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older stove question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by FLINT, Jan 27, 2010.

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  1. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    So I'm currently doing research to figure out which stove I want to get for when we remodel the house, and I've gotten some great help from here already.

    I thought I would take a different approach and see if anyone knew what my current stove was rated at as far heating capacity, because I know how that heats, and that way I could have a basis for comparison

    My current stove is one of those stoves that doesn't even look like a woodstove, haha. its covered in a tin shield. The stove box is sheet metal, and it has cast iron loading door and ash pan door. the ash pan is a long narrow tray that slides right out. The woodbox is lined with firebricks and is about 22" long by about 11" wide and almost 11" to the top of the fire bricks. There is a draft adjustment knob that says low...med...hi - and I don't know if it was ever automatic, but its not now, i turn it by hand. Inside the front door the company name is I think Atlanta stove company or Atlanta stove works or something like that. I forgot to look for a model number.

    I'll try to attach a picture of it. It was brown and beige, but I painted it black and gray.

    The only thing I could find online that looked similar was made by US Stove works, and was called Ashley and maybe wonderwood or something. The website said that they were rated for 1200 sq. ft. If my stove is similarly rated to these new Ashby things, then I wont need a very big stove when I move my flue to the middle of the house, because this thing seriously cranks, although burn times are ridiculously short.

    ok, well, thanks again for any info. you guys have been amazing!

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, that looks like an Ashley or maybe a Sears. A modern EPA stove will do you well in reduced fuel consumption and longer burns. How big a space are you heating?

    A small Jotul F3CB has about the same capacity and would probably heat the place. But the question is, how frequently do you want to refill it? If the goal is 24/7 heating then you will want something with greater capacity, maybe a 2 cu ft stove like the Englander 13NC, Buck 21, Napoleon 1400, Lopi Republic or a Pacific Energy Super 27?
  3. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    yes, see that's the issue,

    the house is 1200 sq. ft. of which we currently only heat 1000 sq. ft. the other 200' is the mudroom and laundry room (which we may eventually open up).

    we are taking out two walls to open the floor plan up and will put the stove and flu right in the middle.

    here is the topic where i originally asked about stoves and got great advice for stoves including, WS fireview, HS heritage, Jotul oslo, and PE T5.
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/50975/

    so the issue is that it probably wouldn't take a huge stove to heat our house, but to get the longer burn times you need a larger woodbox, BUT, I don't think that I can run a huge stove 24/7 or it would totally blast us out of there.

    I was leaning towards the fireview, but i really want a top flu exit, so I started looking at the Keystone.

    the keystone is rated for around 1300 sq. ft. and if my current stove is rated similarily, I know that will heat my house, so I'd probably be safe with the Keystone. (?)
  4. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Looks like an old King circulator. I would equate the heat output with a stove that had a 2 cubic foot firebox. If your looking for a stove that makes a "softer" heat, I would oversize it a little bit. Also, take the stove heating range and assume it's gonna do a good job someplace in the middle. If a customer wants to heat 1000 square feet, I'll tell them to look for a stove thats rated to heat 500-1500. Just to be on the safe side.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A cat stove would likely work well. There are also some 2 cu ft stoves that work just fine with a half load of wood. The mid-sized PE stoves are definitely flexible this way. They will not put out more heat than the current stove is putting out unless you fill it with more wood and open up the air. The fire will just last longer.
  6. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    I'll print out that PE alderlea brochure and take it home to review with the wife. I wonder if any dealers carry them around here.

    oh yeah, and with my current stove pictured above. I have NEVER filled the woodbox on this thing. I'm afraid to put more than three pieces of wood in as this thing can get to crankin and I have to turn the stove pipe damper almost shut sometimes to keep the stovepipe thermometer from going to the overfire area. Usually, its fine and I leave the damper totally open and just use the draft control on the stove and it stays in the 'burn zone' for most of the whole 2 hour burn time. Also unless its really cold out, we can't continuously run the thing or it will drive us out of the house. last night it was 86 in the living room, so i definitely didn't put any more wood in before bed. but then it was 62 this morning when we woke up. not ideal.
  7. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers New Member

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    I am from Maryland with the same climate as you heating a 2000 sf split foyer with a newly installed Napoleon 1600C from the basement. I think any of the PE Alderleas will do fine for you. The thing with all these stoves is they should be run pretty much continuously. So using these in Nov, part of Dec, and March will force you to open a window.

    As for recommending 500 - 1000 heating for a 1000 sf home in Syracuse, NY, they have a dramatically different climate than down here. Looks like their average low is 16F in Jan, where if we get just a handful of days that cold and our average is more like 29F. I think that would mean they would need an average of 25% more heating capacity than you would.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That stove is very close to the same type of stove we used to own. I could put 21-22" pieces of wood in that thing and some pretty darned good sized logs which hold fires longer than smaller logs or splits. When I split wood I never split the logs very small either.

