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With electric bills expected to go up 70% over the next three to five years, I guess I'll get one. We have lots of woods. My wife doesn't want one that is too rustic looking, so there goes my pot belly stove I wanted. It needs to be free standing. Any advice?
 

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I can't really say I have ever heard of a bad woodstove. Some people don't like the modern airtight catalytic stoves but I have never had any problems with my top loader Vermont Castings. The "soapstone" stoves look great and retain heat well but they are expensive. Had a Consolidated Dutchwest stove for years. The only reason I sold it was that it was getting old and I wanted a top loader. Also, the blower motors on the CD stove were burning out all the time. Before that I had a huge "pot bellied" stove that simply threw out too much heat and was hard to control. The airtights are much easier to regulate, in my opinion. Since I have a small house, I don't need a nuclear reactor for a woodstove. I'm sure other opinions will follow.
 

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Animis opibusque parati
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I have a fireplace, I have been seriously considering a insert with a blower.....

No doubt heating costs are going to be through the roof, just like gas

One suggestion, look on your local craigslist, sometimes there can ve some decent deals!
 

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i just posted a thread on how to make your own outdoor wood oven, i didn't see your thread until after i posted, otherwise i would have posted it here.
 

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Spooky
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I've only owned 1 wood stove but I can say it's been very reliable and tight: a Vermont Castings Dutchwest. They're not as perdy as the standard fancy line of VC stoves with the enameled coating but they sure get the job done.
 

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Almost home
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We have a Dutchwest/Vermont Castings "small convection" catalytic stove that we run 24/7 during the cold months. This one is in its second season. We had a Dutchwest Federal model A that we ran 24/7 for 19 years, and I know is still going strong in its 22nd season. Very similar model.
I like this stove for several reasons:
it will take a 19" piece of wood, most other small stoves 16-18"
creosote buildup is low with the catalytic (1/3 paper bag for season from 32' liner length)
side and front load, front door can be opened for fireplace look
doesn't look too industrial
clear glass front door
cook surface on top
easy 8-10 hour burn
internal ash pan
modest price
US made
This is a free standing stove, they make two larger versions of it, it happens to fit nicely in a fireplace.
 

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Grouchy Infidel
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PE Alderlea T6, big enough to heat a massive space but controllable in that with proper use you can have lower output and longer burns without overheating.

The cooking surface and the warming trays are just icing on the cake.
Capable of 97.000 BTUs an hour, will take a 20" log so less splitting and less work on the chainsaw, box will hold 60#s of wood. Damp down and burn long...




 

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i prefer the jotuls.
i have a jotul 404 cookstove in my kitchen. it's tiny, but very heavy, efficient and very lovely.
my little jotul 204 heats my whole house.
 

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Preparing since 1972
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With electric bills expected to go up 70% over the next three to five years, I guess I'll get one. We have lots of woods. My wife doesn't want one that is too rustic looking, so there goes my pot belly stove I wanted. It needs to be free standing. Any advice?
I have a pot belly it is a replica of the 1870's RR stoves..I purchased it from Northern Tool about 5 years ago..It is rated at about 220,000 btu...It heats up real fast..Two proplems though u should be aware of....It is not air tight so cannot be dampered down enough..Every 2 1/2 or 3 hours you have to add wood...This is a real pain in cold weather...Also the maximum log length is 18 inches.....I would look into a soap stone stove...They cost alot but are worth it...That will be my next stove....I do love my pot belly for nostalgic sake.....
 

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i have just replaced my Vermont which i loved with a cheaper united states stove company "wonder coal" model it has a shaker grate that is supposed to make it easy to burn coal. i have been buying coal in 40 pound bags for it and have decided that coal is a nicer longer burn, how ever no local source for coal is avail. to me. in order to get anthracite coal to burn it is best to have a full bed of wood coals before putting in the coal.
the burn time of the coal is better than the wood . but wood will still have coals burning after 8-10 hrs. while gone to work all day.
they also make a wonderwood model if no coal is avail. but i thought why not get it as their are very little difference between the two years ago i had a ashley model that was almost the same design wise. these stoves allow a massive amount of wood to be loaded and an extremely long burn time. great for going hunting or fishing all day and still being able to get home and throw in the next load of wood. coal should be even better. haven't really loaded up on coal yet as one full gallon milk jug seems to burn almost all day at 0- 25 degree outside temps this is on top of a base of wood coals also i have taken to putting a log on top of the coal when i put the coal in.if i put 2 jugs of coal i really don't know,but turned down i expect it would go for at least 18 hrs. haven't tried it yet as it almost cooked me out at 6 degrees f. over the holidays i think i like coal . the good thing about coal i s it stores out side wet or dry, it comes 40lbs for 7$ more expensive than wood but nice if you have a all day mission to complete. no cutting splitting i think i am going to get a truckload for that reason alone .i really loved my defiant encore catalytic but it developed a air leak that i could not find. i totally regasketed it , and replaced a couple cast panels as it would run wild if you emptied the ashes. i had to keep it 1/3 rd full of ash to keep it from running wild for the last two years. it was purchased used 8 years ago and the previous owner had over fired it at least once i suspect that is what warped the cast panels . my parrents have the same stove purchased new and they have no problems after 7 years of use. if you are in coal country the wonder coal is a great stove at a great price 650$ at TSC.
any hints or tips from other owners please chime in my old king was 16 years old when the sheet metal had to be patched. the fire brick does a good job. and you can just keep patching it i did twice before i moved it to the garage.
 

