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Friday, December 13, 2013

Early news from Beta testers

We hate to admit it, but some of our beta testers have better videos and pictures than we do!
The two videos below from Brian, our beta tester in PA, shows some of the beautiful secondary flames that the Ideal Steel Hybrid can produce. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
To follow Brian's posting on the Firewood Hoarders Forum, use the link below:
FHC Exclusive! Long low oak burn in the new Ideal Steel stove

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Low EPA Emissions Across All Outputs

The Ideal Steel Hybrid achieved weighted average emissions of 0.54 gm/hr using method 5G3, and an “Adjusted Emissions” of 1.04 gm/hr.  The adjustment factor was created in 1988 to account for prospective differences in test methods, and is currently the result published by EPA.  The new EPA regulations propose to eliminate the adjustment factor.  In any case, the Ideal Steel Hybrid will have among the lowest, if not the lowest, emissions among affordably priced stoves.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hot Dogs!

Our first Moose Trophy Stove was ordered right away (we can make more!), and we have prospective orders for Stove Buddies (we are still experimenting with high-temp coatings for the buddies).

Friday, December 6, 2013

Under the Hood 12: Ideal Steel Hybrid Burn Times

How long will the Ideal Steel Hybrid burn?  It's an important question that many people will ask.  We have designed the Ideal Steel Hybrid to achieve easy overnight burns, and we will likely advertise burn times of 12-14 hours because this is both conservative and completely validated by our independent EPA and efficiency testing, our lab experience, and the firebox size of the Ideal Steel Hybrid

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Local News Coverage by WCAX TV

WCAX TV called yesterday morning after a colleague at the station received an email about the Wood Stove Design Challenge.  When Adam Sullivan first made contact to get information, he was unaware that we had actually won. So his potential story just turned into something a bit bigger!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

National Geographic: Winning Wood Stove Designs Announced

This is the first video I've seen of the grand prize winner being announced, and through the National Geographic website! Wow are we feeling really good right now.

Please view the video below:
Winning Wood Stove Designs Announced

Wood Stove Design Challenge: Award Sharing and Collaboration

Last evening Tom Morrissey accepted the grand prize in the Wood Stove Design Challenge, as well as the award for most affordable. In doing so, Tom shared a portion of the $25,000 award with two other innovators that had come to DC on a shoestring budget and with no corporate support.

The New York Times: Contest Aims for a Cleaner-Burning Wood Stove

Here is another article covering the Wood Stove Design Challenge written by The New York Times, titled Contest Aims for a Cleaner-Burning Wood Stove.

Please note: Woodstock Soapstone Company originated in Woodstock, VT but moved across the river to West Lebanon, NH in 1985.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wood Stove Design Challenge: Woodstock Wins the Grand Prize!

After a lot of hard work from a dedicated team, Woodstock Soapstone's Ideal Steel Hybrid was awarded the Grand Prize at the Wood Stove Design Challenge!

I'll post more on this as information comes in and by next week we should have a video of the event ready to add to our Blog and You Tube Channel!

Again, thank you to everyone that has supported us through this process.

Wood Stove Design Challenge: Updates and Coverage

On Monday, 11/18/13, the testing for the Ideal Steel Hybrid was completed. Tom reported last evening that the emission numbers were again low! Now that the testing is complete, I hope to see the final standings updated this morning so we can see how Woodstock stacked up to the competition.  As soon as I see a status change I will get it posted.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wood Stove Design Challenge: Sunday

Today we had our scheduled second burn which looked like a really nice burn (we'll have some video on this later), however the testing equipment wasn't properly prepared so we'll have to retest tomorrow morning. By the end of the day tomorrow I believe we'll have the final standings to post for the emissions and efficiency portion of the Challenge.

There's been a nice flow of the public through the tent wanting to learn more about clean wood heat, and a great group of Woodstock Soapstone owners coming to show their support. It has been a true pleasure meeting the owners and conversing with them face to face. Thank you all that came so far!

One of our youngest Fireview owners, Miles (a too cute 4 year old), has requested a deer and chipmunk stove. We'll see what we can do for you Miles!

Team Gear Head outside of the Design Challenge tent
with the Capital Building behind.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Woodstove Design Challenge: Friday Results & Saturday Pictures

Woodstock Soapstone is off to a good start. Day one of testing for the Ideal Steel Hybrid was yesterday (Friday 11/15), and we are currently placed in 1st on emissions testing and 4th in efficiency! More testing will happen throughout the weekend, so we'll continue to post standings as we have them.

