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VC Dutchwest "Large Cat" 2461, my diary thread (w/ pics)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by VCBurner, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Bob in AR

    Bob in AR New Member

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    Yes, very helpful Chris. Can you pass on the name of the rebuilder, he may be a source for parts....

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  2. johnstra

    johnstra Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Chris - I see '12 lb. maul called "Big Red"' in your signature. Does it have a triangle head and a steel handle? That's what I use.
    -john
  3. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Bob, His name is Daryl from Fitchburg, MA. I have misplaced his number and can't find him on CL anymore. Maybe he is looking for some stoves to rebuild before he posts some adds. I've got to try and find his number because I could use a couple of things too. I need some short legs and a thermostat for the blower. I'll post a PM if I can get a hold of him.
  4. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Yes Sir! You can see for yourself on post #52 in a picture I took of the wood stack in the basement with it sitting right there. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I split some wood with it before Thanksgiving (about a cord.) I have a couple more cords to split starting tomorrow! I just took a file to it the other day and it makes a world of difference splitting with a sharp edge!!
  5. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hi Chris,
    They still make your stove so getting parts should be easy at a stove dealer... If I upgrade this one I am considering what you have.. How do you like it so far?

    Ray
  6. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Ray,
    The main reason why I would try to get parts through him is he only charges me what they pay for cost. But it's a big plus for this stove that it's currently in production. It was one of the reasons why I bought it, for the ease of buying parts if needed. I can't say that I'm not curious about those secondary burn stoves but for the price I would certainly consider this stove if I was looking for a new one. This stove is pretty easy to operate. I haven't seen the backpuffing but twice last winter. I've yet to truly test it in the coldest part of the winter to see if it will heat the entire house. My guess is that it will, judging by its performance on some of the colder nights we've had so far.
  7. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Ray[/quote]
    Hey Ray,
    The main reason why I would try to get parts through him is he only charges me what they pay for cost. But it's a big plus for this stove that it's currently in production. It was one of the reasons why I bought it, for the ease of buying parts if needed. I can't say that I'm not curious about those secondary burn stoves but for the price I would certainly consider this stove if I was looking for a new one. This stove is pretty easy to operate. I haven't seen the backpuffing but twice last winter. I've yet to truly test it in the coldest part of the winter to see if it will heat the entire house. My guess is that it will, judging by its performance on some of the colder nights we've had so far.[/quote]




    I'm always slightly intrigued with all the talk I hear about the VC Dutchwest backpuffing.....My family has three of these stoves and I have been around them since I was 5 but I have yet to see one backpuff. Have you figured out what makes yours do that? If mine was back puffing my wife would make me take it out of our house quicker than you can imagine as her allergys really act up if there is smoke in the house. As far as heating the house I have a 2200 sq ft house and have no problems with the stove keeping up, in fact until it gets down in the teens I keep it shut down other than when I'm reloading between burn cycles. my stove will put off some serious heat when you really crank it up unfortunately I don't get to do it as much as I would like or our first floor would be at 85° really quick.
  8. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Ray,
    The main reason why I would try to get parts through him is he only charges me what they pay for cost. But it's a big plus for this stove that it's currently in production. It was one of the reasons why I bought it, for the ease of buying parts if needed. I can't say that I'm not curious about those secondary burn stoves but for the price I would certainly consider this stove if I was looking for a new one. This stove is pretty easy to operate. I haven't seen the backpuffing but twice last winter. I've yet to truly test it in the coldest part of the winter to see if it will heat the entire house. My guess is that it will, judging by its performance on some of the colder nights we've had so far.[/quote]




    I'm always slightly intrigued with all the talk I hear about the VC Dutchwest backpuffing.....My family has three of these stoves and I have been around them since I was 5 but I have yet to see one backpuff. Have you figured out what makes yours do that? If mine was back puffing my wife would make me take it out of our house quicker than you can imagine as her allergys really act up if there is smoke in the house. As far as heating the house I have a 2200 sq ft house and have no problems with the stove keeping up, in fact until it gets down in the teens I keep it shut down other than when I'm reloading between burn cycles. my stove will put off some serious heat when you really crank it up unfortunately I don't get to do it as much as I would like or our first floor would be at 85° really quick.[/quote]

