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  • let's talk woodstoves...

    Like the title says, it's wintertime, so let's talk stoves. What state do you live in? What stove are you burning? What kind of wood? How do you like it? So on and so on...

    My Hearthstone finally crapped out so we had to replace it. We purchased a jotul f500 oslo. Jotul was offering 10% off, so the timing was good. I will be picking it up in a few days and putting it in. Pretty much a direct plug and play based on the dimensions of our old stove and current hearth and flue setup. I can't wait to fire it up

  • #2
    My family has a cabin that has a Vogelzang Performer. I tried to use it once and failed. I am going back there again next week. Teach me the ways of lighting a good fire in a woodstove!! I read the manual and thought I was following the instructions. Except maybe the wood I was using was not properly dried. I will bring some good quality/kiln dried wood next week. Or something.

    @notontherug: How does a woodstove crap out? I thought they were more or less indestructible. Like cast iron pans.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well for me, the title to this thread would be like cookie monster seeing a thread titled "Let's talk chocolate chips"....

      In my current cabin that I built in the 18 months, I brought a family wood stove that used to be in my father's hunting cabin. We still use the cabin, so he replaced it with a newer one up there while I took the old one. It is a 1938 Home Comfort stove that has obviously been around awhile. It is my only heat source right now, but at present I am only heating about 900 sq feet, something it does easily.

      I am almost done with the major addition to the cabin though, in construction of a living room and adjacent bedroom that will double the living space.....considering this, I am looking for a new stove. A friend has offered me a 1967 Avalon stove with a double combustion chamber, which I plan on installing ABOVE the ground fireplace in the center of the room. The plan is to have a central column of a fireplace, then woodstove above, all in a grey soapstone encasing. This will keep the new living room super warm I bet.

      @ yodiewan.....a woodstove only last forever if you take good care of it. Most of all, the front door must be kept free of ashes or debris, otherwise the front seal will start to corrode. If this happens, the stove is almost worthless. Also, the flue can become corroded as well if it is not given a clean entry-point into the main chamber. This leads to a "starving stove" that can only be kept hot by constantly churning wood through it. The casing of the stove is best to be kept protected with hearthstone on a lot of newer models, even though the manufacturers won't tell you that.....a lot of them are made with inferior steel than the old models, so without protection the side walls will slowly warp and lose conductance.....this is why I have my #1 rule with wood stoves....if it did not come from the United States or Canada, it is likely a piece of garbage. Far Eastern steel is terrible, so when you look for the "hot new deal", a lot of them will be from Asian steel that was not forged very well. You will get what you pay for, unfortunately.

      Now for my firestarting tips

      1) Don't start with a totally swept out stove. The ashes hold heat well and will provide a good base.
      2) Ensure that the flue entry is clear. On my stoves, this is a little round hole just in front of the door. Use a pipe cleaner to keep it wide open.
      3) Keep the flue 100% open when you are lighting it, and only close it once you have a good rolling fire.
      4) Get a standard quarter log and split it into shards, no more than about 2 inches thick for any of them. Stack one pile of the shards towards the back, with a separate pile toward the front. Stack them 4-5 inches high, and arrange them parallel to each other.
      5) Between your two parallel wood piles, put down a whole row of bunched up newspaper. Put cardboard on top of the paper, then more wood shards on top perpendicular to the two parallel piles....this is your "tinder box".
      6) Light the newspaper on both ends, and continue to put wood in the middle in small pieces. Once it is good and built up, raise the parallel woods piles into the fire one at a time.
      7) Never place any large piece of wood DIRECTLY on the floor of the stove. This doesn't allow any oxygen to flow underneath. Lean it against the side, even by a tiny amount.
      8) Add normal logs, placing in at an angle.

      Hope this helps

      Has anyone used a pellet stove? I always hear they are supposedly easier to use, but not as hot. Boo on that.
      "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, Lazarus! I will certainly try out those tips next week.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
          My family has a cabin that has a Vogelzang Performer. I tried to use it once and failed. I am going back there again next week. Teach me the ways of lighting a good fire in a woodstove!! I read the manual and thought I was following the instructions. Except maybe the wood I was using was not properly dried. I will bring some good quality/kiln dried wood next week. Or something.

          @notontherug: How does a woodstove crap out? I thought they were more or less indestructible. Like cast iron pans.
          I usually crumble up a few pieces of newspaper and place them directly on the grate. Then I stack a few layers of kindling in crisscrosses. One layer goes one way, the next goes the other way. I use a mix of cedar and maple for kindling. Then I put a few medium sized splits on top of that. Light it and close the door. Give it plenty of air and let it come up to a reasonable temp. Add a few big splits and let it burn for a few more minutes, then shut the air down to whatever level I want to burn it at. It's important to use well seasoned wood. And every stove and flue are different, so each home setup has it's own characteristics.

