Complete newbie- hoping to heat cabin!

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Downtherabbithole

New Member
Oct 14, 2021
6
West Virginia
Hello you fine folk!



Okay, so I've found myself down a rabbit hole here. We're newly off grid in the mountains of WV, and I would love to procure a wood stove to get us through winter.

My original plan was to purchase new, probably from the local Lowe's or tractor supply. But funds have become incredibly tight suddenly, so I've been on the hunt for a better deal, second hand.

I realistically only need to heat about 600sq ft, although adding on another 200 may be further down the road.. and my preference is for something I can see the fire, too.



Anywho- I've come across a few different styles, but I've found a Jotul that seems to have caught my eye. (Quite honestly, I may be on the verge of obsession with this brand, but wow they're pricey!) It's a 4 hour drive though. What say you oh knowledgeable people of the hearth? Is this something I can just install, toss a few logs in, and essentially be good to go? I'm currently lost in this rabbit hole, "cats" really threw me for a loop. They're asking $500 for this one, Jotul f3 cb. Decent second hand wood stoves are apparently hard to find around me!
Oh- also so while I'm here- burn times ..do they need to "cool down" in between? Like this Jotul I think I saw has about a 5 hour burn time, but if I were to add more logs say throughout the day, that's fine, right? My husband says no, although he may just be messing with me. Pictured is the Jotul mentioned, as well as our cabin. Plan to install in the front corner.
Thanks!
~Morgan

Screenshot_20211012-203135.png Screenshot_20211012-203143.png Screenshot_20211014-125752.png IMG_20210829_080932838_HDR.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,479
South Puget Sound, WA
The F3CB is a nice little stove. It will provide 4-5 hr burn times with hardwood, during milder weather. It's fine to add 2-3 splits at a time. The firebox only holds about 4-5.
How well insulated is the cabin? Is there another source of heat? The reason I ask is that parts of WV can get very cold. When temps are in the teens you may find yourselves needing to stoke to stove every 2-3 hrs.
 
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Downtherabbithole

New Member
Oct 14, 2021
6
West Virginia
Thanks begreen for getting back to me so quickly!
So the cabin has the pink r13 insulation up on walls and ceilings, and foam board insulation under our floor, drywall is not yet currently up though. And skirting, or at least foam boards, is next on our to-do list. Currently our only other sources of heat are a couple of ceramic heaters. We're still running off the generator though, so they don't seem capable of pulling their full force... This is our first winter here, originally from Texas, so not quite sure what to expect, but we are in the more southern area of WV.
I'd also found a nice Jotul f500 Oslo, but they're asking twice as much..
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,174
SE North Carolina
I would buy it for that if I did not see any cracks. Price is fair if it’s good shape. The CB in the F3CB is the clean burn model and does not have a catalytic converter. Other F3 models did.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Thanks begreen for getting back to me so quickly!
So the cabin has the pink r13 insulation up on walls and ceilings, and foam board insulation under our floor, drywall is not yet currently up though. And skirting, or at least foam boards, is next on our to-do list. Currently our only other sources of heat are a couple of ceramic heaters. We're still running off the generator though, so they don't seem capable of pulling their full force... This is our first winter here, originally from Texas, so not quite sure what to expect, but we are in the more southern area of WV.
I'd also found a nice Jotul f500 Oslo, but they're asking twice as much..
The Oslo is easily worth twice as much if it is in good shape but it may be to much stove for your space.

What chimney do you have or are you planning? The chimney can easily cost more than the stove.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,491
Eastern Long Island NY
Then the always noted remark: you'll need DRY wood. And that is hard to get this time of year, but any time of year, generally. Buying "seasoned" wood often won't be good enough.

You need wood preferably below 20% moisture content for the stove to run optimal, and to avoid producing dangerous amounts of creosote (and for that you still need to operate the stove well, i.e. read the manual if this is your first modern stove).

I suggest to buy a moisture meter, AND know how to operate it well - hint, just sticking the probes is not how it's done. That allows you to test your wood (before it's off-loaded from a delivery truck...) and know you're good, and safe, to go.

Second, see if you can get old pallets, or other lumber scrap. And a tarp (given that I don't see a shed). Mixing dry wood (pallets) with borderline wood may allow you to get by...

And next, try to get ahead by 3 years; start splitting and stacking (and covering) now so you'll have good wood for the winter of '24-25.
 
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ispinwool

Burning Hunk
Feb 5, 2010
248
Butler County, Pa.
Hi Morgan! Welcome to the Rabbit Hole! :)
(before I forget to reply: Yes, you can certainly add more wood while it's hot...)
As you and your hubby use it, you'll get comfortable with 'how' it burns.
I admit that I was almost terrified of our burner at first but she's turned into a dear
old friend; especially when it's blowing and bitter outside.
**Read through this site as you go along...there are y.e.a.r.s. of cumulative knowledge here and it's shared freely.
I've learned SO much!
I also suggest watching a few youtube videos on burning wood--the 'featured' woodburner may not be
the one you have, but you can still pick up a bit of wisdom here or there.

keep us updated!
 
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Downtherabbithole

New Member
Oct 14, 2021
6
West Virginia
I would buy it for that if I did not see any cracks. Price is fair if it’s good shape. The CB in the F3CB is the clean burn model and does not have a catalytic converter. Other F3 models did.
Ahh, okay good to know!
The catalytic converter I think is where this rabbit hole really sent me for a spin.. do most wood stoves have them now? This is something I've never known about. But then again, the only wood stove I've been around was in my grandparents house when I was young..
 

