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My Jotul will have to be front load only...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lumbering on, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    We have decided on a Jotul freestanding stove.

    Because of our fireplace install, we will be using the front door only.

    I keep reading, and have previously been warned, that my #1 pick, the Oslo, is a pain in the poker when using the front door only. Lot's of comments alone in the past few days on Jotul threads.

    My question: Is the Castine (F400) or Firelight (F600) significantly better than the Oslo on the front load door issue, and enough of a difference to warrant consideration of the F400 or F600 instead of the Oslo?

    The F55 is a contender, but we like the design of the other 3 better.

    A daily chronic hassle can get old fast. I don't need another frustrating stove.

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  2. CTPipeDream

    CTPipeDream New Member

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    You should do an insert instead.
  3. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    No inserts for us.
    Have been through multiple scenarios over the last year.
    pretty sure on the jotul.

    Just want to make sure I've covered all my bases and haven't missed anything, given how much I missed with my last purchase.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How large an area will the stove be heating?
  5. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    First Floor: 2,000
    Second Floor: 2,000
    Third Floor: 1,500
    Basement: 1,500

    (third floor currently closed off, basement unfinished)
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Jotul F600 then. The Castine ain't gonna cut it.
  7. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Can I take that to mean the F600 doesn't have the front door issues like the Oslo does?
  8. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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  9. jotulguy

    jotulguy Feeling the Heat

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    The 600 has a fall away front load handle that can be less then user friendly some may say. The space you are trying to heat will be tough with any single stove trying to do the job. The f-55 has a fan option that will help move the heat out of your fireplace and has the same size firebox as the f-600. IMHO it gives you the best of both worlds. High heat output and a solid latching mechanism.
  10. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    What is the ash situation on your front loading only Castine?
  11. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

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    You're trying to heat an area of 4,000-5,500 square feet. If its just for supplental heat, that's a differnet matter. But if this is for exclusive wood heat or even for primary heat, then even the F600 may not be enough. The F400 is nowhere near large enough--it is only rated to heat 1,600 square feet. The F600 is rated to heat up to 2,500 square feet. You should really consider two stoves if you are trying to heat with just wood, IMO.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  12. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Understood, mostly supplemental- living room, kitchen, dining area mostly, about 1,000 square feet.

    Just trying to get a sense of just how frustrating front load is on these stoves. Will strongly consider the F55 if the others really are a pain in the ash.
  13. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    If you look at my avatar, my Oslo is 1/2 in 1/2 out of my fireplace and I use the side door. Granted the door doesn't open 100% (more like 85%) but over the years I've had no problem side loading it. It is rear vented (not top vented). I'm heating around 1400-1500 sq ft (2 bedrooms are closed in the winter - empty nesters here).
  14. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    Is this install intended to be inside the hearth or in front of it?. From what I gather it appears the install is going to be inside the hearth just be aware it is going to have some detrimental effect on heat output and limits you to front door stoves.

    If your intention is to just heat 1000 sq ft the Castine is the right choice but be aware I think the biggest drawback to the Castine is the narrow width profile and ash falling out of the door when you open it and the resultant dust created when that happens. Make sure you have a means of immediately cleaning this mess up with a powerful ash vacuum and constantly clean the filter.

    The advantage to the side door is it is typically placed higher than the ash pile and would mitigate potential ash falling out when you open the door. Hint I think an install in front of the hearth leaves you more options with more potential heat output.

    In the case your home has an open floor plan I would go with the bigger F600 stove.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Castine is not too bad in this regard. The firebox bottom is deep enough so that it is not an issue. But it is mostly an E/W loader. We did have logs roll up against the glass every once in a while due to this loading.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Some other large, castiron, front loaders to look at are the Hearthstone Manchester (fr & side), Lopi Cape Cod and the Quad Isle Royale (top and front)
  17. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    the location and mechanism of the cape cod lever makes an inside the fireplace install nearly impossible.

    Any real world experience with the F55?
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not personally, it was a new stove last season. It should burn similarly to the Rangeley (F50) and there are several postings for that stove. Of the few reports that I have read about the F55 it sounds like people like it a lot. At heart, it's a basic steel stove, clad with cast iron, similar to the Alderlea line, but with a more conventional secondary rack. This is long proven tech.
  19. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I don't see any difference to speak of when looking into a 400,500, or 600. They are all very similar in design. I never thought any thing was amiss with front loading my Oslo, it wasn't any more messy than my other stoves, except for the Blaze King. It was extra deep, so no issues.
    I would not want to front load the 600 because of the fall away handle and the double doors, its kind of a pain to me.
  20. jzinckgra

    jzinckgra Member

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    We just did our break-in fire last wknd on our F55. With just a few sticks and small ones at that, I had a nice little fire for ~3hrs. Stove temp was solid at 275F the entire time. The F55 has no ash pan like the F50, so I think it'll be a little more painful to shovel ashes out, but our last stove was like that and it was fine. I'm looking forward to the cold weather to really try this thing out.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ash spilling out of the front door is about the only complaint one hears frequently about the Oslo. Someone documented this a few years back, but I can't find the picture now. What it showed was that the front door lip on the Oslo is shallower than on the Castine. If you have both stoves side by side, check it out.
  22. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    thats good to hear.
  23. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Not many people on this site with the F55. Would love to hear more about your experience this fall as you start to use it more often. Keep us updated if you can!
  24. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    That's the only complaint I have dug up either. Just trying to get a sense if it's just a mild annoyance or a major headache.

    It was oslo all the way until the f55 caught my eye. Less stylish, but elegant in its simplicity.
  25. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    sounds like the castine has the ash problem too

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