          As for my hearthstone, we had purchased it used (very cheap), and it was in good working order, but we knew we may only get a few years out of it. This particular stove is 30 years old and parts are no longer available. The construction is 2 layers of cast iron with soapstone on the outside. Basically, the interior fire box iron has been destroyed from years of use and abuse and it has actually cracked and a large piece came out. I don't feel safe burning a very hot fire in it and there is no real way to fix it affordably.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
            Well for me, the title to this thread would be like cookie monster seeing a thread titled "Let's talk chocolate chips"....

            In my current cabin that I built in the 18 months, I brought a family wood stove that used to be in my father's hunting cabin. We still use the cabin, so he replaced it with a newer one up there while I took the old one. It is a 1938 Home Comfort stove that has obviously been around awhile. It is my only heat source right now, but at present I am only heating about 900 sq feet, something it does easily.

            I am almost done with the major addition to the cabin though, in construction of a living room and adjacent bedroom that will double the living space.....considering this, I am looking for a new stove. A friend has offered me a 1967 Avalon stove with a double combustion chamber, which I plan on installing ABOVE the ground fireplace in the center of the room. The plan is to have a central column of a fireplace, then woodstove above, all in a grey soapstone encasing. This will keep the new living room super warm I bet.

            @ yodiewan.....a woodstove only last forever if you take good care of it. Most of all, the front door must be kept free of ashes or debris, otherwise the front seal will start to corrode. If this happens, the stove is almost worthless. Also, the flue can become corroded as well if it is not given a clean entry-point into the main chamber. This leads to a "starving stove" that can only be kept hot by constantly churning wood through it. The casing of the stove is best to be kept protected with hearthstone on a lot of newer models, even though the manufacturers won't tell you that.....a lot of them are made with inferior steel than the old models, so without protection the side walls will slowly warp and lose conductance.....this is why I have my #1 rule with wood stoves....if it did not come from the United States or Canada, it is likely a piece of garbage. Far Eastern steel is terrible, so when you look for the "hot new deal", a lot of them will be from Asian steel that was not forged very well. You will get what you pay for, unfortunately.

            Now for my firestarting tips

            1) Don't start with a totally swept out stove. The ashes hold heat well and will provide a good base.
            2) Ensure that the flue entry is clear. On my stoves, this is a little round hole just in front of the door. Use a pipe cleaner to keep it wide open.
            3) Keep the flue 100% open when you are lighting it, and only close it once you have a good rolling fire.
            4) Get a standard quarter log and split it into shards, no more than about 2 inches thick for any of them. Stack one pile of the shards towards the back, with a separate pile toward the front. Stack them 4-5 inches high, and arrange them parallel to each other.
            5) Between your two parallel wood piles, put down a whole row of bunched up newspaper. Put cardboard on top of the paper, then more wood shards on top perpendicular to the two parallel piles....this is your "tinder box".
            6) Light the newspaper on both ends, and continue to put wood in the middle in small pieces. Once it is good and built up, raise the parallel woods piles into the fire one at a time.
            7) Never place any large piece of wood DIRECTLY on the floor of the stove. This doesn't allow any oxygen to flow underneath. Lean it against the side, even by a tiny amount.
            8) Add normal logs, placing in at an angle.

            Hope this helps

            Has anyone used a pellet stove? I always hear they are supposedly easier to use, but not as hot. Boo on that.
            Great old stoves. Both of them. I was looking at a couple of refurbished fisher stoves, but nothing worked out.

            So are you not a fan of jotul or lopi? Most regard them as 2 of the top makers worldwide.

            I wanted to get away from soapstone, so I had looked at some vermont castings and quadrafires as well, but the new vc stoves seem to have terrible reviews and only 1 of the quadrafires would fit my setup. I need a rear flue because I vent in to my old fireplace and most makers dont offer rear flue anymore. My chimney setup was redone 3 years ago, so there is no way I'm paying to change anything anytime soon. But with a 21ft flue, with a 6" liner, even with the rear vent, it draws air amazingly well.

