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Re: Timberline wood stove by Vermont Castings

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Eric Tonks, Oct 22, 2003.

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  1. Eric Tonks

    Eric Tonks Guest

    It seems Timberline is a common stove name. I have a Timberline air tight
    wood stove that I have owned for at least 20 years. I believe it was made in
    Canada. It is easy to identify, the name Timberline is in relief across the
    top of two doors and the bottom 2/3 of the doors has a relief carving of
    mountains and evergreen trees.

    Is this the one you have?
     
  2. I don't have one of those stoves, but I can say from first hand experience that
    a damper on the hot end or in the stovepipe is generally used on colder days to
    create eddies and slow the air flow up the chimney/flue. The colder the day
    the stronger the draft. You can find a fire overheating and consuming fuel too
    quickly if the primary air acts like a jet of oxygen into the burning area.
    Closing the damper slows that jet of air and also reduces the available oxygen
    in the firebox by holding the CO2 and CO in it longer.

    Also, if you only use a primary air control on a super cold day the fire will
    flare when you open the feed door, which could, under some conditions, ignite
    creosote in the flue. Really strong drafts may even create a whistle as the
    draft pulls air through the primary air inlet.

    OTOH, If you close down a damper on a warmer day, the stove will smoke and back
    puff.

    I think you are misreading the phrase -
    I think it more accurately means -
    _If_ the stove gets too hot - up around 500 degrees - you can sometimes close
    the damper to help slow the air flow into the stove and slow the burn. It
    doesn't mean that you should overcharge the firebox and crank the stove up that
    hot on an ongoing basis. If this is a cast stove, you have to be careful about
    temperature extremes that could crack the castings.

    A flue damper is positioned better than any integrated stove damper to slow the
    air flow while allowing the heat to radiate from the flue as well as the stove.
    Also, a flue damper is less likely to be forgotten when the outside temperature
    changes.

    I think you will soon find that properly gauging the amount and type of wood to
    put in the firebox is as much a key to proper burning as controlling the intake
    and damper. Don't overcharge the stove and learning how to use all the
    controls will come naturally.
     
  3. "Cold" in this instance is more like -5 C or 20 degrees F and below, (a lot of
    factors go into determining when to use the damper, including flue diameter,
    fire size, wind, etc.) but other than holding off until it gets a little
    cooler, yeah, you have the general idea.

    Mike had some very good comments as well, especially on being careful with
    clearances. As for someone burning their sugarbush... <sigh> that often means
    another farmer has lost his farm to development or is in dire straits. Maple
    is great wood, but usually is a luxury.

    Since most stoves work on the same principles, I think looking for someone with
    the exact same stove might be going a little overboard. Some people are just
    not comfortable burning wood. It's no big deal if you don't trust your stove.
    If you don't, you could just leave the stove as is, or sell it. A stove should
    work for you, not you for it.
     
  4. Intriguing comments on the flue damper. Are we talking about the same
    thing, i.e. a disk in the stovepipe with a key handle that works like
    a choke?

    If this is what you are referring to, with all due respect, everything
    I've been able to discover or experience leads me to believe that
    these things are a relic from the days of crappy stoves.

    1. My insurance agent said they are now frowned upon,
    2. woodheat.org says they are no longer used, and
    3. in my experience (daily through three Canadian winters) with two
    airtights* I have seen no purpose for a damper of this sort at all.

    * a rather leaky first-generation model and a new, far more
    sophisticated one

    Maybe if I cut my wood-burning teeth when these things were ubiquitous
    (and I know they were) I'd feel differently, but with a good modern
    stove I really can't see the appeal. What am I missing?

    -=s
     
  5. They do help with crappy stoves, but they can also serve a purpose with
    airtights.
    Whatever. If you had said fire chief I might be interested in his reasoning.
    Insurance agents sometimes don't know what they are talking about and babble
    incoherently about idiocies of great importance only to insurance agents. I
    was using hand tests to test for excess heat when insurance companies were
    happy with minimal clearances that dried wood framing to dangerous conditions.
    With cats, I might try to avoid them, but I also have to think that the
    experience of generations counts for something.
    If you don't have a lot of exposed stove pipe, and the primary air control is
    good, that may be true. If, OTOH, you have a fair length of stove pipe, a
    chimney with a really strong draft, a stove where a strong draft pulls air
    through bypassing the fire area and up the flue, or just like being ornery :),
    they can be useful.
    You are missing those mornings when a warm front arrives before you have a
    chance to open the damn thing, and the house fills with smoke. :) Some
    people always operate their open fireplaces with the damper wide open, while
    others will damp down just below the level where the mantle gets smoked. The
    idea is to reduce the air exchange to the minimum needed by the fire, thus
    reducing infiltration of the make-up air. If the stove and the joints are
    tight, and the airflow going into the stove is properly directed, a damper can
    be redundant. However, if you are used to using a damper, it is just second
    nature to nudge it on sub zero days or when the draft starts sucking hard.
    Whatever floats your boat. I happen to like them. If you don't, that's fine
    too.
     
  6. Guest

    I know this conversation is old but I am looking at getting a old timberline stove like you have and was wondering how you liked it and if you still used it, any help would be great I need to make a decision soon
     
  7. EXT

    EXT Guest

    Only get it if it is free, I am the poster who describes the Canadian built
    Timberline stove. After almost 30 years of use, my house insurance company
    wanted a Certificate that it met current regulations. Which it did not. So I
    had to replace it. I bought a Jotul stove. It lights easier than the
    Timberline, burns better even with only one log in it (the Timberline
    refused to burn unless there were two logs almost touching), and uses about
    half the amount of wood that the Timberline used to use for the same heat.
    Things have improved in wood burning. I can't even give the old stove away,
    so we are going to install it on the patio as an outdoor fireplace.
     
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