Retiring Fisher, looking at Kuma... distracted by Blaze King

Idahocarpenter Posted By Idahocarpenter, Aug 9, 2019 at 7:32 PM

  1. Idahocarpenter

    Idahocarpenter
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    Been reading ya'll for years.
    I do a lot of playing around with my Grampa Bear Fisher, grew up with one and now we have one in our 1883 old farmhouse. Read home with no insulation... literally.. NONE.

    Its time for a new stove. Here's what I need with my house.
    A stove that will maintain 350 in 30 deg weather, 450 in teens, and 500 in neg.
    All through the night and day.
    I burn Red Fir & Tamarack, as if its going out of style. 5 cords last year.

    So the age old question Cat or no Cat.
    I'd love to know from folks who have one or the other, and tell me about their burn times/ satisfaction with the stove. Kuma is made right up the road from me, so I'm interested in going local. However BK's 30 hr burn time is impressive. Does anyone know at what temp that is?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. bholler

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    Chances are if you have no insulation you will pretty much never run 30 hours. Cat stoves are very good a long low btu burns. And yes they can run higher but if you are going to be running on high most of the time there is not much point in getting a cat stove.
     
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  3. snaple4

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    Bholler said what I was going to say. A BK king may satisfy you most of the time but I would question its peak output compared to a non-cat.

    Wonder if anyone here has some good real world peak output data on larger stoves like the Bk king, VC defiant, or other 8” stove.
     
  4. bholler

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    I would not even remotely consider vc. I can't speak to the king but the princess does not have the peak output of the similarly sized regency 3100
     
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  5. begreen

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    I'd be investing in some blown-in insulation. That will pay itself back in increased comfort and wood saved pretty quickly.

    You're used to the strong radiant heat from the Fisher so a shielded stove might disappoint. Take a look at the unshielded Drolet Austral for a large, good value heater. Note that an EPA stove is going to run differently than the old Fisher. It will insist on fully seasoned wood to burn right, but in return you will get great heat, burn less wood and you'll have a nice fire view.
     
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  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Do you have the 8” flue for the kuma?
     
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  7. Idahocarpenter

    Idahocarpenter
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    Thanks kinda what I was thinking too.
    Just don’t have any real data from bk at high temps.
     
  8. Idahocarpenter

    Idahocarpenter
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    That’s the plan! As the $$ trickles in in we are picking away at things. Doesn't help we’re working a farm, 4 kids, and my knee just blew out. Surgery on Tuesday. So ease and burn time would be very helpful.

    Do you think a non-cat is a better move? That’s the feel I’m getting.
    Fishers are always rewarding for the radiant heat, I was measuring 650 degrees off the steel. Will I be able to get equal amount or greater heat discharged?
    Kuma’s have a an impressive air circulation that I think will out heat the fisher.
    Thoughts?
    I’ll look into that stove.
     
  9. Idahocarpenter

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    I’ve got a 12x12 square brick chimney.
    Draw is very impressive.
    Currently has a 6” port, but can easily change to take an 8”.
     
  10. begreen

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    That'll need a stainless liner. Modern stoves need more draft than the old Fisher and the flue gases will be cooler.
     
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  11. bholler

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    For peak output not much will compete with that old fisher. But newer stuff is going to put out decent heat much longer.
     
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  12. bholler

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    Is that 12x12 inside? If so no modern stove will work properly
     
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  13. webby3650

    webby3650
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    650 isn’t all that much on an old stove really.
    I really don’t know if a BK is the right stove for the job, but what will be if there’s no insulation? Often a non-cat will run hotter than a cat stove, but not without the consequences. Running a non cat stove hard all the time will lead to failure. It will be really difficult to keep from overfiring a modern stove in an environment like this, cat or non-cat. Add some insulation.
     
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  14. MTY

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    I
    I'm less than an hour away on the Clearwater. 2700 square feet on one floor, R39 in the ceiling, R19 in the walls and lots of window. If I burned 5 cord last year, I would still have 3 cords in the yard. Nope, all 8 burned up.

    I have a BK parlor king. I burned the second stove for better than a month last year.
    I throw big chunks of red fir and tamarack in. Normal burn time is about 10 hours. If I cram it full of smaller splits, I can get another couple of hours burn time.

    It is a great stove, but we are not burning hardwood.

    I had an 1800's house in Troy. I went from 6 cords to 2.5 cord after adding storm doors, replacing the windows, and insulating the heck out of it. That house was a story and a half, about 1300 square feet. This was with an Earthstove. I heated that house for 16 years without a backup heat source.

    I had a Grandpa Fisher in a shop. I prefer the BK over the Fisher, but you will not get the same roaring high temps out of the BK that you can get from the Fisher or almost any decent smoke dragon.
     
