Which stove would you recommend for the following?

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MaverickH1

New Member
Nov 3, 2021
19
Virginia
I want a reliable, simple wood stove for burning split wood. I would love for it to have a glass window and be wide instead of long. (Think wide like the double door Fisher Grandpa Bear instead of the single door Mama Bear)

I don't want any EPA stuff on it. I just want it to work for 30 years with regular cleanings, firebrick replacement, possibly gasket replacement, etc.

I loved the look and utility of the Vermont Castings Defiant Encore that I just went to look at, but then when I saw how complicated it was internally and how expensive it would be to rebuild, I ran away from it.

I also just looked at a Hearthstone Bennington where the doors couldn't even close properly. It seemed like it was junk. But it looked pretty!

Looking forward to the expert opinions.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,318
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
There are many stoves out there that are EPA certified yet simple and robust in construction, and all of these stoves will be more efficient than a Fisher. Given your requirements we can rule out the catalytic and hybrid models, but there are a variety of non-catalytic stoves that will fit the bill.

Do you want a modern looking stove or the more traditional cast iron stoves? How big of an area are you heating and how well insulated is the house? Is there already a chinney to connect to, or will that be new as well?
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,318
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Given that you are looking at the Fisher Grandpa Bear, have a look at the Drolet HT-3000, it is probably the most similar in looks, but is a large stove and would be overkill for a smaller space. It's also a simple tube stove and would be very reliable for many years.
 

MaverickH1

New Member
Nov 3, 2021
19
Virginia
There are many stoves out there that are EPA certified yet simple and robust in construction, and all of these stoves will be more efficient than a Fisher. Given your requirements we can rule out the catalytic and hybrid models, but there are a variety of non-catalytic stoves that will fit the bill.

Do you want a modern looking stove or the more traditional cast iron stoves? How big of an area are you heating and how well insulated is the house? Is there already a chinney to connect to, or will that be new as well?
The house is 2000 sq ft, just a single story house. Built in 2000, so the insulation is decent.

Stove location is planned to be here in the house:

LtwJj0r.png


I don't mind some more efficient burning as long as it is a time tested system. For example, if there is just additional chambers/voids that have to be vacuumed out every now and then, that'd be fine with me. But part of the issue seems to be when looking for used stoves that nobody ever did that to the stoves and that many of them are damaged to the extent that I don't know what will need to be replaced until I take it apart.

On the Vermont Castings Defiant Encore I looked at for example, some people said to expect the $375 refractory to last 10 years and have to be replaced regularly. And if it's not replaced, there were stories of stoves not holding temperatures well, overheating, etc. Then on the Defiant Encore the cat is of course already spent ($200), the semi-complicated thermostat control felt like it was broken, etc.

I also don't want a stove that is extremely picky about wood moisture content.

As far as appearance, my wife and I both loved the classic look of the Vermont Castings Defiant Encore, although we didn't like the green enamel. But it seems like I want the simplicity/reliability of the Fishers.

Looking forward to information.
 

MaverickH1

New Member
Nov 3, 2021
19
Virginia
Given that you are looking at the Fisher Grandpa Bear, have a look at the Drolet HT-3000, it is probably the most similar in looks, but is a large stove and would be overkill for a smaller space. It's also a simple tube stove and would be very reliable for many years.
Watching videos on this now.

Also found a Century FW3000 locally that might fit the bill. Seems like it's the same manufacturer that makes the Drolet.

245000178_4563281900424989_3035386886679518497_n.jpg
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,318
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Unfortunately all the modern stoves require wood with a moisture content of 20% or less, this is simply what is required to burn the wood cleanly and completely. Most newer stoves won't burn well when the moisture starts creeping above this.

If you like the look of cast iron I would point you toward the Pacific Energy Alderlea. It's a non-catalytic model with no refractory or catalysts to replace. For maintenance door gaskets and firebrick will be about it, eventually it will need a new stainless baffle, but my parents PE stove went 13 years and burnt over 50 cords of wood before it needed to be replaced.

I can't really help you when it comes to older stoves, I just don't know much about them. For me it's a non-starter anyway, Canada requires all stoves installed to meet the current emissions standards.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,318
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Watching videos on this now.

Also found a Century FW3000 locally that might fit the bill. Seems like it's the same manufacturer that makes the Drolet.

245000178_4563281900424989_3035386886679518497_n.jpg

Yes that century has the same firebox as the HT-3000.

I suspect that wood stove is going to be on the large side for your house, it has a 3.5cuft firebox and may cook you out of the house.
I am heating 2250sqft in a much colder climate with a 2.4cuft firebox, I could go up to a 3cuft stove but that would be about it. I don't think I'd want larger than 3cuft for your house either.

Edit: Not the same as the HT-3000, see my post below.
 
Last edited:

MaverickH1

New Member
Nov 3, 2021
19
Virginia
Yes that century has the same firebox as the HT-3000.

