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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. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Interesting this stove came with block off plates and screens.. I added my own blower and the original ones I got free because they were returns and I repaired a couple then made my own..

    Ray

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  2. kpauley

    kpauley New Member

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    Great, quick info, thanks! I found the one on ebay that it looks like that picture is from, looks like they also sell the thermostat as well. From the sounds of the thread it seems that this blower will help distribute the heat in the room and through the house. We have the stove in a large cathedral ceiling room that is around 22' x 18' in size. There is a ceiling fan in the room that seems to help, but I'd like to get a little more spread through the house and thought this could help. When this is blowing, where does the heat blow out of, the top vent area? And I think I heard some comments that it's a little loud, any thing you can compare the sound to? I'd hate to spend a couple hundred bucks and find out we don't want to use it because it's too loud!
  3. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Ray!

    On the last load, I put three or four little 1.5" sticks on top of the coals and let them fully burn, then added as many odd shaped splits as I could fit in the box. About a minute later I closed the bypass and engaged the cat (probe temp at 300) side door around 400. I looked at the cat through the door, less than thirty seconds after the bypass was shut, the cat went from dark to bright red. This load was not intended on being a long lasting burn, we were going out to dinner at a local restaurant so I wanted to just keep it hot in the house, but wanted to engage the cat in a hurry so we could go. We got back a couple of hours later and the house was 80 degrees, and the cat was still glowing. There were a few short and stocky oak splits in there and they are still burning strong as we speak. Five hours after they went in. I have to think about loading it for an overnight burn now, but I hate to even touch these perfectly chunky glowing coals that are in there. I brought a full load of oak to go in tonight, but I'm afraid of how hot the house will get if I load it up right now, it is still 79 just outside the stove room. Ahhh, the worries of a wood burner! :)
  4. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it blows out of the slot just below the stove top. I find the stove room is usually slightly cooler and the rest of the house is warmer with the blower on. It helps spread the heat more evenly for sure. Anytime you add a blower there is a slight amount of noise that comes with it. Our is not very loud, it gets a lot louder if you don't vac it off at least once or twice a month. This is just a result of dust build up in the air inlets of the fan. I usually try to vac it off once every 7-10 days, the cleaner the better, for air movement and noise reduction. I have a small electric room heater which has a fan that sounds most similar to this blower. I would highly recommend it. Check your local VC dealer for his price before going through Ebay (yes the pic came from there,) you may find it for a better price. I got mine from the guy who rebuilt the stove I now own. He works for a dealer as an installer and rebuilds stoves on the side. My blower cost less than half the retail price (the price of cost to the shop.) This goes to show how much mark up and room for bargaining there is. I think he said the rheostat would cost about 25 bucks. I've seen it on Ebay for 65.
  5. kpauley

    kpauley New Member

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    We have a couple of stove dealers not too far away, I will check with them.

    I'm fine with some noise of course, just trying to compare. I'm guessing it's not too different from the noise that a pellet stove puts out.

    One other question about the block off plates, I didn't realize there were openings in the bottom of the stove for circulation and now see them in the manual. I'm guessing if those are blocked with debris it could be hurting my airflow (in my current state without the blower). The blow apart drawing looks like that chamber is separate from the ash drawer and possibly difficult to get debris into. We've only owned this house for less than a year and the people before were literally pigs (we got the place for very cheap on a short sale). I don't think I would normally suspect an issue, but in this case I thought it would be good to check out.

    With a fire going, damper open or closed, should I expect some sort of draft of air going through those? They were covered with cobwebs when I looked and I put a flame from a long lighter near there and didn't really see much of a draft.
  6. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    You're getting the same results that I see here Chris.. This stove went from Buick to Ferrari when I installed this cat! The performance difference is amazing! Right now my cat thermometer is around 1350 and the stove pipe surface temp is over 300 and this is with the air at a medium/low setting.. I loaded the stove last night (4 large oak splits that filled the firebox to the roof) around 9:30 pm and at 7 am and choked the air way down.. The stove was cruising with the cat around 1350 degrees. When I checked on it at 7 AM it was still catalytic (around 500 degrees).. Outside it was 11 degrees and it was 68 degrees in the house.. Raked the hot coals and loaded her up with one small split of pine and some oak and 15 minutes later she was running catalytic.. I find it much easier to run this stove now and it saves me time when I work my long days.. I'm glad you decided to install the cat and not wait until next year so you could experience the difference..

