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  1. cobra grover

    cobra grover New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Southern Indiana
    I'm new to this forum and new to wood burning in general. So new in fact I don't even have my wood-burner yet or a place to put it.
    The plan is we are in the planning stages of building a small cabin on some land we just bought. Right now we are looking at plans in the size of about 600 sq ft footprint with a loft and cathedral ceilings so I don't really need a very big stove. This place will just be a "get away" place for now and if we love it we may spend much more time there when retirement days come.

    I just found this site and have been reading through some of the posts trying to get some sort of idea about what I need. I really have no idea what to look for in a stove or what makes one better that the other. I know brand recommendation is a touchy subject in places like this because everyone likes what they have.

    I guess this is bottom line. Considering my cabin size what should I be looking for. I don't want to spend a huge amount of money on a stove buy I don't want junk either.

    For instance, my local Menards has a Vogelzan defender on sale right now for $399. I know for that price it can't be a really good stove but for someone like me I'm not sure why. Just going by a pretty cheap price. I usually think you get what you pay for.

    Thanks

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,120
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Welcome aboard. That's a decent price. For this purpose the Defender should be fine, especially if there is other supplemental heat to quickly warm the place up. Just be sure it's installed correctly and safely. And be sure to have a good supply of split, dry wood on hand. Even the best EPA stoves can be mediocre performers with poorly dried wood.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,056
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    And the question does need to be asked - only source of heat? 24/7? or just fill in?

    With small sqft it is pretty typical that you will need a smaller stove so that you do not roast your chestnuts. This plays into the 24/7 burn. Pretty hard to do overnight fires in under 2 sqft of firebox.

    So the big question: How will it be used and what are you expecting from it.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,699
    Loc:
    WNY
    Where are you located? How much insulation are you planning on? What kind of clearances and hearth pad requirements are you good with? What is a huge amount of money?

    We heat about 680 sq ft with a stove rated for a lot more. It takes paying attention to the stove and what you're doing (when it's 50 outside you don't need more than 2-3 smallish softwood splits and you let it really coal down before reloading), but when it's really cold out, the stove really shines-plus we can get daylong/overnight burns with it.

    We chose ours because:
    1) I always liked the look of the Endeavor (sister stove) but in the end with the cost of the install and pipe, I chose the less costly Republic
    2) We have a small cottage (house). I needed close clearances, and this has 4 1/2" rear clearance.
    3) We wanted a stove that was big enough to give us overnight burns and handle the cold here, since it's all we use for heat.
  5. cobra grover

    cobra grover New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Southern Indiana
    Ok, we are in southern Indiana. Plan on insulating very well. No idea about hearth pad clearances, closer is better I think. A huge amount would be over $1000 but I'm not sure what a decent stove costs. This would be the only source of heat, at least for now.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,056
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Keep in mind that the pipe can add up very quickly for stoves.

    Hmmmm...I would be considering a cat model for the ability to go low and slow. This would allow a bit bigger stove, yet lower stove temps. Soap stone - maybe. On a budget - the little 17 from Englander, but it is small and overnight burns may prove difficult (burn tube tech).

    I would also be looking into built in thermal storage to help even the heat. Nice brick or stone facade. Possibly even a heavy cement hearth pad. It could be tiled if you wish. New construction offers the ability to build in some really good things.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    And if you are serious about burning wood, get some on hand now! Don't make the typical new burner mistake of doing a great install and having that wonderful wood stove.....and then going out to buy some. Or going out to cut some. That don't work worth a hoot. Wood, after being cut to length and split, needs time to dry. It is not like buying gas or oil where when you want some you just give a call and it is delivered. Do not expect that from any wood sellers! They will sing a good song and tell you how great the wood is, but there is a 99% or greater chance that wood is not ready to burn. So please do yourself a favor and check out the fuel like you are checking out the stove but know that the wood needs to be gotten first.
    bluedogz likes this.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,120
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA

    At 1.3 cu ft he Defender appears to have a bit larger firebox than the 17VL's. I thought of a small cat stove, but in this budget range that isn't going to happen. With careful wood selection I think they'll get a 6 hr burn with hot coals remaining at 8hrs. It's not ideal, but what wood stove is ideal for heating 600 sq ft while providing overnight burns? Maybe a coal stove?
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,056
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    I agree. That is one reason I threw in the thermal mass part. Maybe help even out the heat cycle and if planned for can be incorporated into the build for not a lot of cash.
  10. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,631
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Keep an eye out for used Jotul 602's they are great for a small cabin. They start fast and throw out a lot of heat. Overnight burns in a small EPA stove are a myth. In order to carry overnight you need to be able to crank the air down but this just makes a lot of creosote, most EPA stove are set up with hidden secondary air ports so that even if you do try to crank them down, they still will burn out quickly. With a well insualted cabin, it wont cool down that quickly overnight and as you have dry wood and some kindling ready to go restarting the fire is quick or alternatively many folks get pretty good at waking up in the middel of the night adn adding a stick of wood or two. The EPA exempt stoves get exempted as they are so drafty that you cant shut off the air. The burn hot and go out fast. If you do look for a 602 there are some inner baffles that wear out warp and crack, they are replaceable and still available but they cost a few bucks.

