does anyone use a soapstone wood stove?

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by jash, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    We want to replace our 1970's woodburner, and we were thinking about soapstone stoves. Has anyone used them? Would you recommend them? We use wood as our primary heating with a fuel oil back up. Since there is almost always someone home, loading is not a problem. Do they work as good as they say?
  2. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    they do and are heavy, and cost. But are good. where do you live? hardwood or softwood? thats another thing to think about.
  3. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    we live in ohio, and use just about every type of wood depending on the wind conditions (for the draw), what the weather is doing, and how long we want to burn (are we in for the night, are we only going to be home for 3 hours). we don't mind the cost-we consider this a major, long term investment. but can you really put them 18 inches from a wall with a fireplate. and do they burn longer on less wood?
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I don't know soapstone from Adam, but I do know thermodynamics. The same heat holding properties that are touted as an advantage for soapstone are the same ones that retard heating it up in the first place. Meaning that before it holds the heat, you have to get it warm. There is a minor risk of pushing the fuel in an effort to get it warm, then having it get too hot for comfort before you can regulate the damper.

    I heated part of a house for a number of years with a good ol' Vermont cast iron stove, and I frankly do not see the advantage of soapstone over c.i. beyond aesthetics. Go with your gut on that, and do not let the flue cool no matter the fuel. Soft or hard, the creosote condensing out is your enemy.
    Dunerunner and hedger like this.
  5. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Yes if the manufactures specs calls for 18 “ then yes, some can go closer , however some flue types cant.
    If it has a catalytic converter, they will burn wood for a very long time.
    You will have to get the catalytic converter up to temp for it to work, so make sure you buy one that is recommended for your square footing of your home.
    The catalytic types manage creosote really well, the down side is you can’t burn trash in it, like news paper, because the ash will float up and plug the catalytic converter up.
    Use good pipe, and a high wind cap and a Ceiling box where it penetrates through the ceiling.
  6. Northwoods

    Northwoods Monkey+++

    my mom had one.
    they heat well.
    my brother broke it or should i say... cracked it.
    bounced a chunk of maple off the back when he was filling it.
  7. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    thanks guys, this helped a lot in our decission.
  8. pwdohio

    pwdohio Monkey+++

    Yes, we heat in the winter with a soapstone stove. I work at home so can throw some wood on. We have used it for heating since 1999, we bought it for Y2K. It heats our just under 1800 sq ft ranch home. But, I will say it is not centrally located (rather it is at one end of the house) and the room it is in and the two rooms adjacent get very warm, to the point it is 85 degrees and I have to open windows when in those rooms. Bedrooms stay about 65-68 at the other end of the house. We use a mix of hard and soft woods.

    We have been very happy with it.
    woodstove 004.
  9. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    We bought the soapstone Keystone in 2010. It has been a giant disappointment. It will not warm our 2600 sq ft as promised.
  10. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    We live / heat 100% in winter months with :
    Pacific Energy Fireplace Products Ltd.

    Summit , that I highly modified for heating water , using external air, with a flue mounted heater upper box for warming muffins or stuff.
    Im not he one who knows enough on the cooking (eating YES ,as well as the building mods) .
    This is a softwood stove , real well seasoned hardwood if for overnight only , with full air Hardwood has too much heat & will warp the stove.
    Lived with Airtights since 1970's on the wet coast.
    Ranch has 3 stoves , shop as an incinerator / heater , guest house, that is fool proof.

    And BTW, Wife & myself have been logging the last few days, best time cuz it's quite will all the equipment we use.

  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The topic subject is an academic one for me. I've never heard of soapstone woodstoves and it's possible that other readers from exotic places may be scratching their heads about the subject as much as I was. If you fall into that category is a useful reference to fill that void.

    How to Care for Soapstone Wood Stoves | Home Guides | SF Gate

  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    The Idea of a "Soapstone" Wood Burner, is you heat up the Thermal Mass of the Soapstone blocks mounted on the exterior of the Woodburner, and after the fire goes out, the Soapstone then releases it's Heat into the room, while they slowly cool off, to room temps. You can do the same thing with ANY Large Thermal Mass connected to the Wood Burner.... Basically a Marketing Tool...
    hedger likes this.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yeah, but they sure are purty. I have a soapstone inlay on the top of my gas log. It is no cooler than the cast iron that surrounds it. (Can't be, when you think about it.) What is does is delay the heat transfer to the cat's feet or kid's hands when it's touched; there's time to react before serious burns set in. The heat transfer coefficient is WAY lower than the iron.
    Ganado, chelloveck and BTPost like this.
  14. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    Thank you, Sloth. Pacific will be our next one!
  15. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow


    last year , I replaced my 2005 summit with a 2011/12 unit because they came out with a much larger door.
    Wife said !@#$% ours is small , SO , since this is a MAJOR item, poof new stove & sold the 2005 with all the toys for 5beans .
    I also redesigned the the flue heater/warmer for my wife's cooking habits.

    One would think I'd need double wide doors, but 6 days of logging (2015 wood) over Xmas , keeps us slim.

    Life is good

    chelloveck and pearlselby like this.
  16. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    Hi Sloth,

    I did not realize you had responded to

    Life is Good and I am so happy for you and yours.

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