During day one we did ruffle a few feather with our creative pieces, but our intention was to stand out from the norm, and I think we do that admirably!

Dennis & Judy Cook (Fireview owners and hearth forum participants) made the trip all the way from Michigan to support the company. Below you'll see a picture of the lovely couple with the Ideal Steel just starting to fire up earlier today.

Keep an eye on our blog through the weekend and we'll try to keep our supporters informed.

Thanks everyone!

Dennis & Judy Cook with the Ideal Steel Hybrid
Design Challenge tent with Capital Building in the distance
Saturday morning in the tent and the design display below.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wood Stove Design Challenge: Thursday set up

Tom and the Ideal Steel Hybrid, with all of its accoutrements, made it down to D.C yesterday, and was already set up and running by the afternoon. The official opening of the competition is today at 10:30 and will run through Tuesday at 5:00 pm.

The People's Choice Award will be given at 4:00 pm on Sunday. If you haven't voted yet please do so today at the Popular Mechanics People's Choice Poll.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

Hooking up the Ideal Steel Hybrid

Ideal Steel Hybrid - click to enlarge

High Heeled Sneakers: Stove Buddies Assembled (Video)

Who says a wood stove can't be fun and custom designed by each stove owner? 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Woodstove Lamp

Here are a couple images of a prototype stove lamp. We experimented with TEGs (Thermoelectric Generator) when developing our IDEAL STEEL Hybrid.  Originally we thought we would need the current to power a small fan to pressurize the secondary air supply, but it turns out the fan was not necessary.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Don't forget to vote for us!

If you like what we're doing for the Woodstove Design Challenge Contest - making an affordable, high-performance woodstove that can be customized - please vote for us in the "People's Choice" balloting.  Just click here and vote for Woodstock Soapstone Company.

Be sure to check our blog again soon.  We have more news coming about our new IDEAL STEEL Hybrid!

Thinking Outside the Box: More on the Stove Buddies

One of our first posts about the Woodstove Design Competition back in August showed an illustration of a “woodstove buddy” (it’s reproduced again below).  Our woodstove buddies that are joining us in  Washington DC are pretty gussied up (the Design Competition is like going to the prom).  The buddies also look pretty good in black (see below) or any other color you might like.  The point here is that woodstoves can be, and should be, fun and not just a black box in the corner.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Angler's Delight: Poisson de Manon

Poisson de Manon
Qui n’adore pas Manon, une femme qui aime rire et pêcher avec son mari Richard? Nous voyons une image de Richard sur son téléphone intelligent avec  un des saumons  qu’ils ont attrapés  sur le Lac Ontario l’été dernier. Manon ``celui-ci est pour vous``

Angler's Delight: Design #1

Today we will post a couple of stoves for fishermen.  We have lots of ideas for fish - more than we could put on two stoves, but here's the first to start.  Both designs will probably swim down to Washington DC with us next week!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Coming Soon: The Stove Buddies

You thought we were kidding, right?

Cordwood Testing: Efficiency over 80%; Emissions under 1 gm/hr

We recently did 3 emissions/efficiency tests using cordwood, and testing to the newly proposed ANSI standard for cordwood testing.  The first two tests used about 35-40 lbs of wood, and the high burn used about 20 lbs (as specified in the proposed standard).  The results are printed below.

The first two tests lasted 15.4 hours and 13.23 hours respectively.  Both had HHV efficiency over 80% (82.27% and 80.9% respectively).  They both had emissions under 1 gm/hr (0.88 and 0.68).

We did not do a  burn at the lowest setting, mostly because we never had a 20+  hour window that was open while we were working in the lab.  There are additional comments about the high cordwood burn below.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Woodstock Soapstone on NPR's Marketplace

Tom Morrissey, president of Woodstock Soapstone, was interviewed and featured on NPRs Marketplace last night 11/1/13.  Please click on the link and take a listen to New England cranks up its wood-burning stoves on Marketplace.

Click here to link to Marketplace's story "New England cranks up its wood-burning stoves"

Friday, November 1, 2013

Under the Hood 11: The Cooktop

The cooktop consists of three burners.  The center burner always has a decorative design.  The outside burners are held in place with centering pins, and the middle burner is fastened to an 8” round cutout in the top.  The burners are different heights, to create a temperature variation across the burners (data on that later).

