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Your thoughts on the Hearthstone Clydesdale

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by citizanken, Oct 24, 2006.

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  1. citizanken

    citizanken New Member

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    I have been reading the boards for a few weeks now and I am very appreciative of this forum for its wealth of information.

    I have a Clydesdale insert scheduled to be installed on the 6th of November, and I was hoping some members who have this insert would offer their opinions of what they think of it.

    Also any insert specific tips or advice would be helpful.

    Thanks for providing such a great resource.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I don't have one but they are impressive looking inserts. Rhonemas should be along soon to relate his experiences with his Clydesdale. If he is sleeping on the job, send him a PM.

    Congrats on the purchase and keep us updated.
  3. day52

    day52 New Member

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    Have only had mine for about three weeks. It replaced an "Old Hickory" steel insert. The old stove was early 80's technology. Heavy build, but not efficient. So far we are thrilled with the new unit. The big glass is really nice and stays amazingly clean. We also like the even heat. We have no problem getting overnight fires with enough coals for an easy morning startup. The difference in efficiency and hence the amount of wood used is amazing. By the way, those Super Cedar fire starters mentioned in other threads are "the berries" if and when you have to start from cold. When you get your stove, just remember to build two or three small break-in fires before you go at it full bore. That gives the cast iron time to seat and seal and will drive the moisture out of the soapstone liner gradually. Good luck!
  4. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Congrats on your new purchase!

    Installation
    It should be installed sticking out on your hearth as far as possible, the manual says it can be sticking out 5" or flush but every inch it's pushed in causes your heat to come out that many inches behind the surround.

    When it's being installed ask the door to be swapped to the other side. Most people are right handed and store their wood to the right of the stove/insert. The doors on units generally open the wrong way by default. It's much easier during installation than after. There are 2 phillips screws, each on the back top corners of the facade. Loosen them, they hold two small metal pieces. Rotate the metal pieces, lift the facade up a little, and pull it off. Now you can swap door.

    If you have the room, surround your fireplace walls with a layer of mineral wool insulation. You can fasten it with fender washes & tapcons to the current brick & mortar.

    Features
    The "cooking surface" is more a warming surface. It's insulated having a dead air space below it. You can't use it to judge temperatures using a thermometer, and it doesn't get hot enough to cook. A half kettle will be particularly ineffective on it.

    Running
    The air channels on the Clydesdale run underneath, go up the sides, over the top, and out the front. No back, the warmer you keep the sides the more heat you'll transfer into the living area.

    Load the wood side/side. I tried front/back once and it burned great but covered the glass in crap.

    Cold starts with soapstone is not particularly fun, I don't find them anyway. Put a piece of kindling on the top of your wood near the secondary burn tubes, that will help your secondary burn and be patient on when to cut back the air. Soapstone takes a while for things to warm and get moving. It's not uncommon to have a blazing fire, shut the door or turn the air down and have the fire go out. Have patience, from a cold start I keep the door open until the fire is blazing (about 5 minutes) and flames reaching the secondary burn. I shut the door, and give the fire 5-20 minutes on max air. I turn down the air slightly and wait another 5-10 minutes I turn down the air a little more. Particularly from a cold start, you can't go from max to a low or the fire will go out. What difficulty soapstone has going from a cold start, it makes up for on reloads. Get yourself some long fire resistant leather gloves, when you see there's some embers and time to reload, it's deceiving with soapstone because the inside can still be hotter than hell. Without gloves you can feel like your skin is about to blister trying to reload em. Also, and it's happened to me logs can spontaneously combust on reload. I put in 2 log splits, reach and grab 2 more and as I'm placing them the first two burst into flames and in a second the flames reach up and around the secondary burn baffle scorching my hand & arm in the process. Scares the #!*@ out of my wife and I. So, get those long leather fire resistant gloves and reloading them is a dream, they can get up to speed before you even shut the door.

