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The Affordable Cat Stove....Does it Exist?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BurnIt13, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    If its in good condition, go for the Fireview listed above (Craig's List) if it is still available. That is a great stove, at a great price.

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  2. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    Fireview wont fit unless I tear out my hearth and rebuild from scratch. Interestingly enough, the only cat stoves that will fit (that I like) are BK Princess, Chinook 30 and Sirocco 20.

    I am going to live with the Englander 30 for now. Its not likes its a bad stove! It is just a heat monster and doesn't fully understand shoulder season.
  3. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    What about if you put huge splits or like 10" rounds in it to slow it down?
  4. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    This is what I've learned to do. Unfortunately I don't have many! When I first got burning my wood was in the mid 20's for moisture %. I split the larger pieces up to make them burn better. So all my wood now is around 20% but the splits are smaller than ideal. I have alot of smalls and mediums. Not many large ones.
  5. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Maybe a neighbor wouuld be pleased to exchange some larger splits for smaller ones....?
  6. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I agree, larger splits and smaller loads.. I only run large loads when looking for an overnight burn otherwise run small loads even with smaller splits. More wood equals more BTU's it's that simple..

    Ray
  7. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    That's funny! In my mind I picture somewhere in Ontario a street lined with houses....each with about 10 cords of wood stacked in each yard. And neighbors comparing splits and chit-chatting about wood burning things and the new splitter/axe/saw/etc that they just bought.

    Around here.....most people burn wood cause it looks pretty in a fireplace. To them, wood is something you buy in a grocery store in shrink wrapped bags of 6 splits for $9.99. Of course I'm sure there are plenty of real wood burners around me but as far as I know.....I'm the only one on the street with a worthy wood pile.

    Of course my closest neighbor is a tree guy and splits and sells the wood. But he stacks it in a loose pile and sells it the same year. No good for me....

    But your post did make me smile though:cool:. And BTW, I'm not complaining! Having too warm a house is a good problem to have!
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I paid $350 for the cat stove in the kitchen and $400 for the cat stove in the living room. Both are in great shape and were not beaten to hell.

    If you don't mind some extra effort to acquire a stove, you can get a cheap cat stove if you look long enough.
    Joful likes this.
  9. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    We don't necessarily talk about our woodpiles, but we surely do all have them around here. Serious ones.

    Glad I made you smile. You made me laugh.

    Have a warm, happy Thanksgiving.

    I'm headed to Maui next week for my elder son's wedding.

    No wood piles there.
    raybonz likes this.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I don't want to be a party pooper but have you considered not putting as much wood in the stove as you have been? That is the simplest way to keep from getting too hot. Another way is to burn larger splits or rounds but still the best way is to burn less wood.
    northwinds and raybonz like this.
  11. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Begreen and Dennis have good suggestions but heres another one, if your planning visting family west of the mississippi you can probably pick up a BK for a grand less ==c
    My sister has the Dutchwest Cat and its been a great stove for her.
  12. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Short, hot fires in a non-cat stove. Get it up to 550, and let it go, Less wood or wood with fewer btu's.
    corey21 and raybonz like this.
  13. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    I'm still learning on the 30 but I've had a hard time with small fires. The small fires I make tend to smolder and smoke too much and require the air to be full open. Maybe I'm doing something wrong!

    Short of stacking a bunch of kindling in there I haven't had much luck. My smallest successfull loads tend to be 5 splits. 3 medium splits going N/S on the bottom and two smallish/medium splits going diagonally on top. Loaded like that I get some secondaries and minimal smoke.
  14. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Surprised BrotherBart hasn't said much.. I remember people saying to load your wood E/W and this will slow down the 30NC, extend the burns and reduce the heat output. 30NC owners please correct me if I am wrong..

    Ray
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like less than dry wood, or stacking too tight.

