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Jotul 550 loading

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jatoxico, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Has anyone tried to load a Jotul 550, or similar size insert, north south. The Jotul will take a 14" split north south. I'm wondering if there a qualitative difference in the burn time or quality with a fully loaded N/S insert.

    I have a bunch of wood that was delivered >24" and won't fit E/W so I have to cut it at least in half so I can make sure I'll have a fair amount of wood in the future that will fit N/S. So the the question is; is it worth taking the extra effort to cut some stuff to 14", or should I just cut to fit E/W and not waste my time?

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  2. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    I used to have a unit that burned 13" NS and 18" EW. I like loading NS because I could get more wood in. I had best results by raking coals forward, loading two larger splits EW then filling the box NS.
  3. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Hey DFK hope you made out OK with Sandy, alot of trees down by you too? So you had good results N/S? Would you say it was it only the amount of wood or the configuration? The placement of my primary air seems to favor any wood placement that allows the air to get into the stack which N/S does. When its "blocked" by an E/W split results are not as good as they could be so I usually create a small space in front of the primary especially at startup. I did a load last night with some wood that fit N/S which prompted me to post the question. The stove was very happy but I would need to run a few more loads before I drew any conclusions.
  4. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    When I burn EW I carve out a small valley in the center of the ashes. This allows for air flow from front to back. I think NS definitely allowed me to pack the stove with more wood, that was probably a major contributor to better results. But honestly each load behaves a little differently.

    I started this thread two years ago and I found it to be very helpful to my burning methods in a smaller unit http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/tips-for-small-fire-boxes.57987/

    We did ok for the storm, thank God. There were a ton of downed trees in my neighborhood. I have barely scrounged any wood though I have been so busy at work cleaning up from the mess. I am a property manager for high end homes in the hamptons. A lot of flood damage out there.

    *Edit: I just read the specs on the Rockland. That is not a small stove. I have been burning EW most of this year and I like the way it burns. Have you tried the valley in the center of the ash?
  5. cnice_37

    cnice_37 Member

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    I load N/S when the splits allow in the Rockland. You can certainly get more wood in there with the added bonus of never having the load shift and wind up with logs burning on the glass.

    I made my measuring "stick" 14" long, but when I get scrounges then those usually end up going E/W.

    The smaller size does make it tougher to stack! I have resorted to adding 2 fence posts to end each (stacking 2 rows wide) as the shorter cribbed ends get kind of difficult and wimpy.
  6. indiana4spartans

    indiana4spartans Member

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    Just curious because I'm considering upgrading to a 550 Rockland. Why can you only go 14" N/S? The manual online shows an 18" depth so I assumed if I did upgrade, I could cut 16"-18" for a N/S burn. Which I really like to do in my present insert because I can definitely get more wood in versus E/W.
  7. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Good to hear you made out OK and thanks for the thread tip, I'll take a look at it when I have a chance.
  8. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    I think the 18" is the outside of the box, once you subtract for the fire brick, the box itself and clearance from the glass you're smaller than that. I was guesstimating at 14" so I just measured and realistically the Jotul will take splits in the 11-12" range when placed N/S. If you want something deeper you probably will have to go with an insert that protrudes out onto the hearth (the 550 is a flush faced insert).
  9. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Yup, and with the additional cutting is kinda why I was wondering if its worth the extra effort. Not something I feel I would need to do all the time but if I can get more wood in the box that could be useful sometimes.
  10. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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  11. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

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    I load my 550 EW and it burns great. The airflow design is fantastic and my room is usually 71 degrees when burning seasoned dry hardwood loaded EW.
  12. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Vector do you do the tunnel of love? Carving out a small valley in center of the ashes usually helps promote airflow in the firebox for me and others.

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