New Woodstock Ideal Steel Owner Experience

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.
Status
Not open for further replies.

LocustBurner

Member
Mar 30, 2015
81
Southside Virginia
Have been using our new Ideal Steel Hybrid since mid-November with lots of down time in December. The recent cold weather has given us more opportunity to burn it constantly and I am very impressed with how little wood is needed to keep our 1400 sg. ft. rancher toasty.

One evening in early Jan. I really loaded it up proper for the first time at 11pm. Got up the next morning @ 6 to 76 degrees in the great room (19 outside), stirred the coals, let it roll for about 15 mins. then re-engaged the cat and backed it all the way down. At 1:30pm I finally added more wood (small load) and it lit up quickly. Put cat online again and did not re-load until 7pm. Never got below 74 inside. 39 was the high for the day

Last night I loaded up @ 3am (lo 25) and added 3 med. splits today at noon. Won't need any more till the sun sets. We are just amazed at how little wood we are using compared to our old Lopi. With the super warm December temps and the incredibly low consumption we will really be able to stretch our wood.

This venue doesn't seem to attract that many IS owners but if you are considering any Woodstock stove - the smaller Franklin is looking very promising – I think they are currently manufacturing some of the best stoves you could buy.
 

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania
I think a lot of people on here either go with a tube burner or a full cat stove like Blaze King.
The Hybrid benefit of having both hasn't caught on as much yet. Others don't like the looks of the stove.

As you mentioned, it is a fantastic heater with lots of bang for your buck. My ideal steel heats my 1800sqft stick built rancher from the basement with ease. I am gone 10-12 hours everyday and the house is very warm when I return.
 
Dec 30, 2014
48
MD
This is my first year with the IS also. I'm very pleased with the performance of the stove as well. When it's running the heatpumps are quiet unless the stove drops the house temp to 66. I find it to be too efficient with a cozy house temp still at reload time. I've only had the second floor heat kick on twice when the temps got down to 10 degrees ferenheit heating a 2200 sf home. The second floor that droped to 66 sits over a 30x24 two car garage. The stove room was at 69, that was with an over night burn backed to 10 percent primary air open. Love this thing huge difference from my old fisher mama bear.
 

Babaganoosh

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2014
713
NJ
I'm heating a 1500 square foot ranch here in NJ from what used to be a garage (slab). It's got a cathedral ceiling, only a standard door into the kitchen, and then small doorway (opening that up a stud or two in the near future) into the rest of the house. It's 25 outside right now and 72 approximately 60 feet and two doorways away from the stove. I've got a small fan blowing air into the den to get the hot air circulating. This stove is a heating beast!

I'm considering moving it into a more central location like the living room, it will really shine there. Problem is the den will still be a little cold. This is also where I spend most of my time. Then there's the chimney going thru the roof that would have to be patched up which isn't normally a bad thing but my roof is only a year old. I don't want to be loading two stoves and it will really take away from the resale if I have two stoves in the house. Just one is an oddity around here. I thought maybe a pellet stove in the den but I don't want to hear the fan. Who knows, I'll figure it out eventually. Either way I love this IS stove
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,223
Southern IN
This venue doesn't seem to attract that many IS owners but if you are considering any Woodstock stove - the smaller Franklin is looking very promising – I think they are currently manufacturing some of the best stoves you could buy.
That's plenty of heater for 1400 sq.ft. _g
Yeah, too bad most of the Woodstock guys left. I feel kinda lonely now in the midst of these BK Kool-Aid drinkers. ;) ;lol
Seriously, I'm interested in seeing how the Franklin pans out...got too small a place to put an IS in here but I like what I've read about it. Seems to have an unsurpassed output range. I hope the 211 is a smaller version with maybe a couple of further improvements. No doubt the best deal going. Where you gonna get a cat stove for 1800 or less? Dutchwest? ;lol And the quality I've seen in the Fireview and Keystone impress me. For cat stoves, I don't see me going anywhere but Woodstock for the time being, even though my next one from them may not be as pretty.
 

LocustBurner

Member
Mar 30, 2015
81
Southside Virginia
The Hybrid benefit of having both hasn't caught on as much yet. Others don't like the looks of the stove.
I agree.
You either like the slightly 'Steampunk” look or you don't but with the ability to “personalize” the appearance with two-tone colors and the customizable andirons, side panels, and burner plates, well NO other stove builder I know of even comes close in this respect.

Additionally,when I began researching stoves the VC line seemed promising but after calling a couple of dealers and reading about all the negative experiences, I moved on. The Popular Mechanics contest results – as most owners know, the Ideal Steel Hybrid won their challenge to build a high efficiency, low emission stove – sealed the deal for me and I gave them a call.
Never looked back.
Their customer service, IMO, is the very best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: flhpi

LocustBurner

Member
Mar 30, 2015
81
Southside Virginia
Our master BR is straight down the hall from the LR, DR, K area where the IS is located and usually stays at/above 68 degrees overnight (except the lo teens, single digit temps) with the door SHUT and almost never drops below 72 w/ door open.
A medium sized EcoFan is aimed down that hall.
I also use the spin speed to alert me to stir and load.
Very satisfied with the stove and fan performance.

