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Showing posts with label Beta Testing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beta Testing. Show all posts

Monday, April 7, 2014

Our Favorite Beta Tester Comment EVER!

"Loaded the stove 75% full as we were headed out the door for the hospital.  Sydney was born that morning.  We came home 3 days later and still had enough coals in the IS to start a fire, easily.  56 hours later!!!"
Doug K. 
Newbury, VT

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Improvements: IDEAL STEEL Hybrid

Here are a few other improvements we have made recently to the Ideal Steel Hybrid:

We cut a damper adjustment scale in the ash lip.  Lots of people operate their stoves in a narrow range for long periods of time, and this makes it easier to remember your best operating settings.

The andirons have been tricky.  Before we settled on andirons that folded forward, we prototyped andirons that folded over on their sides, moved laterally to both sides of the load door opening, folded in the middle, and/or were removable.  We still like our current version best, in part because it is simple, and in part because one can move the andirons with a poker, or the toe of a boot.  The andiron plate also acts as an air deflector that helps eliminate smoke spillage in installations with marginal draft.

To lessen ash spillage onto the ash lip, we have added a slot between the front of the andiron and the body of the stove so that fly ash on the andiron plate will slide back into the stove instead of onto the ash lip.  We have also shortened the andirons from 7” to 5” so that it’s easy to load over them most of the time.  We’re also working on a little tool to brush ash off the andiron plate before folding it forward.

New Andirons, like the dragon pictured above, are 5" tall, 
rather than 7". This makes it easy to load over the andirons
if you wish. A slot in the front of the andirons allows fly ash
 to fall back inside the stove.
The damper adjustment scale is cut into the edge of the ash lip.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The NEXT Gearhead Hybrid Stove

Basic version

The next Gearhead Hybrid Stove is under construction right now (prototype only).  We are building a slightly smaller firebox (about 2.6 cubic feet), and version 3.0 of our hybrid combustion design. The Ideal Steel Hybrid (going into production soon) had the lowest high burn emissions on record, and with new regulations coming, there’s an incentive to flatten the emissions curve even more.  One of the most important things for us is the combustion design, but we'll do a lot of testing over the summer before “going public” with the internal workings of this stove.

This stove will definitely be sideloading (left or right), and have a top and rear vent. We plan to make an inexpensive basic version - a utilitarian workhorse that is easy to use but has some nice details (see Basic Version, at right).  Then we think we will make a steel Franklin stove.  Some of our favorite antique soapstone stoves have Franklin stove designs, and we manufacture three gas stoves with Franklin designs, including our unique 17 inch tall Mini Franklin gas stove.

Franklin Stove Design lends itself perfectly to steel fabrication.  We plan to alter the shape of the wings, ash lip, and door as well as the stove ornamentation, to reflect different periods:  Arts and Crafts, Gothic, Transitional, or Modern for example.  The sketches at the right and below are not final by any means, they are just offered to show the general direction we are heading in.
1800's Franklin Soapstone
We plan to beta-test this stove extensively next winter, and have it available in June/July of 2015.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ideal Steel Improvements

We’ve made a number of improvements to the IDEAL STEEL Hybrid over the winter, and many were based on comments/suggestions from our beta testers.  We’ll try to cover some of the changes on this blog over the next few weeks.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Beta-testing and Pre-Production Prices for the IDEAL STEEL Hybrid

We are offering pre-production prices for the IDEAL STEEL Hybrid for the next several months (see below).  We won’t actually begin shipping IDEAL STEEL Hybrids until June, for one simple reason:  it’s still cold and we haven’t quite finished with Beta testing yet.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Beta Tester: Meriden, NH

It's nearing the end of February and we are still working on getting few more Ideal Steel Hybrid beta stoves out in the field for the last couple months of burning.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Beta Tester: Newbury, VT

When Doug and his wife Amanda came in to pick out the colors for their Ideal Steel beta stove, Amanda quickly took over the reins to create a color combination that would work well in their home.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Beta Tester in Goffstown, NH

Two weeks ago we got Nick, another beta tester, up and running with a beta version of the Ideal Steel Hybrid.

Nick was the first to submit his own artwork of a maple leaf and mountains motif, which Nick generated using AutoDesk. With a little bit of translation on our side we were able to get a file that Nick and his wife were happy with and since we had already designed and cut a maple leaf andiron, we were able to pair an already cut file with Nick's design.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bow, NH Beta Tester: Stove Design

One of the interesting aspects of our Ideal Steel Hybrid, is that the side medallion, burners, and andirons can be customized.

Kurt, our beta tester in Bow NH, decided to submit a photograph for a customized art set. Below is the file Kurt originally sent,  followed by the side medallion and andiron files we created. The center burner of the stove mimics the side medallion, and the andiron design was taken from the simple leaf like ends on the spiral.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A quick note and pictures/video from a new Beta Tester

"I just wanted to send a quick note.  First off, thank you for including me in this beta test and thank you for the quick ship on the parts.

It's all up and running!  The house is nice and toasty again.  Here are a couple of quick pics from last night.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Time lapse video of the Ideal Steel Hybrid

We are very excited to share this video from Brian K, one of our Ideal Steel beta testers. Brian's video is a 16 hour time lapse, with ever 4 seconds representing about an hour of burning.  Below the video you will see some of Brian's description of the burn and a link to his forum post for more information.

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

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