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jotul black bear

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by DaBeast, Dec 9, 2005.

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  1. DaBeast

    DaBeast New Member

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    Dec 7, 2005
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    anyone currently running one? likes or dislikes? i'm leaning heavily towards this stove and would like some feedback on it...

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  2. DaBeast

    DaBeast New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
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    anyone have a black bear?
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    We wanted to buy that stove, but alas it's not seen on the west coast yet. Maybe a Jotul 118 user will chime in here. We had a smaller Jotul 602 prior to current 3CB. It was a great little box stove.
  4. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
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    I too wanted to buy that stove in Ohio. I was told that it hasn't made it to this area yet.
  5. larryhollenb

    larryhollenb New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    I purchased the Jotul Black Bear and took delivery in mid november 2005.

    I am learning more with time. I purchased it because I liked the stove styling rather than the fireplace styling. It was also rated to be the correct size for my 935 square foot farm home. That has turned out to be an issue. I was used to old stoves of the Ashley circulator or Riteway radiant design, they would run you out of the home heat wise. But clogged the chimney with creosote. So when the oil became 3.59 a gallon here, (kerosene) only heating oil you can get here. I decided after l0 years to return to wood heat. I have an inside insulated, stainless lined, brick flue. I was concerned about the size of the fire box and door to it. In reality that isn't a problem if your spliting to the 3" size that is recommended for burning. I usually add one larger piece with as many smaller ones I can get in. Once the stove is burning its easy, if not wonderful in its ability to return to high heat output. the problem is that you have only so much room and with a quick fire you will get high heat for maybe two, perhaps even three hours, then your in a coasting situation till you can burn the coals down enough to reload. There too it has been a relearning experience. Adding a peice of medium sized wood will cause it to give off more heat, with lots of blazing, and will quicken the reduction of the coals.
    I have been following reviews and comments on woodheat.org about the new stoves. It seems that due to the restricted EPA heights of the firebox almost none of the new stoves really holds the kind of load old time wood burners were used to. That causes people to not get the kind of heat output they expected. In my case, the first few weeks I had it, it was cold. 10 degrees at night and highs mid twenties. I wasn't quite as familiar with the stove then since it was new. I could perhaps do a little better now, but I found that It took the stove all day to recover the home from an overnight burn. And then the rooms around the stove only made it to 70 or so degrees. I was used to easily haveing 85 in the living room that opens widely into the stove room, (dining room). So my first impression was "this stove won't begin to heat my home". I still have that impression for cold weather. Its been in the 30's to 60's since and of course now I can keep the rooms pretty comfortable. I wonder if I can with the technique of adding wood to the coals more often, I can up the temps in colder weather.
    As far as the quality of the stove, I have no complaint about it. The dual primary air and Secondary air controls, which are both usable during the burn are features only of the Black Bear from what I hear. It will hold coals for 8 hours if you have hard wood and fill it well at night. I never cut off the primary air all the way. Jotul recommened per phone conversation to set it somewhere around the mid point. If your familiar with the Black Bear you may know that the primary air is a slide in the bottom of the door. Very tiny and very touchy. Also very hot.... but it serves the purpose. After reading comments about stoves with front doors and the ashes pouring out I have appreciated the small door on one end to rake the coals and ashes to. If I am careful it doesn't spill much. The glass door is small but I like it and it gives you a feeling of what the stove is doing. It also stays very clean. The first few burns it got the dirtiest. Now once every couple of weeks if that you could wipe it off.
    Having said all that I must admit I have been stove shoping. Also review reading. I am still afraid that this stove is not the best choice for whole home, sole heat source. I don't think it will do well in zero weather. And yet as I check other brands reviews it seems the low heat output, is common. And I say low only in that it doesn't seem to put out enough heat long enough to heat the surrounding rooms well. The room the stove is in is quite warm once its going. And its a little slow to throw heat due to the heavy cast iron. But as I look around and think maybe what I know is better than the unknown, I still haven't figured out what will happen.
    Overall I think the construction, operation is quite good. Its a stove that if your have a very small home, or want extra heat with a back up, its a wonderful choice if you don't like the fireplace style window things. Another plus is the ease with which it takes 24 inch wood. Most of the wood deliveries I have gotten always end up being longer than the wood dealers say, so its nice to have a longer fire box. I do resplit alot of it though. Thats something most of the new ones will require also.
    If you have any questions please let me know.

    Larry
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