    I only saw it happen twice and it was in the end of the burning season last year. I think it was because I tried to engage the cat before the fire was established or I may have been trying to shut the air intake down too much. I've heard of other stoves such as the Woodstock backpuffing as well and it's usually late in the season when draft becomes strange due to warmer air outside. I haven't had it happen since last season.
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I'm always slightly intrigued with all the talk I hear about the VC Dutchwest backpuffing.....My family has three of these stoves and I have been around them since I was 5 but I have yet to see one backpuff. Have you figured out what makes yours do that? If mine was back puffing my wife would make me take it out of our house quicker than you can imagine as her allergys really act up if there is smoke in the house. As far as heating the house I have a 2200 sq ft house and have no problems with the stove keeping up, in fact until it gets down in the teens I keep it shut down other than when I'm reloading between burn cycles. my stove will put off some serious heat when you really crank it up unfortunately I don't get to do it as much as I would like or our first floor would be at 85° really quick.[/quote]

    I only saw it happen twice and it was in the end of the burning season last year. I think it was because I tried to engage the cat before the fire was established or I may have been trying to shut the air intake down too much. I've heard of other stoves such as the Woodstock backpuffing as well and it's usually late in the season when draft becomes strange due to warmer air outside. I haven't had it happen since last season.[/quote]

    I used to have the backpuff problem and it is rare that it has happened the past few years and I attribute that to burning seasoned wood plus a couple other odd reasons.. If you try to burn a load of pallet boards for instance they all burn at once pretty much and that leads to trouble however I haven't burned pallet wood in years.. A poor draft can lead to back puffs too.. I am pretty sure all stoves are capable of backpuffing under certain conditions.. A good draft and quality firewood should go a long ways to alleviate this problem..

    Ray
  10. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hello everyone,

    I hope you're having a good new year so far.

    I figured I'd post on this thread because it has served as a diary of sorts. A lot has happened since the last post. I put the Dutchwest in the livingroom fireplace on top of new short legs that were locally purchased at The Stove Place in Worcester. My inlaws bought me the legs for Christmas, but ended up letting me have them early so I could install them before the Holidays. The stove has been there since November 30th, so I figured posting some conclusions would be in order.

    I have to mention the install, because this greatly affects how stoves function. It is rear vented into a 90 degree elbow that goes into a block off plate into the masonary fireplace. The flue is still in there and is permanently open. There is no stainless steel liner in the clay lined chimney.

    My main conclusion is that I love having the heat upstairs rather than heating from the unfinished basement. There are also some drawbacks. The livingroom is not open to the rest of the house so spreading the heat is quite difficult. We have a fan in the furthest bedroom doorway, blowing toward the direction of the livingroom. This gets the hot air to that side of the house pretty effectively. I have been thinking about opening part of the livingroom wall so more air will circulate through the house and the room would feel more open. This would open the livingroom wall adjacent to the kitchen.

    I have had problems with backpuff since the last posts. I think in large due to the shorter chimney and lack of liner. The large space directly above the stove and old chimney flue reduces the draft dramatically, I would think. There is also an offset on the chimney. After the smoke enters the clay liners it has no problems but then it only has a short run out of the chimney top. The backpuff occurs during windy days. My conclusion is that the reduced draft caused by the lack of liner and shorter chimney height is the main cause of the backpuff in windy conditions. The cat still lights off on every load of wood and despite the occasional backpuff having the stove in the livingroom has greatly reduced the amount of wood used and increased the amount of heat in our main living floor. My next step in this wood heating endeavour is to get a liner for this chimney.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that the highest cat temp I was able to achieve in this new location is 850f. The operation of this stove has become fairly easy looking back at the old posts. I load it up with as much wood as I can fit in the box and after the load has caught fire on at least the sides I can see I can close the damper and make sure the cat temp goes from at least 300(at bypass closing time) to the top temp I've been able to get of 850f. The cat glows around 700 in this process. Then as the load continues to burn the glow goes away but the cat continues to work off the pollution while the temp goes down. I've grown accustomed to not having ghost flames throughout the entire burn cycle. The flames are obviously lively before the damper gets closed and I usually let the firebox reach about 575, as measured by the Rutland magnetic thermometer placed on the side loading door. I miss having access to the connector pipes and being able to measure flue temps, as I used to when it was in the basement. But, this has become in a way, an easier operation, because I have one less thing to gauge and try to control.

