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Woodstock Keystone Low Cat Burn Pics

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by leeave96, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Here are a few pics from last night's no fire - only cat and secondaries coming off the cat burn. The stove is more dirty than the chimney sometimes I think... ;)

    Bill

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    How fast are those flames moving? With a VC cat stove I've found that when it's engaged the flame and glow kind of take on a liquid effect. The flames move slow and look thick. Almost bubble up from the base of the firebox. The flames lick up and then back to meet the back panel opening for the cat.

    I'll take some pics this weekend to show the Encore in a cat burn.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Nice pics, looks familiar. Does that dirty glass burn off when you turn it up, mine does but sometimes it takes awhile.

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  4. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    The flames are sometimes slow and move around the top of the stove like a cloud. Other times they just explode onto the scene, dance around a bit and are gone - only to return several minutes later. Mostly, there are no secondaries - just a glowing cat on a burn like I had going.

    Bill
  5. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Todd,

    The glass burns off when I turn it up. Sometime it all burns off totally, other times not as much. Once the temps plunge, and my daytime fires are hotter, it will burn totally clear until spring. I think the build-up on the glass is more a function of air flow moving through the firebox. With a super low burn like I'm doing, there just isn't enough air velocity across the airwash plate to keep the black stuff moving.

    But I need to get in the stove and wipe down the fly ash and get the spot of burned jammies off the front glass. What/how are you cleaning the cast iron surface?

    Thanks,
    Bill
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    With the stove hanging around at 300-400° what type of burn time do you get?
  7. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Usually when there is a smoke only burn, the cat (being at the top of the stove) gives me a steady 500 degree stove top burn. I could damper it down more. At 500 degree burns and down from there as the wood is used up, easily 8 hrs. One thing about the soapstone is that it really retains heat and radiates it after the fire goes down, so there is heat still radiating the room for at least an hour or two. So if I load the stove at 10 pm, even if the fire s on the way down at 4 am, the stove is has plenty of stored heat to radiate. If my old part of the house was insualted, the stove heat would be even more impressive.

    The Keystone is a great stove in that even though it has a small firebox, it puts out substantial heat on a small load. When I grab an arm load of wood for the Keystone, I don't feel like I'm going to run out of wood before spring. When I load-up the Englander 30-NCH, my wood stack takes a hit!

    I'm not so sure a Keystone might not work in one of your rooms. Definately you can set it and forget it.

    Bill
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    It's hard to get the stove top to stick around at 300-400 on a low burn because the cat is right underneath. So you could be at a smouldering no flame cat burn and see stove top temps up around 600+ but the rest of the stove is relatively cooler. On the other hand you could have a full flaming box fire going and the stove top is only 500+ but the whole stove is putting out much more heat. I'm thinking the VC's are similar but the cat is in the rear of the stove instead of the top so your griddle will show lower temps than the rear.

    I'm still experimenting but so far my probe gives me a more accurate view of what's going on with my stove than stove top temps or pipe temps. There are times when I turn it down to a low cat burn and the probe will shoot up for awhile as the cat gorges itself on smoke but it reacts so much quicker than the soapstone top or pipe temps. So far I've been able to keep it under that 1600 cat danger zone and I know in the past I was easily over it without knowing. It should help extend the life.
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I ask about burn times because I'm trying to figure out what the third stove will be. Right now the Encore is in the Kitchen, and I will stick an Encore or a Defiant in the Living Room to replace the Heritage. I can't do a Fireview due to clearances and I can't do a Progress due to costs right now (and I'm a little concerned about the weight since I have no easy way to reinforce the flooring).

    But, the third stove is located in a walk-in fireplace. It would be easier to do a top loading stove, but if the Fireview can give me a consistent burn nearing 12 hours at low temps it might be worth the additional cost and slightly more difficult side-loading (due to the space available in the walk-in). I can find used Fireviews for about $1,000. But, in the off-season I can find used Encores and Defiants from disgruntled owners cheaper. ($300-700 for Encores and $500-1,000 for Defiants)

    Note: if all of a sudden the Encore starts giving me traditional VC problems this season the above statements will probably change.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I see where your coming from. I can guarantee you the Fireview will go easily 12 hours on a full load of good dry hardwood like Oak, the Keystone is a little smaller but I can still get 12 hour burns if I pack it full which sometimes can be a little more difficult because of the smaller box. 8-10 is not a challenge.

    Everything I've read and heard about the VC's is the Encore has similar burn times to the Keystone and the Defiant has similar burn times to the Fireview but the VC's put out a little more BTU's during the burns because they hold more fuel. Top loading would be great, I get tired of bending down to side load, I have a little stool with wheels I can scoot around on that makes it a little easier but I'd still like to try a top loader.

    If your Encore refactory poops out could you replace it with the new 2 in 1 guts? I think I heard some models can, might be worth it if you do find another VC at a decent price?
  11. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I always get soot on the right side while doing a cold start and if I let it burn hot it disappears, if I turn it down to a low burn too soon it stays. This is the basement stove, haven't burned the other one yet but I think I had the same problem with that one. I tried adjusting the air wash every which way and had conversations with Woodstock about this but they recently stopped communications since they're too busy with the new stove which I can understand. Once going 24/7 the glass seems to stay clean even with slow burns but it still bugs me why I get these uneven burns left to right.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Okay. That would be ideal for the third stove.

    That's a pretty accurate description of how a VC cat stove runs. The Encore seems to have the burn time of the Keystone, but with the BTUs of a Fireview. The Defiant seems to have the burn times of a Fireview with the BTUs of what we imagine the Progress would put out.

    Not on the model I currently have since, which is 15-20 years old. But, I have heard that the models that were out right before they switched to the 2-in-1 can. If I go with another VC in the Living Room, I will attempt to purchase a model that can do this to cut down on future costs.

    For me, one of the things that the VCs have going for it right now is that the Encore and Defiant have the same air controls. This would make it easier for my wife to load the stoves if all the setups were the same. Right now all three stoves are completely different in terms of how you get them up and running. For me, it's easy since I am running the stoves all day. But for someone that only works with them 5-10% of the time it can be challenging.

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