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Esse Ironheart vs Margin Flameview cookstoves

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by bhaugen, Mar 26, 2010.

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  1. bhaugen

    bhaugen New Member

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    We're building a small place in southwest Wisconsin, 500 sq ft with a 2nd floor. Want to get a woodburning stove for cooking as well as heating.

    Have pretty much narrowed the search down to the Esse Ironheart and the Margin Flameview. Margin is cheaper, but Esse says they have a secondary burn and 81% efficiency - tested, they say, in Germany to European standards. Margin says they have something like a secondary burn, but no tested efficiency. Both appear to be solidly constructed.

    Any experience or comparisons of either or both of these stoves, or any other info that might help us choose? (Including opinions like "neither of those is nearly as good as this other, better, stove".)

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  2. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum! :)

    I can't offer any opinion on one stove versus the other, but I will suggest you check with the local building codes to see if they will allow a non-EPA rated stove. Also ask the same question of your homeowners insurance company.

    Shari
  3. bhaugen

    bhaugen New Member

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    Shari, thanks for the reply. I'll check about insurance and double-check building codes, but there's lots of non-EPA rated stoves in the area, and as far as I know, the building codes don't specify.
  4. djblech

    djblech Feeling the Heat

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    I just looked up the Margin and was impressed. It is UL listed which should satisfy the ins comp. I think wood cook stoves are neat. I like the Margin flameveiw heater, it would be perfect in my cabin. I don't think you will get the overnight burns that you could with a good epa stove.
    Doug
  5. bhaugen

    bhaugen New Member

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    Hey Doug, thanks for the reply. We saw the Margin in action in an Amish 2-story house where it was the only source of heat. Has a big firebox for a cookstove, and they easily keep a fire going all night.

    Likewise the Esse North America rep says he keeps a fire going overnight in his Ironheart.
  6. djblech

    djblech Feeling the Heat

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    The Esse looks like a really nice stove to. I have looked at it before on Obidiah's website. The price is more than double the Margin. I think I would lean towards the margin for that reason alone. That would be great to see them in action. I don't think you could go wrong with either stove.
    Doug
  7. bhaugen

    bhaugen New Member

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    Not sure if this question should start a separate thread or not. I added it to a thread about overheating (too big a stove for the space) which got me thinking, and got a response that it was a separate issue.

    It is related to this one, but is not exactly the same as whether one of these stoves would be better than the other. The issue is whether both of these stoves are too big for the space, which is a no-partition 21’ x 24’ living area with a partial second floor.

    The Ironheat firebox is 12” x 18” x 18” and the Margin 12” x 22” x 18”. Too big? Or not?

    (New to the forum, still learning the ground rules...)
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It will probably be fine, especially in a cold climate. Can you describe how the house is laid out? How many floors, how open is the floorplan? How well insulated is the house? Age?
  9. bhaugen

    bhaugen New Member

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    First floor will be 21’ x 24’, no partitions. Second floor will cover 80% with an open area on the south. Will be new construction, pretty well insulated. Stove will be on the first floor, close to the south end of the second floor.

    (And no partitions on the second floor, either, except for bathrooms...)
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ok, I can see your concern at only having ~1000 sq ft to heat. Truth be told not many of us have experience with either of these stoves. I lean a bit more towards the Esse. We have had a couple posters that have owned this stove and are happy. I like the cleaner burning aspect and good fireview. The IronHeart firebox is roughly about the size of a mid-sized stove so you should be ok. It will take some practice to strike a balance between heating needs and cooking needs, especially in fall and spring. But that's what windows are for :).

    Suggestion. If the upper floor is a loft. Build in ways to close it off from downstairs. This can be with windows or sliding doors. The advantages will be much better control over noise and heat. Do plan on having a ceiling fan too. But even with it on, a loft can get hot with a stove cooking below.
  11. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    I don't feel either stove will be a problem over heating. We use one in our kitchen to both heat and bake, and while our house is about 1000 sq. ft., it just isn't too hot. The one thing to note is that they have a lot of mass, wood cookstoves, and they stay warm a long time once they are completely heated up.

