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Thread: Wood Stoves

  1. #1
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    Default Wood Stoves

    Falling temps have me thinking about getting a wood stove.

    I stopped by my local fireplace store last night, and saw a bunch of neat models.

    The basic decision seems to be whether we go with a conventional wood stove (likely a Hearthstone), or one of the smaller upright stoves (likely a Morso or Jotul). The smaller stoves look great and have super low clearances to the back wall, but I'm a bit leery of committing to logs that are 12" or less. On the other hand, it's a small house and I live in the city: this ain't Little House on the Prairie.

    Has anyone here been down this road recently? If so, what did you decide?

     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Jotul, Morso, and then everything else. I heat five houses with wood. All of it 16" in length. Split down to 4-6", very dry. Backup heat is propane and oil. There's a fair bit of work in it, but this is the byproduct of landscaping I do on our land, clearing around fields, and maintaining woodlands. There are some really beautiful German stoves I have seen, but can't recall the names of. Some good American stoves, too, that you can throw a big hunk into. Wood is labor intensive and fairly messy. But if you have it and don't mind the work...
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Can you have wood delivered (or pick it up) in the size you need? Or would you always have to cut it down?
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    Can you have wood delivered (or pick it up) in the size you need? Or would you always have to cut it down?
    Custom cut and delivered is do-able, although I'm not sure how it'd go getting seasoned wood short enough at this point in the fall for this winter.

    In the long run, I intend to cut it myself.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    I had a nice Jotul stove that kept me toasty for a couple of winters 35 years ago. The current ones are even more efficient and emit less soot as well. Lovely ambience with a lot of work to make it a regular thing and not just an occasional event. But you can live the commitment, it is a delight. Enjoy!
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    Why not let him cheat in one more election?
    -- Adam Schiff

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    I love my Hearthstone stove made out of soapstone. I have it at a beach house on an island where getting real firewood is a pita. Thus we have to burn old deck 2 by 4s. We stack them on top of each other but they still burn out in the middle of the night. The stone stays warm and the house (albeit a small house) stays warm from when the wood burns out and we wake up to restart a fire. The flip side is that it takes a while to warm up the stone for the same reason. This is my second Hearthstone. The first one lasted 15 years until we had the ocean and bay messing around during a hurricane. The second one was put in when we cleaned up the house from the storm. It is still going strong with an occasional dollop of furnace cement on a joint here or there and it was put in 22 years ago.
    Jon Mandel

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    We're getting a Morso 5660 insert put into our new house. The architects have used them in several of their previous projects, and they are confident it will provide the supplementary heat required while the radiant floor heat is coming up. An earlier house of theirs has a Morso pedestal stove that can heat the entire house. Part of that is the house design, but those stoves are also pretty amazing.

    As far as shortening logs to 12" or less, a friend uses an old chop saw. Pretty quick and since you are cutting hardwood, blade stays clean enough it doesn't bind.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    We had a Jotul insert in our house in Maryland. TT got us started down that path and the Jotul worked very nicely during the real cold winter months. We could turn off the gas furnace and heat our 2800 sqft split level home.

    What helped us a lot was that we had a lot of trees we cut down so had plenty of seasoned wood.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Friends who bought an old schoolhouse in PA put in a Morso to replace the original wood stove that was stolen from the building while it was vacant. The walls are super thick stone and masonry, and the stove heats it up really well. This is a (blurry) photo from right after installing it. Reduces wood to a fine powdery ash. Total combustion. BTW those are cast iron baseboards around the edge of the room. Those do a pretty good job heating, but the old furnace drinks fuel oil so the wood stove is handy.

    IMG_0319.jpg
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    My .02

    Personally I have burned wood for over 40 years....

    In my younger years I would cut and spilt a minimum of 5 cords of wood, I had a Jotul cast stove with an 8' flue in my old 1840 farmhouse it worked exceptionally well! When I moved to move efficient / updated house we choose not to burn wood for two years until we missed it so much I went and bought a used Fisher Baby Bear woodstove and now burn maybe three cords that I buy locally!

    Here is a VERY important piece of information: When a homeowner installs a wood stove into an existing chimney it must be lined with a stainless pipe (mines 6' diameter) and cleaned once a year with a brush. In addition for insurance purposes the local town inspector must sign off the installation confirming that its complaint with all existing codes and would be covered in the event of an issue. If a town official does not sign off the insurance company will tell you to screw...no surprise there!

