1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Stove recommendations please!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Cynnergy, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    Coast, BC
    Hello all,

    So, I have been reading on the forums about how big a stove you need for an overnight burn, and I've been thinking that I should reconsider my original pick of a Jotul F100 for the cabin because I will be stuck using the oil appliances (stove and furnace) for supplemental heat overnight, which I really don't want to do all of the time. I don't mind using the oil if necessary for the coldest nights of the year. Pics and floorplan follow the text.

    Background - it's a 1950's 1 1/2 story cabin built on log skids (all above ground, no crawlspace, no basement). It's 30 feet long by 20 feet wide. I call it 900 sq feet because the attic has a very sloped ceiling. The walls have some insulation (Gyproc mineral wool - R-12 if we're lucky), the floor will soon have R-28 Roxul between the joists, and we're planning on putting rigid foam on the roof (probably to R-20, possibly with some more Roxul in the attic). I will be caulking and weatherstripping as much as possible, but the mice are still getting in somehow, so it's definitely not tight! We're on an island on the BC coast, so relatively mild winters, although colder than Seattle/Vancouver/Victoria. We have a working oil stove which cooks, heats the kitchen, and heats the hot water (sort of). See this thread for some pics: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/can-i-convert-this-oil-stove-into-an-efficient-wood-stove.94600/ There is also now a working oil floor furnace, but the pilot light alone burns through 5 gallons of oil per week. We have to pack the VERY EXPENSIVE (as I think Sue from Alaska put it) stove oil in by hand on the boat, but wood is free and DH and I like the exercise, so we want to avoid using the oil appliances if we can help it.

    Cabin usage: Most weekends and holidays. Possibly during the week if I can sort out a job where I can work from home. Friends and relatives will use it sometimes when we're not there.

    Air flow: Doesn't seem to be much between the kitchen and the living room based on the oil stove heat, even though there is no door (just an archway). I might try to cut a hole in the wall of the living room at the opposite end to the archway to get more heat circulation on the 1st floor if the woodstove and insulation can't do better. There is a hole cut in the floor with a duct and register between the 1st floor and the attic bedroom - this works well to get the heat upstairs.

    Chimney: will be about 6' stovepipe (haven't decided on double wall or single wall), then another 8-10' class A through the attic and the roof - all straight up, no elbows. Because of the roof slope we'll have to brace it well.

    Woodstove requirements: Easy to use for beginners (cats are out unfortunately), looks good, overnight burns without cooking us out of the place if possible? Cooktop would be nice.

    I like the look of the Jotuls and the F100 is the right size for the room (it's the one in the floorplan). But the PE Alderlea series also looks good, they're made local to me, and I've seen lots of good comments on the forum about them, especially the T5. The cooktop feature is also a bonus. I'm just worried about them being too big for the small house. Is it really true that you can just build small fires in big stoves, or will that just lead to low-temp burning all of the time that gunks up my chimney and blackens the glass?

    All comments welcome!

    1st floor.jpg
    Attic.jpg



    IMG_0545.JPG Living room is on the left in this photo.
    IMG_1001.JPG Living room is furthest away in this photo.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    744
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    Seriously check out the Quadrafire Isle Royale...it is gorgeous like a Jotul cast iron and it is simple to use. We heat a 3000 sq ft house with it. Install ceiling fans...this makes a huge, huge difference.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    44,639
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The Isle Royale would be overkill for this small area. I would get an inexpensive stove in the 2 cu ft range instead like a Osburn 2000, Napoleon 1450, Pacific Energy True North TN19, Englander 13NC, etc.
    etiger2007 likes this.
  4. Sooty_Steve

    Sooty_Steve New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Ontario,Canada
    Hi, have you looked at the Harman Oakleaf? Burn time of 16 hours.
  5. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    Coast, BC
    Thanks for the replies!

    BeGreen - you don't think that 2 cu ft would be too much stove for the size of the house? I guess I can always open doors and windows.

    Sooty Steve - do you actually get 16 hours of burn time out of the Oakleaf? That seems a lot for a 1.75 cu ft firebox. It looks nice but I thought I've read reviews where the build quality isn't so good. What do you think of yours?
  6. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,689
    Loc:
    WNY
    Oh it's cute!! Are you right on the water?

    We heat a smaller cottage with a stove meant for a bit more space. The trick to the bigger stove is, during "shoulder season", you load it with fewer, smaller splits, preferably of a faster burning wood type. Then during the colder spells, you run it full on to help compensate for the leaks and lack of insulation. You can see our stove and Cottage specs in my sig. So yes, you really can burn a smaller fire. We'll load maybe 2-3 smaller splits of box elder and let it burn do almost out, then reload with two smaller splits, etc. OR if it's really marginally warm, we'll let it burn out and relight it when needed. We don't get black glass problems, you just need to control your air right.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    44,639
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    No, I think 2 cu ft will be ok. You don't have to run a full load of wood. When the cabin is cold you will appreciate the extra capacity for bringing the cold cabin up to temperature. And it will provide longer burn time.
    eclecticcottage likes this.
  8. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,689
    Loc:
    WNY
    the 13Nc might have too big of clearance needs, looking at what appears to be a door right next to the intended stove area.