    Ditto on firewood, once you own the land get some cut and store it above the ground on pallets with a piece of tarp or some used roofing over the top of it. Even if you do need to buy some to stretch the pile out, if you have some good dry wood you can usually burn the less than dry stuff.
  11. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,699
    Loc:
    WNY
    It's not ideal, but the Republic does pretty well at it (in "real" heating season, not in shoulder season-we don't try for overnight burns then). I'd like to try a Sirroco, but it's too expensive plus they didn't come out with it until after we had already bought the Republic. That said, I think the Republic would be too much for them though, if they are well insulated and in their climate.
  12. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Iowa
    Glad to see you are looking here first. I bought a stove installed it then found this site. Wish it were the other way around, but common sense got me around most the pitfalls. We heat our house about (about the same size) with a "Menards" type special. It's good, but the best thing was that i was cheap. Not knowing how much I was going to enjoy the "fun" of wood heat I'm glad I did it that way. As said above the stove was not the big expense, the pipe and hearth was easily double the cost of the stove (we have a cathedral ceiling too).

    Great advice on getting wood now. I scrounged like crazy and burnt too much wet wood my first year. Now I sit with about 2 years of wood out on racks and still I yearn for more. Good luck, and ask lots of questions. These guys know there stuff!
  13. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,065
    Loc:
    Richmond, VA
    Another thought: when it is below freezing outside in the daytime and the cabin has been empty for a few weeks, it takes a long time to bring the interior up to a comfortable temperature, particularly if it is in the teens or single digits. I figure on 12-24 hours. It isn't so much the size of the stove, as it is bringing all the thermal mass of the cabin and furnishings up to temp. Once it is warm inside, the size of the stove will determine how often you'll need to reload and how much wood you'll need to keep it warm.

    And to reiterate what others have said, the flue and chimney will cost more than you think, even if you do the work yourself.
  14. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Iowa
    Good point. I used pieces from Menards (double wall inside and stainless from the ceiling up) and it installed it myself. I did get a quote and it would have added about $900 to the cost of the chimney.
  15. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,393
    Loc:
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    My Vogelzang durango stove can be had for about $800 occasionally, and is long and skinny. Takes 26" logs and does 8 hrs easy with small loads if you can get "cigar burns" going. I have added an inline damper due to a strong draft, but you may not need one with a short chimney. If you put " Indiana" in your signature, it will help on future posts you may have on fuel types, wood ID, coord prices etc.
    I'd find and cut / split / cover some locust or mulbery to get started. It should be ready next year if you are.
    Any "seasoned wood" you may buy probably isn't
    welcome and Good luck!
  16. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,922
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    It's true that everything costs more than you think. I had to bite down on a .357 when I figured out how much a decent stove that we would likely be satisfied with, would cost. Installation and chimney materials might run $1000+ depending.

    But, consider that this will not just be a heating device; it will be an integral part of the cabin, something you will be looking at and using every day you're there, and could last for many years or even decades. Size it right, choose something you really like and go for it. With luck, one of the sub-$1000 stoves will be a perfect fit.

    Fortunately, your needs seem pretty modest and there are some pretty darn good stoves well under a grand that would probably work great.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,120
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Haven't heard of anything so far that will match that price/performance ratio. If money is tight, I'd be willing to give the Defender a try. At that price you're not going to lose your shirt if you decide to upgrade later. Keep it in good shape by not overloading or overfiring the stove and you should be able to sell it for a decent price.
  18. cobra grover

    cobra grover New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Southern Indiana
    Thanks everyone. A lot of good advice and things to think about. I have been told by several people the chimney is a big expense. One site I went to you could put in your measurements and it would calculate the cost. Came out to be $1200-$1700 depending on what kind of pipe you use. Wow!
    schlot likes this.
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Indeed the costs can be pretty high to do this right as can the task of getting the wood. On the other hand, the benefits can be tremendous. Good luck.
    schlot likes this.
  20. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,218
    Loc:
    Soutwest VA
    Chimneys are not cheap mine cost somewhere a bit above $2000.

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