    Wood quality is another topic to be discussed. My wood is from trees that were cut between Dec 2008 and Spring of 2009. The trees were cut into logs Dec 2009. They sat covered under a tarp my back yard until now. I have been hand splitting them as needed. This means that the wood was not seasoned as well as it should be. The wood has to be split and stacked for at least a year in order to be seasoned. Some people like to have the wood split and stacked for at least two years before burning. This will yield the best results with an EPA stove. I'm burning cherry, maple and oak. I find oak is by far the best fuel for long burns and heat heat output. Maple seems to burn faster as does cherry. Oak is harder to cut but easier to split than the cherry and maple. The cherry is the hardest to split due to the wavy grain.

    Well the only thing missing is an updated picture of the stove!

    Again, I hope this thread will help others in the future.

    Thanks for reading.

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  11. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Glad you're doing well with that stove! Wet wood can also lead to some back puffs.. I get them on occasion but not all the time...

    Ray
  12. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Ray, how's it going?

    Nice to hear from you. I read the entire thread this morning and must thank you again for all the help you've offered. I need to get myself a moisture meter to figure out exactly what kind of moisture is in it to see what's affecting the puffing. As you said the wood is surely one of the culprits. What's the moisture content of your wood Ray and how has the new liner affected your stove?
  13. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hi Chris!

    I have a low budget moisture meter and it's OK. To really know the moisture content you need to cut and split again then check it.. Generally my moisture is under 20% according to my meter.. If you add wood to the stove and it sizzles and gets a bit wet on the end then run with the bypass open until this stops and it will help.. Also burning small splits will cause it as it all tries to burn at once.. Experience is the best teacher here and your milage may vary,.. Dennis aka Backwoods Savage may have some good advice on this one or other cat stove owners..I find reducing or increasing air a little can alleviate this as well (moving the burning wood a bit can stop the puffs too).. BTW I only get a puff on occasion not all the time.. As for the liner it made a big difference at my house and I have to run my air lower than before.. Dry wood makes a big difference with a cat stove along with a good draft (wet wood also reduces draft by cooling the flue gas off)...

    I see you have the short legs on the stove... lookin' good!

    Ray
  14. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I really have come to realize that my next purchase will be a moisture meter. It'll be another tool that'll assist me in burning the right way. The wood hisses slightly now, but no bubbles at the end of the splits. It is not fresh and green though, like last year. The thing that gets me, is that the puffing only happens when it's windy. This probably means the chimney is too low. I'll have to measure roughly how tall it is. The offset in it and the large area between the blockoff plate and the tyle liner has to be stealing a lot of thunder from my stove!!

    I want to eventually pull the stove out a couple more inches so I can reach the blower in the back. Then I'll be able to run the power cabledown the ash pit into the basement and not in plain site.
  15. wood-fan-atic

    wood-fan-atic New Member

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    Hey y'all. I have this stove sitting and awaiting a rebuild. If anyone knows of a place that can completely rebuild my large VC Ductchwest 2461cat - please let me know. Thanks!
  16. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hello all,

    The DW has been upstairs now for one and 1/2 months. I couldn't be happier with the results. We had the furnace heating the house from sometime friday morning. The worst 30 hours I've had since we put the stove up here. Last night, I could not get sleep with that dry heat in my bedroom. So, I went outside to get some wood this morning and decided to do a clean up and inspection of the chimney. I took the top off, cleaned the cat and refractory as well as the convectory/blower channels. I definitely need a new cat. That will be next month. There was so little build up in the flue that I didn't even need to brush it, I'll do it when it's time to install the liner. I also put an extention of horizontal pipe going from the back of the stove. The 2 1/2" section was just enough to put the stovejust outside the fireplace. This, I like. I can now access the fan, to turn it on/off and vacuum the blower. There was so much dust caked up on it that it wasn't a surprize the thing was getting louder and louder. It quieted way down after I cleaned it. With all clean connectors and secondary chamber she was ready to heat the house!!

