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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.

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  1. Pine Knot

    Pine Knot Member

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    The "cat cage" does get in the way of getting a full load of wood. I load the big ends first on the bottom sticks and the small end first on the upper pieces. This seems to help get a little more wood in.

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  2. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    That weird looking cage is actually a baffle! We should all be glad we have such a strong one in our stoves. Too many people around here have a tough time with flimsy baffles and having to replace them time and time again. But, I agree, it takes some space away from the firebox. I still get long hours out of a proper load of hard woods, though. I load the big splits at the bottom, like you do. The XL Dutchwest should give owners a little more room in the firebox for added burn times and throwing in big splits. It too has the baffle on top, which to me is an advantage. Today I loaded the stove at 11:45am, not even all the way, turned the air downand it's cruising for an 8 hour daytime low burn. Nice secondary ghost flames on the top of the firebox right now and a glowing cat to go with it. Temperature in the hallway is 72. It was 66, by the time I started the stove, after having the frond door open for the boys to go out to the bus, the temp fell from 71 at 7am to 66 at 11:45am. I loaded the stove last night at 12am and still had coals to start a fire at 11:45am. This is almost 12 hours between reloads. No match restart. I love this stove.
  3. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Great looking fire Chris! Cat stoves are capable of nice looking fire too! Now that you've had the Sud Chemie SS cat for a while how is it performing?

    Ray
  4. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I knew you'd like the pics Ray! I was on cloud nine last night after a week without a stove burning in the house. That fire was the first one after a much needed upgrade and clean up. The cat continues to provide easy operation and burns up all the smoke on low choked down fires (unlike the one in the pictures! ;-) .) Actually I loaded the firebox after taking the pictures around midnight and didn't need to reload until almost noon the next day! (today) I cut some big uglies out in the left over pile, some oak v's that were impossible to split but were pretty dry and had been cut since 08/09 winter. They were under the tarp and were really tough to chain saw into manageable pieces. One of them was a v shaped fork with two 20" trunks that had been cut close to the crotch. It was a groan to cut, but burned really nice on low all night! I still have a 30" but about 36" long from the same tree. It has to be cut into manageable pieces too! I'll have to sharpen the chain before attempting to destroy that thing into burnable chunks. I'm glad I have the 2255 turbo, it would not have been possible in the same amount of time with a lesser saw! A piece of that oak tree is simmering in the fire right now! The air is shut almost all the way and small lazy flames emanating from it on top of a lightly glowing bed of coals, life is good!
  5. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I saw all those pics of the work you did and it looks like it should help make the stove run better.. Just imagine the difference a full insulated liner will make! I am a big fan of the 2461 as you know so yeah I smiled at those pics.. I too had some gnarly oak crotches which I chain sawed as splitting was impossible for me but worth the effort! BTW what the heck is 2255 turbo? My stove is purring away here as I type this message and it has been running very nicely this year and I am keeping an eye on a good deal for a 2461 as I feel they can go the distance like this stove.. As much as I like the looks of your new VC I would rather have a cast iron interior.. Hopefully you'll be OK with the new stove but personally I would locate the DW where the critical heat requirement is needed most.. This way your main house will be kept warm reliably in the event there is an issue with the VC you'll still be warm..

