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So is cat or non cat best for long burns?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by oregonrider, Sep 27, 2007.

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  1. oregonrider

    oregonrider Member

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    Well my heart has won out over my head. I'll have to wait a little longer before I purchase. I really want a cast iron stove! I've pretty much given up on the all nite burns too. Because the modern stoves require you get the temp up to 500 degrees before the air is turned down. I'm afraid a med. to large stove would drive me out of the room. The wood that I buy is douglas fir and big leaf maple is cut 15" long and split small 4"x6" is the average, I don't own a truck and live so far from any where this one supplier is about it. I'm leaning toward the jotuls on looks and the good reviews here. The oslo would be too big I think, 3CB may be too small. the castine may be the one. One thing I can't find is the size of the fireboxes on the jotuls. Doesn't list that in the brochure or the web site. Do any of you know? The Hearthstone Shelburne and Craftsbury are still in the hunt as far as looks go_One has a 2.0 cu. the latter has a 1.5 cu. Not much in the review section on either of those. roben.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The Castine will make you a fine stove. See, stopping by hearth.com only cost you a thousand bucks extra!
  3. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Rhonemas -

    This is an interesting point you make - I didn't realize the difference. I wondered why I heard this so much after we got our cat Woodstock stove. It had me a bit concerned when I was deciding between cat and no-cat, but I have to say it's quite fascinating to watch it when you get it going into a slow hot burn and the gases appear to just be spontaneously igniting over the wood next to the window. It is indeed different from a fireplace fire when damped down - but the slow-motion nature of it is amazing to watch.

    The non-cat stoves I've used had a faster flame pattern that looks more like an open fireplace that most people are probably more familiar with - not sure if that's typical.

    As to the original question, I think the cat is one part of the story - the second is to have a firebox that holds heat a long time so your coals stay hot. After 14-16 hours, I will not have any flames going. However, I still have plenty of hot coals to restart the fire with no effort - as soon as I open up the air to full, they take off to light the next load. There is of course a drawback with soapstone that you will be annoyed if you expect to get the stove hot in 15 mins... it takes more like an hour. And it probably can't throw off heat at quite the same rate as a metal stove for the same size firebox. But that's just fine for what I need - I'd rather stretch it out into an even heat output over a longer period. As for the cat, you can make it a precision obsession, but the reality is it's hard to screw up as long as you're just burning wood and bypassing it when loading.

    My personal ideal stove would be soapstone + cat + thermostatic control. Today, Woodstock covers the first two - someday maybe I'll build the third as an add on :)

    -Colin
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="NY Soapstone" date="1191741939

    My personal ideal stove would be soapstone + cat + thermostatic control. Today, Woodstock covers the first two - someday maybe I'll build the third as an add on :)

    -Colin[/quote]

    While your at it, build me one too. ;-)
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Burning fir and soft leaf maple in the Castine, your average burn time should be around 6 hrs. You can start turning the air down (maybe to about 50% depending on the flue) around 450 degrees. Fir will burn hot, but quickly if not throttled down a bit. If you put in some big splits in the last load, there should be hot coals remaining 8hrs later, but the stove temp will be around 250 degrees.

    The Castine's firebox should fall in about 1.5 cu. ft I think. Though IMHO, about 1.3 cu. ft. is actually usable. From my stove I measure the usable area as 20.5" wide, 13" deep to the glass, but 11" to the doghouse (air inlet chamber) - which is the real usable space. Due to the tiered secondaries - 9" high at back of stove to 12" high at front, though 11"high in front is the usable dimension. From what you've described, I think a PE Alderlea T5 would make you a happy camper and will give you longer burns. Our neighbor is getting good overnight burns with NW wood in the same sized firebox (2 cu. ft.) in their PE Spectrum Classic.
  6. oregonrider

    oregonrider Member

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    Thanks Begreen! 2 reasons that I've eliminated the alderlea, first it still looks like a box stove even thought it has nicer cladding, second because of my room dimensions 13'x2 my chair is only 4.5' from the front of the stove. I don't want to change the position of the chair. I'll be able to move the stove back further with a rear heat shield gaining a foot to the chair.I'm just afraid that a 2.0 cu stove would drive me out of the room if I ran it hot enough to engage the secondary burn. The way I run my schrader smoke dragon is set two splits about 6" apart and build the fire in between, as it burns I push the splits toward each other and place two more out board, I try to maintain the pipe temp in the sweet zone with my condar probe and stove temp between 325 and 500 with my rutland thermo. Wood is placed north-south this keeps the sides of the stove cooler and maintains room temp. in the 80s. This requires constant attention on my part.As I understand the correct way to operate a modern EPA stove I think I'd be better off with around a 1.5cu firebox.I gave some consideration to the VC intrepid II but both eugene VC dealers are dropping VC from their lines plus the posts in the ratings section were almost all negative. roben.
  7. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Roben, I agree, there is no sense in buying a stove you don't like to look at, but I don't understand your clearance concerns. There is NO other woodburning stove on the market that has tighter clearances than Pacific Energy. With double wall pipe The T5 will sit 5" off a flat wall or 4" in a 45deg corner install. No heat shields or wall protection needed. Also forget about R-value, all that is required is ember protection, ceramic tile on your subfloor is fine.
  8. oregonrider

    oregonrider Member

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    thanks Gunner, I in no way meant to dis PEs. I just prefer the look of the jotul even though it requires the optional rear heat shield to set back near the clearance of the PE. roben.
  9. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    The jotul's are nice looking stoves....and you'll be lookin at the thing all year.
  10. Angus

    Angus Burning Hunk

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    CAT Stoves seem to be common in America but in Europe they never caught on, why this is I dont know, but cat stoves are now unheard of here, except for some Vermont stoves on the market.
    I have found differant burn times according to stove design, and within the same manufacturer.
    I saw a big differance between some Jotul models, I had a Jotul 301 (European model) and it burnt very cleanly but I had to relight every morning, now I have a Jotul 118 black bear and it burns 24 / 7 without fail, I rake the ash in the morning and away it goes, then I fill up and slow it down before work and its still going when I get home at night.
    Infact, when I let the fire burn out to empty the ash, the small embers were still hot in the steel bucket after 2 days.
    Simplicity is often the key.
    I cant comment on CAT stoves as I know nothing about them.
  11. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Nice try Gunner. Unfortunately, your statement is incorrect. Our Morso 8100 can be 2" from a back wall. Unprotected, combustible. Many other Morso's also have very close clearances. So, PE is not the only one in the market with such close clearances.

    Sean
  12. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Clearances can be a huge factor in narrowing what stoves one can look at.

    I'd like to see codes better recognize muti-door stoves and provide a mechanism for disabling doors not usable in a given installation.

    For example, a major factor that got me looking into Woodstock was no front door meant short front clearance - and this is true for many installs where there is an existing fireplace hearth that may not extend 16" forward, but could be very wide for easily meeting side loading clearances. I think there were multiple stoves that had front and side doors, which are bad because then you have to meet the extensions on many different sides.

    -Colin
  13. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Have had both in the VC line, several of them. CATs burn longer and do not require as much attention. Depending on what you are looking for in firebox capacity, some burn tube stoves have good burn times and do not require so much attention. CAT stoves, then tube stoves are as close to load and go as you can get . It pays to go to the next size up when sizing your stove. (We have to get a better name than that) OK, you have to go to the next size up when picking out your new view.....
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