Wood Burning Stoves

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Zasso Nouka
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Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Zasso Nouka » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:53 am

We have three wood burning stoves so I thought it might be useful to compare them for anyone thinking of investing in a stove. If anyone else has a different model perhaps they might also like to chip in and help broaden the range.

In our house we have a Nestor Martin S33

Image

Over in the cafe we have a Dutch West non catalytic 2477
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And in my shed we have a Honma of unknown model
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Quick Overview

The Nestor Martin has what they call 'Clean Burn' which basically funnels fresh air down from the top of the stove over the glass door and keeps the glass clean whilst also burning the gases and smoke given off by the burning logs a second time gaining more heat and producing less smoke.

The Dutchwest goes even further with what they call tertiary combustion. It does the usual primary and then secondary combustion but also has a ceramic chamber at the back of the stove where it burns the smoke and gases a third time. We found it a little tricky to get working at first but after some help from Johnny LaRue we managed to get the ceramic chamber working properly. I have to say that once the third stage ceramic chamber is up to temperature this stove does burn very efficiently and cleanly indeed.

The Honma on the other hand does not have a secondary or tertiary combustion feature and is a bit of a dirty beast producing lots of smoke. Because it lacks these features it doesn't produce anywhere like the amount of heat the other stoves do and the chimney gets a lot more creosote forming inside.

Nestor Martin S33

The really neat features about the Nestor Martin is the massive double glazed front door and it's air control system. It gives some really pleasing flame effects and is our favourite for watching logs burn. I shot a few videos of it burning on different settings









We really only use it with the air vent set to 3 or 2 when first lighting the stove and getting it up to temperature and then turn it down to 1. The half setting on the air vent is good for overnight burning when going to sleep or if you are going out all day and want to leave it burning. Once you get home or wake up open the air vent back up to get the fire going, throw on a few more smaller logs and it will be blazing in no time. All in all I'd say the Nestor Martin is the most aesthetically pleasing to watch of the stoves we have.

Although the Nestor Martin lacks the tertiary combustion facility found on the DutchWest it still burns very cleanly and you hardly ever see any smoke coming out of the chimney once it is up to temperature.

Dutchwest Non Catalytic Stove 2477

I don't have any videos of the Dutchwest burning but will try to add some once we light it up in November. Having said that when the ceramic chamber at the back is going you can't see any flames at all as they are directed through that and not visible at all. What the Dutchwest lacks in pleasing flame effects it makes up for in efficiency and clean burning. Because the front door is only single glazed it does soot up a bit more than the Nestor Martin so you do have to clean it somewhat more often.

Like the Nestor Martin the Dutchwest also conducts secondary burning but it also has what they call a tertiary burning facility at the back of the stove. Once it warms up to around 250C you can flip the damper over and direct the flow of the fire through the rear ceramic combustion chamber rather than up through the top of the stove and out of the chimney. Fresh air is added to the combustion gases as they enter the chamber and this results in most of the creosote and smoke being burnt off and also extracts more heat from the burning process. When the fire is running through the rear chamber there is absolutely no smoke at all coming out of the top of the chimney. You can hear a low pitched rumble coming from the ceramic chamber when it is running properly and the heat output jumps quite significantly.

Honma Stove

What to say about this little stove without sounding too negative. It makes a great little stove for my shed and has a nice little hatch in the top that is great for doing yaki imo during the depths of winter. It doesn't have an ash pan underneath the main firebox so is a bit of a pain to clean out in that you have to let the stove cool down completely before you can clean it out. Both of the other stoves can be cleaned out whilst they are burning, you just wait till the fire has died down considerably and open up the loading doors before removing the ash pans. The Honma also doesn't have any secondary or tertiary burning facility so you aren't extracting every last BTU out of the wood you burn and I wouldn't want to leave it burning unattended for any length of time as the air inlets are in the lower parts of the loading doors and there is a possibility that sparks could come out when the fire is dying down.

I really couldn't recommend it for heating a house as it just doesn't put out enough heat but for a small concrete or earthen floor shed it does a good job of taking the chill off during the winter and keeps a pot of coffee nicely warm and does cook really awesome yaki imo.

Just in case anyone is interested here are the ratings for the Nest Martin & DutchWest

Dutchwest 2477

Burn Time: up to 8 hours
Heating Capacity: up to 1,400 sq. ft. (130 m sq)
Maximum Heat Output: 35,000 BTUs/hr.
Efficiency Rating: 63%
EPA Emissions Rating: 1.4 grams/hr.

