A week ago last Saturday I replaced a $1000 and this http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i208/andre_b/House%20Stuff/Stoveold1.jpg with one of these http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i208/andre_b/House%20Stuff/Stovenew1.jpg Was looking for an Englander but none of their "dealers" in the area had any on the floor, or even seemed to ever have had any, but they all said they could order one not a very good business plan if you ask me. So I went with a Drolet HT-2000, 560 lbs. in the back of the pickup I wasn't really planning on buying that day or I would have had the trailer (much closer to the ground) but they only had one left. On the way home I called up a guy I work with (he has a key to the shop) and got him to meet me at my place. Got the trailer and went to the shop to use the fork truck to transfer the stove to the trailer with some 2X4s under the pallet so the pipes would roll better. Back at home we rolled it down some ramps and up the sidewalk, on 1 1/2 pipes Egyptian style, parked it outside the door. Got the old stove out and opened up the box on the new one and got it inside, getting it off the pallet and safely onto the floor was the hardest part. Cut some new smoke pipe to length and by 3:00 PM start a fire. Very little smell from heating the paint, certainly nothing like the first fire in a barrel stove. There was some double thick cardboard between the secondary air pipes and the ceramic baffle plate that would not come out without taking things apart, first fire took care of it. That trapdoor for getting the ashes down into the pan seems kind of fiddly and if there are any live coals in the ash you have to empty the ash pan right away anyway or you get CO into the room as the ash pan is vented to the room and not to the stove. So I have been doing just like with the old stove and shovel it right into a bucket. The engineer in me still wants independent control of primary and secondary air but the single control does seem to work fine. This is a smaller stove then the old one but I am hoping that with fixing a few leaky windows and the more efficient new stove things should balance out. The chimney, an inside tile lined cinder block job, does not heat up as much as with the old stove for a given amount of burnt wood. Will have to keep a close watch on it for a while, never needed to do much chimney cleaning with the old stove just shovel out from the bottom cleanout nothing ever stuck to the sides. Still working out which direction is best for putting the wood in a north-south load looks to get the most wood in but the logs would need to be cut to 14 or 15 inches resulting in having to make at least 1.5 times as many cuts for a given amount of wood also shorter wood is more difficult to make stable stacks with to any reasonable height, 6 to 7 feet in the shed. Thinking I may get some low grade hardwood logs to run thru the bandsaw, making 3 by 7 inch planks which would then be cut to 14 inch lengths. Seven of these would go into the stove like books on a shelf would make for a max load, save them for the coldest days and burn longer stuff in an east-west load during normal weather. Still have to get some kind of elbow length oven mitt, that east-west loading is taking all the hair off my arm when doing a hot reload. I have noticed that it takes a good 1 1/2 hours to get the stove heated to the point were it is putting a significant amount of heat into the room, a lot slower then the old stove which was build with a lot thinner steel plate. Is the blower worth getting? I am running off grid with just PV and a small wind turbine for electricity and any added load on the system in the winter needs to be carefully considered. _____________ Andre' B.