The center burner is a little thicker than the outside burners.  The center burner also lifts out (with a “helping hand”) to reveal a stainless steel shield just above the active combustor - creating a VERY HOT cooking space - perfect for a wok, or sauteing at very high temperatures.  This is the high burner!

In the video below you will see the "helping hand" at work, exposing the high heat area below the center burner.

The Helping Hand will lift the burner or open the door when the
stove is hot. It stores on the back of the stove.

The center burner can be removed for high heat cooking.
Under the burner is a stainless steel shield, and the intense
heat of the catalytic combustor!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thinking Outside The Box: It’s Moostastic!

Jason’s TROPHY Moose  Stove!

When Jason Guimaraes asked for a moose stove, at first we thought we would cut some Moose andirons, and make a nice moose side and top.  But moose are really BIG, and the ornaments were fairly small in relation to this big stove.  So we put big antlers on the stove, and a big moose head on top, and it all kind of came together... Jason’s TROPHY Moose Stove.  We have a couple more TROPHY stoves in the works, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, take a look at the video below to see Jason talking about his Moostastic stove!

A New Design for Gardeners - Hollyhock Leaves

Some of the most beautiful designs in the world are patterns from nature, whether they are simple repetitions or complex fractals.  In this design, Lorin Day and Kristie Haupt take a simple hollyhock leaf and convert it into a slightly abstract, repeating geometry sure to please gardeners.
Click image to enlarge

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Stove Design for Chris Neufeld

Here’s a design for Chris Neufeld of Blaze King.  Chris is a good friend, and we think of Blaze King more as an ally in advocating for high efficiency stoves than as a competitor.   Chris is an avid outdoorsman, who hunts and fishes every chance he gets.  We tried to combine the two (hunting and fishing) with a salmon-hunting bear, inspired by the image on the Alaska quarter (Chris also loves to visit Alaska).

Join us in Washington DC - Hoodies and T's for Owners

We’ll have t-shirts and hoodies with our new logo available for our existing customers at the event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (November 15-18).  Just stop by our contest stove and we'll get you fitted up!
For more information about the Wood Stove Decathlon, please click here.

Tees & Hoodies with our New Logo!
Click to enlarge

A New Name for the Steel Stove & a New Logo!

We have a new (and hopefully final!) name for our design contest stove:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Couple New Designs: Frog Prince & Bird of Paradise

Here are a couple of new designs - the Frog Prince and the Bird of Paradise.  We’ll have a few more in the days to come - some more traditional, and some completely “outside the box”.  Click on the images to enlarge!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Under the Hood 10: RECORD EPA Efficiency

Preliminary EPA Results:

Over the last two weeks we have tested our Design Contest Stove at an independent lab outside of Montreal to (1) the current EPA standard, (2) the proposed EPA standard, and (3) the most recently published (September 24, 2013) ANSI Cordwood Standard.  The test lab is accredited by EPA and CSA (Canadian Standards Association), and the results will be submitted to US EPA for approval shortly.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Under the Hood 9: Air Control/Burn Rate Control

The Air Control Damper is simple, intuitive, and conveniently located on the radius of the ash lip.  You can easily slide it open and closed with your foot!  As you move the air control damper, a link moves the damper plate across two openings; one for primary air and one for secondary air.  The ratio of primary air to secondary air has been determined in development. The damper plate is calibrated so that both primary and secondary dampers open and close with a single control, at a pre-determined ratio.  A third damper  automatically opens an air passageway that feeds the catalyst only (see Under the Hood 4).

The Air Control is intuitive and convenient
and travels along the radius of the ash lip.

The Air Control adjusts both the Primary and Secondary Air. 
(Air openings for referenceonly; not to scale)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Under the Hood 8: Rethinking the Leg

For the Design Challenge Stove, we wanted our leg height to be adjustable for fireplace installations; the stove sides to be customizable (with or without stone, or owner requested artwork).  Plus, we needed a place to put a Thermoelectric generator, a place to hang accessories, and a way to attach strain gages.  Plus it had to be structurally sound.  Quite a list.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Under the Hood 7: Catalyst Heat Radiator: another old idea in a new setting

On the Design Challenge Stove, we position the operating catalyst right under the cooktop, tilted slightly toward the front of the stove (it slides back when not in use).

Friday, September 27, 2013

Design Challenge Odds and Ends & Video

We haven’t posted much this week because we’ve been so busy!  It’s getting cold and we have to take care of our customers (who all wait until the first frost to order stoves, ask for advice, or order parts).

