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Vogelzang The Colonial

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Corriewf, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    what's your reasoning behind taking the blower off? Does it suck air in from all around the blower too as well as through the unit itself? Have you experimented with distances to find the best position? I'm not doubting it works but mine is installed in a wall about 3' off the ground so I'll have to do some work to get the blower away from the insert.[/quote]

    Well, this is just with the vogelzang the colonial. I probably wouldn't do it with other inserts. The blower and it's housing come as one piece and connect under the ash guard. When I connected it tight to the the body of the insert with the two screws, I noticed very little air being pushed out. When I closely examined the fan and how the housing is designed, I noticed that it was poorly designed. The fan is trying to take air from the same place it is trying to blow the air which was causing a conflict. So I tried loosing the screws and having it set off a little and noticed it pulled air from the gaps on the sides where it was no longer flush with the insert, more air flow. I then took the screws off and just let it sit on the hearth about a half inch from the insert and noticed even more air being pushed through the insert. I would say it definitely needs that gap to pull air from the sides so it can push the max air through the unit. I read another review of the insert on Northern Tool where someone did the exact same thing so it must be a problem in all of these units. It's a problem I can live with. The housing has enough weight to it that being unscrewed I don't have to worrying about it moving much laying on the hearth.

    I will take a pic of the housing and upload it in a bit for those that are curious what it looks like and what I might be talking about. :)

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  2. Rougement

    Rougement New Member

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    I put some washers between the blower housing and the insert, the supplied screws aren't good for much more than a 1/4" gap but it does seem to have helped push some more air out if the top. Putting a lighter next to the gap does confirm air is now being drawn in from the sides.

    One thing I'm noticing and getting annoyed at now it's getting colder and I'm trying to crank the insert: after a reload the temp quickly plummets from 350 down to 200 or less, even with a good coal bed. It could be the small firebox, thin steel or firebrick, cold wood or maybe I need to kill the blower after a reload. I have no basis for comparison so maybe someone else can chime in but I wish it wouldn't drop so dramatically.
  3. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    I have the same exact problem with temp fluxes. I got to thinking today, what if the blower is not supposed to pump that much air through. Maybe it is cooling the firebox due to too much air circ. I have attached the blower back and am going to experiment with it tonight. If the blower blows less air and that makes the firebox get or stay hotter than the smaller amount of air that is getting blown should be hotter. I bought a thermostat for the wood stove room and will let you know what I find out.

    Yeah, I do turn the blower off for a good 20 minutes after reload. I THINK it helps to keep the temps up, but mainly I do it so no smoke gets in when I open the door or leave the door cracked. The research I did before purchasing this stove did indicate that steel stoves do lose heat a lot faster than cast iron, however they do heat up faster. It is a trade off. With a smaller firebox to boot, I am sure that is effecting us quite a bit.
  4. Rougement

    Rougement New Member

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    I just got word back from Vogelzang. They will be sending out a replacement door handle free of charge. Nice.
  5. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Huh. I am actually looking forward to mine getting a little discolored. Sounds like yours was burning though. I wonder if the wood handle is safe.

    Update on fan: had to remove housing again. Bought a couple 1 inch screws and a bunch of washers to reconnect with a half inch gap. So far so good.
  6. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Another update. I have tackled the 350 limit I kept getting stuck at. The trick to for me was to keep the blower off until the stove hits at least 425. Also, try and keep the air closed down. I noticed that the stove heats up much much faster when the air is cut back. Crack the door, open the air to get some flames going good and as soon as you do, shut her down. The flames will go down quite quickly, but after about 10-15 minutes the secondaries will start to kick in. If you are reloading on a nice coal bed, just crack the door for a minute or two and keep the air closed off. I never open the air unless I am starting a fire with a small coal bed or from scratch.

    So far I am hitting 450-500 easily now and maintaining these temps for hours. ;) Now I am getting quite a bit more heat than I was before.
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, that can sometimes be a tough thing to get your head wrapped around, but with the primary air at wide open throttle, it allows all that extra air to sweep away a large amount of heat also. After a good charring burn, start backing down on the primary and watch the stove top temps go up. Finding the "sweet" spot is just part of the learning curve.
  8. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Yeah, the thing that surprised me with this stove though is that it wants the air shut down all the way as fast as I can. I was doing it in increments, but that wasn't working. Now I am going pretty much straight from wide open to close once I get a good burn going (10 min maybe). Maybe I have to good of a draft.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Thats pretty much how mine works also. Like I say, its just finding the sweet spot.
  10. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    The funny thing I couldn't believe was how much the blower effected the temps as well. I was turning the blower on as soon as I got a good fire going and that was really slowing down the stove getting up to temp. Simple mistake I didn't even think about over the last couple weeks.

