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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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    That's odd. The Black Bear has a window at the Jotul web site.

    Big windows are here to stay. No one could argue that. I also think there is plenty of room in the market for the Elm on an international level. Just as the 602 keeps chugging along.

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  2. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Yep, but the stove here at the local dealer has a solid door, and a "screen" thing to replace the door to use in a kind of fireplace mode.. Maybe older stock, may be optional, don't know, will ask next time I am in there. But even with the door shown on the web site, it wouldn't have made it to our house. The Elm probably has about the smallest viewing area we would possibly go with, and maybe that is mostly just because we really like the overall look of the stove that we would allow just a bit less window. I bet you will be very happy with all that nickle plating, it's going to be a looker.

    About the 602 chugging along.. they have been making it forever, that always helps with the numbers. I have a cousin in Norway that has one that has been in the family like 4 generations.

    The Volkswagon Bug is the best selling car of all time, still in production in South America nearly 70 years after it's design, but that doesn't mean it's the best car ever built. or that I want one. ;-)
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Well somehow this thread had derailed into a thread on watching the fire so I'll bite . . .

    I'm a watcher . . . even as Year 2 draws to a close I'll often turn off the TV, turn off the lights and then watch the fire for a few minutes before turning into bed . . . it's very relaxing and mesmerizing . . . which is a bit disturbing given my choice of professions.

    Other times in the dead of winter after I've been outside plowing snow I like to come inside and plunk down in front of the warm stove and spend a few minutes watching the flames and getting warmed up . . .

    So . . . I've never just sat in front of the fire for hours upon hours staring at the flames . . . that would be a little creepy actually . . . but I do frequently watch the fire . . . and do so more than just the occasional glance.

    That said . . . the amount of glass or "view" was never in my list of "must have" with this woodstove . . . I didn't pick out my stove based on the size of the glass . . . it just worked out that it has a large view.
  4. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    LOL, point well taken DD.

    And yes, indeed, Jakes practice of fire viewing would be my own and probably for the vast majority of stove owners. No one can fault anyone who would just sit and watch a larger view of a fire for a long time if they wanted to. I just believe the Elm or any other stove with the character it has would not derail a company for producing one with a smaller window.
  5. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Kind of makes me wonder what a poll would show - how many owners bought their stoves with the view of the fire as large as can be in mind, and how much time do people take to actually watch the fire for an extended period of time. And also, what is more important - view of the fire or as clean a burn as possible. Of course, some would say their stove has both. But then, overall cosmetics of the stoves looks also comes into play. After all, it has to sit in the room all spring and summer into fall, as well. My Homestead, as DD would concur, is a nice looking stove. But the coming Elm will also be. And I am believing its performance will make me much happier than the Homestead has.
  6. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Just wanted to mention I got the stove yesterday and did a first burn last night. Fabulous! Absolutely Fabulous. In every aspect of side by side function this stove blows away my Homestead, save for one feature - large glass door. But the view of the fire is still pretty good on the Elm, and considering the performance difference, I am a happy, happy, happy man this morning. I was having such a good time last night I stayed up till 1:30 messing around with various settings and watching everything in action.

    Steve has asked me to be a testing station for this new hybrid and put it through its paces and report to him how it goes. That will be a pleasure.

    I wondered how the stove would perform at +40 temps outside. May as well have been 20. The stove just took off like a jetliner and cruised at perfect levels leaving me with plenty of live coals to throw a log on this morning, which it made quick work of and took the chill off. And I didn't even load up the firebox last night. I will easily get an 8+ hour burn out of this 18" stove and have plenty of coals to work with every morning.

    Ah, yes! Burning wood is fun again. And it looks really cool on the hearth, as well. I can load the stove standing up! This is the BOMB!
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Glad it got there and is doing so well.
  8. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    REF1

    Look, you have been on this forum long enough to know that your last post is inapropriate..

    We need a moderator to get a handle on this right now!!

    Why you ask..

    Because you didn't post any pictures that's why!

    If pictures are not posted soon correcting this error, I will be forced to report this thread to the nearest moderator.. Brother Bart...

    :)
  9. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Forgive my ignorance. I can't figure out how to do it. I looked at threads addressing photos. Greek to me.
  10. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    I struggled at first also, but that was because I was trying to LINK pictures from photobucket.. found it's easiest to just load them from your computer while posting.. go down to the bottom of the message window and you will see a spot for "attachments" click browse, find on your computer, click open, it will upload from your computer... make sure picture is under 700kb. I use this place to resize.. http://www.shrinkpictures.com pretty straight forward.
  11. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Indeed, someone else emailed me about that. I feel rather foolish, but I always do a 'fast reply.' Never saw the options on the other reply format. I'll take some pics tonight and see what I can post.

    Thanks.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  13. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Here's a few pics of the Elm set up. Looks real nice on the hearth, which is in our kitchen. Very small home, used to be a hunting camp when it was originally built. Different owners have continually updated and renovated it. The hearth was in the dining area, I took down walls and extended and renovated the kitchen. But we can still see the stove from the living room in the open floor plan.

