Wood Stove question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by almostthere, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    Ok so I won't make this post too long---dh and I have agreed that we will get a wood stove. It may not be until next winter, but I am hoping he will change his mind and get it in sooner. Anyway, the one he has picked out is called "Wonderwood". It can be seen at http://www.usstove.com/ ....we will be able to buy it locally and much cheaper...but the same stove. He is trained in HVAC so intalling it won't be an issue. We would like to use this as a back up and gradully use it for the whole winter, as our stock pile of wood allows. Our current heater is 3 yrs old, gas, and does a decent job. Its not the heater, its the problem of the house not being insulated well. We should fix that problem by the end of this comming summer. Using a wood stove will help us save a great deal of $$$, as we have access to timber on a friends' lot. So, thoughts on this type of heater? Horror stories? Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    The first thing that I noticed about the Wonderwood stove is how light it is (about 250 lbs.) IMHO, any decent woodstove should weight in the 400 to 500 lb range. This weight comes from the use of heavy plate steel (1/4 to 5/16 -inch) and lots of firebrick. I'm wondering if the Wonderwood stove isn't make out of sheet metal?

    Also, I like to adjust the air dampers on my stove by myself. On the Wonderwood it is automatic (thermostatically controlled). What this results in is a lot of slow burns once the house is heated up. Slow burns can result in more creosote build-up in the chimney.
     

  3. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Looks somewhat akin to an Ashley.

    I've been heating the house with wood for the last 20 years. When I first put the stove in, I considered an Ashley, but the wife wanted something that looked good. I wanted something that performed.

    I wound up with a Hearthstone, a green soapstone and cast iron heater. After I learned how to operate it (soapstone is another world, where you always think an hour ahead), I wouldn't trade it for a brass monkey.

    Best money I ever spent.
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cabin made a valid point that can sour the use of a wood burning stove or furnace. We had an oil and wood combination furnace. It was just great other than the creosote problem. The oil fire would even light the wood fire as the flames passed over the wood. When the house got warm the thermostat shut down the damper on the furnace. This stopped most of the air going to the chimney. The smoke slowly went up letting it cool off right in the chimney. When wood smoke cools in the chimney the creosote condenses into liquid and deposits its self onto the chimney walls eventualy plugging the chimney. I can tell you for sure that is not anything you want to happen. Its true that dry cured wood will create less creosote, BUT it is also true that the driest hardwood will still plug a chimney if the smoke is always cool going up it.
    I cast my vote for manual opperated dampers. A real hot chimney at least once per day is a good thing Martha.
     
  5. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I think I've had a stove like that years ago.Like Cabin said I would rather adjust the Draft myself.You will have to check and replace Fire Brick every so often thats no problem.

    The last heater we had was an Ashley I couldn't get it to heat good enough for me.Went and got a cheap Cast Iron Heater,put blower in the Flue Pipe to draw the heat off it.It does great.

    If you are venting your Gas heater out a Brick Flue,to use it for Wood you will probably have to have it relined.If it was me I would just use Triple Wall Flue Pipe

    big rockpile
     
  6. River

    River Well-Known Member

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    We had a Wonderwood wood stove at one time. It is a light duty stove. During cold, windy spells, I used to have to keep it on the edge of meltdown to keep the house warm. I added an extra chain to the damper door so I could control it when I wanted to.

    I finally destroyed the stove trying to get a size 8 log through the size 6 door. I bent the doorway so the door wouldn't seal.

    Personally, I would not have another one. I agree with what has been said, pay the extra for a heavy, high-quality stove and you won't be sorry.

    River
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm used to a water boiler furnace up here in Minnesota that needs 140,000btu, not a single room wood stove of 1/3 that so I hated to say too much, but it sure looks light to me as well. I'd want something a little more substantial. Your bigger expense will be the chimney anyhow.

    --->Paul
     
  8. Kung

    Kung Administrator Staff Member Supporter

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    I've got a Franklin stove in our house, and I absolutely LOVE it.

    I also have a chimney brush to clean all the creosote out of it at season's end; but then again, when we burn our fires, it's usually REAL hot, so we don't have much of a creosote problem at all. :)
     
  9. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    I too would prefer one that looks nice but for now its more a matter of performance. We found an Ashley in the paper and that got me started looking for "box" type heaters. Still looking tho, hoping to make a decision soon.
     
  10. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    To cure the creasode problem I opened the cleanout on my chimney which was in the basement that allowed a high airflow up the chimney and never had a problem after that.


    mikell
     
  11. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    It is not a matter of either-or when it comes to performance.

    There are many very good-looking stoves on the market, that perform well. A btu is a btu. Burn time with a full load is burn time.

    As for the chimney being the most expensive part - probably not. Single wall within the primary room, transitioning to triple wall on up, if the run is through the attic spaces and up. As long as you clean it out periodically, and have it professionally inspected every few years, it should give great service, and is not horrible expensive to re-do.

    Another half-cents worth....(must allow for inflation)...
     
  12. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    This doesn't look like a job I would want to do all by myself, LOL!! i'm so glad dh is trained in this kind of stuff. Keeping cleaned of cresote is good advice. The last thing I want to do is burn the house down. We had another power outage last night for about an hour and it gets cold in here real fast.
     
  13. Smelt

    Smelt Active Member

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    We bought our farm in June of 2001. There was a USStove/Wonderwood attached to a masonry chimmny via a short 8" pipe. I researched the stove on the Internet as I thought the automatic damper was broken (it was). I ended up making it manual using a little piece of wire.

    After two pretty chilly winters (recently didn't see above 0 for three weeks) I must say the little bugger heats like a banshee. I know it's not effeicent, kind of light weight and aesthetically blah...but it really cranks the heat. We burn pallet ends and wood from our woodlot. It will hold a burn of maybe 6 hours if evrything is right. I see these stoves at the local feed store for $500 or so. If wood usage was a concern I'd buy a Jotul or the like.
     
  14. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    Getting wood won't be an issue. I'm glad to hear something good about this stove, as my dh really likes it. We found it at one of those rural supply stores. We don't have a chimney---we will have to vnt out the roof and build from scratch. The stove board isnt all that expensive either. He wanted to vent out the window-but was afraid it wouldn't be up to code. He doesnt want to remove the window-just build an insert. Well I say no chimney but we do have one-its just in use right now...with the current heater, but we don't have room for both and he doesnt want to get rid of the gas heater. We will be taking the wood stove when we sell, hopefully within the next year.
     
  15. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Those are just room warmers. they really cant stand up to continual use.
    Light weight, little mass to keep heating after fire goes out. If your looking for a good whole house wood stove then get one with some mass behind it.