Newbie with questions: What do you know about this stove?

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New Member
Feb 29, 2016
Hi there! (Even if you don't recognize the stove type, I have a couple other questions, too.)

Mr. Claus and I are new to fireplace business with our first home we just purchased last weekend. We got our fireplace and our stove cleaned, but didn't find out much from the sweeper, who only offered guesses about some of their features.

Mr. C keeps loading up the stove with loads that are making me quite nervous. He likes to load in LOGS (6-9 inches in diameter, unspilt). I think that the room was feeling like a toasty 80+ degrees, as nearby rooms were at 67-69 and "felt cold" comparatively speaking.

Being a former Girl Scout and having grown up in homes with fireplaces and stoves, I only know enough to know it doesn't seem right to go to that roaring level in a smallish stove, but I don't have anything definitive to tell him. We do have a great, seasoned woodpile that came with the house, and while it's not covered, it's definitely nice and seasoned.

So, here are my questions:
  • Do you know anything about this kind of stove? Pictures below. There's no apparent make or model that we can see, unless I'm not looking in the right spot. It has these front "dials" that appear to control the air, one knob that is connected to the tray, and one knob that doesn't appear to do much of anything.

  • What would be a good thermometer approach for this stove, since there isn't an exposed pipe?

  • While I've been looking through the forums a LOT, is there one comprehensive go-to book you'd recommend?
Thank you SOO much!!
Mrs. C.

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(Even if folks don't know the kind of the stove, I'd be interested on what you'd recommend for a trusty thermometer for this kind of stove and also what "woodburning stoves 101" book recommendations you may have.)
Thank you!
Your pics aren't displaying for me.
Thanks for letting me know, @mass_burner ! I've tried it a different way here:
The Woodburners Encyclopedia by Jay Shelton is the book I find the best.
Watch eBay and you find them being sold with others cheap. (Sunset Homeowners Guide to Woodstoves is good, but I find myself always going back to the Encyclopedia for technical answers)

It's a Fireplace Insert that should be connected to a flue the same size as appliance outlet all the way to the top. NOT slid into a fireplace and allowed to vent up an existing flue - they were first designed that way, but is no longer an acceptable installation - so that is the first thing to check.

Can you see directly up outlet with doors open, or is there a baffle plate inside or damper at top of Insert to control draft?

Glass doors require an air wash over glass to keep clean. Normally you have primary intakes and air wash intake to adjust. Some have primary air only that does both. You normally start with primary air until up to temp and burn with air wash air to keep clean. What does the center small knob control or do? Rotate, pull, or for ash cleaning into pan? Close up of air intake inside (air slot across front that induces air across glass?) and what small knob connects to would help.

Splitting the wood allows it to season more even completely through. The outside and ends will be dry, but there is moisture inside. The above mentioned book goes into detail how air mixes with the flammable gasses that escape from the wood, so surface area is increased by splitting, and the more pieces, the more times the flame and heat changes direction in the firebox creating a better air / fuel mix for cleaner burning. The book also gives specifics of how the moisture inside a log is released as it heats and the chemical reaction that takes place as water vapor being expelled comes into contact with the charcoal layer on the log causing greenhouse gasses and how much BTU is used for the process as well as how much BTU is carried away by the water vapor. You can't know what the moisture percentage is inside a log without splitting and testing it. I find when it has wagon wheel cracks on the ends and measures low like 17% on the outside, the inside measured on a fresh split face can be 25 to 35% which is far too high. Without measuring with a meter, there is no way to know what you have.

Do you have a blower on the Insert to extract the heat instead of burning so hard? (the screened opening looks like a convection appliance that circulates air around an outer jacket around the back with blower and uses radiation off the front, top and doors)

If what looks like a fireplace grate has been added, it should be removed. They are normally for an open fireplace. Burning in a controlled air firebox is normally done on an inch of ash to slow the fire. You want a glowing pile of coals in the morning. You won't get that with a grate. There are very few fireboxes that use a grate system for wood burning. When rounds are put on the bottom they won't burn nearly as well as elevated, (if you have to burn rounds prop them up on other wood pieces to get air under and around them) that's probably how you're getting away with burning rounds.

The angle of the right handle should be equal to the angle of the left handle when latched. If it has no adjustment on the latch, it may have a wedge like a ramp that contacts the bent handle inside. Need to see it with doors open to tell you how to adjust it to make the handles even when closed. If it uses door gasket, the material thickness will change handle angle. Something's not right, they should match when latched.
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