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Lopi Endeavor review

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Pagey, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    I wanted to post a little review of our Lopi Endeavor, as I know someone will find this useful in the future. I'll describe the stove, our setup, and the pros/cons below. Most of you will be more than familiar with the descriptions, but I wanted to write it from the standpoint of someone new who is searching and feeling a bit overwhelmed. We have used the Endeavor for one heating season. Though I grew up with wood heat all my life (I'm 32 now), this is my first year of using it in my own home.

    Environment/Home
    We purchased our Lopi Endeavor in November of 2008 for approximately $2,000. We live on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee. Our winters are relatively mild, but we do dip into the teens and lower, occasionally, and when you're in those ranges, a heat pump really struggles (and really costs). We live in a 2 story house that is about 8 years old. I would describe our windows and insulation and moderate/adequate. The house is not nearly as tight as it could be, but it's not some 1800's farm house, either. ;-) We're heating around 1,800 sq. ft., 1,000 downstairs and 800 upstairs.

    Chimney system
    We had a prebab, Class A stainless steel chimney system installed. We have about 5.5' of double wall Selkirk stove pipe downstairs, which then transitions into about 13' or so of Class A which travels through a bedroom corner and exits the attic with 4.5' of exposed Class A outside. The system draws well, and draft has never been a problem for this stove and its chimney system. If you're unsure about using a modern, prefab chimney - don't be! Properly installed, they are safe, reliable, relatively easy to clean, and will last you for years as long as you buy quality and burn correctly.

    The stove
    The stove itself is a plate steel stove manufactured by Travis Industries. Visit the Lopi site here: http://www.lopistoves.com/ if you want to see their entire line. Travis is a reliable, reputable manufacturer who manufactures a quality product and seems to stand behind it from what I've read. The Endeavor uses 3/16" and 5/16" plate steel, and you can tell from both use and appearance that the Endeavor is a well made product. The stove is lined with refractory fire brick, and it also uses these fire brick in the baffle (inside, top) of the stove. Additionally, a series of secondary air tubes make up the baffle, and these tubes introduce the pre-heated, secondary combustion air into the top of the firebox, thus causing the wood smoke/gases to combust for a cleaner, hotter fire. The firebox of the Endeavor is 2.2 cubic feet. It will accept 18" splits loaded either north/south or east/west, as the firebox is as deep as it is wide. The Endeavor also features a "bypass damper". When opened, this allows exhaust to travel directly up the chimney, bypassing the baffle. This feature ensures maximum draft for starting a fire, less smoke back when reloading, and easier cleaning when sweeping your chimney. I don't know that I'd want a stove without such a feature!

    Operation
    Operating the stove (from an established coal bed) basically consists of opening the bypass damper, cracking the door for a moment to allow the exhaust to draft up the opening, thus bypassing the baffle, raking your coals to the front, and then loading fresh splits. Once your splits are well engaged, you can close the bypass damper, and assuming you have dry, seasoned wood, you should have secondary combustion nearly immediately. From this point, you'll want to start adjusting your primary air down via the handle on the bottom front of the stove. Push the handle in to decrease the amount of primary air. I find that adjusting it down in stages over 20 minutes or so works best.

    Pros
    Here I'll list the pros: Construction: Thick plate steel with good, solid welds. Firebrick/steel baffle. Bypass damper. Equally wide/deep firebox. Clearances: Low clearance to combustibles (just 4.5" rear clearance when using approved doublewall stovepipe). Operation: Easy to start or rekindle a fire. Coal bed remains for 7 or 8 hours using good hardwoods.

    Cons
    Here's the cons: Construction: Relatively small firebox (especially when you need long, overnight burns). Paint on the door seems to flake easily. Operation: Burntime/useable heat is not the same for me as the advertised rate of "up to 10 hrs". I get more like 5-6 hours of "usable" heat from a burn cycle. Struggles to heat 1,800 sq. ft. overnight in the teens or lower (again, better windows/insulation would help).

    Summary
    We're very pleased with our Lopi Endeavor. This is the first time in my five years in this home that we have truly been warm in the winter. I would not hesitate to purchase a Lopi product again. The bypass damper feature alone would sell me again, probably, especially at cleaning time. If you plan on heating much more than 1,800 sq. ft., please consider the Lopi Liberty if you have adequate clearance to combustibles. We did not, so we had to choose the Endeavor. Finally, be SURE you burn dry, seasoned wood. The best stove in the world just won't perform with wet, green wood.