    Ray
  6. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Yes, I can't wait to put an end to this liner issue once and for all! What I did yesterday was just a bandaid, but hopefully it'll help untill the liner is purchased. As soon as I get some extra $, the liner will be the next big $ stove related purchase. I'm glad you were pleased with the pics. The 2255 turbo is like a Jonsered version of the Husky 455 Rancher turbo charged. It is made by Husqvarna for Jonsered. I couldn't justify the cost of a real pro saw considering this one ran over $400 on sale. It's the saw I bought last year to process some wood that was cut down by the power lines in the neighborhood. The only complaint I have is that it is pretty heavy, but I'm young still, many more years with this beast I hope! Maybe then, I'll be able to buy a real professional saw that is lighter. But then again, who knows, maybe I'll switch to pellets! :gulp: If I were you I'd hang on to your stove as long as you can, as I feel the only thing mine has on yours is a bigger window and air washed glass. In fact there are some advantages to your stove, I'd be willing to bet! As far as the Encore, it has not passed any tests yet! It will need a new cat before it even comes close to trying to compete for space with the DW! Then, I'll see where it'll be going, but my guess is down in the basement. I'm thinking of putting the heat reclaimer into my furnace connectors, as this will be a much better use of the Magic Heat. It'll take care of 70% of the heating needs of the basement! It'll come on just when the tankless hot water kicks on and occasionally if we decide to run the furnace for heat. The 750 sq ft down there will be easily heated by the MH and an oil filled radiator in case we decide to save up on some wood. So the basement may be the best place for the Encore, but we'll see once the new cat is purchased. Then the true test will begin. If all the numbers are right, the Encore should outperform the DW slightly. Slightly more heat with slightly longer burn times. I'll tell you this, though: I was really bummed by the state of the cat in that stove, and wasn't impressed with how tough it was to get the secondary burn chamber appart for clean up. The DW is a breeze to clean up. Four bolts on mine and you are there. The Encore's cat is easy to reach, but getting into the rest of the secondary chamber is like pulling out four molars! :gulp:

    Take care Ray!

    Chris
  7. Ring

    Ring Member

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    Contact this guy, Tony Guido, he's located in Flushing, decent prices because he works out of his house, he's a retired old tree surgeon from Syracuse NY. He'll come to you and give you a price on the spot. Make sure you send him pictures so he knows your model.

    anthongtigre@gmail.com
  8. wood-fan-atic

    wood-fan-atic New Member

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    Thanks SO much. I'll get in touch with him today.
  9. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I thought I should say goodbye to the DW officially on this thread. It felt like a long journey, though it was brief. These past two seasons have been a joy with this stove. It kept us warm and me entertained for many Winter nights (caveman TV.) To all of you who contributed to my learning curve, a big thank you!! This also is a farewell to wood burning. We had to move out of the old house and rented a new house which has no chimney. So the only solution is to go to pellets. Wood burning will always be in my heart and mind. I sold the Dutchwest about three weeks ago, it was hard to see it go. A great deal to the buyer, the $400 dollars came in handy during the move. I could have tried for $600 but it would have taken a lot lon ger to sell and we just didn't have the time. I listed it one evening and the next morning it was sold by 9am. The buyer also got the new blower and SS cat I put in late last season. IMO, there was not another stove for $400 out there, that was as good as that one. Someday, when we own our own house, maybe I'll go the wood way again! The Dutchwest will remain a highly recommended stove as far as I'm concearned, even with all its flaws and quirks. Lots of those flaws I found to be operator, wood or chimney related. It is an old EPA rated system by today's standards but that is what makes this stove so good. It has withstood the test of time, evolving slightly from the old federal airtights in the by CDW in the 70's to the new Dutchwest by Vermont Castings of today. Their price remains one of the lowest on the market for a cast iron EPA rated catalytic stove. Their efficiency and EPA rating remain among the best in the market.

    I will be glad to answer any DW related questions even though I no longer own the stove. I'm still hopefull that this thread will help other DW owners master their stove.

    I will miss watching the flames through the arched windows shining through the Maggie Simpson andirons. :lol: Trying to stuff the firebox just right for a good overnight burn and splitting wood in the dead of winter!

    I'd consider the DW an old friend, it will be missed!

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  10. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hey Chris someday you will own your own place and I am sure you'll burn wood again.. I understand how you feel with the DW, I too had a long relationship with my 20+ yr. old CDW and its last duty was to serve as a place to place my Coleman stove for cooking after we lost power during Irene.The CDW was off the hearth with the T-5 in her place. I took a couple pics of my old friend performing her last duty as a safe place to cook with my Coleman stove.. Life goes on and the old girl has found a new home and now I will be acquainted with the T-5..It's funny we really do develop an attachment to our stoves because they are part of our lives 24/7 year round.. They keep us warm even when the lights go out and grace us with their beauty when they rest in the warmer weather always at the ready to warm our bones and even cook our food.. I am sure many of you know what I mean in this post and have similar sentiments.. The new T-5 indeed has big shoes to fill!

