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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. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    You are looking to get from the PH something that it is not designed to do. The design is optimized to give the most heat most efficiently for the heating of a larger home in a colder climate.
    Seems to me that what you would really like is for Woodstock to design a stove that would be optimized for the larger home in a warmer climate.
    The PH would not the exceptional stove that it is for my climate if it were not a hybrid.

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  2. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Is it possible, and/or OK to run this stove (the Progress) without ever closing the bypass? In otherwords, can you burn it as a "non-cat" stove indefinitely? An example would be if you have some bad wood or something, and don't want to run it thru the cat.

    Is it ok to do this, you would loose some of the efficiency obviosuly.... but is it ok to do..?
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    That is an interesting question. Normally, when it comes to a standard cat stove, the answer is no. But I am interested in the answer to this. I think the answer is still no since the open damper would still prevent the secondary burn from operating properly. But, I do not know.
  4. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Obviously you COULD do it, but I don't think it would get you the results you desire...

    From my understanding there would be no benefit to doing this in any case. Woodstock has done extensive testing even with some very poor quality wood (read this as wet/green) and found that the PH can consume it even if it doesn't do well with it.

    Now, you CAN kill your cat burning paint, treated lumber and other things of that sort (plastics and whatnot) but you shouldn't be burning that anyway even in a non-cat stove.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    No what I want is the flexibility of either or in one stove.
  6. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I've played with this. Yes, you can do it. But, and this is important, you can only do it with smaller loads of wood. The reason is that closing the bypass is what really reduces your draft for a good cruise burn. You could risk overfire with a large load and not closing the bypass. Now, if you had really wet wood this might be a way to get it to burn. But, you already know better than to try and use wet wood. Really, no reason for it.
    Joful likes this.
  7. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Here's a few more questions for the Progress Hybrid:

    1. This one really goes for any cat stove; What happens if you don't open the bypass when lighting a new fire? So the stove is cold, and your running the smoke thru the cat, does it get damaged/clogged...? Or does it just not burn the smoke....? AND, along the same lines, what happens at the end of a burn cycle? The bypass is closed but the temp of the fire/stove is going down quick....what happens to the cat?

    2. With a normal fire going strong, can you boil water on top of the soapstone? Or is it not hot enough, and you must put a pot on the cook top by lifting the stone?

    3. Since we are on subject of it's cooktop, any pics of the new cooktop? The website only shows drawings of it? How about a few pics!

    4. Anyone on Long Island have one? Would love to see one in person.....
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    My experience is the same as Waulie's... a cat stove in bypass could be a bit difficult to control with the bypass open and a large load in the stove. I think there's good reason they tell you to only do your first small load in bypass, and then engage the damper as you add medium and larger splits. Do you have a specific interest in running the stove in bypass?

    Since there's an interest in cooking on it, there are several nice cookstoves out there, some of them looking more like woodstoves than cookstoves. All of the newer EPA certified units I've seen are non-cat, and many of the dedicated cookstoves have the advantage of being able to cook while throwing a lot less heat into the room than a standard woodstove. Esse comes to mind as a starting point, although they're likely not the best option for your particular situation.

    I can answer this one, as I almost daily forget to open the bypass when starting a new fire. As soon as you light the paper, you'll notice the smoke blowing back in your face, instead of going up the chimney. So, in short, there's no way to forget... you will light your match, put it to the paper, and then immediately realize it's time to open the bypass damper.
  9. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    1. If you don't of forget the open the bypass when trying to light a new fire, you'll know it. At least with the Progress, you will not have adequate draft with the bypass closed and will likely get significant smoke spillage. I'm not sure if it would damage the cat but it could clog it over time. At the end of the burn cycle, there is no more smoke left to burn so the cat will eventually go out. No harm done.

    2. I'm not sure about boiling water on the soapstone. I would guess that you could if you had the right size pan (large surface area) and a hot enough stove. Water will boil very fast in the center burner of the cooktop. I am surprised at how fast.

    3.