    Now for the comparison, please take note of this. DO NOT TRY TO COMPARE THAT STOVE WITH MODERN STOVES; it just won't work. This is the reason I state that. The firebox in our stove was very similar to what you are describing except ours very well may have been wider than 11". Fast forward to installing the Fireview which is a much smaller stove. We stay much warmer with the Fireview stove but burn only half the amount of wood that we used to burn! That is why you can not compare the old stoves with the new. Oh yes, burning half the amount of wood we also are able to keep the house much warmer.

    Good luck to you.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    btw, you mentioned top exit vs rear exit. An elbow will take care of that problem really fast.
  10. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    yes, I'm always wishing that my wood was bigger. hmmm. maybe i should have restated that. you are right though, bigger chunks are better in this stove.

    and yes, since the stove will be going in a living area and into a class A stainless chimney and not against a wall or into a massonry chimney, we don't want a pipe sticking out the back of the stove looking ugly and making it harder for people to walk around it without having to dodge the pipe. me and my wife are both in a agreement that a top exit will be much preferred.
  11. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Atlanta Stove Works did produce a couple of (automatic) circulating heaters called the "Homesteader". One burned wood and the other model burned coal.
    The info I have states that the fire brick lined model was the coal burner, which may be why your burn times are so short with wood. In any event, the book I have doesn't give a btu/hr rating for these, but other makes/models with similar firebox dimensions come in at 45,000 to 65,000 btu/hr. Probably a little much for a 1,000sf area.
  12. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, when I took the whole stove apart last summer, there was a coiled metal strip associated with the draft knob apparatus that looked like the coiled strips in any other temp controlled device, which made me think that maybe at some point the draft control would automatically adjust with the stove temp - however, this feature doesn't work any longer(if in fact it ever did), so I just turn the knob by hand.

    Inside the tin door says: Atlanta Stove Works inc., Birmingham Stove and Range Co. Model 3400 Solid Fuel Room Heater #P145181

    and then the Cast wood loading door says: COAL & WOOD

    So I don't know if that helps at all.
  13. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    Haha, so I just did a google search, and I couldn't find any specific model information, but at a stove parts place did have the full model name

    it said - 3400 Homeglow Coal Stove. Then there was the 3401 Homesteader Knight Coal Stove which must be what jabush was referring to.

    I think that is hilarious that we've been using a coal stove!!!! obviously you can burn wood in it, but its maybe not as efficient as jabush mentioned.

    So, here is a question - the grate at the bottom of the woodbox, had really large holes in it, and there is a special T handle wrench that turns a recessed nut between the woodbox and the ash pan that dumps the ashes into the pan. However, the holes in this grate are really large so the woodbox doesnt hold any coals at all unless they are pretty big. Do you think that this would affect my burn times? it would at least affect how long it would hold coals.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It would make a huge difference. Coal stoves feed the air under the hot bed of coals. Wood stoves typically feed air to the fire, on top of the coals.

    Once the fire is going, try running the stove with the lower (under the fire) air closed off and just the upper air open. Use the upper air supply to regulate the fire.
  15. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    yes, you are exactly right, the little air control vent opens into the lower ash compartment and so the air comes up from the bottom.

    I cannot do what you are suggesting because:

    1. there is no way to completely shut the lower air - its a little flapper connected to a chain that runs up to the draft knob, and all the way on low, the air flapper is not all the way closed.

    2. there is no upper air control. the one below the wood box is the only opening in the whole thing - except of course for the loading door and the ash tray door.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ah, that makes for a good coal stove, but a dubious wood stove. I thought that the thermostatic damper would control the "upper" air. Have you tried running the stove with the flapper open and the lower vent closed?
  17. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    I'm sorry, I'm not doing a good job of explaining.

    The flapper is part of the lower vent. With the loading door and the ash door closed, there is only one opening into the whole stove, and that is a little square hole way down at the very bottom on the side that has a little flapper that opens and closes though turning the knob which is confusingly up at the top front of the stove.

    now I do have a damper up in the stove pipe a ways above the stove. I usually leave this open because I don't want to make too much creosote, but I will turn it down if the pipe temp is getting too hot, or if for some reason I really want to get a longer burn. Turning this pipe damper will extend my burn time from 2 hours to 4 hours.

    also I did some research on coal stoves, and I now understand why the 'grate' at the bottom of the woodbox functions the way it does - its called a raker or something and is designed for coal. I thought it was just a neat way of dumping the ashes into the ashpan at the bottom.
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