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Jotul Castine Replaces Franklin Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mmichaud, Sep 17, 2006.

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  1. mmichaud

    mmichaud Member

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    Thanks to everyone who posted some info concerning my last post, "replacing a franklin stove". After some thought I decided to go out and buy a Jotul Castine wood stove. I have to say that so far I am really happy with it. I have had two break in fires so far. The first fire I had trouble starting, the second went much better. Starting a fire in the new stove is different than the franklin stove. Since I do not have any experience with the new stoves I ask for some help again. Here are more questions.

    1. When I first start the stove, I crack the door for a couple of minutes and wait for the wood to catch. Then I shut it completely. Does anyone else have to do that? The Jotul Instructions don't mention this.

    2. The flames seem different than my other franklin stove. They burn a brighter yellow blue. On top of the firebox, after the fire burns for a little bit, it looks like there are additional flames burning. Is this what is meant by secondary burn?

    3. How many fires does it take for the paint to cure?


    Thanks again for your help.

    Mike

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    cracking the door for longer would not be uncommon, you must have good draft to be closing it that soon
    yep thats secondary burn, cool huh?
    it will take severl hours of burning to get the paint all cured up.
    congrats on your new stove.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Congratulations Mike. Looks like we'll be learning the Castine together. I'm a couple fires ahead of you. Is your stove top or rear exit for the stovepipe? How is it finished? Painted or porcelain enamel? The smell has not been too bad at all with the blue-black enamel so far, but I've only taken it up to about 450 degrees. Usually once one has had a couple burns at normal operating temps of around 600 degrees, the finish cures pretty quickly.

    I also noticed that the Castine is a little lazy to start. Keeping the door open for the first 5 minutes or so seems to help. Once it gets going good, you'll see rolling flames at the top often aligned with the holes in the secondary air chamber. That's secondary burn. I got a real nice show with the last load of wood. At this point, I am officially now past break in and will be taking her up to 600 to see what she can really do with the next fire.
  4. mmichaud

    mmichaud Member

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    The stove pipe exit is on the top. The stove is black and the smell has not been horrible, but I have only taken it up to about 300 degrees.

    My first fire attempt failed and I had to re think my plan of attack. It almost seems as if the newspaper does not stay lit long enough to catch the kindlin. My second fire did not take long to catch. I split the kindlin up smaller. Once it took it went. It does not need a lot of wood to get hot. Completely different than the franklin. It seems as if I was throwing in wood by the arm full with that stove. The secondary burn is really cool. I have not seen that before.

    My next break in fire is the 400 degree mark. I have to do it on a much cooler day. Today it was 72 degrees out and it got a little warm in the house. It was nice to have the windos open to get rid of the pain smell. When I find my digital camera I will take a picture and post.
  5. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    I most of the time use those compressed fiber firestarters, lots of small twigs and/or bark and usually leave the ashpan door open for up to 5 minutes to get my fire started. I must admit my Castine does not draft well in temps over 45F outside and the corners of the glass will always get dirty when in operation. If you overlook those small items the stove will be an excellent heat producer and it will take larger diameter logs than the CB3 which will be a time saver.
  6. senorFrog

    senorFrog New Member

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    How are you guys telling the temp of the stove?
  7. mmichaud

    mmichaud Member

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    I have a stove thermometer on the top surface.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hi JB, how long have you had your F400? Does your stovepipe top or rear exit? Using the ashpan door to start the fire is a warranty voider with Jotul. It is not advised as the heat on the grate gets much too intense. The blast furnace heat created can warp or crack the grate.

    Our thermometer is on the top, placed about 6" from the right-side edge on the centerline of the top. The manual shows recommended locations in fig. 12.

    Mine is also a lazier starter and gets more smoke on the glass than the 3CB. But I am hoping with refining techniques that I can eliminate that problem. So far it hasn't gone below 50 degrees, so draft may be affected by that. I've got boxes of construction scraps that are good kindling. Today's fire got up to 600 deg and the stove burned very nicely. Seems like once all that cast iron gets warmed up the stove behaves very well.

