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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
which would address all of the criteria specified by the contest, namely:

1. Efficiency
2. Emissions
3. Affordability
4. Market Appeal and Ease of Use
5. Innovation

We added a “#6 Whimsy” as you can see, though it could also be included in “#4 Market Appeal”.  We’re definitely not designing another black box, and we’re not copying anyone else’s work - even our own!

Our design is now on its 3rd full iteration and is extremely efficient and clean-burning, with some interesting technological improvements (and many more design variations that you can comment on).  More on that later.  We are now working almost completely in steel, because steel is about half the cost of cast iron, to say nothing of soapstone.  Working in steel is the only way we feel we can deliver on “#3 Affordability” though there is still soapstone and cast iron in the stove.

In keeping with our increased use of steel and our focus on affordability, we have changed the name of our entry from the Union Hybrid to the STEAL HYBRID.  We intend to hit performance and price targets that make this stove a “real steal”.

More shortly....

We would love your feedback, please feel free to comment below.

We Welcome your Comments and would appreciate your Name and Town when you comment. 


  1. Totally awesome!!! When is it going to be for sale, I want to purchase one of the first ones. I've been waiting to buy one instead of the PH, hoping this is going to be more efficient, or as efficient and less weight, that the PH.

    Jon N

    1. Please don't be anonymous! We're looking for a few more beta testers for Sept-Nov., so if you live in a cold climate (ideally within a few hours drive from us), feel free to contact me.

      Customer Service Manager
      Woodstock Soapstone Co.

  2. Personally, I think the name "Steal" is a bit cheesy and not in keeping with Woodstock's fine reputation, or the quality of your stoves. There are those for whom the word simply has a negative connotation, and wouldn't want their stove named that. Would be thinking of sales down the road. Totally understand the concept behind the name, but think its not the optimal name. Seems like a perfect time for a naming contest, which would generate interest and perhaps some more votes....

  3. I agree. It sounds like you are trying to make a more perfect Union. This is a good thing. Keep the Union label.

  4. Dittos. Like the Union name. Dislike the Steal name.

    How about the SteelStone?

  5. If you don't want to take the new stove back home from the Green Heat contest, you can "beta-test" it at my house about 45min south of the DC beltway. We live on 20ac or so and have a brick pad in the basement with an 8" flue waiting for a stove. We currently have a steel monster we would like to replace and would be fun to test yours. We could take videos, post comments, whatever you guys were interested in.

  6. Owning both Progress-Hybrid & FireView, we've experienced the high craftsmanship and superior quality built into Woodstock stoves. Why cheapen Woodstock's classy image and expertise with a tacky name like "steal"?? (Market desires classy name brands at fair prices, not el-cheapo name brands at bargain prices.) UNION articulates meaningful classic patriotic values and high standards typical of Woostock stoves. UNION is ideally symbolic as America now suffers in distress, under foreign occupation with US Constitutional ideals being shredded by our runaway gov. DD

  7. Sounds like something awesome is coming. Put me on the "beta test" list. Would it be an east swap with my Fireview?
    Croton on Hudson, NY

  8. I wouldn't mind being a beta tester. I have an old broke down VC 2550 that needs to be replaced so I am looking for a new stove. I would even come and pick it up.
    Sullivan County, NY

  9. I have to agree with the previous posters about the name Steal Hybrid...cheesy

    Union hybrid was appealing to me.
    Alliance Hybrid maybe?

    No matter the name, I can't wait to see it in action.

  10. I'm a happy PH owner and I agree with the other comments about the cheeziness of "Steal." There are way too many similarly cheezy names in the market place. Stick with the classy names. It is more consistent with the Woodstock brand.