    As someone who has burned in fireplaces all my life (my last house had three, this house has three as well), I completely dismissed the guys here who talked about stacking their wood 2 - 3 years before burning. I thought it was just plain ludicrous, as I'd been burning 1-year seasoned wood for close to 40 years of life in my open fireplaces. However, I proved all of them right this fall, when I was having the same problem as you. In fact, I actually put out a few healthy fires in my stove by dumping 1-year oak on top of them! I could keep the fires going with my doors open (fireplace mode), but it would go into smoulder mode as soon as I shut the doors. Lesson learned.
  16. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    I'm probably going to start a new thread about this but I havn't had much luck burning E/W.

    My wood was CSS in the spring of 2011. Its 75% red oak an 25% maple. Sure its not 10 year old black locust but its measuring in at 18-21% when split in the middle. It could be much better but I think that should be okay.
  17. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hmm I doubt your wood is actually that dry unless the splits are very small. Oak takes a longer time than maple but I suspect your wood is still not dry enough.Does your wood hiss out the ends at all when placed on hot coals? Recently I checked wood aged about as long as your wood and it was still damp when I resplit it.

    Ray
  18. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    If I can get to it today I'll split some smalls, mediums, and large splits down the middle and measure thier moisture %.

    2013-2014 wood is mostly maple, black cherry and ash so I think I should be good for next year. 2014-2015 is oak again, being CSS this winter.
  19. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I got my oak down to 20% in two years, I did split them smaller than I normally do though, maybe Burnit did the same.
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    While I understand raybonz's skepticism, 18 months is all I see recommended for hardwoods in several stove manuals, and even red oak in the right conditions may get you down to 20% in that time. He did say spring 2011, not spring 2012.
  21. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Burning with less than optimal oak can be tough. If I were you, I would go 3 smallish splits going n/s and a couple of smallish splits going e/w on top.
    Stick your small firestarter of choice in the middle/front of the bottom n/s splits. Then let it get it up to 500 before moving the air to half. Let it get to 550
    before moving it to 1/4. From here, it's just a "feel" situation for how much more your wood will let you shut the air down further. If the temp keeps rising,
    shut it down some more at 600. If the temp starts to drop, give it some more air.

    The key to not overheating is to let that small load burn out. This time of year, I'm burning one load per day when the weather is in the 30's at night
    and during the 40's or low 50's in the day. You will eventually determine how small your load needs to be for your own house to be comfortable.

    Oak is a wonderful thing after it's been split for three years. It can be a royal pain in the butt when it's not quite ready, especially with bigger splits.

    Cat stoves have their fans, but there are plenty of satisfied owners of air tube stoves, even in this time of Blaze King madness. :)
    raybonz likes this.
  22. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    In the original post, you mention that you want 12-24 hour burns. How important is that to you?
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    After lots of experimenting the last half of last season and so far this year I am burning it E/W. The key is in the stoves manual. I load it tight E/W about two thirds of the firebox with the splits approximately even with the top of the brick retainers. But this is after pulling the coal bed forward where it covers the front half of the firebox floor. Then I, as stated in the manual, take the poker and make a two inch trough front to back through the coal bed. After packing the back two thirds of the firebox I lay a small split on the coal bed in front of the load and let it get up to 400 and cut the air back a third, another third at 500-550. And the bad boy inches up to 600 during off-gassing and settles back to 500-550 for a long, long time.

    Next morning if it is gonna be a sunny day or in the fifties I load three medium splits N/S on the coals pulled all the way to the front and cigar burn'em down and let is go out. Usually three or four hours later and it gives off soft heat most of the afternoon.

    The key to the night load is that trough up the middle. Cooks the gases out of the wood and they burn on top of the wood long and low. Pretty much the same way a cat burns'em.
  24. timusp40

    timusp40 Feeling the Heat

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    Any chance that you could get the rear heatshields from Woodstock to help with the clearance issues? Think they are only around $80 for a set.
  25. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Load E W keep enough room for the coals to build in front every stove I have had that gets it low and slow.

    Pete

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