If you could "test drive" 3 different stoves, what would they be and why?

Feb 2, 2020
43
Madison, WI
I believe it is the Navajo
Yup, that's what the original stove was called, then it evolved into the Survival Hybrid Wood Stove.

Here's a neat write up about the whole project on Woodstock's website:

 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,822
Downeast Maine
Yup, that's what the original stove was called, then it evolved into the Survival Hybrid Wood Stove.

Here's a neat write up about the whole project on Woodstock's website:

I just read this before you posted it. What a great story.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,931
central pa
Yup, that's what the original stove was called, then it evolved into the Survival Hybrid Wood Stove.

Here's a neat write up about the whole project on Woodstock's website:

Yes I read that before thanks. And I just read it again. It does seem the cat is not used when burning coal. It is stored in a "garage" to protect it from the coal
 

BirthofSerpents

New Member
Feb 5, 2020
20
Scappoose, Oregon
1. Quadrafires Explorer II, the recently discontinued stove that I'd initially intended to purchase before getting the PE Alderlea T5. I want to know if it's advertised 12 hour burn time was that much better than the Aldrlea, if it's start up timer system was useful and how it heats and withstands use over time.

2. Blaze Kings Ashford 30. I'd want to know if it's increased sensitivity to wood type and condition dramatically affects the cat performance and lifespan and if the greatly decreased flameshow and smoky front window would bother me (I suspect it would a lot). Also, curious what the cost of maintenance is over 15 - 20 years compared to a well made non cat like my Alderlea.

3. The Vermont Bun Baker. I bought my stove primarily because I love wood heat but I'm also working towards increased off grid sustainability. I wonder how well a combo heating and cook stove like the Vermont Bun Baker does either, and if it's durable and trouble free.

That said, I researched the hell out of stoves and am very satisfied with my choice with regards to my heating and homesteading goals.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,048
Southern IN
@begreen has a PE T6 stove with EBT that he is happy with.
His is the earlier version, not the EBT2 that they now use, but it has the same basic function..to give the stove more secondary air when it is hotter in the early stages of the load and there is more smoke to burn. They added it to the smaller Spectrum LE for 2020.
It makes sense that supplying less secondary air later in the burn would extend burn times. The T5 I got my SIL doesn't have EBT2, it has direct linkage between the primary and secondary air shutters, but the stove still burns long. I haven't run other non-cats though, so I can't compare burn times.
 
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Twigster

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
8
Burlington WA
My choices would be:

1). Blaze King-either a King or a Princess. Would love to see how those over 24 hr burns would fit my schedule, as well as seeing how it burns some of the less desirable wood in my piles (pine, etc).

2). Englander 30-NC. This is the stove I almost bought because I loved the ease of use, firebox size, user reviews and burn time for a non catalytic stove. Ended up going with the ideal steel because my wife liked the colors and the artwork you can get on it. And as it turns out its just as easy to use and operate as the 30-NC would have been.

3). Qudra Fire Isle Royale. This is the stove I saw years ago that made me want a wood stove in my house no matter where I lived. The enamel was just beautiful (especially that greenish color), large firebox, great burn times, top loading, super easy to use, and great reviews. They did everything right with that one and its a shame it went out of production. I saw one on Craigslist near Madison years ago and it sucks I didn't have any way to get it as we were living in a condo at the time.

All of my choices, as well as my current stove are leagues above the VC Resolute Acclaim I suffered through for a few years. Not my choice, came with a previous house I lived in and boy was that thing awful to run <>
I’m hoping to order my WS Ideal Steel next month. I have heard and read great things about how low and slow it can burn. You have been happy with yours?
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,048
Southern IN
I’m hoping to order my WS Ideal Steel next month. I have heard and read great things about how low and slow it can burn. You have been happy with yours?
Care to provide some details of the space to be heated? Sq.ft, layout, insulation and air-sealing? You live in a pretty mild climate (my BIL lives on Whidbey.)
 

Twigster

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
8
Burlington WA
Care to provide some details of the space to be heated? Sq.ft, layout, insulation and air-sealing? You live in a pretty mild climate (my BIL lives on Whidbey.)
The house is 2,500 sq foot two story, down stairs is pretty open and the stairway is in the middle of the living room which is where the stove will go. Spray foam close cell foam in walls and between first floor ceilin. R 48 blow in fiberglass in the attic. My lopi agp is on low probably 85% of the time. I live near bow close to Bay View State park Not far from Whidbey island. I was all about the Blaze King but my wife didn’t like the looks. So I had her pick between the two stoves, figured you can’t go wrong with either.
 