    I have a modern one now, and it has a large firebox. Previously, I used a couple of them in cabins, one for 11 years, that had very small fireboxes. It was quite old, probably at least early 1900s, and many of those I see with small fire boxes. The stove was great for baking, no problem, and it put out enough heat otherwise. However, one is forever feeding the things and you cannot use larger wood. This is ok if you are there watching and managing it, but it is more effort and time and can be a pain. My newer stove will go all night if I close it down some. Or, at least I can awaken to some coals and a stove which is still at least warm and will then warm up faster once I rebuild the fire.

    Either of the fireboxes you are considering would be fine.
  12. anna@matsumail.com

    anna@matsumail.com New Member

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    This is probably too late to help with a decision, but perhaps not for someone looking for info later on.

    We just put down a large chunk on the Esse Ironheart yesterday but while researching this stove we found this very useful (though we're not "green" per se) article about what cook stoves are best...

    http://www.sustainablelivingmagazin...energy/wood-energy/72-ironheart-cooking-stove

    Clearly we have no idea how this stove will perform, but we do have high hopes. Will keep you posted.
  13. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    That is quite the beautiful stove and looks as if it will be a great baking oven/cooker. We also recently ordered a new cookstove, a Heartland [Aga] Artisan I saw mentioned here on the forum and which are on sale something like $1500 off. We have been waiting for 8 wks, as they were out of stock and have to be shipped from England. The Esse website says it can be 4 months to wait for theirs, so our wait isn't any worse. I have been baking on our current cookstove [which is being moved into another room as the oven is too small] for 20 yr. and others before that. Nothing like it, though summertime temp's preclude using it except on cooler days when I arise early and get the bread done by late morning with the cottage doors wide open and the ceiling fans going.

    Stoves such as these Esse and the Heartland are amazing appliances and become the center of the portion of the house in which they live. Unlike a wood heat stove, these do need to be cleaned of ash and sometimes a bit of soot from around the various fireboxes and internal airways. but these "modern" makes are designed to make that task simple and quick. I don't spend over an hour a year doing it to my present cookstove.
  14. bhaugen

    bhaugen New Member

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    Update on the original question:

    We got a Margin Flameview cookstove, and love it. Well mage. Big firebox, heats the whole place but without getting it too hot. Cooks, bakes, can hold a fire overnight.

    Don't know about efficiency vs an Esse, but certainly a lot less expensive.

    Thanks for all the discussion and tips here. Great forum.
  15. lifesmith

    lifesmith New Member

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    We have tested over 20 cookstoves in our wood heat program at our Eco Education Centre and we highly recommend the Esse Ironheart. There is also a good article in Sustainalbe Living Magazine that explores all its advantages of the Ironheart. After using one for a week we also came to the conclusion that the award winning Esse Ironheart is perhaps the best all round wood fired cook stove on the market. It certainly provides a lot of performance with a relatively small footprint and excelant controls on both the air flow to the firebox and the heat distribution to the cooktop and the oven.

    One of our instructors has had one for over 5 years and still raves about it as the best wood stove he has ever owned. (his 9th)
    He describes it as a multi function wood appliance that cooks and bakes while you heat your house and your hot water. Apparently he got the best price from Earthwalk and they included a mini course on cooking with wood. You can reach them at 905-355-3000. He says he has never had a maintenance issue with it after several years of use and it performs beautifully. I would completely agree with him and you might want to check out the Ironheart before you decide. Feel free to contact me if you want to know more about our experience with the Ironheart. :exclaim:

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  16. Obadiah

    Obadiah “Extinguishing Mediocrity”