    I called my buddy up last night that got a Hearthstone Clydesdale ( See Jealous in the dictionary please ) and he has been making the same mistake. After a couple months of running the stove this way, he told me last night he has never achieved secondary burns. I was shocked. Told him to keep that blower off until it hits temp. I made his whole winter with another tip I learned from here. He has been trying to heat adjacent rooms by blowing a fan from the stove room into the other rooms. He was complaining last night that he couldn't get enough heat into those rooms. I told him to put his fan on the floor and blow the cold air from those rooms INTO the stove room and watch the temps rise. Blew his mind as he watched the temp rise 4 degrees in 40 minutes time.
  11. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

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    Just found this thread. Nice stove Corriewf, like the vids of the secondary's. I got a kick out of the Mario comment, sounds just like me and my wife....we both take turns, get mad, and give up! Its an addicting game, 2 player mode sure is hard tho!
  12. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Thanks man! I'm proud of my cheap purchase. YEAH I regret not having a larger firebox at times.

    I got all the way to the end of that Mario game and can't beat bowser. The game is just overall hard for me but damn my wife is no help at all. She has continued 40 times at at least 5 lives each, man I would guess she has died 250+ times. She can never stay alive long enough for me to come back to life. It's like she looks for places to kill luigi. After years of being happily married, this is the first time I thought about divorce. I mean if I can't trust her to keep luigi alive how the hell can I trust her for anything else?!?! I definately am not letting her anywhere near my new wood stove.

    Only way she is redeeming herself is if she can beat bowser herself.
  13. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

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    LOL too funny. I'll have to give that to my wife as an ultimatum.....beat the game or we're finished! :lol:

    Heck a larger firebox is always nice, but im sure you'll be able to fine tune your burning technique and really maximize it for all its worth. My Oslo only has 2.0cf and, like you, I wish I had gone bigger and just gotten the Firelight at times. But I am getting GREAT heat and enough coals in the morning and when I return from work to keep it purring 24/7.

    Good luck with it, and PM me if you need a good divorce lawyer (a uncle of mine is in the business)!
  14. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Well in a 1948 house with centerblock walls that get cold as as my wife after reading my mario comments, it keeps the stove room at 74 and the back bedroom at 68. It's about 1800 sqf house. However I will say once the stove gets cool, my house cools down pretty fast. Thats where I wish I had the larger firebox for longer burn times.
  15. FireAnt

    FireAnt Minister of Fire

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    Do you have the 24" clearance off the front of the stove? This is the one thing that is stopping me from buying the stove. Mine is 16". This is the only stove I have seen that requires that much clearance.
  16. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    NO! :( I have 18 inches. So far the hearth get hot but the heat isn't getting to my hardwood floor. Seems to stop before it gets to the edge. I think the minimum by code is 16 inches. Not sure why this stove ask for 24.
  17. FireAnt

    FireAnt Minister of Fire

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    Thanks! 16" is what I have seen everywhere also. I may put a slab of Blue stone down if I decide to get the stove. How hard was the install with the 45* back on the stove? Did you have to cut your damper to fit the pipe?

    Sorry for all the questions... I have been looking at this stove for 2 months now.

    Thanks

    Anthony
  18. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Wasn't hard at all. I used flex SS liner with a 5.5 inch to 6 inch adapter and it went right on in.
  19. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Just a heads up for others with this stove. I recently was inspecting the air control eve and decided to, oh what the hell, take the housing off of it. The lever for the air control has always been a bit jiggly, but I thought it was just the way it was supposed to be. Once I got the housing off, I noticed that both screws that connect the slider were loose. One was quite loose and about to fall off. The entire time I have been running this stove, the air was not getting cut off all the way due to that. Now with those tight, I am hitting 500+ easily and keeping the temps in the stove a lot longer due to less air going through it.

