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Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by cuttingedge, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. cuttingedge

    cuttingedge New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Maine
    I would like to introduce myself and give a little background.
    My wife and I currently live in New Jersey but have decided that we want to move.
    We were given the opportunity to move into a nice house with lots of property in Maine so we took that chance.
    We started to slowly move our stuff up to the new place last fall and just got back from taking a 26' box truck full of stuff up. We are very excited as we are going from a 1 acre lot to almost 100 acres with pond frontage. Anyway while we were there in the spring I decided to cut up and split a bunch of dead standing trees to fill the woodshed (approx 4 cords). One of my main concerns its the cost of heating fuel so I basically got us set-up to burn wood to reduce the cost of heating the house. While we were there recently it was a little chilly at night so I decided to try out the Stove and Insert that are in the house. The Insert is a Thor Metal Works with a blower unit. The wood stove in the basement is a beautiful Cawley Lemay 600. I fired them both up and tried them out. They both seem very well built and put off a lot of heat.
    My questions/ concerns are as follows:
    1. Are these going to be sufficient enough to heat the whole house during the winter months?
    2. Without ceiling fans, what is the best way to move the warm air throughout the house?
    3. Does anybody have experience with either of these units?
    4. How much wood can I expect to go through in an average winter?

    Advice/ suggestions are appreciated

    Attached Files:

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,287
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    The Cawley is a great stove, but heating the entire house from the basement is a difficult thing! You first have to counter the effect of many tons of 50 degree concrete and block, an almost impossible task.

    Also, the Cawley appears to use the same flue as the boiler - a no-no these days, although it was legal or semi-legal in Maine at a certain time (with oil only and flue needed carrying capability for both).

    The Thor is OK....that is, just OK, maybe for NJ. If you really want to heat in Maine you need more. That Cawley would do a fine job if installed upstairs somehow!

    Since you are probably busy with the move, you may want to just settle for things as-is this winter and then make the big changes next year. In any case, make sure you get the Cawley flue inspected as to safety, cleanliness, etc.

    Welcome to the Forums! Lived in Medford NJ (and has a stove store there) for many years!
  3. cuttingedge

    cuttingedge New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Maine
    Thank you for the advice.
    As far as the Cawley sharing the same flue, we had the boiler completely redone in the spring and the chimney cleaned and inspected. They said all was o.k. but if we needed to replace the boiler in the future that we would need a separate flue for the stove. The Insert (Thor) really does seem to put off a lot of heat. Thankfully when I was there a couple of weeks ago I went searching downstairs and found the blower unit on a shelf. With the blower going on low the living room and kitchen were at 85 degrees. The two bedrooms maintained an average of 70 without the stove downstairs going. If I find that these are not good enough, I will probably close up the fireplace and install a freestanding stove in the living room to replace the insert. Since you own a stove shop what would you recommend? I would only really be interested in a freestanding stove that would heat the whole house. I really do not like having to rely on blowers so what would be the best option for that situation?

    Again Thanks.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,287
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    What seems to heat in this weather is going to look very different when Maine hits it's true winter.....

    There are many many possible units which you could install. I haven't owned the shop for 16 years, so am not up to date on everything - lots of great stoves out there today.

    In your case, there are lots of factors including where you are going to put it (on fireplace hearth, elsewhere?), budget, chimney, etc.

    There are almost endless threads and posts over in the main hearth room dealing with various stoves and the results....check them out!

    As I said, the Cawley is a great stove if you move it upstairs, but it would have to properly fit somewhere, etc.
  5. cuttingedge

    cuttingedge New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Maine
    Thank you very much for the suggestions. As far as making what I have work for this winter season, I am going to have to see what works best by experimenting. Since it seems that you have experience with some of the older units such as the Cawley/ Lemay and the Thor insert do you have any tips or tricks to optimize burning with these units? Do you know what the approximate burn times are? When I load them up, how much wood should I be putting in them? Should I be closing off the air to increase burn times?
    Sorry about all of the questions but I have very limited experience with wood stoves as I have a brick and mortar fireplace in my current home.

    Thanks,
    Jason
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,287
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    The Thor is pretty much - u r one ur own.....not that it's a bad unit, just that the combustion is more or less all at once. Just fiddle around....

    The Cawley is another story. It's a front to back burner, so follow the tips here for the best burn. You will grow to love that stove. Never sell it! It's a piece of furniture if nothing else!

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/tending_a_wood_fire
    (type #2)

    The Thor is closer to #3 - a base burner or what some here call east-west (load direction of the wood). You still want to make sure the hot coals have access to air - in other words, have them raked forward somewhat between loads.

    Hope that helps!
  7. cuttingedge

    cuttingedge New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Maine
    Thanks for providing that link. It has some very good information. BTW I do absolutely love the Cawley. If I replace that with something else in the basement, the new stove will go on a separate flue from the oil heater and the Cawley will either be going into my workshop as a source of heat or put into storage. It will not be sold. It seems to be a very well built unit and the artwork on the sides is beautiful.

    Thanks!

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