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    I'd like to explain the difference between the ESSE Ironheart and Margin Cookstoves and hopefully clear up any confusion in the posts on this subject. We at Obadiah's sell both lines, as well as many other brands of cookstoves.
    ESSE has been building cookers in England since 1854. They even built stoves for Florence Nightingale and the Shackleton Exploration. No other stove manufacture today has more experience building stoves. Many consider ESSE to be the Rolls Royce of cookstoves. They have their own foundry and make their own cast iron components. Interesting enough, they have come to the realization that using cast iron to build stoves is no longer the optimal way to do things. Stoves built of cast iron need to be rebuilt after 10-20 yrs, as they have a tendency to loose their air tightness. Cast Iron components can also crack when they expand and contract, from the extreme temperatures a stove endures. In order to build a stove 100 yrs ago they had to cast individual components and assemble the parts to make the stove. These individual components expand and contract differently, they can crack if they are over-fired, or the stove is fired when cold. As a result of these drawback ESSE decided to build their cookers using modern techniques. They use steel pates that are welded together which form one single unit as the main stove body. This means the stove body expands and contracts as one, it is much easier to make it air tight. They now hang the cast iron parts, that they cast in their foundry, on the outside of the stove body. This gives them the benefits of Cast Iron's ability to retain heat, without the draw backs. ESSE stoves never need to be rebuilt, there are no internal gaskets to fail or replace, no furnace cement to crack and fall out. They will stay air tight for generations to come. The Ironheart is one of the few cookstoves that offers a front viewing of the fire. It was developed for the US market and is a excellent cookstove for those that can afford the best. It offers the ability to use a boiler option so you can actually heat a separate area of your home using a radiator, or heat your domestic hot water supply. ESSE has recently come out with two new models, the 990 and WN/WD models. The 990 has a glass door behind the sold door on the firebox, so you can view the fire from the front. It also offers 3 separate ovens, which is also a unique feature. They will be the cleanest burning wood cookstoves ever made. The 990 and WN/WD series stoves are currently undergoing testing and should be available this summer, fully UL and Omni listed. They are available now for those where that is not a issue. They weigh about 700lbs and will heat about 1000 sq ft. If we have had any complaints it would be that they are only producing about 20,800 BTU's. without the boiler option. So if your heating a larger area, you will need a larger stove. The Kitchen Queen 480 is a viable option, there and will easily heat up to 3000 sq ft and give 12-14hr burn times.

    Margin Stoves are built by the Amish in Canada and are also a very nice looking cookstove. Many folks love the looks of the old fashion cookstoves, yet the convenience of a band new stove.
    Margin stoves offers a few different models, the Margin Gem is the old fashion looking stove, the Gem Pac is the 30-40s style stove, and the Flameview is their newest stove. It also has a view of the fire, but it is from the side. The firebox can be located on either side of the cookstove, a very unique feature. The stoves are built using turn of the century technology, using various components that are bolted together, without any gaskets, or furnace cement. If the internal components crack, they can be unbolted and replaced. There are Pros and Cons to this approach. Margin stoves build their stoves to order, so there is a delay in delivery. These stoves can take anywhere from 1 to 4 months before you will receive it. We have sold plenty of them and most folks seem very happy with their purchases. However, we have had some complaints from customers that the Margin Stoves smoke when they are brand new, until the cracks seal up with creosote. Some other folks have complained about pools of creosote around the legs of the stove. This problem occurs when the stoves are new and have high moisture levels inside them, or the customer is burning damp or green wood. We have also received a couple complaints that the stove will make booming noises when it is expanding and contracting. This seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Overall they are a quality stove and the folks at Margin Stoves stand behind what they build, if there is a problem they will make it right.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the very informative post about the cook stoves. I learned a lot. It sounds like the cookstove industry appears to be going hybrid like the Alderlea, Napoleon cast iron, Jotul Rangeley, and Quad cast stoves. Are the Hearthstone Deva and Aga stoves hybrids also?

    But let's follow the forum rules in future posts.

    Please be sure to read the Forum Rules for Commercials Members:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/Forum_Rules_for_Commercial_Members/
    Short and sweet part - forums posts are NOT the place to promote your business or your products. Below are instructions for Retailers with physical locations to obtain a free listing. Others who wish to promote their products here or sponsor the site should contact me for a quote on our advertising programs. My email is webmaster@hearth.com
  18. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Thank you for sharing information about these cookstoves.

    However, when someone gets the feeling they are being given a sales pitch "the line" has been crossed.