    Anyway, when I posted some problems with the Homestead it was interesting to see replies - unseasoned wood, poor draft, need liner, etc. Well, this installation is in the same rig with the same wood and all and the difference is astounding. Surging air for start up, absolutely no smoke when I open the door to reload, cat lights off in ten minutes and scoots up to 1500 in 20 minutes and coasts there for a few hours on a small load of wood. I have yet to load the firebox fully. I had such a hard time with the Homestead. I think this stove will crank up no matter what temp and atmospheric condition exists outside. It's 50 out now and the stove lit up in seconds. Just a splendid air intake and draft system.

    I still need to mess around with the intake to see the U-tubes in action. Thus far I am so happy with the cat aspect it's fantastic.

    Attached Files:

  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Great looking stove and hearth. Glad ya got a burner that makes ya happy.
  15. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    REF, that is a fine piece of art. If you can get 'er running full tilt this year, please post the results. That "hot chunk of well casing"(jk), is making me reconsider my soon-to-be-delivered BKK. I likee! :)
  16. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Ref,
    That IS a FANTASTIC looking stove! It must be exciting to be breaking new ground on this hybrid technology! I'll add this to the list of stoves I'd like to own someday. This one may be at the top of that list. I've loved the look of the Elms since the first time I saw them. Now that they are tweeked out to keep up and maybe surpass the modern stoves they are a force to be reckoned with.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good to hear that the wood heating thing has been solved. That's a great hearth to land that Elm on. Keep us posted on how the hybrid works out.
  18. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the kind words. I almost wish it was February so I could keep this thing going all the time.

    After seeing Steve's new box beam video I am also going to add it to this stove. Cats have a tendency to lower firebox temps some, so in the dead of winter I'd like to be able to open her up and get full heat from the box while also getting the effects of his tubes and beam, which is outrageous. Plus, because of the placement of the cat in relation to the baffle and all, the cat ignites even without bypass engaged, so in the end this stove just performs, which is great. And Steve is still sending me emails every day of new directions and ideas he's working on. It's just a passion for him.

    I had the warming shelves nickel plated, but the overall look was a bit much so I masked off and sprayed some of the shelf. I like the contrast much better. These new shelves are a different composition than the originals, with a different design, too, which I like alot. The combustor basket has also been upgraded, as well. In my old Elm it definitely showed signs of fatigue after 15 years. The new alloy is supposed to hold up much better.

    You know, that Bear steamer on top of the cook top? While water evaporated when it was on top of the Homestead, it never steamed. Does now.
  19. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    One of the things I always found cool about the Elm is how they are constructed. The whole thing comes apart in various pieces. All held together with stainless fasteners of one kind or another and the four rods. If any part of the stove should fail after years of use, the stove can be taken apart pretty easily and rebuilt. I don't know of any other stove with that capacity. Maybe some cast irons out there, I don't know, but obviously not welded steel stoves.

    I wasn't aware that the Elm was part of a stove design contest back in the 70s. Apparently Vermont Castings was part of that competition, the original Defiant being the result. Certainly a different outcome, as far as business. VC is enormous now. But the Elm was and is a great stove.
  20. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    Congrats on your new stove! I really like the looks and "simpleness" of the Elms. I'll be curious to get some feedback from you as to how efficient your hybrid Elm is, particularly because it seems that you've had recent experience with an EPA stove.

    I have two Elms (a 24" and an 18") that I picked up in the past couple of months with the hopes of rebuilding them and adding the secondary burn tubes. However, after communicating with two or three other "modern" Elm owners, the reports I've been getting are that while the Elms are truly gorgeous stoves, that even with the secondary burn tubes they are not very efficient. Add to that the fact that the clearances aren't very good, and I'm wondering if it's worth it to me to fix these stoves up or not. For me, looks only go so far--I want a stove that's easy to light/use (and it sounds like yours is!), easy to maintain (I don't think you can get much simpler than an Elm in terms of maintenance), and, an efficient stove that doesn't burn through cord after cord of wood while also limiting smoke into the atmosphere.

    Please keep as posted as to your thoughts on this stove as you use it more and more. It sure is a beauty!!!


    NP
  21. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    NP, not sure how the people you've communicated with use their Elms, but in watching Steve Slatters' you tube vids, I have a hard time believing the retro-fitted Elms are not efficient. The turbulence in the firebox is ferocious, especially with the new box beam. Thus far the fires I have had in mine have used less wood and I've gotten longer burns with small loads, and nice fine ash left behind. But, that's the cat in action, although I know the tubes are working as well, because they leave a fan shaped pattern on the baffle opposite each hole where the jets of air are lighting off gases. Some soot on the baffle, but not across from each hole.

    I would not hesitate to contact Steve and communicate with him. Great guy. Down to earth. He listens. Matter of fact, I've been in touch with him almost every day for awhile now, and this morning I mentioned some ideas about an air wash. Next thing I know he's emailing back later in the day showing me pics of a prototype of an air wash he set up and explaining how it worked, and how the stove responded throughout the burn cycle. What stove company could I contact with an idea and have something develop like that? The man is really a Pro. Get in touch with him. He'll work with you.
  22. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    I agree that the youtube vids look good, and that Steve is really a great guy! He's a tremendous resource and I'm really, really glad that he's so passionate about these unique Elm stoves!

