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Woodstock Soapstone Progress Hybrid Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Kruegerw, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I had a lot of puffing at first as well. I believe that my change in habits to more slowly reduce the air and to keep the air open a crack, especially when it is warmer out (lower draft days), has pretty much eliminated them for me. Mind you I never had any really violent ones like I've heard described here (i.e. never heard them out of the room or had pipes rattle etc).

    I tried to run the PH like I did the FV at first - that was a mistake. While the PH is very forgiving/adjustable on the air settings, I don't think I can just 'heat it up and slam it down to where I want it after engaging the cat' like I did with the FV. I have found that engaging the cat, then waiting a few minutes before reducing the air about 1/2 way to final destination, then wait a few more minutes and then moving it down again to final setting works much better. I almost always run with the air fully closed with the PH which is weird in a way - I 'set the burn temp' by letting it run up hotter before closing the air down fully. Where I get caught doing this during the day if the temps rise significantly and I'm trying to run very low temps - then I have to remember to not shut the air all the way.

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  2. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Will check out that thread. thanks.... going to try leaving air open a bit more....

    Yep, it was a pretty good rattle! Makes sense, we are starving the fire, and the gases build up, and a spark comes along and"Pooooooooooof"!


    You had it occur with the Firelight 12, or do you also have a PH?


    I think I've gotten a bit lazy, when I first started I was slowly bringing the air down in increments, lately I've been charing the wood and then shutting it down in one swoop. I'll have to go back to a gradual reduction of air in a few steps and see how it goes....
  3. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I've had 2-3 major backpuffs that scared the *&%@_(@ out of my alleged dog. The trick is to:

    1. Make sure anti-burp hole is open between the adirons
    2. Don't engage the cat too soon, make sure the flue outlet temp is north of 250F
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    No PH's here... I can't deal with the side loading in my location. One of my two Firelight 12's has this problem, the other apparently not. The one that does it is on a shorter chimney (roughly 13 - 15 feet), and the one that does not do it is on a taller chimney 27'ish feet. I'd be interested in knowing the chimney heights of the folks who have this problem with the PH, as I suspect that's a big factor.

    In my particular case, two stoves of the same model, but the one with the problem is early in the model series, and the one that does not is late in the model series. Perhaps there's some small difference in their design or history, but I do suspect the chimney height is the dominant variable.

    As fire_man stated, delaying cat engagement is a big factor. If you engage before the wood is completely charred over, the likelihood of backpuff seems much higher. I've been recently running the stove up to 500'ish with the air wide open, then reducing the air to 50% to let it burn longer for complete charring without overheating the stove and flue, before I engage the cat.
  5. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    1. Where is the "anit-burp" hole? and what is it? Never noticed anything in there...?
    2. I always wait for 250 - 300.

    Mine is 15', maybe 16' from top of sove to cap on chimney, straight up.
  6. TheBean

    TheBean Member

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    The "anti-burp" hole is located between the andirons near the base of the stove (inside the firebox). It is designed to feed a small amount of air directly to the base of the fire. ~1/4" in diameter.
  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Yes. Although I do scoop the ashes away from that annoyingly placed hole, I always forget to mention it. Just do it instinctively at this point. Part of raking the coals forward.

    The hole can be hard to see. When the fire is going, if the hole is clear, you can see flame coming up from the hole.

    I haven't had many back puffs. Have had a few. The first was because I wasn't familiar with the stove. The others have been my fault. I am capable of learning. No problem with the stove design....just can't assume it is a Fireview. There is a short primary learning curve. It is easy to run.
  8. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Tall chimney.
  9. siddfynch

    siddfynch New Member

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    Looks like I'm going to ave to buy my first cord if I want reasonably seasoned wood. Best deal I can find is splits cut 14"-15".

    I seem to recall a discussion of short wood being undesirable, but cannot find it. Any reason to pay more for longer lengths?
  10. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Nothing wrong with except your not going to get to stuff it full unless you have some small filler chunks and uglies... I burn 12 and 14" splits with no problem. I also have some 20-22" really dry stuff I can pack in that does fine as well.

    All my new stuff is being split at 18-20".

    I'm still waiting for somebody to try stuffing it wit an up/down load. That is, short splits standing on end, curious how they would burn.
  11. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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  12. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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  13. dhumohr

    dhumohr New Member

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  14. dhumohr

    dhumohr New Member

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    Thanks for ALL the information that's been posted here--we won't be getting our PH till next heating season, but what we've read here has made our choice pretty easy! I've read all 18 pages of this thread and learned so much. Love your recipe Machria and can't wait to try it--unfortunately it will have to wait till next year, sigh....

    I'm wondering if there's anyone who lives near Rochester, NY, who would be willing for us to come see their stove? We're definitely going to the factory to see the stoves made, but it would be SO nice to actually see one physically now--could you tell I'm feeling pretty impatient?

    We have an old farmhouse with not much insulation and are currently burning in a Lopi Endeavor. It's our second one and it's been a little workhorse, but it's just not big enough to heat the whole first floor (about 1000 sq ft), and it's an up and down thing with temps--either we're really HOT or it gets too cool, and we have to fill it 4 or 5 times a day, so we're looking forward to the soapstone experience--AND the PH experience! I spent a couple of days in a soapstone heated house a week ago, and I was amazed that it heated both downstairs and upstairs equally well, needed to be filled only twice a day, with a small load in the afternoon, and didn't need to be cleaned out at all during the time I was there. It wasn't a Woodstock though, and I only found the Woodstock site because I googled "soapstone stoves". I'm so glad I did.