    That's another thing to be sure to check. Especially with side loaders, you'll have to watch clearances.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    44,639
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
  10. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    560
    I'm not sure where this myth of cat stoves being hard comes from. They are quite simple.

    1. Light stove and let it get hot. +500'F stove top.
    2. Close it down half way.
    3 Flip the lever to engage the Cat.
    4. Watch the temp rise to +900'F and enjoy the heat and mellow burn.
    5. Turn the inlet down to steady state cruise.

    6. Crack beverage of choice, turn on the sound system to some smooth jazz and cruise. ==c
  11. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    Coast, BC
    Hi all,

    Thanks again for the input! It's so reassuring to have such wonderful people give such great info. I was really worried about heating ourselves out of the house with a bigger stove so it's so nice to have the experts tell me I shouldn't be. I kinda like the Drolet too - it's different. Now I just have to admit to my dad that he was right - he was saying I need to get something bigger, I guess I should have listened!

    Eclectic cottage - yes, it's right on the water. It will look a lot cuter and with a better view after the reno I hope! No one's lived in it for 10 years and the forest was starting to take over. I love your blog - I wish I had the eye for design that you do.

    Re: cat stoves. If it were just me and DH using the place, I'd definitely look into a cat. But I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible for visitors who might have never even used a woodstove before.

    Re: clearances - as you might have guessed given the post, I'm a details person so I'll definitely make sure the install meets all clearance requirements. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out on my own, but I might be back on the forums in future asking clearance questions!

    Cheers
  12. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    Are you a Capt ? If so, what type of boat (fishing, peronal, tug, freight....)?
  13. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    Coast, BC
    Nope I wish! The pic is in my cousin's Sealander barge - I was helping him out for the day with a tricky load. My boat is a 14' Lund ;).
  14. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,689
    Loc:
    WNY

    Oh man it's OOZING potential!! I see a bottle jack and cribbing. Looks like you're off to a start! Ours was only empty a few years. I've seen way worse (and made offers on them too, lol).

    Thanks! I would be lost with a modern home, but cottage and rustic are my favs.

    Tube stoves will need a little educating too, improper loading and air control can cause an overfire. I don't think either are really hard to run, from my understanding of cat stoves.
  15. Eaglecraft

    Eaglecraft Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    199
    Loc:
    Eastern Idaho
    The 14 foot Lund is fine, little skiff. I used to salmon fish on my friend's 14. Whenever I asked him when he was going to buy a bigger boat, he would just laugh and say that he was going to cut the 14 in half because it was too big. Ha!

    Are you on Vancouver Island or on the mainland? Just curious.

    Good luck with your stove install.
  16. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    Coast, BC
    Yep, the cabin is on log skids which had some dubious blocking underneath, starting to rot from the swamp we found under the house (there's a year-round spring under it that had been blocked up by roots and old boards, that was fun cleaning out :confused:) . All jacked up, properly drained underneath, supported on concrete pads and level now! DH's dad measured the front skid to be 6" lower than the back skid prior to jacking :eek:.

    Haha Eaglecraft, I'm in between, north of Campbell River. The Lund is great for fishing, but no match for the summer westerlies or the winter rains. Thankfully the fam and extended fam are happy to give us a lift at the moment while we're still settling in. I'm hoping to buy a small aluminum boat with a cabin like a Silverstreak or similar, but those don't come cheap <>. Need to find a job that pays more!!!
  17. Eaglecraft

    Eaglecraft Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    199
    Loc:
    Eastern Idaho
    Cynnergy:

    Mt wife and I have been to Campbell River many times, mostly to work a boat deal with Daigle Welding & Marine - never happened, unfortunately.

    We really enjoyed Dick's Fish & Chips - the halibut was super. It's the only time I've been served halibut in a paper cone, which was placed in an ice cream cone holder. The system worked like a champ.
  18. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,689
    Loc:
    WNY
    The one cottage we looked at and made an offer on (which the seller rejected) was set on concrete piers that were heaving. I would say from right to left corner on the front it's got to be at least 1' out since the right side is almost on the ground. The back left corner is starting to seperate now. It's going to be quite a project if anyone ever buys it, at least if it doesn't fall down first. The ridge line has stayed pretty straight though.

    You'll have to post pics of the progress down in the pics forum.
  19. Gadget

    Gadget Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    North Carolina
    +1

    I am extremely happy with my Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim and it would be appropriately sized for your cabin.

    Burn time: I typically load it full around mid-night, then when I leave in the morning around 8am I close the primary air control, then when I get home around 6pm, I've still got a bed of coals to rekindle a fire on. I'm not calling that an 18 hour burn time, but an easy 8 hr burn time + another 10 hrs of hold time. I burn mostly red oak & white oak, with well cured hickory it will do even better.

    Being a top & front load, I always load through the top except for building a fire initially. It's convenient and smokeless unlike my other top load stove.

    Ease of use: To get those kinds of burn times you will have to read the manual and follow the directions. It's not rocket science, but it's also not as simple as just throwing wood in and forgetting about it. After a week or so, you will have it down pat.

Share This Page