We are scheduled to send our Design Challenge stove out for EPA testing at the end of next week, so we’ve been doing final tweaks to the combustion design and sending the stove through our internal testing regime most of this week - continuing into next week.  We should have EPA test results around October 16-17, and will publish the results here.  We expect quite good results.
 There’s a short video below of part of today’s high burn test.

The picture below shows the test cutting of the Fleur-de-Lis for the Kopp family.

Trial cut for the Fleur-de-Lis
Trial cut painted gold
We also cut a detachable Fleur-de-Lis pattern that allows for easy changes of color, and future changes of design.  You can see it below on one of our test stoves.  A lot of our employees are designing their own stoves, and we’ll start posting some of those designs next week.  We also hope some of our prospective beta testers will contact us with their ideas!

Detachable Fleur-de-Lis pattern on the end of the stove allows
for color changes and design changes.  (pardon the obvious mismatching colors in this test stove)

We’re having fun with this stove!  More to come next week.  Have a pleasant weekend!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Beta Testing CUSTOM STOVE ART with the Kopp Family

Click image to enlarge

The Woodstove Design Challenge has focused our attention on questions that we hadn’t really addressed before:

1. Can we make a really high performance woodstove that is completely affordable?
2. We don’t have the chutzpah to think we can produce a stove design that will make everyone happy.  So, how do we make a flexible design that can harness our owners’ creativity?
3. How can we have fun with this product? How can our owners have fun too?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Under the Hood 6: Smoke-free front loading

The Design Challenge Stove is carefully engineered for smoke-free loading even under marginal draft conditions:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Under the Hood 5: Secondary Combustion Chamber

The Design Challenge Stove has a sloping secondary combustion chamber, which has two big advantages:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Two Recent Items from the Mail Bag...It's what keeps us going.

First, one of our young customers recently sent us a note and some pictures that we just had to share.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Under the Hood 4: Catalyst Air: we apply an old idea in a new setting

On our design challenge stove, we have added “catalyst air” - an air intake controlled by a self adjusting bi-metallic coil which feeds a perforated stainless steel tube located behind the catalyst. Here’s the dilemma “catalyst air” is designed to solve:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Under the Hood 3: Andirons- movable, removable, customizable

Our andirons are custom cut from 1/2” plate steel, and mounted on a thick hinged plate.  When the loading door is closed, the andirons are locked in place by a security tab on the door.

Your choice of andirons- or you can design your own! A small sample is shown above.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Under the Hood 2: Catalyst Bypass

The catalyst bypass lever has to be lifted before the front loading door can be opened, otherwise the door cannot be opened more than a few inches.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

More Info on Beta-Testing

 Thanks to everyone who offered to be a beta tester!  We are moderately swamped.  Initially we will keep the stoves close to home (NE/Eastern NY).  Our focus is on testing under different draft conditions (and both top and rear exits) to focus on front window cleanness,  smoke-free loading, and ease of operation.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Under the Hood

The Steal Hybrid has a firebox design with both a catalytic combustor and secondary combustion. We’ve been testing it all winter, and are pleased with both efficiency and emissions results (more on that later). The test units don’t look like much, but we have been more interested in performance than looks.

Friday, August 23, 2013

BBB rates wood stove manufacturers!

We link below to an article in the Alliance for Green Heat about BBB ratings of wood stove manufacturers.  We are proud of our record of no complaints!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it's a STEAL!

When we entered the Alliance for Green Heat Woodstove Design Contest, we  (naively) thought we had to design something new to enter.  We didn’t realize that we could enter our (relatively new) Progress Stove which was, after all, the first hybrid stove sold in the US.  So we went about designing a NEW stove

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

People's Choice Award for Wood Stove Design Challenge

Calling all friends and owners of Woodstock Soasptone Company Stoves!

In February, Woodstock Soapstone's Union Hybrid Woodstove design was chosen as a finalist in the international Wood Stove Design Challenge.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Commonwealth Wood Stove Change-Out

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is coordinating a program aimed at replacing older, inefficient, and polluting wood stoves with modern EPA certified wood stoves that offer much greater efficiency and are far cleaner burning.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wood Stove Design Challenge Finalist

The Alliance for Green Heat has listed the finalists for the Wood Stove Design Challenge, an international competition to build an affordable, cleaner-burning wood stove for residential heating.

Our Ideal Steel Hybrid, has been chosen among the 14 finalists for this contest.