    If a piece of wood falls on the glass, leave it and clean the mess afterward. It's not glass it's ceramic and melts at a higher temp than the cast iron and stronger than glass, a log rolling won't break it. Unexperienced with the Clydesdale you'll frequently have a log roll into the glass. Out of the dozen times I attempted to push it away, about 8 times I either almost broke the glass trying, got hot coals in the way of me shutting the door, set the smoke alarms off, or nearly burned my floor. If a log rolls into the glass, leave it and clean the glass with Rutland brand Hearth & Grill Glass cleaner.

    It's like Othello. A minute to learn, lifetime to master. There's a balance with your air setting. To much, and the heat leaves the firebox before having time to transfer. To low, you smolder and unburned fuel goes out the flue. Each wood type is different on the effect of the secondary burn. I burn almost strickly oak and learned to look for a specific "V" shape in the flames. That is, the lower part of the V has to be 4-6" wide directly coming off or between some logs. It hits the secondary burn turning the entire top into flame causing the "V" shape. If the lower part of the V is moving left & right, my air setting is too low I'm going to lose the flame & secondary burn shortly. If the lower part of the V is occasionally lifting up and off the wood and then settling back down onto it... my air setting is too low. If it's 8-10" wide, I have too much air. That's my trick, I'll have other flames occuring here & there in other places but the main flame needs to have that pattern. The lowest I can set my air is 25%, any lower my fire smoulders. So, the lowest air setting allowed on the Clydesdale may be too low in your situation to burn properly.

    Warnings
    See the air tubes on top? The roof above is insulation. Don't jab sticks or try to jam logs between the air tubes. It's solid, you can knock on it, but not very strong. Be certain to inform the sweeps (or be aware yourself) before they remove the baffle assembly up top that the ceiling above the air tubes is only insulation and they need to lift it up and out by the tubes or cast iron sides.

    Tips
    After your installers, pick up some furnace cement probably cost around $4. Remove the surround by lifting it up and pulling away. While your blowers are running feel around the insert on the sides & back for air leaks. The channels are mostly cast iron which can't seal tight. Plug the leaks with cement.

    While the surround is off, notice the brackets that hold the surround on. They go inside the channels your heat comes out. There's about a 1" square space between the bracket and the inside of the heat channels, plug it with a little mineral wool so air comes out channels only.
  5. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Whew Rhonemas.........
    Chapter I , page 1 , page 2 , page 3, page 4.
    Chapter II

    Rhonemas , I hope you copy and paste that information from your Rhonemas book of stoves because my fingers hurt just thinking of you at that key board.

    ************ ;-) **************
  6. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Took me hours, then I was told it's too long to post, 6000 character limit I need to shorten it. I need to make a Clydesdale page :)
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Nothing too long about it. Good info based on hands-on experience. Looks like Wiki material to me.
  8. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I would think so .......... :lol:
    I think you need to put out a paper back verson.
    He(( of a of good information , I'll give you that.
  9. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Rone is certainly right about lighting a cold Soapstone Stove. What I found using the "top down" method of lighting the fire worked very well. I use a modified top-down method.... two splits on the bottom, then paper, kindling, and small pieces on top. This get a small fire going quickly, and the whole mess settles on top of the two splits on the bottom and gets things going.

    The benefit is, just like he said, is getting the thing going after a nightime burn or when you get home from work. As long as something is still glowing in the firebox, load it up and poof! Your in business in no time.

    Enjoy your new stove.
  10. citizanken

    citizanken New Member

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    Thanks for the good information. I cant wait to try it out. I will update you all on my progress.
  11. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I really didn't have much in terms of likes & dislikes!

    I love the window, I sit for hours each time I light a fire thinking about life and things like that while watching the flames. It is beautiful. The glass will get dirty in Spring & Fall, it's those cold start-ups which dirty the glass. I personally do weekly cleanings this time of year. Once you start burning 24/7 it stays spotless (unless you're burning wet wood). I purchased a bottle of Rutland's Grill & Hearth glass cleaner for $6 and went through half a bottle last year.