    I talked to them at Woodstock and they said that it would have no trouble handling 22" splits--has this been true? I thought we should have our wood cut to 20-21" just to be sure they would fit, but what's been your experience? I know you guys like big thick splits, but Mike told me that 4-5" would allow more to fit in and wouldn't shorten the length of the burn much at all. Again, what's been your experience? We'll be getting wood from a guy who cuts and splits for a living so we can have him do the wood to our specs--we want to get started soon buying the wood, so we'd appreciate your advice.
  15. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I found the 22" splits were a little too long, especially if they are thick splits and if used on the bottom. I would aim for 20-21" and those always work.

    Actually, I am starting to always go with 16" splits and when it's really cold I load short splits (10" or so) NS near the door.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Mike is correct. And if you prefer a 20" or 21" length, you'll never notice the difference in a couple inches so cut away!

    To contact someone in your area or perhaps somewhere along your route to Woodstock, just give Mike another call and perhaps he can line you up with a present owner. Realize that not all would welcome strangers into their homes but many will. We went to someone's home to see the Woodstock Fireview before we bought and are very happy that we did. It was a great learning experience.

    Going to the Woodstock factory is a grand experience. You'll meet several great folks and will like what you see in the factory. That part is super because you can see how the stove is actually put together by craftsmen. Have some fun while there too! Good luck.
  17. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I find 22 inch fits in fine, but it can be heavy, and if you have any coals in the stove and push them along the bottom with end of the split, then a 22 inch won't fit.

    I like having 20- 22 inch splits, because it is less cutting for me. But I also like having 12 inch splits to load N/S, 16 inch splits for warmer days when I don't need as much heat, and 18 inch for the convenience.

    SO, I would say that whatever length your preference is, keeping in mind the different scenarios AND who will be loading the stove, will wok fine, anywhere from 12 to 22 inches. If your wife will be loading the stove much, she may find large 22 inch splits heavy for loading.
    I also like having a large split at the bottom back of the stove for the overnight burn, but the door does restrict loading if you use many large splits or rounds. Probably good to have a mix, with maybe 10-20 % smaller(3-4), 30% fairly large(6-8), and the remainder moderate (4-6 inch).

    I know there is a PH owner near Watertown, but I think that is still several hours from you? And HollowHill is near Cooperstown, but that is even further for you, I think? Do check with Woodstock. May be owners in Rochester or Syracuse.
  18. dhumohr

    dhumohr New Member

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    Wondering why you're going with the 16" splits? Because of weight? Easier to pack in?
  19. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    If that were the case, I would already have one pre-ordered ==c
  20. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    A bunch of reasons why I like 16" splits::

    1. When I'm scrounging wood, 16" rounds are easier to haul from long distances to my house.
    2. 16" lengths are very easy to pack tight in the stove, especially towards the top. 22" can be a pain to pack tight, especially if they are not perfectly straight.
    3. I can still fill the box on very cold nights by filling the door area N/S with shorter splits.
    4. Wife appreciates the smaller pieces when she loads the stove.
    5. 22" splits just get annoying to stack and carry inside.


    I'm just not seeing how the huge splits really benefit me that much.
    smokedragon likes this.
  21. dhumohr

    dhumohr New Member

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    Thanks for the info about the 22 inch split. Guess it would be good to have some of each length, as you said, for different situations. In regard to the carrying and loading, we're both women who will be loading the stove--and carrying wood up the outside stairs and into the house. We can handle bunches of the 16 and 17 inch ones just fine, but maybe 19 or 20 would be better than 21 or 22. I went to a dealer near us who carried Hearthstone and picked his brain, and also hefted some 20 inch splits, about 5-6", and they were pretty heavy. I'm thinking average of 19 inch splits 4-5" would work out pretty well, and then some of the other lengths. When you lay the short splits NS, it seems you need 16-17 inch splits in order to have the room to fill in?

    Cooperstown is closer than Watertown to us but still about 3 to 3 1/2 hours--closer than New Hampshire, though, to first see the stove. I was surprised to see that the Hearthstone Heritage was so small. The size of the Equinox was more what we had in mind, and actually I think that would have been a better size. But we are totally committed to Woodstock after reading about the quality of the stoves and the incredibly good customer service. There hasn't been even one owner that we've read reviews from who wasn't completely satisfied. And usually the unhappy people are the ones who are most vocal. If HollowHill is on the forum and reads this, maybe he might consider letting us see his PH. But I will follow the suggestion to talk with Mike at Woodstock to see if there might be someone closer who would consider showing off their PH.
  22. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Hollow Hill is very much a she, and I'm sure she'll see this and respond.
  23. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

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    We got our PH in early 2012 and had to burn that winter's 18" wood and then another full winter before finally getting into longer wood. This year we have 20"+, and put a couple of cords of that through the PH before we switched to testing the new stove. I was quite surprised at how easily the PH took the full 22" - this is a clear advantage of an end-loader versus a front-loader. If the person is accurate at cutting the wood, I'd go for 20-21". My wood is cut for 20" and I plan to stay there because my woodbox won't take 22". We didn't do any N/S burning in the PH, but I've enjoyed doing it with the Ideal Steel.

    The difference between 18" and 20" is noticeable when carrying a load in, but my wife and daughters do just fine handling it (4" splits), and I wouldn't want to give up that 10% of a load by handling shorter wood again.
  24. Berner

    Berner Member

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    When loading north south don't you guys find that the splits end up against the glass? The andirons have been to effective to try anything but an east west load for me.
  25. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    No. Have not had the splits against the glass.

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