Nestor Martin S33

Max burn rate: 59,000 BTU/hr
EPA output range: 8,600 – 37,300 BTU/hr
Emissions rate: 3.43 g/hr
Heating capacity: 1,100 – 1,500 sq ft

Hope that helps and it would be great to see what other folk think of their stoves
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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Ian » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:42 pm

Great info Zasso Nouka!
Recently I was looking at AGNI wood stoves, made in Japan, but the closest showroom they have to us is in Hiroshima or Gifu, way too far.
Today we contacted Nestor Martin Japan and will get them out to the house soon to give us a quote.

We have plenty of dry firewood so might even get to use some of that this winter.

AGNI http://www.nbk-okamoto.co.jp/agni/

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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Zasso Nouka » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:27 am

I really like some of the features on those AGNI stoves, looks like it has a truly spacious firebox so you don't have to keep refilling it and the cooking plates on the top are a great idea, the griddle inside the firebox is also a nice touch. That's got me wondering whether I could whip something similar up for our stove, how about I loan you our log splitter for a couple of weekends and you loan us your welder ?

It looks like they use clean burn and a catalyst, although I could be wrong there, an interesting concept. They've obviously done their homework and are looking to make sure it really does burn clean.

If you do opt for a Nestor Martin one thing I'd suggest if you are going to cook with it regularly is have the chimney exiting the back of the stove rather than the top so leaving the entire top surface free for cooking. That would also mean you could have a T piece just behind the stove for easy chimney cleaning from inside the house rather than having to always get up on the roof.

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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Ian » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:26 pm

ZN - Thanks for the Nestor Martin suggestions. Yes, cooking would be a nice feature and ease of chimney cleaning too.

Re. the welder. You are very welcome to use my one, but I think I’ll pass on your log splitter offer though, thanks. Expect the shipping costs would be pretty high. I’m just guessing your one is electric too? Looking for a gasoline type because we don't have power on site. Was planning on a few log splitters of the human variety helping last weekend i.e. my son and his friends. But, my son pulled a shoulder muscle lifting weights the night before, so we’ll put that off until a later date.

No reply from the Nestor Martin people to set up a date.
Yes, AGNI still looks interesting.

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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:15 pm

No worries Ian,

Oh no, that must be really painful for your son. I do hope he recovers soon and then you can set him loose with your axe. I've had a few tries now with mine on hardwood and often it just bounces on some of the tougher rounds :oops:, not sure what I'm doing wrong but it gives Mrs N a good laugh so its not all bad

That's when this little puppy really comes into it's own.
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22 tons of raw crushing power. To be honest the axe is good fun but I'm out of breath after splitting 10 or 12 good rounds of wood. If you are going to be at it all day long the splitter is the way to go, although I'd recommend one of the 13 ton models as they are considerable smaller and lighter to move around.

Won't the Agni folk come out to your house for a quote ?

e2a:

Any idea what this wood is (that's Mrs N by the way)
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It's really dense and no matter how many times I hit it with the splitting axe it doesn't split.

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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by BrettRas » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:22 pm

Looks like an oak to me, sawtooth (kunugi)?
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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Ian » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:52 pm

Nice splitter there ZN! And I agree with Brett, looks like a sawtooth oak from here.

Yes, should also ask AGNI to give us a quote…..

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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:55 pm

Thank you gents,

It's as hard as nails, I had another go at it today and still couldn't get anywhere with the axe so I'm giving up with splitting it by hand and going to lob it onto the splitter. It's really nice wood to burn though, last for ages in the stove.

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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:55 am

Here's the down side to owning a maki stove
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That roof is seriously slippy. Three years of burning yielded this much soot.
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Really you should clean the chimney every year but it just goes to show how clean Nestor Martin stoves burn, there was virtually no tar or creosote build up in the chimney which we put down to using Rutland Chimney Cleaner

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Re: Wood Burning Stoves

Post by Johnny » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:50 pm

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Any idea what this wood is (that's Mrs N by the way)
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It's really dense and no matter how many times I hit it with the splitting axe it doesn't split.
Looks like ash, have you ID'd it yet?

Watch out on that slippery roof. You can always throw a rope over from the other side if need be.