soapstone stoves

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Carol O, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Carol O

    Carol O Active Member

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    Anybody have a soapstone stove? What are the benefits over a traditional wood
    stove, are there any disadvantages?
    Carol
     
  2. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of a soapstone stove! As I understand soapstone,it would not be very good for a stove, but would be more suited for carved pipes & such.
     

  3. I would love to have a soap stone wood stove if I could afford one. Purty pricey! But I think they are beautiful stoves, with the front windows to look through and watch the fire burn. Just like having a fireplace but with better heating. They send me brochures every so often and reading them they claim the stone holds the heat much longer then cast iron does. Most stove heaters now days the fire boxes are made out of heavy tin, when the fire goes completely out so does your heat. I would say if you could afford it, buy it.
     
  4. iblast

    iblast Member

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    :worship: I have a Woodstock soapstone stove. I does a great job keeping my house warm. The soapstone retains heat very well. They are a good investment. You can get a neat fan that is powered by heat from the stove. It moves 125 cubic feet of air a minute. You can see them at www.realgoods.com .
    What ever stove you use, make sure the chimney is installed right.
     
  5. iblast

    iblast Member

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    :) I missed one other neat thing about the stove in the last post. You can cook on the top. By using a trivit between the top of the stove and the bowl or pan. You can control the heat level .
    A good stove install will include a catalytic conveter. The converter will give more heat to the stove and have a cleaner burn.
    That means more bang for your buck. :haha:
     
  6. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

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    I rented a home that was built around soapstone stove. The only disadvantage I can think of was that it took a long time to heat up when started cold. Otherwise it was great and easily heated the whole 1800sq ft house.
     
  7. iblast

    iblast Member

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    Diane, you are right. The stove is slow to get heated up. But once the stove is hot it holds heat for a long time. I loaded my stove late last night and it's still warm. Like I said it's a good investment. :worship:
     
  8. Dawndra

    Dawndra I'm back

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    We want to get one for our new house... I've read lots on them & love everything I've read.
     
  9. iblast

    iblast Member

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    Look around on net and in your area. You might find a used stove.
    I'am a chimney sweep and have found a lot of good deals. I have been working on a plan to buy used stoves. Then offering them at a good price.
    I'am also going to build a HASA to heat my shop, studio, greenhouse and home. Load the furnace every three days and stay warm as you want to be. :worship:
     
  10. Belle

    Belle Active Member

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    HASA ?????

    and are we talking the soapstone from India? or maybe an american local stone?
     
  11. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    The idea behind the soapstone stove is what makes them marketable and everyone thinks they are great. But there is a downside. First thing is the weight of the stove. The second is the price of the stove. Now that you've justified that here is the working downfall of the stove. The stove takes a long time for the stove itself to heat up, therefore it also takes a long time for the stove to cool down. This is great if you live in a very cold climate in a cold drafty house. If you live anywhere that the temperatures warm up a little during the day or in a very tight well insulated house the stove will drive you out of there. Once it heats up you have this large mass of heat that just keeps on giving. Letting the fire die down will have a slow effect on the heat output.
     
  12. iblast

    iblast Member

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    Woodstock Soapstone stove made right here in the good old USA
     
  13. Well this has been a interesting thread. I've always wanted a soapstone stove but the way everyone is talking about how long they keep putting out heat maybe a problem here where I live. It can be sunny and 70 degrees and then in an hours time drop to 30 degrees or we can wake up to 30 degrees and by the time 3:00 p.m. rolls around it maybe sunny and 70 degrees. Maybe I'll just go back to wanting a outside wood furnace or just keep my old tin box.
     
  14. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

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    Our experience on our Woodstock soapstone stove is that the residual heat dissipates in a couple of hours. Your issue will be when to let the fire die out, not having excess heat in the room. These stoves are great. You can dissipate any room's heat in a few minutes with an open door. Don't let these discussions scare you off of a quality product. The woodburning alternative is the extreme temperature swings of cast iron. How is that better?
     
  15. Oh I think I'll go ahead and get one anyway as soon as I can afford it. I'm hopeing to build a new home in the next few years and I will probably have central heat and air. But I would shore like to have a soapstone stove inside because of the beauty and help save on the fuel bill. Right now I burn totally nothing but wood, no gas, no electricity heat.
     