    Attached Files:

  10. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Thanks!
  11. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Can any of you with the PH estimate how much radiant heat is thrown off the front of the unit. If your sitting 5 feet in front of it, would you be baked? Same if you are 10 feet, too hot? I know it's a very subjective question, but guestimate it, what's your feeling.

    Also, what do you NOT like about your PH? There has to be things you don't like, what are they?
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    That is hard to say. As an example, the Heritage that I ran felt completely different in my living room than the Heritage my in-laws run in their den. A lot of it depends on how well the room holds heat, air flow, insulation, etc. The same stove can feel completely different in different settings.
  13. Cessna

    Cessna Member

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    Great questions Marchria!! I've been wondering the same things!

    Also, was wondering how much fire there is when running with the air closed, full or half load, for long burn??
  14. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Great Questions! let me first answer what I do NOT like about the stove, then in a couple hours when my stove starts cranking some heat I will answer the others.

    Most of what I did not like about this stove has been resolved by insulating the flue.

    1. I did not like the smoke baffle plate that prevented smoke spillage into the room because it hindered loading the stove to the top of the firebox. Removing the plate increased smoke spillage. Insulating the flue eliminated spillage even without the plate installed.

    2. I did not like reinstalling the screens after cleaning them. WS has a retrofit that now makes screen replacement simple.

    3. I did not like the sluggish cat performance especially in warmer (>50F) weather. Cat is no longer sluggish since I insulated the flue.

    4. I hated starting fires in the stove from a cold start because the fire would take FOREVER to get established in warmer weather. Since insulating the flue the fire takes right off.

    5. I hated how expensive it was to hire movers to carry in this 700 pound beast, but my herniated spine was grateful to them.

    6. I don't like the door latch, it's not easily adjustable.

    7. I don't like the lever that engages the cat. It's impossible to tell if its open or closed without sticking your eyeballs 1" from the engraved writing. It needs some white paint on it.

    I'll add more complaints if I think of them.

    8. With air setting fully closed, assuming the stove is starting with a new load of wood, there are no flames for about 30 minutes, and then secondaries start firing. Opening 1/4 of the way increases flame activity significantly once the secondaries kick in. 1/2 way open is a raging inferno. Full open - I think I would melt the stove down to China.

    9. Five feet directly in front of a hot stove (burning hard for couple hours with Cottonwood) I feel a very warm and noticeable glow. My 11 year old daughter and 1.5 year old Labrador Retriever (See avatar) like to sit about 2 feet in front of the stove. That's too hot for me and I yell at them to move back. 10 feet back it's just a slight warm glow that you can barely feel but it's there. Once I load some Oak and let that burn for a while, things will get even warmer at those distances, but still very comfortable at 5 feet and 10 feet (too hot at 2 feet).
  15. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    All that is understood. But I'm not looking for how much heat it puts out.... I'm looking for the "direct radiant heat" it puts out. Maybe that is not the correct wording...? But what I mean is, the heat that hits you in the face from the fire. If I stand 3' in front of my regular old fireplace with a raging fire (glass open, just a screen), it actually burns you if you stay to long. At 5' it is very warm, but you can stand it for a while. At 10', you barely feel it, until the enitre room starts heating up a bit, and then you just get a little warmth from it. So on a really cold day, you really need to be pretty close to it to get real heat from the "radiant" part of the heat.

    So how would you describe what you feel standing in front of the Progress with a strong fire going, at it's "normal" temp (400 or so?) on a cold day? I know it's a really difficult question to answer, it's subjective, the surroundings certianly affect it... but if 5 people describe it from there experience, we/I can get kind of an average, or feeling of it...
  16. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Fire man, very helpful!