Downtherabbithole

New Member
Oct 14, 2021
6
West Virginia
How's your wood supply?

And no, it doesn't need to cool down in between loads.. can you imagine?? Hahaha
Lots of people - like me - keep their stoves going straight from Thanksgiving to Easter.
Haha, yeahh, my husband's funny like that.
Wood supply, well, our neighbor was kind enough to say we can share his log supply with him. We've already started splitting some.. but I imagine the moisture level is still high. These were felled 3 years ago, but obviously haven't had much done to them since.

received_929565327622348.jpeg
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Ahh, okay good to know!
The catalytic converter I think is where this rabbit hole really sent me for a spin.. do most wood stoves have them now? This is something I've never known about. But then again, the only wood stove I've been around was in my grandparents house when I was young..
Since the new emissions regulations that took effect in 2020 many more stoves have cats. I don't know about most but it is definitely a higher percentage than before 2020.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Haha, yeahh, my husband's funny like that.
Wood supply, well, our neighbor was kind enough to say we can share his log supply with him. We've already started splitting some.. but I imagine the moisture level is still high. These were felled 3 years ago, but obviously haven't had much done to them since.

View attachment 283304
Yes it will still be high for sure.
 

Downtherabbithole

New Member
Oct 14, 2021
6
West Virginia
Since the new emissions regulations that took effect in 2020 many more stoves have cats. I don't know about most but it is definitely a higher percentage than before 2020.
That actually reminded me of something else I was curious about- I have no idea when this stove was made, I think they only year I've been able to decipher on there was 1990. Would the age cause any issues or something to worry on?

And with the cats... This is probably a very silly question- do they require electricity?

**Also to answer your first question, the chimney we plan to use piping for- I need more knowledge on this as well, but at least the double or triple wall pipe. Then either through the roof, or out the side..
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
That actually reminded me of something else I was curious about- I have no idea when this stove was made, I think they only year I've been able to decipher on there was 1990. Would the age cause any issues or something to worry on?

And with the cats... This is probably a very silly question- do they require electricity?
In WV it will not cause any issues no. A few areas of the country do require EPA certified stoves but you are fine. If it wasn't ul listed it could cause issues with insurance if you have any. But that stove is listed so no issues there

And no cats do not require electricity. They do need replaced every 10000 to 15000 hours of burning though.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,479
South Puget Sound, WA
I would buy it for that if I did not see any cracks. Price is fair if it’s good shape. The CB in the F3CB is the clean burn model and does not have a catalytic converter. Other F3 models did.
Some of the other F3 models did for a short period, but the original F3 did not. The F3CB was introduced around the early 2000s? Ours was a 2004 model I think.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,491
Eastern Long Island NY
A '90s stove wiido better with wetter wood. Just run it nice and hot. Don't turn it down much. Inspect your chime y often (buy a sooteater and clean it often).
Cats don't need electricity,.just like the catalyst in your car.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,479
South Puget Sound, WA
A '90s stove wiido better with wetter wood. Just run it nice and hot. Don't turn it down much. Inspect your chime y often (buy a sooteater and clean it often).
Cats don't need electricity,.just like the catalyst in your car.
The F3CB does not do well with >20% wood, trust me, been there. It needs fully seasoned wood for it's brief secondary burn. It will work on a shorter chimney, but should have at least 12' of flue straight up, more if not straight up.

The 1990 date is when the new EPA standards went into effect and does not related to the stove's age.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,491
Eastern Long Island NY
Ok, my mistake. I thought it was 1992.
 

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
349
NV
As mentioned no they don’t require electricity; the new epa regulations forced the manufacturers to come up with ways to lower emissions etc, hence the secondary burn tubes (non cat stoves) and cat stoves (think of the catalytic converters in vehicles), these devices reburn the smoke and other gases from the fire to produce lower emissions and get more heat etc. they do need replaced occasionally, but otherwise that’s about it. Most newer stoves will be one of these 2 options.

I’ll second the wood, get going now, in your area with your species likely 1-2 years of seasoning, invest in a moisture meter; get wood off ground, split and stacked.

You can load wood as often as you need, you’ll have to play/experiment a bit to find the “sweet spot” for you/your stove, the only caveat is not reloading when you have a full box and raging fire etc as you can have a run away fire. TONS of useful info on this site I’d recommend starting at the beginning there are forums for how to start the fire, when to load and when not to, how to clean chimney, how to properly season and store wood, you name it and it’s likely here somewhere. Welcome and good luck.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,491
Eastern Long Island NY
There are pinned threads on top of the page with some basic (i.e. useful and needed) info.
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
1,081
SW Missoura
I don't think your ever going to need for heat with the stove in that cabin if it's insulated lol. Most likely you will be cracking some windows.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,479
South Puget Sound, WA
3" thick insulation (R13) in the ceiling is pretty light duty. I would build that up with a layer of 6" on top of the R13 layer.

I just checked the yearly temps for Charlestown, WV. The January average high is 46 and low is 26. Looking back over the past ten years there have been temps in the teens for several years. They might need to open a window during milder weather, but during a cold snap, the stove will be working. I think it will be ok. Better than nothing, as long as it has good dry fuel.