    Hope this helps,

    KJ
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by RSCROSS View Post
    Here is a VERY important piece of information: When a homeowner installs a wood stove into an existing chimney it must be lined with a stainless pipe (mines 6' diameter) and cleaned once a year with a brush. In addition for insurance purposes the local town inspector must sign off the installation confirming that its complaint with all existing codes and would be covered in the event of an issue. If a town official does not sign off the insurance company will tell you to screw...no surprise there!
    We're still venting the furnace and water heater out the chimney, so we're going to be putting in a separate stove pipe. I won't be doing it myself, either. I'm not even sure the city will allow an amateur stove install even if it's inspected, and I expect my insurance would freak (justifiably). We'll have the stove shop's pro do it.

    What I have discovered is that stovepipe isn't cheap. For enough double wall to clear a two story house and adjacent hazards, just the materials run over $1000. I guess as an appreciator of metal bikes, I should understand that not all pipes are equal.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    We're getting a Morso 5660 insert put into our new house. The architects have used them in several of their previous projects, and they are confident it will provide the supplementary heat required while the radiant floor heat is coming up. An earlier house of theirs has a Morso pedestal stove that can heat the entire house. Part of that is the house design, but those stoves are also pretty amazing.

    As far as shortening logs to 12" or less, a friend uses an old chop saw. Pretty quick and since you are cutting hardwood, blade stays clean enough it doesn't bind.

    My local guy seems really big on Morso, and recommended them over both Jotul and Rais because of their insulation on the back, and how the air circulation leads to nearly total combustion and a very "active" flame.

    I like the chopsaw idea. I might even be able to rig up a jig to safely use my chainsaw. If I could find someone with 18" wood, I could just hack them in half for this winter.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Caleb_

    Happy to answer any questions for you....

    Been there done that PM me a phone and I can help

    Morso and Jotul make a great stove but they are pricey...I bought a Fisher "baby bear" off Craigslist for $200.00 ten years ago and it will outlive me!

    Mind you I am no professional rather a home owner that did his homework and has burned wood with no issues for many years

    Good Luck,

    KJ
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    I've had 4 Jotul stoves and liked them quite a bit. They were all gas, but super nice.



    I currently have a wood stove insert in my place and like that. It takes a 16-18" piece max. What I like about the wood stove in the stone fireplace is that it radiates heat for a very long time.


    Jotul is good stuff!

    -Joe

    *I need more pics without dogs in them...

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Most important woodstove are dog friendly.....

    KJ
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by RSCROSS View Post
    Caleb_

    Been there done that PM me a phone and I can help
    Thanks for the offer. As I move along I'll likely send you a note.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Metalbestos chimneys are what you'll want to consider if you don't have an existing brick chimney, and if you do have an existing brick chimney you'll want to line it with spiral duct stainless. And yes, it's not cheap, likely about 1000$. If you are comfortable climbing on your roof you can clean it yourself. If you get someone else to do it, make sure they do a thorough job. I was in California when my wife called to say it sounded like a there was a train in the chimney. That's what a chimney fire sounds like. I've done it myself ever since. You'll need a good vacuum with a HEPA filter. Creosote is not something you want to breathe.

    Some woods burn hotter and cleaner than others. Locust is brilliant. Where I went to high school we burned Eucalyptus, which is all but impossible to split, and burns hotter than any I can think of- yeah, they let kids build fires to heat the dorms. There were big grates atop the chimneys, and when the fog rolled in, we'd take several rolls of toilet paper, and unroll it carefully so that it would collect up at the top. We'd all run outside, and one person would stay behind and toss the last roll in so that a shower of flame and sparks would jet into the night. The Thacher School has given up all pretense of not being a country club now, but when I was there it was just rough enough around the edges to be a boy's dream, perched on the edge of Los Padres National Forest at the far end of the Ojai Valley.

    Good times.

    With apologies for the thread drift.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    yeah, they let kids build fires to heat the dorms.
    Great story.

    In college, all of our dorms had functioning fireplaces. A few classrooms did too, although I never saw them lit.

    The world needs more fire.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    This is inspiring. In DC we just had our first cool mornings which will prompt me to split a bunch of wood and post manly pictures ;)

    We have been hunting for a small freestanding woodstove to replace the silly round fireplace in our bedroom. The prior owner did install a proper double wall SS pipe so that aspect of the job is done. We were thinking of a JOTUL F118 CB Black Bear. It fits the size requirement, has a glass door and looks great. Craigslist talk to me!

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Wood is romantic, but a pita.

    Gas is way easier to deal with and super-easy to control with a remotely located thermostat.

    If you're simply going for ambiance and won't use it often, go wood.

    If you're going to do any "real" heating, then go with gas.

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