    The most frequent complaint about them is buzzing air handles. It happens because the air handle rests on the cast iron blower housing. As the blowers turn on they vibrate causing the air handle resting on them to vibrate as well and it buzzes loud. I put some aluminum flashing under it last year pinning it curing the problem. Recently, I removed everything and redid my liner. When I went to put it all back, this time I just threw the blower housing in as quick and dirty as I could incase I had to remove it. The way I have it is probably how it's designed to go because the air handle can't buzz and the blower housing appears to be about 1/2" higher than last year.

    As for burn times, I still don't understand what's going on with mine it seems to have usually long. Last year I was able to get 14 1/2 hours of burn. That probably sounds great, but it's a sign something isn't right and you need a very efficient house to be able to find a 14 1/2 hour burn useful. I attributed it to my problems and issues with my liner. I did a lot of work on that over the summer and now I have a great setup. I'm getting a lot more heat, it's burning better, it only takes a little over an hour to start heating my house, previously it was more like 2-3... and it only takes 2 hours to go from a 63 degree house to a 70. Big improvement over last year. But yesterday I loaded it at 5:30pm and lit, eventually cut the air back to 25% sometime around 8:00pm and saw the "V" flame pattern I'm familiar with, checked the "V" before going to bed at 11:30pm, and when I left for work at 8am the bottom was covered in lots of big glowing embers. That's over 14 1/2 hours, and a new record for me. I don't know what's going on with that, don't expect 14 1/2 hours but I would expect you get at least 8. The Clydesdale appears to be able to have exessively long burns.

    MountainStoveGuy a Moderator on here got the info from Hearthstone that the Clydesdale's door gasket is 3/8 th’s and low or high density (either will work). I'm guessing rope. You should write that down in your manual because this post will disappear and you won't find it when you need it in a few years. It's also not stated in the manual, and Hearthstone will ask you to call your local supplier to get it.

    The Clydesdale appears to have even heat compared to other insert owners I've talked with. Though, I really can't say how much because I've never sat in front of their inserts, or them in front of mine sharing a beer but I spend most of my nights 3-4 feet in front of it staring at the secondary burn. Other insert owners I've talked with say that spot would be too uncomfortably hot for them. It continues to heat for 1.5 - 2 hours after the fire is out, which means when I look and there's just embers it's usually 1.5-2 hours later the blowers shut off.

    Well, I'm excited for you. I hope you purchased the optional blower because the blower sends 150 cfm of house air through the Clydesdale which heats it to 150-175 degrees in my case all the air in my house gets heated and repeats every hour fifteen minutes. The heat is even, the area around my insert usually is 72-73F and the other side of my house 69-71F. Without the blower... it really does take the wind right out of your sails. Also, I like how tough it's built. Reminds me of a locomotive all that cast iron, and it seals very tight. The door latch is a very simple but I've shut the door on sticks and embers and latched it and got a tight seal and no out of control fires. It likes draft, I'm much happier now that I improved my draft and fixed issues with my liner. I hope you're getting a full liner. I'm copying & pasting this for future pupils.
  12. citizanken

    citizanken New Member

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    I am really exited now too. No worries on the blower. It is now a factory installed standard feature. They must have had a lot of blowers installed wrong in the field I take it. I cant wait to be 3-4 feet away drinking a beer looking at the glass :cheese: Thanks again.
  13. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Nice effort Rhone.
  14. day52

    day52 New Member

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    I agree with everything Rhonemas says with the exception of the starts. Mine starts quite a bit quicker. My question to him or anyone is about ash. My old stove had so much draft that when cleaning ash out, the stuff that was stirred up just went up the chimney. With this setup, that doesn't occur. Outside of buying one of those $200 ash vacuums, what suggestions do you have to keep the ash from flying all over the room. Of course, I shut off fans, etc. and try to move slowly when scooping, but the stuff goes everywhere. Other than that, I love the stove.
  15. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Great to hear you can start faster. My startups may be slow because I burn just oak. It's not a type of wood that starts up hot and fast, nor does it have a lot of secondary burn. But it produces a lot of heat over a long time.

