1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Strongly thinking about buying a Wood Gun

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Scotts Bum Wine, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,697
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Hey sorry for the delayed response guys.
    I've been a little busy shooting some more promotional videos for the WoodGun.:cool:

    WOOD GUN! WOOD GUN! WOOD GUN! GOOOOOOO WOOOOD GUUUN!
    CTFIRE likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,697
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Heres my take on Wood Gun owners, we are very honest people and share the LITTLE issues we have with our units.

    I think the unit is great. It is so simple even and Islander can use it.
  3. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    Loc:
    Western NY State
    Hi Mike-

    Thanks for the response. I have seen your videos. Very informative. That's how I got started considering a Wood Gun!

    Scott
  4. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    Loc:
    Western NY State
    arngnick-

    Yes, I would like to incorporate some storage into my system. What I can get through the cellar door, and down the stairs, will dictate how much.

    Scott
  5. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    147
    He will shoot movies on demand if you ask nicely
  6. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,697
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Do you have any requests? :)
  7. arngnick

    arngnick Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    244
    Loc:
    Mansfield, PA
    I am not saying anything against the woodgun it obviously does the job and does it well most of the time but what other options have you considerd? In my opinion I do not see the woodgun as the first option UNLESS you are planning on not using storage or idling more than one should. I am just going byt the 2 different wood boilers that I have used, the many I have looked at and researched, and the plethera of info on this site.

    Edit: Let me add I do not think it is nesasarily a bad option...
  8. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,997
    Loc:
    Near Williamsport, PA
    Nothing wrong with this statement..there are MANY choices out there. For me the lack of space for storage and the opening into my basement narrowed down the field to 2 units. If I had a large entry to the basement and if I had enough room for storage I can't say if the WG would have been purchased. Take your time and weigh all the pro's/cons...with the advances made in today's boilers and the help of the good folks here I'm sure you'll be happy in the long run.
  9. mark123

    mark123 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    PEI, Canada
    I really can't understand why anyone would bother with storage. Yes it may burn more efficiently, a little less wood but for me not having to relight a fire all the time is a big advantage, I light my boiler once over the whole winter. and I heat 4000SF with 8 cord of maple which cost me $880.00. I load the boiler 2 or 3 times per day.
    711mhw likes this.
  10. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,697
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Thank you for not doing that. We already have someone who feels the need to bash the WG with every opportunity.
  11. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    111
    Loc:
    Northwest Connecticut
    I'm a one-year Woodgunner and couldn't be happier. It takes a few weeks to figure out how these things like to work and the little tricks that make them work well for your application, but once you get through that the rest it gravy. Anyone who owns one will tell you there's a learning curve that can be frustrating. Once you've got it figured out, you'll love it. I empty my ash pan twice a week, rake the lower tubes out once every two or three weeks and fill it with wood twice a day. That's it. It just runs and does what its built to do with no fanfare, no fuss, no whistles and bells. Its a simple old-school machine.

    They only make the SS models now. They've come out with a newer fancier control system that I hope is an option. I like the old, simple controls, aquastats, etc.

    I can see the advantage of storage but for me it wouldn't be worth it. The savings in wood doesn't matter to me as its free and right outside the back door. I have the optional cycle timer and the boiler keeps itself warm and keeps the fire going. As others have said, get the optional smoke hood too. Well worth it.

    My WG is plumbed in series with my propane boiler so if it does run out the propane takes over. I've just turned the stat on the propane boiler to its lowest limit, 140 degrees. Unless the boiler drops below that from a lost fire it doesn't light, but still controls all the circulators.
  12. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,697
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Well said. Exactly what I've doing. It did take a while to get in a rhythm , but that will happen with ANY machine you get.
  13. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    724
    Loc:
    NJ
    somebody who wanted to heat DHW through the summer with wood. i wouldnt want a WG cranking all summer to get DHW, especially in a basement when you are typically trying to cool the house.

    i agree the WG claim to fame is the ability to operate almost as efficiently when cycling vs. running full out. if you are planing on installing storage anyway, then you open up many more boiler options for yourself. if storage is not an option for your particular setup, then i believe WG is a VERY strong contender for the boiler of choice.
  14. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,697
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    This will be my first summer in attempting to heat my DHW, I just got the indirect hooked up a few months ago.
    I am real fortunate to have the unit in my attached garage, any heat will not effect my house.
    Im sure there will be a huge learning curve without storage.
    It will come down to timing and planning.
  15. mark123

    mark123 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    PEI, Canada
    I heat all my domestic all year round with the woodgun, i the summer I light a fire with 3 or 4 spruce rounds ( I have 25 acres of spruce outside my door for free) at 6am and then go to work, my wife switches the "start" over to "run" an hour or so later and that is it until the next morning, that produces enough hot water for the 4 of us until the next day and with the low temp shut down you don't have to think about it again. I stuffed fiberglass insulation under the boiler as well to help hold the heat in.
  16. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    984
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification
    I've thought about that with my 180. What means do you use to heat hot water? Indirect?
  17. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    Loc:
    Western NY State
    So far, I am open to other boiler options. I have been reading threads on this forum since last summer, and my interest has pointed in one direction or another throughout that time. The Wood Gun is appealing to me for a few reasons:

    - It is built out of stainless steel.
    - I can use my existing 6" chimney.
    - The firebox can accept (and work with) larger pieces of wood --- as I explained earlier in this thread.
    - The boiler apparently works OK with a small amount of storage. I have limited space for that --- some, but not a lot.
    - I like the simple off-the-shelf controls. Nothing becomes obsolete faster than electronics.
    - In searching through this forum, I have not read about too many people having problems. Most owners seem to be happy, and are not grumbling about rust or creosote buildup, etc.
    - AHS has been building Wood Guns for a long time, here in the US, in neighboring Pennsylvania.
    - The WG runs pressurized, so it is easier to incorporate into my existing forced hot water heating plant.