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Couple of points to consider as I got an insert last year. I wish I had a full stove instead of an insert. With a stove more of it is into the room, including part of the exhaust pipe, radiating more heat into the house. A blower is nice, but does not replace the shear mass of having the whole stove in the room radiating heat. And I constantly wish I had an ash pan.
 

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forgot something

i have just replaced my Vermont which i loved with a cheaper united states stove company "wonder coal" model it has a shaker grate that is supposed to make it easy to burn coal. i have been buying coal in 40 pound bags for it and have decided that coal is a nicer longer burn, how ever no local source for coal is avail. to me. in order to get anthracite coal to burn it is best to have a full bed of wood coals before putting in the coal.
the burn time of the coal is better than the wood . but wood will still have coals burning after 8-10 hrs. while gone to work all day.
they also make a wonderwood model if no coal is avail. but i thought why not get it as their are very little difference between the two years ago i had a ashley model that was almost the same design wise. these stoves allow a massive amount of wood to be loaded and an extremely long burn time. great for going hunting or fishing all day and still being able to get home and throw in the next load of wood. coal should be even better. haven't really loaded up on coal yet as one full gallon milk jug seems to burn almost all day at 0- 25 degree outside temps this is on top of a base of wood coals also i have taken to putting a log on top of the coal when i put the coal in.if i put 2 jugs of coal i really don't know,but turned down i expect it would go for at least 18 hrs. haven't tried it yet as it almost cooked me out at 6 degrees f. over the holidays i think i like coal . the good thing about coal i s it stores out side wet or dry, it comes 40lbs for 7$ more expensive than wood but nice if you have a all day mission to complete. no cutting splitting i think i am going to get a truckload for that reason alone .i really loved my defiant encore catalytic but it developed a air leak that i could not find. i totally regasketed it , and replaced a couple cast panels as it would run wild if you emptied the ashes. i had to keep it 1/3 rd full of ash to keep it from running wild for the last two years. it was purchased used 8 years ago and the previous owner had over fired it at least once i suspect that is what warped the cast panels . my parrents have the same stove purchased new and they have no problems after 7 years of use. if you are in coal country the wonder coal is a great stove at a great price 650$ at TSC.
any hints or tips from other owners please chime in my old king was 16 years old when the sheet metal had to be patched. the fire brick does a good job. and you can just keep patching it i did twice before i moved it to the garage.
also you can cook on it i make some awsome sauce in the fall and spring when i burn lighter as it is warmer out. i simmer canned tomatoes and spices to make spagettie sauce 12 to 14 hours raviolie sauce 18 to 36 hours spectacular flavor.. this is one of the main reasons i got it instead of another vermont that and it was 1/3 the price of the vermont also idont have the welding expertise to weld cast but sheet metal is easy to fix .
 

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Any stove that can also burn coal. I'm in Southern Ohio, near the river. Thousands of tons a day travel down that river -- from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky. There's a metric butt-load of coal in my area.

I currently burn wood 'cause I can (and have for years) scrounged enough to get it all for free ( for values of "free" that include zero $$$ but a lot of manual labor). If there ever comes a day I can't get free wood, coal is mucho cheapo 'round here. I can heat my place for less than 1/2 the cost of the propane central heat we have if I'm using coal. For zero cost if I'm using wood.

It's always a good idea to have a backup plan. Mine's this: (1) Wood, when I can get it, is free (haven't had a year yet where I couldn't get enough, but that may change soon). (2) Coal, it's cheap and effective. (3) The old propane fueled central heat that the house was built with.


We chose a Harman a few years back that's rated for both coal and wood. Has served us well and will for many more years.
 

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I've had a couple different stoves. I'd suggest a cast iron fire box and one you can get a good size piece of wood into. Ones with air intake under the grate worked better for me. The ash fell through the grate better ,all on it's own ,and the air intake vent would control heat better.
 

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I have several different woodstoves and I can tell you my favorite, bar none, is a soapstone woodstove. I was gone for four days one time, came home, stirred the coals and threw some small wood on it and within five minutes had a good blaze going. They will hold the heat for days and days. I actually have never been gone long enough for them to not be warm when I came home. And a good hot fire in one will clean the chimeny because there's enough heat to do it. It's just my opinion, but except for my kitchen stoves I'm slowly replacing all my woodburners with soapstone.
 
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