    I really like the look of the stove in our living room. It is just right. The larger firebox is a joy. Finally something that can handle a nice jule log :). I also like the smooth and easy air control that stays cool even with a hot fire. Fit and finish on the stove is excellent. The rear heat shield really works well. So far I am of mixed opinion on the large door. With the lazy starts, it's hard not to let smoke into the house when feeding the stove and it is not up to temp (at least over 300). I open the door slowly to let the gases equalize, but still get a puff of smoke or two. We'll definitely want to be able to control this. Maybe when the temps drop this will work better? If not, I may switch to top exit and/or try the european air adapter.
  9. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    I had it since January 2006 it is rear exited with a cleanout T with the minimum 13 ft riser into a hearth area that was originally used for a ventless propane log set. As for opening the ashpan door I do it only to facilitate a draft. The stove does not draft well at all when the temp outside is above 45F and with my learning curve only operate the stove at temps below that threshhold. I always operate the stove top between 300-350F when in operation and only had it at 500F once briefly for the 3rd curing of paint. I got the stove mainly because of the ease of obtaining low cost/free firewood in my area and the productive exercise created procuring it.

    I think you are going to enjoy your stove over the CB3 for the heat output and the larger size firewood it will accept but I do have some minor reservations with it which I have done in the stove review section. The ashpan is a little too small as is the length of the grate spacing area. In addition, the corners of the glass always gets dirty which I think is due to the airwash system coupled with the rather small bottom grate not extending to the entire length of the window area. Cleaning the dirt isn't difficult but it reduces the size of the viweing area when the stove is operating.

    I will post pics of the stove at a later time.
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    JB, you would get better results if you had a little more chimney. The stronger draft wold wash the glass better, and the minimum is based on a top exit in reality. Like i mentioned before, its no secert that the castine is one of the more draft sensitive stoves in the jotul line. Ask any manufactures rep, and the minimum usually doesnt cut it.
    Ultimently you will tear up the bottem of the stove using it for start up air. Thats a bad habit to get into, i would try to break it. Use the front door, if that doesnt work you dont have enough draft.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Great JB, looking forward to seeing your shots. I hear ya with the ashpan draft situation, but it sounds like you may want to remedy this problem. Our winter temps are often between 40-45 so this will bear watching. But, I think MSG is right and would consider adding a 4 ft. length to your stack based on the behavior. It could make a whole new stove for you.

    It seems pretty hard to keep the Castine at those lower temps. Our stove seems to want to operate between 450 and 600 so far. Maybe you are running the stove too cool? That may explain why your glass is getting dirty. The higher temps burn off the carbon on the glass. One thing I have noticed is that if one burns with the air control wide open, the stove runs cooler than if it is shut down to 1/2. As soon as I do this, the temps jumps about 150 to 200 degrees and the secondaries really kick in. This is after about 30 minutes of charring the wood first. The 3CB had a different behavior, though it would kick up to 700 if you weren't watching it. That's when I added the draft damper.

    I'm letting the ash build up right now. The Jotuls we've had in the past burn better with a nice bed of ash. We'll see if this stove has the family genes soon.
  12. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    MSG/BeGreen I don't know if I would be too receptive to adding 4 more feet to my stack when it already extends about 6 ft over my flat tin roof. Any other ways of getting the fire started efficiently without opening the ashpan or front door briefly because I do have a strong family history of lung cancer and one thing I will not tolerate is backpuffing secondhand smoke. MSG does the Castine have a potential minor design flaw? It seems the corners of the glass gets dirty on the reviews I read and I also think the ashgrate could be longer as the ashes seem to bog easily?
  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Any stove has a potiential design flaw, but your issue is draft. I have burned two castines over the years, and i can tell you this, they need strong draft, and the glass stays clean when burned properly. if you have to crack the bottem, then you arent getting proper draw. Im the wrong person to ask about ash pans, i dont use them, im a scooper. 13' foot chimney is less then borderline, and what your describe proves that point (creosote on the glass, cracking the ash pan) both issues are a tell tell sign of poor draft. . You would be suprised what the extra chimney will do.
  14. pfmg

    pfmg Member

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    X2, i originaly had trouble keeping the door clean, but with temps in the 500s, it is not an issue. I usually start a fire with the door open and the screen in place, usually half hour or so, then close the door and it takes off.
  15. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    I finally posted a pic of my Castine in the picture section of the forums. Sorry, it took some time because I finally had to manually reconfigure the size to make it work.
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