    When emptying the ash, lean the ash bucket into the door opening, that helps suck fly ash out the flue and do it when you have some draft still. Usually when I get ash everywhere it's because a piece of wood or scrap fell near or on the window and burned there creating a little ash pile against the door. I open the door, and there's a seam for the blowers directly below it falls into. As soon as the blowers turn on puff it comes out the top. I've since learned how to load the wood to mostly prevent that, and now I slowly open the door and before I start sweeping the ash out I push any ash resting on the ledge at the door into the firebox. That's helped cut things right down.
  16. day52

    day52 New Member

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    Rhonemas--As long as I have some good heat going, I get a little bit of suction as you mention. Do you clean your ash out when it is still fairly hot? I have been letting mine get pretty cool. I've noticed the crack above the blowers. Wonder if there is a way to block that--sheet metal?? I don't really see what the function is. Also wasn't aware that oak didn't have much secondary burn. My fires are almost always a mix of hickory, oak, ash, poplar, locust. maple, a little apple and pear--until it gets colder, then I'll go with hickory, oak, locust. That may make a difference in the amount of ash left, too. Thanks for any additional info on the Clydesdale.
  17. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I was thinking about how to plug that gap up as well. It doesn't have a purpose besides letting you pull off the blower housing in one piece.

    I clean my ash out every time I load. If I'm only firing up once a night, I'm cleaning it while the unit is cold. If lighting up 4x a day I'm doing it while it's hot. The technique I use, I have a small metal garden rake I picked up at K-Mart for like $3.99. I included a picture of what I'm talking about. Everytime I load up I use that tool to push all my black unburned coals & hot embers to the back which leaves only fine powder ash in the front. I scoop out the powder from the front, and then push everything in there right up to the front and leave a little opening in the middle. I load my wood on top of that, and away I go.

    Here's why I do that. Some people say their soapstone stoves burn & run better with a 1/2" of ash, you'll have to experiment to see where you stand. I'm fine with or without it. But the air channels run under the firebox and up the sides, the more ash I have, the more I feel it prevents the heat from transferring to the air channels running underneath the firebox. So, keeping the ash out each time I feel I get more miles per gallon out of the wood. Secondly, those big black coal pieces is unburned fuel. You don't want to be wasting them by dumping them in your ash bucket and is it me or do those black pieces never seam to decay? By seperating them and keeping them in the firebox the next fire you burn they light up and help your fire, so you get more heat. The reason to move everything to the front, make a gap in the middle, and then load your new wood is because the front is the hottest place in the firebox because of the air wash blowing down. It ensures that your hot embers will get extremely hot, and that your black embers will ignite and burn this time. It's bad practice to spread your hot embers around equally around the firebox and load on top. Instead of focusing on getting one piece of wood started you're trying to get many. It takes longer, creates a lot of smoke, you dirty the window more, the excess smoke is unburned heat wasting out the flue, and causes more creosote. By pushing everything to the front, when you lay down your splits on top, you've now focused all the hot embers on the single bottom piece of split in the front. Now, only one split is smoking before it catches fire and, all the embers focusing on it, it catches fire real quick. That creates less smoke and gets the fire moving sooner. The reason for the gap in the middle after pushing everything up front is because the Clydesdale should be loaded side/side. When that lower log catches fire you want the flame to be able to flow underneath it and into the middle of the firebox to get the inner going. Without the gap, the air pattern washes down the glass and slams into the bottom log split, when it catches fire the flame now has to has to work around the log until it goes around the sides. It's a long way, and the fire doesn't get going as fast.

    Did that make any sense!? You have some heavy hitters there in Ohio, Apple, Locust, Hickory, they're better than the oak I have. You have a good chance at breaking my 14 1/2-15 hour record. For some fun, pick up a couple elm splits if there's any in your area. I wouldn't put more than 2 splits in the firebox. 1 elm split single-handedly gives me around twice the secondary burn action than 6 oaks. 2 of them in there will have you running outside to see if the secondary burn is extending out your flue. It's amazing. Maybe Warren has some extra he'll share :)

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