2 Months in with a new Ashford 30.2

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Hearth Supporter
Jun 27, 2009
Back in early October I discovered our 8 year old Drolet Austral II had a C-shaped crack on the sidewall up were it had welded rectangular tubing for the secondary tubes. Rather than find a welder and repair we decided it was time to get a new stove instead, I felt like we got our money's worth out of that stove anyways. We'd had a BK Princess insert in a masonry fireplace at our previous home that I sadly had to leave behind with the sale of that home.

The dealer I bought the insert from wasnt' listed as a dealer anymore but I found a different dealer about 45 miles away that said he had 4 freestanding Princess stoves in stock so the wife & I drove over to get one. Well... he had all BK stove models on display when we arrived. My wife liked the Ashford especially the enameled model. I had a hard time deciding at the store, we were in that showroom for probably 2 hours before committing to the Ashford model in the standard black paint. The Princess insert we had worked so well at the last home it was hard to "risk" going with a slightly different design and some of the negative feedback of smoke smell seen on this website. The whole drive back home I was second guessing myself.

Got the new Ashford home that evening and installed the following weekend. So far I can't complain this stove has worked very well. I like the ball bearing ash drawer, the quieter blower fans and just like our Princess insert this one churns out our heat requirements with a nice even heat output. I've been burning cottonwood, willow, and red pine so far and it's been easy to get an average 12 hour burn with the air control dial at just below the 3 o'clock position and the probe still just inside the active zone after all those hours. Forecast shows some single digits coming up in the coming week so maybe I'll try out some elm & red oak for a change and see how it runs on that.

I haven't noticed the smoke smell people talk about other than one evening when it was in the upper 30's and high humidity-the air was super dense that night when I was working outside. I bumped the dial down to around the 2 o'clock position and didn't notice it again when I checked on the stove.(its in our basement).

My only 2 nitpik complaints are the cast side panel doesn't line up good with the bypass shaft, it's almost rubbing on the L-shaped handle and I can't move the panel to the side anymore. I've had that panel off twice to tweak the door latch tighter and I just can't get the panel moved any further from the bypass handle. Still functional just annoying for an OCD person like myself. And the door position when viewed from the front- left to right isn't centered on the gasket very well, but it looks like I could adjust that, just haven't tried it yet.