20160112_220447.jpg
CAT Engaged w/ half load of locust/hickory
 
Last edited:

LocustBurner

Member
Mar 30, 2015
81
Southside Virginia
I'm a Woodstock nutball and I'm still here!
They do seem to attract the eccentric now and then.
I have seen some nifty color combos on other IS owners stoves. Ditto for the side panel art.
Woodstock will adapt your art to the panels. I'm thinking about a second set as we went with the stock 'cat' theme.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oldhippie

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,223
Southern IN
I'm a Woodstock nutball and I'm still here!
:cool: Cool. Don't be shy, go ahead and put your stove in your signature and proclaim your allegiance! ==c
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oldhippie

HarvestMan

Burning Hunk
Nov 19, 2014
159
Southeastern Michigan
Yeah, too bad most of the Woodstock guys left. I feel kinda lonely now in the midst of these BK Kool-Aid drinkers.
Both WS and BK have their cheerleaders. But, I have to tip my hat to the BK cheerleaders ... they seem the loudest! A bit whiny too when it comes to t-stat stickers with numbers/swoosh and replacement cat prices. ;lol

A number of WS owners still here, we just know how to mostly keep quiet. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oldhippie

Rearscreen

Minister of Fire
Dec 21, 2014
720
Vermont
Admittedly I have never owned a BK. Went to a local dealer to specifically look at one. I can imagine that they perform as stated but if I had never knew about soapstone and it's qualities, I certainly would have bought a BK based on their performance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Twigster

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania
I have yet to see documented proof that Blaze Kings burn as long as they say they do. It's not that I don't believe it, I just want to see hard data.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,223
Southern IN
I have yet to see documented proof that Blaze Kings burn as long as they say they do. It's not that I don't believe it, I just want to see hard data.
Yeah, all I have to go on is my Woodstock experience. I've never seen, let alone run, a BK. If I get up to Indy I can at least see 'em at webby's shop but a special trip isn't in the cards as it's a 3-hr. drive. But based on what I've seen in my Woodstocks and what I've read about both stoves, I'm not inclined to switch brands. I'm just sittin' back, eating my popcorn and waiting for the beta testers to start putting the 211 through its paces. >>
 

HarvestMan

Burning Hunk
Nov 19, 2014
159
Southeastern Michigan

Babaganoosh

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2014
713
NJ
I believe that they can burn that long but it's the auto damper. They got it figured out. If there was the same thing on my IS I bet it would have the same burn time. It's constantly monitoring and adjusting the air to keep all the variables from affecting the burn. It's metering the air to keep the output constant. Slap that mechanism on an IS and I bet you get the same results.
 
Last edited:

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,223
Southern IN
I believe that they can burn that long but it's the auto damper. They got it figured out. If there was the same thing on my IS I bet it would have the same burn time.
Yep. You can dial the BKs back, and the thermostat will start the load off slow, then open up on the coals later, giving you a nice, even output through the burn. I don't work full-time so I can tweak the air a little if I want, later in the burn. It seems to be less necessary on the Fireview and Keystone than it is on the little Dutchwest I'm running now...
 

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania

LocustBurner

Member
Mar 30, 2015
81
Southside Virginia
"Be happy with what you have and let the BK people be happy with what they have."

Agree and there enough Woodstock owners here to support a thread or two.
Lo last night was 39 and I'm just burned a fire in one rear corner of my Ideal Steel overnight.
Got thru the night with just 4 splits. 75 inside all night.
Getting ready to add a few more.
Being semi-retired if I need it I have the time to tinker with my IS but its getting pretty simple.
 

HarvestMan

Burning Hunk
Nov 19, 2014
159
Southeastern Michigan
I'm just burned a fire in one rear corner of my Ideal Steel overnight.
You got me on this one. Does that mean you only put wood on one side of the stove? If so, why?
 

OhioBurner©

Minister of Fire
Aug 20, 2010
1,535
Center of Ohio
You got me on this one. Does that mean you only put wood on one side of the stove? If so, why?
Probably to not overheat his house. At about 40ºF out I wouldn't be putting more than a couple pieces in mine. I'm not sure if it was a jab at the BK guys though, they are always bragging about just putting one or two splits in and burning it until the weekend...

The IS has the automatic cat air, but lacks auto draft control. It would be nice if it had this like the BK, I wonder if maybe BK has a patent? The IS lasts long enough for me, I really couldn't utilize a longer burn that much, but it would be nice if it could add a bit more air towards the end of a cat burn to not have the heat drop off as much and to prevent the heavy coals from piling up.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: LocustBurner

LocustBurner

Member
Mar 30, 2015
81
Southside Virginia
Does that mean you only put wood on one side of the stove? If so, why?
Sort of: Over a hot bed of coals I just place a thick 'shortie' diagonally in a corner (Ideal Steal has a 3.2 cu. ft. fire box) with a couple of avg. longer splits perpendicular, and one more short piece across them with some space between all.
Bunch of heat, long burn times, sometimes hot enough for off gasing re-burns if using locust, hickory, or oak which I am doing.
Have some short, stubby locust 'Y's' and limbs on now – 45 outside, 75 inside.
 
Last edited:

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,223
Southern IN

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania
I'm going to do an experiment this weekend. Here I have some nice 2 year seasoned white ash packed relatively full on a very small coal bed. My intention is to burn this load as low and slow as the stove lets me.

I will start the burn hot to boost my draft then shut the air off completely for the first 2 hours. After that I will bump it up to notch #2 for overnight. This weekend will be in the 30s and 40s outside.
 

Attachments

Status
Not open for further replies.