  16. marcath

    marcath Active Member

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    I also like the look of soapstone stoves. But can anybody tell me if you can get a soapstone fireplace insert?

    I have a traditional fireplace and am wanting to put a insert in it next year to make it more efficient. We enjoy looking at the flames dancing, so a window in the front would be much desired.

    Anybody know if soapstone stoves can be used as an insert? OR can anybody recommend a really good stove insert, perferably with a viewing window?
     
  17. bee

    bee WV , hilltop dweller Supporter

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    go to hearthstonestoves.com , I have one of their freestanding models, best 1000 dollars I spent 17 years ago..just this year had to replace the guts( let the fire get away from me once too often and burned out the grid in the top and melted the back inside shield)...LOVE this stove!!! :worship: they also make fireplace inserts....sad to say that the stone available now is all gray, I understand that the deposit that yielded my lovely dark brown is all mined out...if your gaskets are in good shape these will hold coals over 13 hours from a full load and radiate heat longer than that, mine does not take forever to start giving off heat either. My stove has a front double door set up( with glass and I bought the optional wire screen that allowes use like a fireplace)also an end door for ease of loading and a pull out ash pan...when I got it it was the mid size model, cast iron with brown enamel and brown stone... :D
     
  18. Sedition

    Sedition Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I’ve also been trying to find a soapstone stove, but one that does not have a catalytic converter.

    Catalytics are fine, but they are also expensive to replace (several hundred) and wear out after a few years. A stove with bad or removed catalytic is less efficient that one that is designed to not use it in the first place. Because I live more or less, and will continue to live, in the sticks the drawbacks of the catalytic out weigh the benefits (less wood – wood is free for me, less smoke – I like smoke!). Catalytic are great if you live in California or another nazish eco-state, but pointless if you live in the backwoods.

    Hearthstone is supposed to have a non-catalytic soapstone stove, that costs significantly less than the Woodstock. Personally, I like the look of the Woodstock stoves much better, but when I called them, they said that they didn’t have any wood burning models without a catalytic – which shoots my primary goal of cheap heat in the foot. So I’ll be stuck with a Hearthstone if I can’t find something better before I’m ready to put it in this spring.
     
  19. Carol O

    Carol O Active Member

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    I don't think too much heat will be a problem here in NW Iowa :haha: We plan to get one of these next Summer...
    Carol
     
  20. PACrofter

    PACrofter Well-Known Member

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    MD / PA
    We finally broke down and bought a soapstone woodstove this past spring, and it's great! It can take a while to heat up the stone, but once that's warm it radiates heat for hours. I can load it up at night when I hit the sack (around 9:30) and there's a great bed of coals when I get up around 4:30. Take a look at the particular model we bought:

    http://www.hearthstonestoves.com/Stoves/Wood/index.cfm?Prod=Homestead

    It was pricey, but so far well worth the effort. The biggest problem was the installation; I had to have the flue relined, and I hemmed and hawed for months because I didn't want to shell out the bucks for that. But I finally had someone come in and do it right, and now I'm glad I did. They put in the 6" stainless steel pipe, cemented it in place, the whole nine yards -- and it makes for perfect conditions to set up a draft and get a good fire going. The stove we bought does not use a catalytic converter -- I wanted to avoid the necessity of replacing it, as another poster mentioned.

    We have a medium-sized home and we're trying to heat with wood as much as possible. We still keep the oil tank topped off for backup, but we've only had to use it a couple of times. We're using up a lot of wood (well-seasoned oak), and burning through our supply more quickly than I thought we would (puns intended), and we might even run out this winter. Part of the problem is that they guy we bought our wood from shortchanged us -- we paid for two cords, and got 1.4 cords plus a lot of garbage (bark, dirt, even rocks). Since he dumped it from his truck in our driveway, I wasn't able to estimate the amount of wood until I got it stacked. We won't be buying from him again! I've actually scavenged quite a bit of wood after the storms that came through here last fall, so I think I have about two years' supply on hand.

    Overall, it was a great investment and it'll reduce our use of fossil fuel for years. It won't get us out of the Middle East, but it's a step in the right direction.