    Ray
  7. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Hey Guys, You are experiencing the same thing I did when I replaced my cat at the beginning of this year. I have noticed thought that it takes a little longer to light off now after burning nonstop since the the end of October however it's still WAY better than the Cat I had that was 4 years old( I have pulled the Cat and checked it out and it was perfectly clean with no warping as of 2 weeks ago). Keep us updated on how it's performing.
  8. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hi Cert,
    Did you install a S/S cat too? I have checked mine and no problems with any warping here.. I think it would have been happening if it was going to happen..

    Ray
  9. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Ray, I did install a stainless cat this fall and have no regrets as of yet. It has functioned better than any ceramic cat I have ever owned so far and the only thing left to prove is the longevity of the cat (will it last 4 years like my porcelain ones did). Keep us updated on how yours is holding up.
  10. Woodboy

    Woodboy New Member

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    Can you run these stoves without the refractory?
    I noticed that the pictures that vcburner showed did not have the refractory.
  11. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I checked the cat recently and it looks the same as the day I installed it and works excellent! Chris hopefully will add his update as well.. I read that some have issues with the SS cats clogging I have not seen this here in fact it looked like new when I pulled it out with no clogging at all.. If you burn woods that create light fly ash or perhaps wet wood that may be the problem.. I have been burning mainly seasoned red oak, ash, cherry and a little poplar, silver maple or pine as a firestarter here.. $59.00 for this cat was an absolute bargain!

    Ray
  12. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I don't remember who posted what the firebox size is on the large convection.. I remembered to take a measurement after raking the coals and basically at least with this stove come up with approximately 2 cu. ft. . I know I can get overnight 8-9 hr. burns with the air down low and it holds quite a bit of wood.. Being all cast iron you can jam it in there without breaking anything.. You can fit almost 24" long wood in it but it's designed for 22" max.. I wonder if the 2461 has the same size firebox?

    Ray
  13. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    What kind of fireview do you get with the glass door? Does the stove have an airwash system to keep the glass clean - does the glass stay clean?

    Just as a point of reference, my Woodstock Keystone has an almost fireplace look through the glass and stays very clean. It is easy to monitor the fire just watching it vs checking the thermometer temps. Not to compare the Dutchwest to the Keystone, but to give a point of reference from where I am coming from.

    I'm going to look at another XL cat this weekend - different dealer.

    Thanks,
    Bill
  14. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    Yes there is an airwash system on the newer ones, with dry wood I have to wipe some whitish haze off the glass every 10 days or so. Every now and then a split may roll to close to the glass in an overnite burn creating a creosote smudge, throw in a few splits, fire 'er up and the stove will clean itself.
  15. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    You definitely have cleaner glass than I do however I can usually see the fire so I know what's going on.. VC made some nice improvements when they bought CDW the only one I am not crazy about is the handle.. Mine are made with heavy brass and would be hard to break.. The stove came with 3 of them too lol.. I am a big fan of the 2461 and hope to get one someday..

    Ray
  16. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I would not run it without the refractory, it would be really easy to warp all sorts of cast iron parts. I should have taken a picture with the refractory back on, it simply covers the cat and is shaped like a pie slice with the tip cut off.
  17. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Ray,

    I posted the cu. ftg. for the CDW 2461 and what I estimated would be the ftg. of the XL 2462. It was on Bill's (leeave96) thread. My measurements came out to 2.3 cu ft. But the really usefull space is more like 2 taking away the space between the andirons and the glass, giving a one inch space on the ends for air space as recommended and other little nooks. I can also fit a stick of 23 3/4" in the firebox. I believe the Federal airtight and the new DW are very much the same size, at least from what you've said in comparison to my numbers.

    Here's what I said on the other thread:

    It's also worth mentioning a link to the thread where this quote came from:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/71444/
  18. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    OK thanx Chris I couldn't recall which post that came from.. I think your cu. ft. numbers are more accurate than mine because I only did a quick general measurement as the hot coals were gonna burn my tape measure paint off lol.. I just know it holds a lot of wood and the XL holds a small forest :p Funny that DW doesn't provide that in the specs as it's a good selling point..

    Ray
  19. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Hey Guys,
    I have been pricing new Dutchwest stoves and ran across these firebox size numbers. I'm not sure I completely agree with them but they may be slightly more realistic when thinking about the stove itself as I know I have a hard time actually filling the firebox itself up to full capacity. A few of the problems I have always had with getting this firebox full are:
    1) It seems like I can never get my wood to fit properly around the catalyst which sits in the middle of the stove
    2) Once you load the bottom pieces of wood into the stove it's hard to get the top pieces in without having the wood stick into the damper area
    3) you have to angle the top pieces in since the door doesn't open all the way to the top of the firebox. Then the pieces have to be significantly shorter than the stated 25" or you get the wood jammed halfway in the stove and it's stuck between the top of the door frame and the top of the stove.

