Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Wood Stove Installed

I finally got the big Earth Stove I picked up last year fixed and installed.

This wonderful stove was listed on Craigs List last year for $100. It was built in the 70's with a craftsmanship not seen in today's stoves. None of that silly anti pollution crap for this baby. She is a big plate steel monster who keeps the place warm if not full on hot through the coldest night.  There were some cracks in the corners of the door opening which were repaired with refractory cement and the chimney and stove pipe had to be changed from 6 to 8 inch.

My old stove was nice. Small with a great viewing window but the thing had to be fed every ninety minutes which really sucks when you are trying to get a good nights sleep. Plus I had to burn it as hot as I could to keep the house warm.

I traded the neighbor the old stove for his help in getting the mammoth Earth Stove into the house and set on the hearth. He also threw in a 100 pound propane tank but I have not needed propane heat. He took the small stove and put it in his 26 foot trailers where it keeps him and his dogs toasty warm.

The fire box on the Earth Stove is between three and four times bigger than the small stove plus it has a very efficient air intake damper that allows me to easily control the burn rate and stove temperature.

There is a control knob attached to a metal coil that can be set for low, medium or high. The coil expands as the stove heats up and closes the damper slowing the burn rate. As the stove cools down the coil contracts opening the damper feeding more air into the fire box.  If I want to shut off the airflow almost completely there is a metal cover that drops down over the top of the air intake.

There is an oven thermometer on the top of the stove. On the low setting the stove fluctuates between 220 to 270 degrees depending on where the damper is. Completely dampered down it hovers right around 180 degrees. The cabin is staying between 65 and 75 degrees at night on the lowest setting. Drops down to around 50 degrees when the damper is completely closed which is a great sleeping temperature. 

A full load of wood will burn between 6 and 8 hours with the stove dampered down depending on the wood. I should be able to get that number up to between 10 and 12 hours when I get the damper installed in the stove pipe next week.

The only downside to the new stove is that the door is solid so I cannot see the fire. You know I thought this would bother me but honestly the fact that I can sleep through the night more that makes up for aesthetic deficiency. If I really want to see the fire burning there is a metal mesh screen that came with the stove that can be fit over the open door hole. I have used it on a few occasions and love it but you cannot sleep with it installed.

All in all a wonderful addition for $100 and I wish I would have installed it last winter.


Mayberry said...

Lookin' good Big Bear, that's a hell of a deal you got.

Western Mass. Man said...

Just be more vigilant about creosote.
It builds much faster when the stove runs cooler

HermitJim said...

Now that looks like a really good stove, my friend! I think you got a good deal!

El Puppet Dictator said...

Agent "Big Bear", where do you get these ridiculus images? We know you are mining data for the agency you work for, and in fact you do not live in Colorado and are not even a single individual, but a task force of various government agents. Please stop with the foolish idea that you live in the backwoods and send us images of the large city back East where you people really live and serve your master dictator.

Karl9x said...

Really nice oven Big Bear. How many cords of wood do you anticipate going through this winter?

BigBear said...

I was thinking between 6 and 7 but it will probably be closer to 10 cords.

Anonymous said...

I recently bought a Earth Stove for my house and havent really heard anything about them until I found your web site. I was wondering if you could pot an update on how its working for you. I noticed the last post was about a year ago. Thank You in advance.
Justin from IN

BigBear said...

It's a great stove the wood but it does eat wood.

I load it up about 10 at night close the damper cap and the stove will smolder all night at about 160 degrees.

Next morning pop the damper open and fire comes back to life and heats the house up. On mine the auto damper still works but even on low the thing puts out so much heat I have to close the damper cap.

Be sure you put a damper in the stove pipe a few feet up from the stove if can. This really helps control the heat. Great stove but like I said it does eat wood.

I have been able to get 18 hours out of one load but most run between 12 and 14 hours.

Anonymous said...

I think the Earth Stoves are great. The older technology without a secondary burn means you are using a bit more wood than a modern large firebox stove.

Anonymous said...

I'm running 2 Hearthstone Heritages and they don't put out as much heat each of them, but they are burning much cleaner which means the offgas is being converted into BTU and not wasted up the flue as smoke. Used these stoves were $1200 each, which is not cheap, but nowhere near the new price either.