore?

    Next thing you know some fed will be telling me I can't cut down trees on my own land for firewood.

    What happened to common sense in America?
  5. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    It died along with Thomas Paine, just over 200 years ago.
  6. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    I should also add that Steve does most of this with refurbished Elms. Some new parts to go with sturdy original stuff and it's good as new again. But in the end I would love to see him making all new units and models, all keyed up for the current manufacturing environment. It's amazing (if not disgusting) how much the government places upon you to manufacture stoves in the USA.
  7. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful stoves that's for sure. A picture from his web site is our background on this 'puter actually. The Elm would not work for us, but if we ever build a new house with passive solar and wood heat in mind, a Elm may be the answer. She wants me to order a nickle door and build a wall hanging with it..
  8. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    How much do his refurb stoves go for?
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    The Elm is a very unique looking stove and I'm sure there would be a market for it's return. Hey, maybe he can get a good deal on a small buisness loan from the Gov and create some jobs?
  10. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    The Elm is growing on me, I wasnt crazy about them at first but in a different house someday I would consider one, they seem to really heat nicely.
  11. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    He sells refurbs from 1-2k, depending on details, like nickel plating, combustion system, etc. That can add up pretty fast. Did on ours, but we really want that old fashioned look for this home, like antique stoves. So we had everything nickel plated - apron, tree, handle (normal package), plus 14" legs, and the warming shelves.

    What I find cool is this sort of 'a la carte' kind of thing for each owner. Now that he has done the gig with both cat and tubes, he has another offering in the mix. Plus he's got the box beams that can go with the tubes, either, or, etc. I find this the best of all consumer worlds. And after all the discussion I've had with Steve I know he will not stop trying to find every possible thing to create an ultimate burn. And he makes his stoves all updatable, so owners can get the newest stuff.

    In my case, with this new design, I am looking forward to see if the cat lasts longer than normal. That would be a great benefit.

    Oh, I forgot to mention this. In an age when so much comes from China, even cast iron, Steve owns all the forms for his castings, and they are original from the Waterbury, VT company, and his stuff is American made. To me, that's an important point.
  12. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    REF1, Thanks for the info on the Elms. Steve seems to be quite a guy. I really like his inquisitive nature and his sense of purpose with these stoves. I can sense one in my future at some point. Certainly rather be using one of them than some POS (pieces of steel) stove welded up in China.
  13. geoxman

    geoxman Feeling the Heat

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    Congrats on the new stove! I have seen/studied his videos many times on youtube. I have also spoken with him when I had questions about secondary burn tubes and he was most helpful, even though the old stove was not Elm. I would love to own an Elm one day
  14. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    You know, that's just plain Cool! :coolsmile:
  15. Fixedblade

    Fixedblade Member

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    I used to sell woodstoves back in the late 1970's and the Elm was the neatest and best heater of them all. They were also gorgeous. I recall driving down to the factory in Waterbury, Vt and picking up a load of Elm stoves to sell in our stove shop. We also sold Garrison stoves which were excellent heaters too. Of course, times and technologies were different in those days but these stoves were the "state of the art" for those times. I recall moving into a big old farmhouse in early December and putting in a big Elm stove and it heat the whole place. And that was with firewood that we had just cut green the prior weekend....Ah, the old days....

    FB in Vt.
  16. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Well, I'll tell you. Based on the stuff Steve Slatter gets into, I'd say Elms are still state of the art stoves.

    I mentioned something to him this morning. It's chilly here, so I had to fire up my Homestead (still waiting on nickel parts for the Elm). As usual, tough to start, but I also noticed something in comparing to the Elms, and probably some other companies, as well. The modern stove uses pre-heated air to aid in full combustion. But on my stove that air enters at the side and must travel through a series of channels to get to the main entry and to the upper tubes. But this series of paths, at least in my stove, moves air very slow requiring the door to be cracked to get a decent fire going, and also allowing for alot of smoke to go up the flue before air gets hot enough, and turbulent enough to actually begin sucking air into the box through the secondary tubes for combustion of volatiles in the fire box. But the Elm has a direct to fire air intake on the door, and direct to secondary tubes and/ or box beam up top. Both the U-tubes and box beam are large reservoirs of hot air. And, of course, a cat does what it does once up to temp, but you need a good supply of air to get a decent fire going. My Homestead just struggles to start a fire, even a kindling fire. And smoke rolls around in the box until I open the door. Then everything bursts into flames and the smoke rapidly exits up the chimney.