    I have communicated with both Steve and with 4 owners' of "modern Elms" who really like the stoves (they look great, people compliment them all the time, they're easy to load, light, etc.) but they've all stated that once the initial enthusiasm wore off that they realized that the Elm's can really burn through some wood, i.e. they're not very efficient. Better than the old smoke dragons, but not on par with a newer EPA II stove. To some people, that might not matter at all, and indeed of the 4 people I spoke to only 1 said he was going to replace it with another stove--so they are generally happy with the stoves. For me, I want heat and efficiency, and then looks are a distant 3rd. That being said, if I'd go through 3 cords a year with a new EPA II stove and 4 cords with a re-fitted Elm, well, maybe that would be a decent trade-off. But if it's 5, or even 6 cords with the Elm, then I'm not really interested in one as a 24/7 heater. Maybe for decoration and occasional use in a cabin or something, but not a full-time heater.

    I suspect that your CAT/Tube/beam hybrid will be about as efficient a model as can be expected from the re-fitted Elms, and that's why I'm curious to hear your opinions on wood consumption. I know there are other Elm owners (both original and modified) here, maybe they can join in the conversation as well.


    NP
  23. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Maybe you should define "efficiency." To me it means complete burn of fuel. As little as possible wasted. It sounds like the owners you speak of feel the stove burns too fast. That it can. It can truly vaporize a load of wood. But that is regulation of air into the firebox, and how one maintains a fire as well. Do these folks have creosote problems, unburned wood in the box after each cycle? Watching your heat go up the chimney? That is inefficiency to me. I experienced that all the time with my Homestead, which is what sent me to look for another stove. Most EPA non-cat stoves all recommend short, hot fires, with smaller pieces of wood to work their best. They can go through wood pretty fast at that rate.

    I seriously doubt any stove out there would have differences in fuel consumption that you mention, like 3 to 1. Unless it's an old non-airtight Franklin or something like that. The modern Elm is no smoke dragon, that's for sure.
  24. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Just curious. Were you thinking of doing your own DIY tube set up? As a lifetime DIY I can get into that, but Steve has mentioned to me how many prototypes he's gone through to find the right ratios of stuff, and he has his secrets like any manufacturing company does. Apparently alot of people have seen what looks like a simple system, and tried to copy it but don't get it quite right. I work with wood, not metal, so I have to leave that stuff to the experts.

    What condition are your stoves in? Finding two of them is pretty cool.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think might be a misinterpretation of guidance from the stove makers. Most non-cat EPA stove recommend a moderate firing rate for maximum efficiency. They do recommend a smaller, more intense fire than the old style fill it to the gills and smolder approach, but within reason. That is more our shoulder season burning technique. During winter, most of us burn fairly large splits to extend the burn times, yet see zero smoke from the flue. The key here is to get a good bed of coals first, burn dry wood, and don't choke it down too soon. Basically, if the glass is getting dark, the fire is too cool.

    "Your PACIFIC ENERGY heater is designed for maximum overall efficiency at a moderate
    firing rate. Overfiring is hazardous and a waste of fuel. Too slow a burn contributes to
    creosote buildup and lowers combustion efficiency."

    Lopi: Hints for Burning
    • Get the appliance hot before adjusting to low burn
    • Use smaller pieces of wood during start-up and high burns to increase temperature
    • Use larger pieces of wood for overnight or sustained burns
    • Stack the wood tightly together to establish a longer burn
    • Leave a bed of ashes (1/2" deep) to allow for longer burns
    • Be considerate of neighbors & the environment: burn dry wood only
    • Burn small, intense fires instead of large, slow burning fires when possible
    • Learn your appliance's operating characteristics to obtain optimum performance

    Napoleon:
    "Remember. it is more efficient to burn medium sized wood, briskly, and
    refuel frequently than to load the fireplace with large logs that
    result in a smoldering, inefficient fire and dirty glass.

    For maximum efficiency, when the stove is thoroughly hot, load
    it fully to the top of the door opening and burn at a medium
    low setting. Maximum heat for minium fuel (optimum burn)
    occurs when the stove top temperature beneath the trivet is
    between 500°F (260°C) and 600°F (315°C). The bricks will be
    nearly all white and the glass mostly clear. The whiteness of
    the bricks and the cleanness of the glass are good indicators of
    your operating efficiency. Not enough heat is produced when
    only one or two pieces of wood are burned or the wood may
    not burn completely. A minimum of three pieces are needed
    to encase a bed of coals that sustains the fire.
    Loosely stacked wood burns quicker than a tightly packed
    load. Wood burns in cycles rather than giving a steady output
    of heat. It is best to plan these cycles around your household
    routine so that only enough coals are left to start the next load.
    In the evening, load your stove, at least, a half-hour before bed
    to ensure a good fire, hot enough to close the draft control for
    an overnight burn. Burn only dry seasoned wood."
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