            Pellet stoves are convenient and throw a lot of heat, but they have electric blowers. So if you lose power and don't have a generator, you're screwed

            Comment


            • #7
              Has anyone used a pellet stove? I always hear they are supposedly easier to use, but not as hot. Boo on that.
              I had a pellet stove. They don't put out nearly as much heat as a wood stove. Lots of maintenance with cleaning the stove, as it could get clogged pretty easily. A lot of the performance depends on the quality of the pellets. Poor quality pellets break easily and create lots of dusty and small pieces that contribute to clogging. In retrospect, I would have rather installed one of those multiple-fuel furnaces with a big hopper that can take anything, from cherry pits to pellets. Hopper size could be an issue too - even if you had a big hopper (to reduce the frequency of refilling) you would still end up having the stove just shut down because something got stuck. And it would just shut off if something malfunctioned. I had to replace the auger motor after owning it for two months and also had the sensor pad itself short out. Which is something you don't notice until the room has gotten really cold. I eventually sold it, though I do know people that are happy with them. Wood stoves are way better.
              Last edited by Zanna; 12-22-2013, 05:58 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                We have a Mørso (Danish.) It's our third house with this brand and we love it!

                It takes 10" or smaller logs (tiny house=tiny stove), so we use a mix of scrap lumber, smaller branches and custom logs cut by a good friend when he thins trees on his girfriend's property.

                It's mostly fir, alder, madrona, cherry and cedar around here.

                We are looking into these as supplemental fuel, since some of the wood up here in the Pac NW can take a couple of years to dry properly. They are $225 for a ton, so pretty good value, if we can find a friend with a big enough truck to borrow.

                We use compressed sawdust firestarters.
                Last edited by Dragonfly; 12-22-2013, 06:53 PM.
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                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                  We have a Mørso (Danish.) It's our third house with this brand and we love it!

                  It takes 10" or smaller logs (tiny house=tiny stove), so we use a mix of scrap lumber, smaller branches and custom logs cut by a good friend when he thins trees on his girfriend's property.

                  It's mostly fir, alder, madrona, cherry and cedar around here.

                  We are looking into these as supplemental fuel, since some of the wood up here in the Pac NW can take a couple of years to dry properly. They are $225 for a ton, so pretty good value, if we can find a friend with a big enough truck to borrow.

                  We use compressed sawdust firestarters.
                  Morso makes nice stoves too. I had looked at a few of them as well. Beautiful.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Im in Scotland
                    We live in a 300 year old fishermans cottage without any central heating so have a stovax(sp?) stove. If its cold (mostly the wintertime) we burn coal but if its just a bit chilly then I prefer burning peat (we also sometimes use logs if we can get them. )

                    Nothing beats a peat fire for the smell
                    Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

                    http://primaldog.blogspot.co.uk/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We're in Idaho and heat our house with two wood stoves. The living room stove is an airless model (from Sears) that's about 17 years old. We burn poplar (which starts easy and burns hot), pine and elm (which is great to keep things overnight). Our weather isn't usually unbearably cold (30s for a high), but when we dropped below zero a couple weeks ago, we were able to continue with the wood stoves without using the furnace.
                      My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread82833.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another vote for Morso stoves. We had a small on in a\our old house. Only drawback was small log size (10"). Then bought an older house with a fireplace and put in a Morso fireplace insert. It is warming my feet as I type. I live in Alaska so burn mostly spruce and birch. The Vermonter in me makes burning spruce seem like a sacrilege. Back then and there, we all assumed that anything less than well seasoned hardwoods would immediately cause a chimney fire, burn your house down, and lead to the downfall of civilization as we know it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also live in Scotland and have a Dowling Anvil - Wood Burning and Multi-fuel Stoves from Dowling Stoves. - and have two of their Aztecs on order, one 25kw and one 35kw, as well as a 25kw Sumo. The Aztecs are woodburners only (and we burn oak and beech), but the others will burn just about anything except for petcoke.

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                          • #14
                            I have a Clearview vision 500, no gas supply here, so that supplies all my heating and hot water (i have a solar thermal panel for summer)

                            I use sweet chestnut

                            I have only moved here this spring but i'm quite enjoying having to rely on the stove, more work obviously but it's worth it

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I live in the land of -30C and we've had our Jotul 400 Castine for several years now and it's been superb. I burn birch (hot and clean) and spruce (free). If I had the opportunity to build/remodel, I would put in a much larger stove and use it more to heat the whole house. Due to our floor-plan, though, I mainly use the stove to take the chill off the central living area where we loose heat through too many windows (but love the light!). If I'm not careful, I overheat the house, and have to open windows. Some year I might invest in a fan or 2 to move the air better.

                              I start my fires using a 'top-down' method, except I use birch bark instead of the newspaper knots. The f400 is a smaller stove, so this technique works best.

                              Stay warm and cozy,

                              Lark
                              "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat

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