    These observations are just annoyances that I have had over the years of loading my stove they definitely aren't' deal breakers for me buying a new Dutchwest and it's still at the top of my list. I have noticed that the door on the new XL is significantly larger than my XL which would make loading much easier.

    X-Large Large Small
    Log Length 25" 22" 19"
    Firebox size 2.4 cu ft 1.4 cu ft 1.2 cu ft
    Flue size 8" oval 6" round 6" round
    Rear flue ht. 33" to top 30" to top 30" to top
    Avg burn time 10 hours 9 hours 7 hours
    Max output 55,000 btu 40,000 btu 35,000 btu
    Weight 550 lbs 425 lbs 390 lbs


    *(sorry my little table didn't turn out well)
  20. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hmm 1.4 cu. ft. seems conservative to me.. I bet they only measure to the top of the cast iron plates... I fill the whole thing up here..

    Ray
  21. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Allright, i want to make a disclaimer here my stove is a XL Dutchwest 1992 FA288 Model 2184 so it may not compare to the newer/older stoves..........
    When I got home I measured the inside of the firebox and came up with an interior dimension of 24"x14"x13" this dimension was measured to the bottom of the catalyst. Now let me explain why I believe this measurment is correct for my stove ....As you look in the side door the catalyst only sits a 1/2" lower than the damper assembly so not much more wood could be added there. Then as you look to the right of the damper assembly the inner top has ribbing on it which sticks down and is only about an inch higher than the bottom of the catalyst (also the width between the catalyst and the front of the stove is about an inch two so the space there is negligible. The 24"x14"x13" equates to 2.51 cubic feet. I could probably eek out a little bit more room if I worked some small pieces into the gaps but the realistically I think my stove has roughly a 2.5 cubic foot firebox which is kind of dissapointing as I always thought it was more like 3 to 3.5 cubic foot.
  22. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I agree the wood loading around the baffle is difficult and the wood interfering with the damper at times. I usually put the bigger splits on the bottom and smaller ones on top. I think I've seen those specs before and wondered who put them out? VC does not put out specs on firebox size. But some dealers have this information. The 2461 does not apper to have a 1.4 cu ft firebox. That would equal to a 12"x12"x18" firebox. No matter how you look at it my firebox is at least 23"x11"x13" that would be subtracting the space the baffle occupies and then some. Very conservatively the firebox would be 1.9 cu ft. But as I stated I think it comes in at 2.0 cu ft. Taking away all the little nooks and cranies that were mentioned.
  23. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    I agree with you that there is no way the firebox size on a large is only 1.4 cu ft.. Now I really want to know what the firebox size on a new XL is. At first i was dissapointed at the size after I measured it but after thinking about it I guess I'm actually a little more impressed with my burn times and the ability of the stove to more than meet our heating needs.
  24. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    No disclaimer necessary, certified. Those older Dutchwests were really good stoves and were really ahead of their time in my eyes. The names they give these stoves are a bit misleading. My "Large" DW is nothing more than a medium sized stove. The XL is also really a large stove. A 3 or 3.5 cu ft firebox I think is really an XL stove in todays standards. I don't think firebox size is the only determining factor of how much heat a stove can throw. I may be comparing apples to oranges, but my old Surdiac stove has a firebox just over one cu ft. and it throws off up to 44,000 BTU's. The thing throws off more heat than my DW, due to the very large ceramic coated steel heat exchanger that is on the back of the stove! This exchanger nearly doubles the heat output of the small cast iron stove that is the core of the surdiac. At the end of the day it is about what makes you happy and warm!

    Thanks for all your thoughtfull posts!

    Chris
  25. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Here are some pictures I took today of the Dutchwest hard at work! After a long hiatus, it once again gets a chance at making us happy and warm. I bought a Defiant Encore 2190 and was going to put it in place of the DW, but upon inspection of the cat in it decided to re-install the old beast (I'm going to keep both and put one downstairs and one upstairs.) We are glad to have it back in after a long needed overhaul of the chimney set up and clean up. This chimney had not been cleaned since we moved in (2007) but had not been used for wood stoves before 2009. It always looked clean but I found some gnarly stuff behind the old fireplace damper! There are pictures of the dirty fireplace, new pipe extension, new pipe whole on the block off plate and explanation of the overhaul in the venting set up in my other thread:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/68912/P66/


    Now here are some pictures of the DW in action today!

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