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Feb 2, 2020
43
Madison, WI
I’m hoping to order my WS Ideal Steel next month. I have heard and read great things about how low and slow it can burn. You have been happy with yours?
Yes, even though its my first winter with the stove, I have no major complaints. It burns nearly 20 hrs in mild weather and over 10 hrs easily when its very cold (we get below zero usually multiple times over the course of a normal winter). I love the ability to load N/S and E/W. Regarding smoke spillage (which I explain more in a bit), loading E/W drastically reduces the smoke spillage regardless of other environmental conditions. I also love the super easy to control main air lever right at the front of the stove. You will definitely want a stove pipe temp gauge and a catalyst temp probe to make running the stove super simple and worry free.

I will say that if you are considering the stove, make sure that a) you have a proper chimney height. 15 ft or higher is strongly recommended. My chimney height is a few feet higher than Woodstock's min height of 15 ft and some days I find my draft to be difficult, especially this time of year. And b) I would say any room/house size that's like 1,800 sq ft or less will easily be overheated by the heat this stove puts out. My house is 2,200 sq ft and the stove can keep the main floor at near 80 easy. Upstairs is about 72 to 75 depending on temps outside.

There have been some issues with people saying the opening to the stove is too big and that can be a smoke spillage issue. While it won't happen all the time, yes it will happen occasionally requiring a nearby door or window to be opened to clear the smoke. Or you can crack a nearby door or window before opening the stove. A lot of variables though as to when and why it happens so be prepared for occasional smoke spillage.
 

Twigster

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
8
Burlington WA
Yes, even though its my first winter with the stove, I have no major complaints. It burns nearly 20 hrs in mild weather and over 10 hrs easily when its very cold (we get below zero usually multiple times over the course of a normal winter). I love the ability to load N/S and E/W. Regarding smoke spillage (which I explain more in a bit), loading E/W drastically reduces the smoke spillage regardless of other environmental conditions. I also love the super easy to control main air lever right at the front of the stove. You will definitely want a stove pipe temp gauge and a catalyst temp probe to make running the stove super simple and worry free.

I will say that if you are considering the stove, make sure that a) you have a proper chimney height. 15 ft or higher is strongly recommended. My chimney height is a few feet higher than Woodstock's min height of 15 ft and some days I find my draft to be difficult, especially this time of year. And b) I would say any room/house size that's like 1,800 sq ft or less will easily be overheated by the heat this stove puts out. My house is 2,200 sq ft and the stove can keep the main floor at near 80 easy. Upstairs is about 72 to 75 depending on temps outside.

There have been some issues with people saying the opening to the stove is too big and that can be a smoke spillage issue. While it won't happen all the time, yes it will happen occasionally requiring a nearby door or window to be opened to clear the smoke. Or you can crack a nearby door or window before opening the stove. A lot of variables though as to when and why it happens so be prepared for occasional smoke spillage.
Thanks for your great information! Did you ever think BK, if you did what made you go with the IS? Do the stoves come with a catalyst probe from the factory? Seems like that would be standard. My chimney should be around 24ft tall. It still blows me away to hear about 20 hour burn time!
 
Feb 2, 2020
43
Madison, WI
Thanks for your great information! Did you ever think BK, if you did what made you go with the IS? Do the stoves come with a catalyst probe from the factory? Seems like that would be standard. My chimney should be around 24ft tall. It still blows me away to hear about 20 hour burn time!
Yeah I would have gotten a BK, money wasn't the issue for me it was lack of a good dealer. Looking online, the nearest dealer to me is in Highland, WI over an hr away. Combine the BK stove cost, fresh install and who knows what cost for someone to drive the stove from Highland to Madison and it just didn't make sense economically. It was actually my wife who saw the Woodstock stoves somewhere online and I began to research them and I liked what I saw! Custom colors, artworks, catalyst, the ability to load N/S or E/W. The icing on the cake was that they are located in Lebanon, NH where I was born!!! In the building my dad worked at of all places (the building was a bio tech company back in the 80's). So it was a no brainer at that point that this was the stove that was going in my living room :cool:
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,048
Southern IN
It was actually my wife who saw the Woodstock stoves somewhere online and I began to research them and I liked what I saw!
That's what sold me. I looked at the used Fireview my SIL got, and though it had been overfired, I liked the heavy-duty, quality construction and the engineering that went into it. I got the Keystone, and it's exceeded my expectations. Prices of the cats and other parts are reasonable as well, and of course the support is great.
 
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