    My house was 62f at 4pm when I started a fire. Two hours later 72f. The house is warm again and we're all happy! The last time I looked it was 76 outside the stove room :bug: !!! We have to get used to being warm again.

    PS. : I put furniture moving pads under the legs of the stove and it was a breeze sliding it out to do the work in the back! Next step, the liner and a new cat!
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    How do you need a new cat already?!
  18. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hi Chris can you tell me exactly which furniture moving pads you use? They sound like a good idea to me and do you leave them under the legs of the stove all the time? I know I have a hard time moving this stove as I usually do it alone and it weighs over 400 lbs.. I want to build a new hearth and I know you're a carpenter so who knows maybe you could use a side job? :) I have a link for a low cost ceramic cat with free shipping if you need it..

    Ray
  19. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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  20. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hi Ray,
    Was it you who suggested the pads? Anyway, they are just your run of the mill beige plastic pads from Wallmart. I left them under the stove for the past hours and so far they are just fine. It doesn't get terribly hot under there. It was easy to put the pads under it too! Having the short 2" legs I only used a 2x3 block on its face and a flat bar to lift the stove and slide the pads under the first side. I used an additional piece of half inch plywood to get a little extra lift under the bar for the second side. Yes, please send me the link for the cat. As far as the hearth, send me a PM when you're ready and we can discuss the details.


    Hey BrowningBar,
    Ray was right, I bought the stove knowing that the cat's age was unknown. The seller told me it would probably need one within the next couple of years. The $550 I paid for it was only worth it because it had been completely taken appart, recemmented, regasketed and repainted. It was like new in condition except for the cat. You can find these stoves on CL for as low as $200-$300. I don't know what kind of shape they are in though! Some may have warped parts as well as burned out cats. The one I bought grabbed me because of its pristine shape. I had been to two other stove rebuilders the day I found it and his shop also struck me by surprize. He only had a few stoves in there and some were completely appart. He sandblasts all of them and puts them back together piece by piece. Replacing only what's warped and damaged.



    Thanks for the reply guys, I went to look at a Hearthstone Harvest today. The guy is only about 10 minutes away and I may be able to grab it for $400. What do you think? It's in pretty decent shape but could use some paint and probably a new cat, eventually. He had not loadad since 9:30pm and it was past 10 am when I got to his house. I could not believe how hot those stones were!! You could barely put your hands on them!!! :wow: It also needs some new paint on the cast iron frame. But it's a handsome stove. I would use it in the basement to heat what's going to be a bedroom/playroom for the kids. One of the stones also has a cracked corner. Let me know what your opinion is, especially you BrowningBAR, as an experienced Hearthstoner, how much was your Heritage? Was it new?

    Well I got to go. The Patriots game is on, GO PATS!!!!
  21. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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  22. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Thaks Ray good info!
  23. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Not a good overnight burn last night. I can't blame the stove. The wood, which was cherry and oak, is not as dry as it should be and I stuffed a huge oak split in there. It was 67 in the house at 6am, three or four fresh splits went in at 10pm. The bed of coals were not as big when i put in the coals, either. I was trying to tone down heat rpoduction last night because it was 78 in here at 7pm. I won't do that again. Boy, would I love a new cat!!
  24. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Chris have you tried vacuum cleaning your cat and inspect that the holes are not blocked? There is also a cleaning procedure you can try :
    http://www.condar.com/combustorcleaningmanual.pdf

    Ray
  25. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like your cat is still working, stove is burning clean and you are getting plenty of heat. Are you seeing any smoke?

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