  15. MTY

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    If that chimney is as old as the house, it would scare the crap out of me. The mortar most likely is at the end of its safe life.
     
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  16. Ashful

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    I’m heating about two thirds of a 6600 sq ft stone house built in stages starting in the 1730’s, and with most windows and doors dating to 1770’s, with wood. Stone construction, no insulation. I’m running a pair of BK Ashford 30’s, due to the size and sprawling layout of the house. They do the job of keeping most of the house in the mid-70’s pretty much 100% down to the teens (degF).

    Although my wood heating capability is limited not by my stoves, but by my work schedule and lifestyle choices. Specifically, I have decided I will run three loads per day, and let the oil-fired boiler do the job of throttling the various zones in the house, on top of that base charge of wood. It is a great way to roll, if your heat load is high, or if you want your house more evenly heated than a space heater can do.

    As to BK vs Kuma, I like the flexibility and consistency that BK offers, I can repeatedly hit my desired 12-hour or 24-hour burn times with even heat over that period, thanks to the BK thermostat. I also like that I can leave it wide open to run some extra loads on high, without any fear of overtire, if I happen to be home on Saturday.

    If you’re looking for a stove with higher output than the max of a Princess or King, then the Kuma may be the answer, but keep in mind that efficiency is what it is at HHV (high burn), and I’d personally not want to move that much wood in a year. Are you really prepared to fell, nick, split, stack, haul, and load more wood than a BK can consume every year? If not, the discussion of higher heat output doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you really are up to it, then non-cat may be the way to go.

    There is a much bigger consideration in old houses, though: convective vs radiant. If you have a stone house like me, I can tell you from personal experience that radiant stoves can NOT work!
     
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  17. jetsam

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    As someone who grew up with old stoves and uninsulated houses, my best advice is to worry about insulation first and the stove second.

    If you get the place insulated, BK King would be my choice. If not, maybe take a look at the Kuma Sequoia... but I question whether even that big stove has the top end output of an old Fischer. It would certainly save you a lot of wood either way.

    If you search the archives for threads where people are unimpressed with their BKs, it's almost always people who run them on high all the time. (People who are actively unhappy with their BKs usually have (often serious) problems with their flue setups.)

    If you want to frame a structure, should you get a $5 hammer or upgrade to a Damascus steel blade with a striker butt that can hammer nails and do things the hammer never could?

    The guy who spent all day driving in nails with the butt of a knife is not going to have much good to say about the knife at the end of the day, but it's
    not the knife's fault that he chose not to use a hammer.

    Works the same way with stoves. I think BK is the best stove going, but I wouldn't try to use one to heat an uninsulated structure. Even if the high end output does meet your needs, a cheap 30NC will do the same job.

    BKs are amazing at long burns at lower outputs. If you want to run them on max all the time, they're just expensive stoves.
     
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  18. BKVP

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    While it's true the burn times are different (less advantage) on high, the thermostat still distributes available energy evenly for duration of burn.

    Incidentally, we are doing cordwood runs internally on the King and other models. The peak Btu's will be just at 60k on 15%-18% mc on softwood.

    We'll have other models cordwood Btu's in next few weeks.

    It's SUPER important that folks realize EPA crib fuel tested Btu's are calculated based upon energy input ÷ burn (duration back to beginning coal bed load weight).

    Cordwood tested stoves (different method) are calculated based upon 80% of fuel load being consumed ÷ duration.

    Any model with a long burn time will dilute actual achievable Btu's because it's a by product of the method(s) and formulas.

    Off to Nashville!

    You all have always known EPA BTU's don't mean much because of methods used and formulas.
     
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  19. jetsam

    jetsam
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    To take that one step further, in the real world you don't need the same peak BTU output from the BK in the first place.

    I top off my BK, set it on low, go to work, come back 16 hours later, and still have a hot stove that is burning fuel and putting out heat. It's not time to burn a 4 hour load to try to heat up a cold house, because the house didn't get cold.

    If your envelope is insulated enough that lower BTU outputs can maintain temperature, it is much nicer to burn the stove on low and load it once a day than it is to play the catchup game with hot fires that burn down to coals before you reload it.

    To the original poster- I don't want to scare you off completely, either. You said you want to be able to burn the stove at given stovetops for long periods, and the BK is really great at that because the thermostat will hold firebox temperatures where you set it as long is it has fuel. You can also do no-babysitting hot partial reloads in a way that would be unsafe in a non-thermostatic stove, which might appeal to you. Would I open my old smoke dragon mid-load, pack it full, and leave the house without touching the air controls? .....no. Would I do that with my BK? Every day! :)
     
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