    Your post has been edited to reflect the pertinent information



    pen
  19. Obadiah

    Obadiah “Extinguishing Mediocrity”

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    Sorry guys, as you can see I am a little new at this, just trying to help. Last thing I would ever do is step on someones toes or cross the line here. Been a long time supporter of this forum, just never had anytime to get involved, so I thought I would try to do more to help out.
    Went to "the Rules" and I'm a little confused.
    1st Rule: I did not try to push one product over another, I sell both and was trying to offer an honest opinion on each product in response to the posted thread.
    2nd Rule: I am a paid Gold Direct Merchant Sponsor. We support Hearth.com and thought as an advertiser, we could post information if was addressing a product question. I have seen many others do this in the past.
    3rd Rule: I did not cast a "Bad Light" on any competitor, as I sell both products and have first hand experience with the manufactures and was just trying to offer a honest opinion, based on many years experience with both products.
    I provided links to our website where more info on these products is available. It that where I crossed the line?
    Maybe I'm just ignorant at how this all works, (this was my only 4th post) but if someone could clarify what I did wrong, I surely won't repeat it, otherwise, I'm clueless. Maybe I should go back to focusing on helping the folks that call me instead of posting the answers to these questions here for all to see?
    I find it interesting that you as a moderator, did not even know we are paid advertisers.
    Not that it should give me a right to violate the rules, once I understand them, but I never seem to see our banners running. Is Craig still running the show here? What happened to the advertising we paid for?
    Thanks for your time and please would someone explain the rules, they seem as clear as mud to me.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The posting was great. I learned something about both stoves from it. Please do more excellent posts like it. The comment was only at the last paragraph which was a direct pitch for the company.

    The simple rule is that forum posts about helping and informing, not for pushing product or company. If we let one company use the forum to promote itself, then the next company is also going to want to do this and then the next. Forums that allow this eventually become spam-a-lots. I can totally appreciate pride in what the company does and sells. Folks report back excellent service from Obidiah's. Instead of using the forum comments, put that pride in the banner advertising, it works.

    For questions about the rules, it's best to PM the webmaster. Your feedback on them and suggestions on how they could be made clearer are totally appreciated.
  21. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Just wanted to let you know I have seen your shops banners running quite a bit, so I would think others are seeing them also. Nice post by the way I learned alot.
  22. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    I know someone here who has an Esse Ironheart here and they really are the Rolls Royce of wood stoves.

    I have never met anyone who has a bad word to say about them.

    If run 24/7 they will burn about a wheelbarrow of wood per day, just so you can do the math.

    If you get the River Cottage programmes over there on TV, Hugh has one in River Cottage HQ :)
  23. Mt Ski Bum

    Mt Ski Bum Member

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    Now that I am paying attention to the banners, I too have seen your banner several times today alone. Please do continue to provide more informative posts like the one you made above- I'm sure you have plenty more great information about woodstoves to contribute to this forum! I look forward to seeing more of your posts around :)
  24. Obadiah

    Obadiah “Extinguishing Mediocrity”

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    Thanks guys I think I'm getting the idea. I'd do my best to keep the info coming and the sales pitching limited.
    Thanks for the compliments, we try to do our best, we're blessed to be able to do what we love, so I get carried away very easily and shift into "Promo Mode".
    You guys are great devoting so much time and energy to educating folks, you really provide a wonderful service to the Hearth community. We're thankful that we can be a part of it too.
    We've had a really busy year, things just started to slow down a little so I could finally spend some time poking around here to see what was going on.
    Glad to hear our banners are still running, I've looked a few times, haven't seen them lately.
    Be Well!
  25. charly

    charly Guest

    I've recently purchased an Iron Heart from Woody at Obadiahs, and I can tell you he is above and beyond a first rate person to deal with. http://www.discountstoves.net/ironheart_p/ironheart.htm. I received my stove in a very timely manner no problem. One thing I got educated about, was a heavier stove was getting you much more stove for your money, and also alot of nice thermal mass. The Esse sits in her crate in my garage as I am getting her final resting place ready in our farm house. I will post how she runs , once the heating season is upon us again. I'm glad I went for the Esse after reading the reviews.
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