    Be sure you take the housing off and check. It's just two screws, one on each side and then two screws to check on the slider. :)
  20. sbowers22

    sbowers22 New Member

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    I was just jiggling that handle last night wondering if it should be that loose so thanks for the heads up. Can you do this while the stove is warm or do you have to cool it off first? I just got my Colonial up and running this past Saturday night and I am very pleased with it thanks to all the knowledge from this forum. I paid $799 for it and received a $50 gift card at Northern Tool. Then I saw this past weekend that they have them online for now for $749, so I took my receipt back up there and got another $50 dollars back. So I basically got this stove for $699 plus the $700 liner kit w/insulation and self install the whole project was less than $1500. Heck the local hearth store wanted $1750 just for install and they don't even insulate the liner(I only knew to ask that because of this forum). Well I have no history with using wood burning stove other than hearing about them so getting the chief financial officer(the wife) to go along with a $4k to $5k stove wasn't going to happen. I figure I will easily recoup the $700 on the stove and I have a liner waiting on a new insert if this one wears out. I have a 2300 sqft house and it does a good job of keeping most of the house pretty worm. I noticed a significant reduction in heater usage which I hope will drop even further when we get our new windows installed which should be any day now. Thanks for all the info on the stove it has helped me learn how to operate mine more quickly.
  21. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Wish I had known you could take the receipt and get money back, it went down 100 bucks a week after I bought mine. I paid 899. Yikes! I paid 700 for my kit as well. I had to get a 5.5 inch liner and even ovalize that to get it down. Being my first stove, for me paying 4k was just too much. I know those stoves are great and have larger fireboxes, but that is a lot of money to spend on a iron/metal box. Maybe when this one goes out, I will have a lot more money to spend.

    A 2300 sqft house is a large house to heat with this stove. I am surprised to hear of your success to be honest. You must have a newer home with good insulation. My house is 50+ years old with poor insulation. Have any pics of your install?

    I removed the housing when the stove was cool. I then removed it again thinking that MAYBE the screws had come loose due to the heat and checked it while it was hot. I would not advise this. I thought it would be a lot cooler than it was and burned myself quite a bit. NOT FUN! If the stove is down to 250 or so, with gloves you should be fine. :) Definitely check those screws, my stove is running so much smoother and putting out more heat now. :)
  22. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    :exclaim: To ward off potential future problems I suggest a hardened toothed lock washer or split lock washer if room permits it or if it has a nut replace it with a swaged nut.. Both should be available at hardware stores, Lowes or Home Depot.. With all the heat it probably will happen again so you may be able to eliminate this permanently...

    My 2 Cents,
    Ray
  23. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Thanks Ray! It has washers on them, but it seems the screws were shipped loose...Poor QA testing, I dunno. So far the screws have not come loose again, but if they do I will look into a better washer for it.
  24. sbowers22

    sbowers22 New Member

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    Well most places have a 30 day price guarantee but you might try calling the store you bought it at and see what they will do, all they can do is say no. I wish I had known that I could use the 5.5 inch liner, it would have made thing a little easier. I had just about 5 inches to get through the damper area. I had to cut out the damper and some of the metal around it. I got the 6 inch through by ovalizing it up to the insulted part. Problem is the liner(right where the insulation started) got hung up at the bend of the smoke shelf so I have about 6 to 12 inches of uninsulated liner. I figure it is so close to the stove that it won't make much difference and I called that part of the job done.

    Yeah, my house's square feet is too large but I am probably only really heating about 1600 to 1800 sq feet since the kitchen, den, and wash room really won't get much benefit from it. It heats the room it is in then pretty much goes straight up to the second floor. I haven't taken any pics yet. I am insulating my temporary block-off plate and I still need to put the surround on it. It sure looks a lot better than useless black hole that I never used did. I live in north Texas and our winter temp are usually 50's in the days and high 20's to low 40's at night with the occasional arctic blast(like tonight and tomorrow) that we get so mine won't have to work to hard most of the time.
  25. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Yeah the 5.5 kit I bought had an adapter to go to the 6 for the stove. It was a real pita to get down the chimney because there was a bunch of grout in between the terracotta. I only insulated the top 2 feet and bottom. So far no problems. Did you take the fan off and use some washers as spacers? There is a design flaw with the fan and it puts out a lot more air if it is taken off and spaced about a quarter inch from the stove.

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