I suspect that wood stove is going to be on the large side for your house, it has a 3.5cuft firebox and may cook you out of the house. I am heating 2250sqft in a much colder climate with a 2.4cuft firebox, I could go up to a 3cuft stove but that would be about it. I don't think I'd want larger than 3cuft for your house either.
That's interesting because the Home Depot advertisement for this stove says it's suggested for 500-2000 sq ft.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,840
central pa
The house is 2000 sq ft, just a single story house. Built in 2000, so the insulation is decent.

Stove location is planned to be here in the house:

LtwJj0r.png


I don't mind some more efficient burning as long as it is a time tested system. For example, if there is just additional chambers/voids that have to be vacuumed out every now and then, that'd be fine with me. But part of the issue seems to be when looking for used stoves that nobody ever did that to the stoves and that many of them are damaged to the extent that I don't know what will need to be replaced until I take it apart.

On the Vermont Castings Defiant Encore I looked at for example, some people said to expect the $375 refractory to last 10 years and have to be replaced regularly. And if it's not replaced, there were stories of stoves not holding temperatures well, overheating, etc. Then on the Defiant Encore the cat is of course already spent ($200), the semi-complicated thermostat control felt like it was broken, etc.

I also don't want a stove that is extremely picky about wood moisture content.

As far as appearance, my wife and I both loved the classic look of the Vermont Castings Defiant Encore, although we didn't like the green enamel. But it seems like I want the simplicity/reliability of the Fishers.

Looking forward to information.
Honestly most modern stoves are pretty simple and reliable. The ones that aren't are the down draft style ones like Vermont castings and Harman. If you like the classic look of cast iron stoves look at jotul Hampton Napoleon and probably others that people will suggest.
 

MaverickH1

New Member
Nov 3, 2021
19
Virginia
Honestly most modern stoves are pretty simple and reliable. The ones that aren't are the down draft style ones like Vermont castings and Harman. If you like the classic look of cast iron stoves look at jotul Hampton Napoleon and probably others that people will suggest.
Unfortunately our budget is to find a used one. That used Century FW3000 I mentioned above seems like it fits the bill at $500. There's just the $50 air tubes at the top that might need to be replaced, and the baffle above those according to another poster somewhere else on the forum. And of course the fire bricks and gaskets. That'd be easy enough to have on hand.

I think the Vermont Castings Defiant Encore that I looked at just had me a bit worried about stoves since I'm not familiar with how many of them function.
 

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
703
Wildwood MO
The air tubes last a long time unless its been abused, consistently over fired. I would imagine you would find a used Buck stove or two for sale near you being they are made in your area.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,318
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
That's interesting because the Home Depot advertisement for this stove says it's suggested for 500-2000 sq ft.

Sorry, for some reason I was thinking of the FW3500, the 3000 is the 2.4cuft firebox, which is the exact same firebox that I have in my Osburn and is also the same found in many Drolet models like the 1800i. For what you are after I believe it will suit your needs.

If it's in good shape $500 is reasonable considering the time of year and the fact that there are shortages on new stoves this year.

If it needs a new baffle I suggest you look up the Osburn part number for that firebox to get the C-Cast version, they last longer than the Vermiculite baffles they come with.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,840
central pa
Unfortunately our budget is to find a used one. That used Century FW3000 I mentioned above seems like it fits the bill at $500. There's just the $50 air tubes at the top that might need to be replaced, and the baffle above those according to another poster somewhere else on the forum. And of course the fire bricks and gaskets. That'd be easy enough to have on hand.

I think the Vermont Castings Defiant Encore that I looked at just had me a bit worried about stoves since I'm not familiar with how many of them function.
The century is a good stove. If the tube needs replaced though I would check it out closely for signs of overfiring
 

MaverickH1

New Member
Nov 3, 2021
19
Virginia
I watched classified ads for maybe 3 weeks once we were certain we wanted a wood stove. We couldn't shake my wife's desire for something beautiful since it was going to be a centerpiece in the living room of the small house.

I ended up finding a Dutchwest 2181 that was in great shape. It was simple enough for me to be confident in getting it. I think I'll just get 2 catalytic combustors so I always have 6-14 years of service in reserve.

I almost bought an old Squire stove that is almost impossible to find info on. I had planned on adding a secondary burn system to it. But ultimately I started reading about the potential issues of having a home insurance claim cancelled because of "non-UL compliant stove modifications" or something similar. It scared me enough to just buy a regular stove.

The Dutchwest is what we settled on from the options we had available. $400 seemed like a very fair price for a stove in this great of condition. It was at a lake house where I doubt it was hardly ever used. Most of the houses in that area are owned by wealthy people who use the homes for vacation only. I'd be surprised if this fireplace had a cord of wood burned in its entire life.

I've taken it to my shop to do a complete rebuild, and I'll start a build thread on that when it gets going. The picture below is with doors removed to make it lighter for transport.

ZcyXT6L.jpg