    So what did that entail? do you mean the flue pipe as it exits the stove, or do you mean the entire pipe all the way up? What type of pipe do/did you have?
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    What I am saying is that sitting next to the Heritage in my living room felt completely difference than sitting next to the Heritage in my in-laws home.
  18. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I originally had a 15 foot rigid uninsulated liner that I wrapped with 1" of Olympia Superwrap. The entire length is wrapped. there is a short 2 foot section of flex pipe attached to the "T" that is also wrapped. It was not hard to wrap, just a blanket rolled onto the pipe held on with a stainless steel mesh screen.
  19. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    The large window really does kick out a lot of radiant heat when the stove is cranking. I wouldn't sit 5 feet directly in front of it for long periods of time. I do often find myself kneeling down right in front of the window for a couple minutes at a time. It makes me feel like an iguana in the Costa Rican sun. That said, you can sit a bit to the side and be fine. One of our dining room chairs is about 5 feet from the side of the stove and is a great seat! Not too hot. Certainly, at 10 feet directly in front you'll be fine but warm. I'm lying on the couch about 13 feet from the stove right now and it feels perfect! This is all very subjective, of course.

    Since Woodstock fixed the screen design, I really don't have any big dislikes. I'm not a big fan of the smoke spillage out of the open door in warm temps, but this is really a function of my chimney. This stove does require the proper chimney. Like Tony mentioned, the smoke baffle does make loading the last split in a little tough. I very rarely need that last split though. I'll try to think of other dislikes. Oh wait, a very minor one that just popped into my head is that closing the bypass is a little loud. It's kind of a metal on metal sound that isn't the most pleasant. That's all I can think of right now.
  20. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I wonder if perhaps the design was changed or something - on my PH it is easy to tell as when the cat is open the lever is not level, rather it sits at about 30*, when it is closed it is level. Now, granted I could not fully open or close it but I don't know why I'd do that so if I'm standing back looking at the stove and see the level lever then I know it is closed, if it is not level then the cat is open.

    I'd have to concur with your #6 - having to pay out the tail to hire movers to bring this stove into the house, but I too am glad I did it as they obviously knew what they were doing and nobody got hurt.

    I think I'm still too new with this stove to be annoyed by much. I am surprised at the amount of clicking it makes during warm up (compared to the FV which I don't recall much at all), but once it is cruising it doesn't seem to do that anymore so I'm not ready to put that into the 'annoyance' category.

    As to feeling the radiant heat - when burning it hot I can feel it from 10' away pretty easily. Most of the time, however, I've only been burning small loads with the air almost fully closed so what I feel is the very gently 'morning sun' feeling whenever in sight of the stove.

    Flame - with it in a very low burn (air set to full closed position) I get gently blueish flames to no flames on and off. Add a bit of air and I get steady flames dancing above and around the wood. Take air up more and it progresses into fire jets out the holes in the top to full out box filled with flames that you just can't tell easily what sort of patterns they have - just massive flames filling the box throwing heat.
  21. greenbrierwv

    greenbrierwv Member

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    my stove room is about 22x12ft and is southern exposed with an all glass southern wall and sits on tile mortared to 6 inches of concrete all sitting on top of a very large amount of gravel. This is the "sun room" on the back of the house. I can comfortably sit 10 foot in front of it, as i am right now, and feel comfortably warm. 4-5 feet directly in front would be too close for me. The nice thing about this stove is it seems to really distribute the heat in an even fashion, and seems to slowly do this so that the house seems to maintain a more even temperature throughout. i guess this is where the soapstone really shines in comparison to my previous experiences with cast iron and steel stoves. I also think my stove sitting on such a large amount of thermal mass including tile/concrete/gravel, only contributes to this evenness and enhances its performance/efficiency (restarted a fire this eve on adequate coals after 18hrs of burn time. The whole idea is to increase thermal mass, which soapstone does and does well. In combination with my active solar air and water heating systems, this stove for my size house (well insulated 2000sq ft, not open floor plan) is a very nice fit.
  22. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    On my Progress, the lever is perfectly level when open or closed. They must have made a design change. The original lever (prototype and EPA test unit) pulled and pushed into the stove, but it had binding problems.
  23. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Awesome stuff....!
  24. chipsoflyin

    chipsoflyin Member

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    fireman, you may want to check operation of the bypass lever with the top off. I have one of the early ones too and the lever rotates past horizontal to 30 degrees.
  25. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Mothers-in-law have been known to bring the temperature of any room down a good 5 - 7 degrees. It's a scientific fact.

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