    Ray
  11. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the post Ray. You were instrumental in my decision to buy the DW. Now we both get to start a season with different stoves! It should be a good learning experience. I'll make sure to post some pics of the new stove on this thread when I get it installed. Come visit the pellet mill sometime! I'll be hanging there and here this coming season.
  12. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    OK sounds good I'll check out the pellet forum.. I thought that stove you was going to look at got sold, did the deal fall through so you get a shot at it again?

    Good Luck,

    Ray
  13. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Ray check out this thread it'll explain everything:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/78438/P0/

    I got a text message from a person with a NH area code saying "thanks for your interest but the stove was sold." Things were pretty hectic here, we were between the two houses, trying to unpack essentials here and clean up the old house. I had responded to quite a few adds inquiring about stoves. The seller, who seemed like and turned out to be a nice guy, had agreed to take a down payment and extend for a couple of weeks to take the remaining sum of $850. I was disappointed when I got the text but thought I'd have a chance to research some more and find another suitable stove.

    I discussed this call (text) on the thread saying the guy called and said it was sold. It turns out I was wrong, it was another NH guy who texted and the stove was still for sale. The funny thing is, the only reason I found out was because the seller joined Hearth.com and made his first post calling me out for saying he called to say the stove was sold. His site name is "Enviro." He thought I had stood him up and simply did not show to give the deposit. The whole thing plays out in the thread linked above. Including some member's advice and one member who turned out to be a mediator of sorts, called DexterDay. I understood how upset the seller must have been to find out I was discussing the situation online and doing what he thought was lying as an excuse for not showing. I extended an apology and explained what happened and told him my end of the deal still stood if he was interested. We ended up working the whole deal out yesterday when I went for a nice 1 1/2 hour ride up to NH to give him a deposit. He turned out to be a great guy, knowledgeable about pellet stoves among other things. I was at his house for over an hour and a half. He told me how he discovered my thread while searching Enviro Windsor reviews on google. A picture of his stove and livingroom came up when he looked at the link that was listed. My thread discussing the situation. He said he could barely wait to post a remark, moving his fingers as fast as possible to sign up on Hearth.com. He was ripped!!!! But remained composed and called me out and the rest is now history. I pick up the stove on October 1st.

    The Enviro Windsor stove was a beauty, its almost flawless. He was the original buyer and kept it in great shape. I'll probably use the touch up paint to cover a few minor scratches on the front door. The glass has a small crack on the lower left corner, which I'll replace eventually, but it does not affect the operation of the stove. There is some sign of rust on the steel that surrounds the hot air outports, I'll probably lightly sand and paint over or just use some stove polish to cover it up. That stove polish is great, it makes black stoves look brand new. I gave the old DW a good coat before the new owners came to see it. She looked as good as new!!!
  14. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    So what does the VC mean? Jeff
  15. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    Pretty sure it's Vermont Castings
  16. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    At the time I joined this forum I was buying my first EPA rated stove. I had been heating with two other stoves one from 1936, the other a 1980 Surdiac, great little heater! I had already put a deposit down on a Vermont Castings Dutwest 2461. They just recently became part of the Monessen line, VC's mother company. They are sort of a headliner in Monessen shops, where at VC dealers they tended to be outshined by the fancier looking enamel clad Encores, Defiants ...

    As I said before, Jeff, I would highly recommend the DW 2461. This does not mean that other stoves would not be suitable for your situation just as the DW would.
    Good luck!
  17. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    Geez...now I'm confused...I was told 2 weeks ago that Dutchwest WAS being built by the Vermont Casting company! I've got a brochure that has Monssen Hearth Systems on it and than underneath it it has www.vermontcastings.com.
  18. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Dutchwest stoves have been made by VC since the eighties. They will continue to be made the same exact way at the same exact plant, by the same people. Monessen owns Vermont Castings. The only change is they will not have the name Vermont Castings in the back of the stove. They will now have the name Monessen as the brand. Same manufactureres, same stove since about 1993 as pertains to the 2460, 2461 and 2462 models. Other models like the non cat I don't know much about.
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