    I have looked at a lot of wood gasification boilers in the last several months, and will continue to look at more --- keeping my options open. But, so far, Wood Gun has more checks on the positive side of my ledger.

    Thank you all for your help and input.
    Scott
  18. mark123

    mark123 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    PEI, Canada
    I just have the domestic coil option in the woodgun.
  19. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    984
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification
    Scott,

    Sounds like most of the reasons current WG owners bought theirs.

    There are issues. If you search you will find the WG has some operation quirks that you learn to live with. I find that changes to my habits can operate around most of these quirks. Most of my issues have been due to laziness on my part.

    Back-puffing with the cycle timer is the only issue that isn't completely resolved in my opinion, and over the course of the summer I plan to design a very simple solution that will prevent that once and for all.

    ac
  20. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    984
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification

    Really?!?!?!

    And with 1 fire you are able to get 4 people's worth of DHW. That is awesome.

    I have an indirect that holds 41 gallons. With the ~80 gallon capacity of my 180 I am considering attempting to heat DHW through the summer in the same manner you do.

    I also have an electric water heater. With a little replumbing I could probably create a reservoir of ~90 gallons of DHW at ~150F and a boiler at 200F ready to recharge.

    ac
  21. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,997
    Loc:
    Near Williamsport, PA
    .....looking forward to hearing about it's success! :)
  22. At the risk of being chastised by the wood gunners, don't worry I can take it. Here is my 3 cents (inflation).

    I was looking for a boiler a few years ago. My existing 6" flue ruled out many brands. The varm's were very new to the market here and the local tarm dealer seems more geared to retail customers looking for a complete install package. So that left the biomass boiler I chose and the woodgun.

    I believe the woodgun is now made out of stainless steel because in the past they experienced a lot of rusting and rotting of their boilers. Their operational strategy of no storage and extended idle times most likely the source of the failures. Obviously ss will prolong the life of the boiler. But you are paying a premium for ss. Money which could be used to add storage to a typical boiler plate down draft gasser.

    I've never seen a ss woodstove. And the only ss boilers other than the wood gun I've seen are condensing wall hung boilers. Perhaps the ss is the source of the wet ashes in the cyclone phenomenon?

    The off the shelf controls was a strong selling point in my mind. But some WG boilers now have digital controllers. In the end I decided it wasnt a big deal. If my controller becomes obsolete and unavailable I could always retrofit a similar control strategy like the vintage WG boilers.

    And the final downside I saw was the smoke problem. Pretty much any brand of boiler will smoke when you reload with a fire still going. WG fixes this problem with an optional smoke hood, not sure how well this works as I've never seen one in person. If you don't have storage there will be times when you have to reload with a fire going or risk having a cold house.

    In the end I went with the biomass 60 with storage. It has a large firebox (30" sticks) and a 6" flue. It's made of boilerplate steel which I see as having the best characteristics for a boile. And it was substantially less money. Honestly I think you'd be happy with any of the major brands. If you don't have room for storage and don't want to put the boiler in a shed a WG is not a bad choice.
  23. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,728
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    Recently someone on this forum realized that all EKO s had an 8 inch flue and concluded that they are just using the same flue on every size boiler from the 25 thru the 80 just like they are using the same input and output water lines on all sizes of boilers. I'm too old to fumble with making a video but if I remember I will open the door on my eko at full burn this evening and snap a photo so you can see how much smoke is coming out into the room. I only have a six inch stainless flue about 20 feet tall.
  24. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    Loc:
    Western NY State
    Mike-

    You did hit on one point that I do not like about the Wood Gun, that being price. Boy they don't give those away, do they?

    I looked at the BioMass boilers from New Horizon. Their data did not indicate whether or not they can deal with larger pieces of wood. The price is certainly attractive. Now, being a bio-mass boiler, have you burned stuff other than wood in yours? Their specs read "Corn Cobs with Kernels, 50% of Coal, Saw Dust, Wood Chips (50%), any kind of pellets". I don't read about too many people using anything but wood. Certainly, being able to heat my home with relatively easy to obtain waist items would be a plus.

    Scott
  25. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    984
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification
    Scott,

    The price of the WG is high. However, all of the components are of high quality. Honeywell, Dayton, Riello, etc. The commercial components chosen are all industry standard for their high quality. The boiler is SS, so that inherently costs more. They went SS because the boiler condenses in the wood chamber during periods of inactivity. No way around that. US labor in PA certainly doesn't help their cost either. Just from a weight perspective, the WG weighs in at 1000+ lbs for the smallest models. Most other manufacturer's boilers weigh 400-600. More weight=more cost. I'm not saying it's better, just more expensive for reasons.

    With that, when I priced my WG I could have had an E100 in SS for ~$7k. Most of the other boilers I priced of similar size weren't 50% cheaper, 10-15% was more like it.

    ac

Share This Page