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 Sheep generally do not like the Sheepdog. He looks a lot like the Wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence.....the Sheep are thus disturbed by the Sheepdog. He is a constant reminder that there are Wolves in the land.
Until the Wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries to hide desperately behind the one, lonely Sheepdog."
-- Col Dave Grossman