Everything Drolet Tundra - Heatmax...

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
600
Central Ohio
One thing I struggled with is the open or closed operation of the thermostat controlled damper. I never felt like i could get it set so that it worked for every condition. So I modified it a bit. I added a turnbuckle in place of the chain that pulls the damper open. Now I can control how far the damper opens when the thermostat calls for heat. More open when it is colder outside, house is cold or when I am kindling a new fire, etc. Less open when I want to hold the fire longer, warmer weather, etc. Great addition to otherwise completely stock setup.
Do you have any pics of how you have your turnbuckle setup ?

Scott
 

laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,447
Ashland OH
I tweak the tab that connects the damper chain.
 

Erik MN

New Member
Dec 28, 2016
6
MN
Hi Erik, the Tundra doesn't have the "raw horsepower" that the HB has (kinda like the "tortoise and the hare" thing)but I think you'll find it will do a nice job in this space especially since the unit (I assume) is right out in the space where you are heating...a lot of radiant heat to be had off the front of these things. It will sure enough use less wood and burn cleaner than the HB!
Thanks again for the information. I went to Menards to purchase the model they have on close out. It is an older model from what I have read here without the front firebrick modification or other upgrades that the newer furnaces have. I think it is the one that has been on display for the past few years (thus the discounted price of $800). I guess my concern would be with all of the cracks that you all have run into. In all of your opinions, would this be a deal breaker? I have read about the issues and successes that you guys have come up with and figured out. Just am very hesitant to go and purchase with it being an older model.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,411
NE Ohio
I guess my concern would be with all of the cracks that you all have run into. In all of your opinions, would this be a deal breaker?
Well, since I bought mine 2-3 years old and already cracked for a little less than you can get that new one for...I say go for it...I don't regret mine
 

STIHLY DAN

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2013
1,431
So NH
For $400 extra dollars I would go with the latest model. Then again, I don't know if any sales are going on. Maybe a newer one is even more. I dunno.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,411
NE Ohio
For $400 extra dollars I would go with the latest model. Then again, I don't know if any sales are going on. Maybe a newer one is even more. I dunno.
The T2 is ~$2k at Menards...~$1750 on sale
 

Builderml

Burning Hunk
Sep 13, 2015
195
Ct
Thanks again for the information. I went to Menards to purchase the model they have on close out. It is an older model from what I have read here without the front firebrick modification or other upgrades that the newer furnaces have. I think it is the one that has been on display for the past few years (thus the discounted price of $800). I guess my concern would be with all of the cracks that you all have run into. In all of your opinions, would this be a deal breaker? I have read about the issues and successes that you guys have come up with and figured out. Just am very hesitant to go and purchase with it being an older model.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
For $800 take it and run with it. If it cracks you'll end up getting your money back. I would guess that at $800 it pays for itself in one season of use. Best of luck.
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
600
Central Ohio
HI Scott,

See attached pics. Pretty simple really, but it works.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
Thanks for the pics.

I have been using a small finishing nail to set the height of my flap for the last few years. Like you said, depending on the weather and wood conditions the standard setting might be too much or too little for getting the fire started.

Scott
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,411
NE Ohio
Thanks for the pics.

I have been using a small finishing nail to set the height of my flap for the last few years. Like you said, depending on the weather and wood conditions the standard setting might be too much or too little for getting the fire started.

Scott
ksKgpkh.jpg
Adjustable damper...;) :p ;lol
 

TDD11

Member
Oct 24, 2016
73
Central Ohio
I didn't realize that the glass cleans so easily with a wet paper towel dipped in ashes, here I thought I needed wood stove glass cleaner.. I'm in love again just having a clean window!!
 
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Darbycrash

Member
Jun 28, 2014
41
Michigan
I got the tundra up and running and I am now a little freaked about CO in the house. My CO detectors have a *Peak Level* function that will show the ppm of the highest reading the meter has seen. Today I had 42 on the basement one, and 12 on the upstairs one. I made one mistake today and was emptying the coals/ash out into the pan and had the door open quite a long time, which could have made my CO levels rise. They did not rise high enough and long enough to alarm the detector, however this is still quite unnerving. Since I reset the peak levels, the one next to the furnace is 0 and the 2nd story bedroom is 10.

I am beginning to wonder if the furnace is sucking the gas venting out of the LP water heater back into the basement since I do not currently have a return air hooked up. I cracked the basement windows in the mean time :eek:

No actual "alarms" yet. Just me checking the peak levels every day.
 

DoubleB

Minister of Fire
Mar 4, 2014
658
NE Wisconsin
CO in the house.
You're definitely right to notice the CO and figure this out. I don't know the answer, keep experimenting like you're doing to figure out what does and doesn't affect CO readings.

I don't remember when your unit was made. Do you know if it has the ash pan fix? Early units let the blower blow air into the ash pan, which let the people air and the fire air mix, and CO into the house. But I'm thinking this was only a problem if you actually used the ash pan. SBI began welding the ash pan drawer closed long ago. See pages 68 until about page 70-71 or so, starting with post #1695.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,411
NE Ohio
My ash pan has never been used...ever. I scoop ashes right into a metal bucket.
The only time I get any smoke/fumes in the house when I have the door open is if I forgot to open the (illegal ;em) key damper, or the chimney needs cleaned badly (yeah, that happened once ;em)
 

Darbycrash

Member
Jun 28, 2014
41
Michigan
Thanks Dub.