    Hopefully this information will help someone who may be considering an Endeavor in the coming heating season. Cheers!

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  2. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    Nice review. Well written concise, and contains all the info one would need. +25 Internet Points to you.
  3. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I know that it won't prove useful to the regulars, but I wanted to put something up for any new buyers that might be in the medium sized stove market. I know I felt overwhelmed when I started, and there's no substitute for a first hand experience based review of a piece of hardware to help settle your nerves. Hearth.com has been a huge help to me, and it's nice to be able to give back a little.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Great write-up and it sounds like a great stove. Thanks!

    *****Steel Stoves Rule*****
    webby3650 likes this.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Awesome review. Travis makes nice products.

    Tape measures rule. ;-)
    webby3650 likes this.
  6. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    This is the stove I'm planning to buy soon. I sent Pagey a pm a while back asking about this stove when I was searching the forum for info on it. This will be really helpful for people who may be considering this stove. I was drawn to it due to the low clearance to combustibles and I like the idea of the bypass.
  7. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    You won't be sorry.
  8. wdavis

    wdavis New Member

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    Thanks for the great review Pagey. I am actually looking at getting a Lopi Endeavor.

    Wondering about the optional blower and if it is worth the extra cost ?

    thanks
  9. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    I'm sorry that I can't offer you any insight into the effectiveness of the blower, as we do not have one at this time. Send Rick (screen name fossil) a PM and ask him about his Lopi Liberty with the blower. From what I gather, it works well for him on his Liberty, but he can give you far more details. We enjoyed our Endeavor tremendously last year, and I can't wait for heating season to start!
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Great review Pagey . . . you may have already done so, but don't forget to write up (or cut and paste this review) for the regular Stove Review section . . . I know I found that section quite useful when I was deciding what stove to purchase.
  11. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    I have a homemade blower on my Endeavor, and it does circulate the warm air pretty well. I run it frequently when it's really cold out. The Lopi blower would probably be worth it if you're heating a larger space.
  12. Jfk4th

    Jfk4th Minister of Fire

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    The blower is pricey but I had one on my 2008 Avalon Olympic (same on Lopi) and I thought it was pretty quiet. I never really used it on high because it was a little too loud for my taste. On medium, low is was quiet for me. It did help push out the heat early in the morning. I know some guys use a small Vortex fan to circulate heat though so you might want to do a search on that if you want to save some cash
  13. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    I'm glad this was bumped to the top. I have a possible lead on a very cheap(possibly under $100) endeavor, and had some questions regarding their secondary burn system that wasn't available on the mfg website. Thanks again Pagey.
  14. pugetsoundwa

    pugetsoundwa New Member

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    Bought ours in Dec 10, pretty happy with it except..yes..don't get 10 hrs of heat more like the 6 that you stated. That said, our home is smaller,1250 sq ft and well insulated. We are forced to open the front and rear window of the living room as the hallway temp gage will say 78 degrees with only 2 energy logs being used. does heats the home. we did get up to 82 degrees at one time.
  15. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Agreed + another 25 Internets

    I hope you put a copy of your review in the reviews section on this site.

    Excellent job, useful to all, thank you.

    EDIT: Could you clarify what you mean by a prefab chimney? Are you simply talking about Class A pipe system, a manufacturer bundle of Class parts like sold on NorthlineExpress, or something else?
  16. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Excellent well written review! Easy to understand and kept my interest right to the last word.. Many posts I can't finish as I lose interest quickly if they run helter skelter.. Most importantly enjoy the newfound warmth in that nice looking stove!

    Ray
  17. CJScooter

    CJScooter New Member

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    Great review.

    I so appreciate the information esp. being that we have never had a wood stove before and do not want to make a mistake. I think you have convinced us to get the Endeavor vs the 1750 b/c of the bypass damper and that it will heat more square feet with the blower.

    We also have 1800 square feet to heat, upstairs and down.

    CJ
  18. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    As someone with the same firebox, but in an insert, and more square footage, if I had to do it over again I would go with a larger firebox for the longer burn times and greater heat capacity. The 1750 is a fine stove, but it's a bit limited in terms of burn time and such
  19. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Hi, I am thinking of getting the Lopi Endeavor. Are you still happy with it or do you wish you had gone with something different?
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This is a very old thread, replies are unlikely in summer. I can tell you that this stove is first-class. It is solidly made and a good heater. I have a friend running one in his shop and it does a great job.

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