    Having owned a Cat Elm before, I guess it's the barrel, or depth of the barrel which really sucks in air at the main intake. Most 'cigar' stoves with direct air to fire box have that feature to their burn. I just think common sense is at work here. Slatter states lots of people get on him about computer calculation and design and mock-ups, and alot of other stuff. The reality is the stove ..."works, and works well for everyone," he says. Simple as that. Can't argue with simple logic and proof.
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Those really are attractive. I like the pie plate too.
  18. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Pie plate. What a hoot. It does have a tendency to distort the view of the burn, and I may take it out to see the fire more clearly. All you have to do is replace the circumference space with 3/8" gasket. But, it also has a tendency to magnify things, as well, like colors of the burn, etc. So, I may just leave it on there.
  19. slindo

    slindo Member

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    Let us pause a moment to consider what a similarly sized replacement round of high temp glass would cost from, say, Vermont Castings, or Jotul.


  20. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I am a fan of the Elms. I think what Steve does is great for the stove world. I'd love to have an Elm in my home. Great video! Thanks for sharing.
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Any large scale stove maker would be out of business in two years trying to sell stoves with that small a view of the fire these days.
  22. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Interesting observation. One thing I found out after owning 5 stoves - I didn't watch the fire anywhere near as much as I thought I would. Even now, with a large window, it is mostly to check what's happening in the stove, not so much romantic ambience. I have no time to just sit and watch a wood stove. Even when I do, it's kind of a "seen one, seen them all" reaction. The novelty wears off after awhile. Nice to watch but the show is a rerun every time, basically.

    Having said that, and having owned an Elm before, and reading how the Jotul 602 has been the world's largest selling wood stove, with Jotul's Black Bear along with it, I don't think the Elm's view of the fire would put any manufacturer out of business. I would even say if Vermont Iron is able to increase sales large enough, through serious clean burn capabilities and an attractive unit, other companies might even offer a barrel model to seize that market.
  23. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    I don't know if I would go quite so far as to say a large manufacturer would go out of business just because they sold stoves with little to no view of the fire only.. but I know they wouldn't sell one to us. The view of the fire is very important to us. One of the selling points of our stove was the fact that of the 3 shops we talked to, the owners all commented that the Hearthstones had great fire displays. And ours does.
  24. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Well, Steve just emailed me after reading this and said he watches the fire, his assistant watches the fire, and his wife watches the fire, especially with the box beam blazing, so I stand corrected. But, Dakotas Dad, just curious. How much time do you sit and actually watch the fire, rather than the stove being a warm, inviting kind of atmospheric thing happening where you glance at the stove now and then? I tend to think most people 'view' their stoves and fireplaces in that light. Background, sense of presence feeling while watching TV, reading a book, or talking with people in the room the unit exists.
  25. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    If you mean how often do I pull a stool up in front of the stove and just stare at the stove/fire, not that much, but some.

    I think most people view their fireplace and or stove just as you said, it's part of the ambiance of the room area, and it's the fire, not the cast iron or steel (or stone), that provides the ambiance, and so as far as I/we are concerened less view is bad, more view is good. And while Jotul and Woodstock both sell stoves with absolutely no fire view, I doubt, when compared to the total stoves sold in America, those three models are very large. My pastor was over just yesterday afternoon, and we were discussing wood heat. He has an old Fisher in the basement and a nice insert in the living room, the Fisher does most of the heating but the insert with the big window gets all the attention from guests and family. BTW the dealer where we bought our stove has/had a Jotul Black Bear in the showroom, both the wife and I like the shape and casting decoration of the box, but never considered it for our house, specificaly because of no glass in the door.
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