Kachelofen and Masonry Wood Stoves

For topics about heating with other types of fuel such as wood burners, gas furnaces, oil burners and geothermal heat pumps.
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Post Sat. Oct. 04, 2008 11:14 am

I have a son in Colorado and he is interested in an alternate heat source. I think anthracite is pretty much out of the question. Does anyone here have any experience with this type of stove? Sometimes they are called Russian Stoves or Finnish Stoves or German tile stoves. They can be masonry, ceramic tile or soapstone. The intent is not to have a constant fire burning but 1 to 2 very hot fires per day.
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Post Mon. Oct. 06, 2008 9:00 am

I have no experience with them but we did talk a little about it towards the bottom of this thread Cost of A Cord of Wood.

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Post Mon. Oct. 06, 2008 7:51 pm

Yes, I have a soapstone stove. 6000 pounds worth, and it is fantastic. Mine has a bake oven in it as well, though rather than fire it, I often use the residual heat from the main firebox to be my slow-cooker. I fire it once or twice a day, depending on the weather. How much I fire it also depends on the weather... between 30 and 60 pounds, but also depends on the type of wood I'm burning. Dry wood is absolutely imperative. More firing or more wood is wasteful and ineffective. Burn it hot and fast and shut it down. I can fire it hot at night and in the morning, the soapstone in places will still be too hot to lean against. I use maybe 6 crumpled pages of newspaper, under a criss-crossed stack of wood, light a match, and within a minute, it's fully a-blaze.

My ONLY regret with it is that I didn't have them put some piping through it that I could join onto my boiler system to carry that heat into other parts of the house.

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Post Tue. Oct. 07, 2008 12:35 pm

I continue to learn so much about this "lost" technology as a result of being a member of this wonderful forum. I would love to convert my 2 fireplaces!!! :-)

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Post Tue. Oct. 21, 2008 10:24 am

Adamiscold wrote:I have no experience with them but we did talk a little about it towards the bottom of this thread Cost of A Cord of Wood.
Hey thats my post :D

I love the thing. I had a chimney cleaner come yesterday and he rant and raved about it, so did my house inspector when I bought the house. The locals said "You bought the house with that russian fireplace, your going to love that thing.".

The only thing mine needs to improve it is door vents and more clean out ports. These stoves are amazing.

I burn an arm full of split dry (<20%) hardwood with the draft full open and door open a hair (that increases the speed of the air thru it). I use just a little piece of a fire starter. Within 1.5 hours, the fire is out and its just coals. I then use a garden hoe to push the coals to the rear, close the door, and close draft so its only 1/2 an inch open. That traps the heat in the stove.

Assume I am starting this when the brick isn't warm.. it takes about 3 hours for them to start to feel warm. In about 8 hours its almost too hot to touch. Now that was the morning fire, I start the second fire at night say around 6 p.m. Then its peak heat output is in the middle of the night.

These stoves go against everything you would assume. The point is to have a short, HOT, fire that burns efficiently. Mine has been used 30 years and the cleaner yesterday said there was NO creosote buildup. DRY hardwood is a must and so are short hot fires.

The bricks trap the heat and emit it long after the fire is out. IMO, this is also safer than a normal wood stove.

The biggest perk of all is that the firewood consumption is a HUGE amount less than a normal wood stove. Normal wood stoves shoot most their heat out the chimney. MAsonary stoves are super efficient and also provide a more even heat.

Certain masonary stoves are better than others, designs and what not. And of course some cost alot more than others. I am told mine works great until it gets into the negatives outside, then it needs some help, and thats where the coal stove comes in.

I have been reading up on these alot and I seen one design that uses pellets! It traps the heat from a burn of pellets!

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Post Tue. Jun. 19, 2012 8:15 am

Interesting article on these kinds of stoves.
http://www.countrysidemag.com/issues/89/89-6/Bruc ... kratz.html

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Post Tue. Aug. 21, 2012 11:23 pm

franco b
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Post Wed. Aug. 22, 2012 2:16 pm

Actually these stoves burn very inefficiently because of the massive amount of excess air they use. They compensate for that by equally massive heat absorbing surface to bring the overall efficiency rating very high.

An outside air supply would be better still.

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Post Wed. Aug. 22, 2012 4:02 pm

I have spent hundreds of hours researching these. I went to extremes, even had my eastern european friends translate web pages for me. In my opinion, these stoves are suited best for their places of origin, not here in the states.

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Post Thu. Aug. 23, 2012 12:33 pm

Colorado has lots of good bit coal that is ideal for use in a stoker. Many homes in colorado are still heated by a clean, efficient, and very inexpensive bituminous stoker fired heating system. Look on craigslist and local classifieds, there are lots of them for sale on a regular basis throughout the state.
Burning western Pennsylvania Bituminous in WNY using model 77 stoker furnace. BITUMINOUS equiptment: 2 hand fired stoves of my own design, Many Combustioneer Model 77 stokers, stokermatic furnace, Many Will-Burt stokers, & and Two Iron firemen.

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