Review of Dunsley Yorkshire stove

Still together after 11 years

Raymond Peat 8 years ago

We've had this Dunsley Yorkshire room-heater multifuel version for 11 years in a large difficult-to-heat flat-roofed extension in which we spend most of our time. \n\nEarlier we had tried heating this room off the central heating system and then with electric storage radiators, but it was never warm. We are not on gas.\n\nThen we opened up and extended this old chimney and installed the Yorkshire. I love it, my wife loves it and the cat loves it so much she lies under it. If we moved house we would take it with us. We are planning a drastic rebuild of this room and will retain and resite the stove. I'm fairly experienced with woodburners, having had 2 stoves before this and installed a (smaller) one in another room 2 years ago. \n\nIt is quite a big stove (tall and deep) and we opted for the longer legs too, but it sits nicely in an opening that once must have contained an old fire/cooking range. \nWe burn seasoned hardwood generally and sometimes coal. Hence the glass remains reasonably tar free but dusty.\nI have a couple of minor design-related moans:\n(1) The original mild steel top baffle plate buckled quickly. Dunsley replaced it with another beefier stainless(?) steel one f.o.c. If you allow the plate to buckle even a little bit too much, you cannot get it out without dismantling the firebox or cutting the plate with an angle grinder. So, if you run the fire hot, you are better replacing the plate every 2 years before it buckles to the extent (not much) that you cannot get it out. About 3 years ago, Dunsley supplied their new firebrick material baffle plate instead of the steel one and that seems to have solved the problem. Full marks to Dunsley. This comment may not apply to the wet version.\n(2) The fire box is a box made of 5 specially shaped fire bricks. The brick at the back cracked vertically after a while and degraded from the bottom so that it needed replacing after about 4 years. I'm sure Dunsley supply new ones but I make my own up by cutting and heat-bonding two pieces of fire-brick board together to make a thicker composite unit. I have to redo this every 2 years.\n(3) It takes you a few goes to work out how best to light the stove. \n\nOther issues\nI've lost a silly piece of angle iron that gently holds the top two fire bricks down. It was always a loose fit and must have become disloged and disappeared with the ash. It works OK without it and I could easily make another.\nWe don't bother trying to get it to burn overnight anymore. It's not that important. It did when it was new. I think it would do again so if I renewed the door seals (every 2-3 years) and all the seals between the specially shaped fire box bricks and if the back brick did not crack vertically.\nApart from the obvious stovey things this stove does well, its extra good points include:\nWith the optional trivets in place you can warm plates, keep food hot.\nYou can cook on the hot plate or use the optional cast iron griddle. You need a fair heat in the fire to do this and therefore your legs can get hot too. Handy for power cuts. \nThe grate is still the original. The front castellated retainer buckled after about 8 years. Burning coal too hot I think.\nThe single slider air inlet control is easy to use but easy to forget. If left fully open, e.g. when you light it and get distracted, the fire can burn very hot. The cat never comes through to my office to complain.\nKnowing when to adjust the single slider air inlet control is made easier if you have a flue thermometer. Its a roomheater so there is no thermostat.\n\nNot cheap, but a great room-heater. \n\n

Stove expert replied: what good customer service from Dunsley here, and great to hear of a stove lasting this long. Love it that the cat sleeps under there. I once heard of a chap whose tortoise would hibernate under his stove......

Overall rating:

4.5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.8)
Value for money 5 flames (avg 4.7)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Ease of lighting 4 flames (avg 4.5)
Firebox size 5 flames (avg 4.3)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 4.4)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 4.7)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 4.6)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 4.9)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 4.8)