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Round Oak cylinder stove pipe collar draft

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by waynek, Jan 26, 2009.

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  1. waynek

    waynek Member

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    I am the owner of a Round Oak Model D - 18 heating stove. It has been in our family for three generations. I have used it every winter since 1968. It is an easy stove to start and maintain a fire for an extended period of time. My Grandfather taught me how to fire and maintain the stove and it remains in excellent shape despite many decades of use. He suspected the three-hole draft in the pipe collar was to check a hot fire and indeed, it does check the fire to a certain extent. He always burned the stove with it closed unless he thought it was necessary to check the fire. I have always operated the stove the same way until recently, whereby I obtained a copy of stove operating instructions that came with the Round Oak cyclinder stoves in the early 1900s. It states:

    "FOR WOOD: ...The check draft in the pipe collar should be left open when burning wood. It prevents the formation of creosote caused by the smoke condensing when the main drafts are closed."

    Are there any members with experience or knowledge about the use of this check draft?

    Thank you

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  2. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
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    SW Wisconsin
    jackpine:

    The results from this post were also inconclusive...

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/29904/

    Despite the source of the quote, I question whether the 'backdraft' would have the effect the Round Oak manual says, in that the flue would be (at least) slightly cooled by its use (precipitating more creosote, rather than less). On the other hand, the total volume of exhaust would also be diluted (slightly) by the additional air... possibly (in part) legitimizing such a claim.

    Do you have some pics of the 'Arrow Buffet'?

    On a road trip long ago, I visited a lady friend staying in a cabin at the foot of the Cascades near Concrete, Washington. She heated the cabin with a <huge> Round Oak cook stove... I've never seen the like since.

    How do you get 'extended' burns out of your D-18?

    Peter B.

    --

    Where (roughly) in south Witzconsin are you? I'm in Iowa County.

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  3. waynek

    waynek Member

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    Peter B.

    Thanks for your response. If I can not make anymore sense out of the collar draft, I thought I would research the U. S. Patent office for possible design detail and explanation. It strikes me that Beckwith and Company thought the draft was worthy of the extra manufacturing step in the stove design. It certainly was not for cosmetic reasons.

    Yes, I do have pictures of the RO 'Arrow Buffet' cookstove...will post soon.... research indicates that it was manufactured in the 1930s-1940s. A RO dealer price list indicated a wholesale price of $65.50.

    Ah, Yes! - an extended burn... that is an art that hand fired stove owners aspire to. I typically obtain 6 to 7 hours burn... burn being wood fuel with visible flame and another 2 hours of coal output with stovepipe temperature at about 250 - 300 degrees.

    Southern Wisconsin - Green County

    Jackpine
  4. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

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    Here, the 'usable heat' burn times are anywhere from 2-5 hours with (internal) flue temps of 400*-500*... depending on outdoor temperatures and indoor demand.

    The overall volume of my D-16 has been reduced considerably by the addition of a ring of firebrick splits lining the cast (lower) firebox. (Sometime, I should try to make a meaningful estimate of the actual firebox volume now in use.)

    I'm guessing that the burn time you quote as typical is on a (chock) full load, a good bed of coals, large, close packed hardwood splits and draft controls fairly 'tight'.

    Elsewise, I'd simply have to marvel that you're able to achieve anything close to that.

    I often have 'light off' coals after 10 or more hours, but a cold stove otherwise.

    Peter B.

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  5. waynek

    waynek Member

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  6. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

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    My vertical burn 'theory' is based solely on the configuration of the stove, which in my case (and I expect yours as well) permits vertical splits as long as 24" or more... if loaded from the removable top plate... but only 16" or so loaded horizontally from the front door.

    Again, I've lined the firebox in my own stove with firebrick splits, so have reduced the usable size, and can only horizontally load splits of about 12". The baffle I installed in the upper area of the stove defeats top loading, so I'm left with a maximum split length of about 16"+ loaded vertically.

    To be honest, I'd rather burn horizontally, because vertically loaded splits often hang up and fail to fall 'on cue', making for an uneven burn rate and/or more frequent tending... to knock down the stuck split(s).

    Your idea of setting a row of horizontals on the bottom is a good one... I should try that... if there's still room for a vertical stack above.

    In the end, I'm not entirely confident all my modifications have had the favorable impact on efficiency and so on that I'd like to believe. I'm only trying to heat about 500 square feet, and can't simply burn the stove flat out... I'd evaporate in short order. The primary benefit I think I've gained is a relatively controllable burn rate. I've never had a bulletproof chimney or all the firewood I'd like available to me such that I could burn 'without a care'. I try to keep my living space at 65* degrees or a little better... and try to economize on fuel as best I can. At present, I think I burn about a tenth of a cord a week, which actually seems like a lot, given the small space I'm heating... but it's drafty and poorly insulated space.