I also wondered this about the ash pan. If the plug was leaking, the CO that the coals are making will drop directly down into that ash pan area and could potentially be blown into the homes ductwork :oops:. I cannot remember if my ash pan is separate from the blower or not. I can tell you that my furnaces heat exchanger is not welded and there is the expansion gap there around it.

I need to add a little more control to this unit as well. I am yet to see the high limit snap-switch go off even though I know a few times it should have. I also need to add the loading timer switch, and a burn coals switch to the unit.
 

garmford

Member
Dec 13, 2011
54
Rubicon Wisconsin
If your return line isn't hooked up the system you should leave your basement door open to help relieve the negative pressure in the basement. Do you have a fresh air make up as part of your hvac system?
 

Digger79

Feeling the Heat
Jan 31, 2016
266
IN
Ok so I am finding this locust.. I think its just black not honey.. really doesn't burn well alone. Needs some higher flame woods mixed in with it.. the problem.. I have more locust than ash by far rt now... oh well. It does burn super hot just coals pretty bad if not mixed well. So I am still pondering the issue of burning off the coals at the end of a burn. Seems if I load the Tundra to the max, coals wind up covered in so much ash they just insulate. sure they stay there for ever but put off no heat to speak of. I knocked around the idea of installing a temp controlled air injector that would come on at super low temps and drive air into the coal bed.. This will take some money, time and likely welding to be done right not to mention engineering to overcome closure of the port when not being used so as to maintain the factory amount of intake on re burn cycles. May get kinda complicated. The other idea is simply burning smaller hotter loads which I have been aware of with Tundra for a while now. I had the grate in my cart at mendards and put it back. lol. possibly using this grate to push a smaller load up closer to the plenum could be more effiecnt than loading the Tundra to the max cause seems Im still only getting real benefit from the upper 2/3rds say of the load that way. My main worry with the grate is getting above the air intake under the loading door causing the air to take two 90 deg bends to hit the coals rather than being sucked strait in with no grate. Sooo... its seems possible that the size of the fire box is actually a tad too large or tall rather. A wider box or longer but much shorter I would think would provide better heating from the same volume of wood. Imagine burning a 6" tall load spread out =to the same volume as a 12" tall load but inside a 8"-10" tall box instead of a taller box similar to Tundra's. Same volume of wood burned closer to the plenum and less ash covering coals at the ends of burns. I may be on to something here.. lol probably not :)
 

Digger79

Feeling the Heat
Jan 31, 2016
266
IN
We need a fireproof little troll who lives inside the firebox to come out and stir the coals and pile them toward the front of the stove at the end of the burns. That would be tough to engineer but a firebox floor that could rise slowly as the fire burns down.. now that may be possible... tough but possible to engineer and freakin awesome if ya could make it work!
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,411
NE Ohio
I'm having the same problem right now too!
If you need to load more than every eight hours you will begin to accumulate coals, even more so if you are using traditional "high BTU" woods. IMO its best to just supplement your heat load with oil/gas/electric/whatever heat (or in my case, fire up a second wood fire) if Tundra/Heatmax can't keep up. It sure makes things less frustrating...no shame in using a bit of fossil fuel sometimes...I mean, after all, I think most of us heat with wood to reduce the heating bill...and you've still accomplished that, right? ==c
 

Digger79

Feeling the Heat
Jan 31, 2016
266
IN
If you need to load more than every eight hours you will begin to accumulate coals, even more so if you are using traditional "high BTU" woods. IMO its best to just supplement your heat load with oil/gas/electric/whatever heat (or in my case, fire up a second wood fire) if Tundra/Heatmax can't keep up. It sure makes things less frustrating...no shame in using a bit of fossil fuel sometimes...I mean, after all, I think most of us heat with wood to reduce the heating bill...and you've still accomplished that, right? ==c
Yeah but the problem is waisting those coals. The heat is note high enough for a large fire to be useful beyond 8-10 hrs so loading two smaller fires works better for sure. U are right though supplementing during coal burn off works well. I do that with the gas during mild winter and in brutal cold use the drolet 1400i inside to balance things out which heats the crap out of the house. lol. I like to get it up around 75 or more during single digits so temp drops stay above 65-70. lol. Burns a bunch of wood :)
 
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Digger79

Feeling the Heat
Jan 31, 2016
266
IN
we're trying to squeeze every last little dribble of heat out of our burns. its a sickness. U understand.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,411
NE Ohio
we're trying to squeeze every last little dribble of heat out of our burns
Yup, I hear ya...that's why I like the speed controller on the blower...it will run on low for hours driving the last bit o heat from the coals into the house...it was mainly lost up the chimney before the speed controller...
 
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Digger79

Feeling the Heat
Jan 31, 2016
266
IN
Yup, I hear ya...that's why I like the speed controller on the blower...it will run on low for hours driving the last bit o heat from the coals into the house...it was mainly lost up the chimney before the speed controller...
My issue with diving into the time and cost of putting in a variable speed control for the fan is due to having already ran the fan at lower speeds all the way up to the highest. never noticed much difference in actual heat value other than temp drops in the house would happen faster and sooner on lower speeds. Seems for me the higher speed setting is needed due to my long duct runs and need for higher static pressure so using lower speeds at anytime I feel is counter productive for my setup.