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Lighting Jotul Castine

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by G6 at Snook TX, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. G6 at Snook TX

    G6 at Snook TX Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    117
    Loc:
    central Texas
    How much wood is appropriate to start a fire in a Jotul Castine? I am always a bit hesitant to push the envelope to avoid the rocket ship fire, but is the fire box 3/4 full too much wood? Seasoned oak and hickory is what I use.

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  2. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    3/4 full is absolutely fine. Fill depending on what heat output you want. Overnights, i fill up to a half inch below the secondary plate. From a cold start, I will use a piece of supercedar, and a few skid pieces. When that is starting to take off, I start to add the medium splits and a larger one. The castine like seasoned wood and good draft. I hit temperatures in the 700's pretty commonly when burning oak and blacklocusts, so seeing temps get that high is not anything to worry about. The stove is one of the best built ones out there. You did your 3 pre burns already I take it?
  3. G6 at Snook TX

    G6 at Snook TX Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    117
    Loc:
    central Texas
    I had it last year, and I did the three burns per the manual, but this years well seasoned oak and hickory is so much better than last year moderately seasoned variety. I have had no trouble starting the thing with SuperCedar, but I was curious as to how high I could stuff fire box without getting into trouble. I like it to level out around 600 so reloading is two or three medium splits. On the re-load two small N/S or thereabouts, and one large or medium split E/W on top of them.
  4. rijim

    rijim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
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    191
    Loc:
    RI
    Except for shoulder seasons, I always stuff it as full as I can. If cold start, I fill it up then remove the top front split and put in 1/4 SuperCedar, light it and replace the top split. Door stays open about 10min then close, at 400 3/4 open on air control, at 450 1/2 and at 500 1/4. If loading on hot coals, fill it up keep door open to get new wood burning close door, at 400 go to 1/2 air control at 450 1/4. Sometimes due to outside temps and/or wind, I have to close air down all the way.
  5. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Sounds like it's performing well! I love my castine. If I would do it over though, a deeper firebox would be nice. It heats my whole house. :)
  6. G6 at Snook TX

    G6 at Snook TX Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    117
    Loc:
    central Texas
    A few weeks ago we had 25mph wind, with gusts around 40. Boy that stove burned easy. Today is cool and calm, but I have a good chimney with a good draw.
  7. RichVT

    RichVT Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    The other night when it was 12 below zero I put a full load in my Castine over a medium bed of coals. I turned the air down fairly quickly as I wanted a slow burn. Well the wood took off even with the air turned all the way down. The primary flames were kind of lazy but the secondaries were absolutely RAGING.

    I thought the temperature was going to run away but it never went above 600 so I say load it up as much as you want especially from a cold start.
  8. rijim

    rijim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
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    191
    Loc:
    RI
    Sounds like you got it dialed in, load that puppy up and enjoy the heat. If your worried about it going nuclear, start closing the air down sooner when reloading on real hot coals. But load it right up, I typically run 500-650 for a few hours during off gassing then it drops over the next 3-4 hrs. If you find you can't control the burn your draft may be too strong you may need a flue damper. Keep a wad of aluminum foil close by, you can always use it to block off the air intake on the bottom back if you feel it cannot be controlled.
  9. RichVT

    RichVT Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    I think that was the worst possible scenario that I'll ever see - a super strong draft due to the cold outdoor temp., a hot stove, hot coals and a full load of dry wood. Even with all that the stove still didn't get out of control. I was prepared to do the aluminum foil trick but didn't need to.
  10. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Nov 29, 2012
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    2,197
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    I love mine. Very easy to start. Never have a problem loading it up..
    Those secondaries sure do work nice on that stove.:)
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    When you need the heat . . . load 'er up. . . . and fire . . . 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . we have heat.
  12. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    397
    Loc:
    Foot Hills of the Berkshires
    If we have trouble lighting it is because we hit a bad section in our woodpile where moisture higher than 20%. I just keep the door open a bit longer and use another quarter of a supercedar after the first one burns out.

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