    At the moment, with an optimal fuel load - say four very chunky oak splits of the perfect length loaded vertically - I think I could hope for a maximum of six hours usable heat... and could reliably expect to find coals at 10-12 hours.

    But I don't often load the stove to full capacity... and on 'mild' nights (20* or better), I typically let the last fire of the night burn out... sleep cool and start a fresh fire next morning.

    The stove is in need of some work, and before the end of the season, I hope to install a new catalyst and an improved secondary air supply. I may also remove some of the firebricks and try some purely horizontal burns. Maybe next year I'll 'get it right'.

    Peter B.

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  7. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

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    By the way, I surely wish I had a supply of shagbark hickory... as near as I can tell, the best burning (native) wood there is. I used to have a small stand of bitternut hickory - far inferior to shagbark - but some combined vectors of insect and disease wiped it out over a two year time span. I may resort to cutting back some of the pesky walnuts around here. Despite their reputation (and admittedly beautiful heartwood grain), I consider them weed trees... and they're dam good fuelwood as well.

    Peter B.

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  8. waynek

    waynek Member

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    Shagbark hickory is my fuel of choice for an extended stove burn, but I do not repeatedly fill the stove with it over a period of time because the abundant coals it produces fill up the cast iron firepot. When that happens I do not add more fuel and let the coals burn down to acceptable level. My favorite native wood fuel is Black locust, but unfortunately I do not have enough of it in my woodlot to burn it exclusive. I use it for fence posts also... can't see good fence post wood burned up in a stove.

    Do not use a lot of hickory in my wood cookstove for the same reason.

    You are not the only one that consider the walnut a weed tree, however in my case walnut logs pay the taxes on the property. The tops left after logging go into my stove. Not the best btu wood, but sufficient...especially in mild weather. In mild weather I use it to conserve the more desirable fuel for the cold days.
  9. waynek

    waynek Member

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    For sometime now, I have tried to answer the questions on the best way to utilize the burning capacity of Round Oak cylinder heating stoves. Was the stove designed for burning wood or coal? Was the stove designed to burn long lengths of wood vertically or was it designed to function better with chunk wood burned horizontally in the firebox?

    Sources indicate that Beckwith's first attempt at manufacturing heating stoves in 1855 was "foot box stoves."

    In 1867 it was clear that Beckwith wanted a 20" x 30" cylinder to have a smaller footprint than a horizontal style box stove and began manufacturing vertical, cylinder depot stoves. The depot stoves "contained the basic principles of the now famous Round Oak. It was a direct draught stove but it had no grate, yet when it became sufficently filled with ashes it made a very good substitute. Wood was plentiful and there was no great object in fuel savings in those days." A depot stove modification patent in 1870 called the design a Dome-Top stove. This stove had one feed door. In 1871 the depot stove design was modified and improved for the domestic market. The new design had a major change - two feed doors. In 1872, a patent for a ash pit was obtained.

    Until 1874, the stove was considered a wood burner. 1874 a coal fixture or basket was patented to hang inside of the wood stove to burn soft coal. Shortly thereafter, another coal fixture or basket was patented for burning hard coal. The multi-fuel feature has been attributed to the major success of the Round Oak Co.

    To further support my premise that the stove design was for burning chunk wood rather than wood splits set in vertical, I have several Round Oak trading cards with pictures of the heating stoves of the 1880s and some of the advertising on the back states:

    Round Oak Stoves
    With Extra Boiler Iron;
    Have Double Doors,
    Admitting Large Chunks of Fuel;
    A Patent Grate and Double Draft,
    Giving Perfect Control of the Fire.

    (ADMITTING LARGE CHUNKS OF FUEL) If the stove was designed for burning coal I see no need for two doors.

    Jackpine
  10. waynek

    waynek Member

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    Peter B., here is the picture of my Round Oak cookstove you asked for.

    Jackpine

    [​IMG]
  11. bentonbee

    bentonbee New Member

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    Are you guys still using your Round Oak stoves?
    I have one that I used for a bit. I also have a Fisher Mama Bear. I had the Round Oak installed for a few weeks. I thinki it is a very nice stove! It is very easy to start the fire, having a place for the ashes to fall is great too.And having the grate and air up through it makes is very east to start a fire .. I like having the door up higher like the Round Oak is.

    I have installed the Fisher just to try it, and try to compare it. My Fisher does not have the baffle plate in it. I intend to put one in to see if it makes a difference. I wonder if one could somehow put a baffle plate in a Round Oak to improve its efficiency? I was thinking of have a 1\4 or 5/16 inch plate cut to round size with a part of it cut off so it makes like a baffle in the round oak? I could cut some angle iron and bolt it in to hold the plate up. Have either of you tried this?
    When I used my RO I left the top flue draft open and pretty much closed the other drafts and got a nice long burn on some hardwood. I can put some pretty big pieces in the Round Oak!
    Thanks
    Mike in Iowa

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