Few questions for jotul f400 owners or small stove folks

Kevin Dolan Posted By Kevin Dolan, Jan 1, 2013 at 10:20 PM

  1. Kevin Dolan

    Kevin Dolan
    Burning Hunk 2.

    Apr 7, 2012
    SW Ontario
    On New Year's Day I have a few questions or thoughts I would not mind getting some ideas from the group. I have searched the forums for these topics and have picked up a tonne of super info but still keep coming back to more specific for a smaller stove box such as the castine, so please indulge me and sorry if I repeat stuff that has been covered before:
    Wondering about the preferences for n/s, e/w loading for short burn times and overnight burns?
    How full do you pack your stove for an overnight or long burn - to the glass and up to the tubes?
    How long do you get a good secondary burn once you are up to good stove temps, ie 400 - 500 on top?
    Do you close your primary intake right down once a good secondary burn is showing?
    Do you sometimes want a larger stove for long burn times?
    Could go on but this becomes an unmanageable post, so appreciate any comments and hope you all lots of clean heat for 2013.
  2. remkel

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jan 21, 2010
    Southwest NH
    I will take a shot at some of your questions. I am not running a 400, but i am sure people running them will chime in:

    I prefer e/w in my f600, but I have a side loading door.

    You do no want to pack the stove up against the glass. On the f600 it is recommended to keep at least an inch (I usually keep 2) away from the glass. This helps to not damage the glass but also with the air wash. As for height, you do not want to load right against the tubes. Leave some space to allow airflow over the top of the load.

    You will want to shut down your air in stages a little at a time. Probably starting when the stove top temps reach 400 range. This will ensure the secondaries continue. As for how long those secondaries will last, I have to leave that question to those rearing 400s.

    Being that I am running the 600, no, I am quite happy with the size of my stove.

    Good luck!
    firefighterjake likes this.
  3. begreen

    Mooderator 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    South Puget Sound, WA
  4. KaptJaq

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jan 31, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    Hi Kevin,

    My firebox is about 1.5 cf, a small stove.
    I cross-hatch when I need a quick hot fire but usually load E/W. My stove has a tendency, when fully loaded, to burn from the back to the front. E/W does not leave air paths for the fire to follow and so slows the burn.
    I try to leave about 1" below the tubes and on the sides, and about 2" between the glass and the front splits. The wood leans against the back firebrick.
    I get the blue "gas jet" secondary for about 45 minutes then "northern lights" secondary for about an hour.
    I close it slowly. If I close it too fast I loose the secondary burn. Probably 20 minute process to close it down.
    No. I can get 7-8 hours with a good bed of hot coals for a restart. But I am spoiled. If I need a long burn, i.e. a weekend away, I light the coal stove downstairs with a full load.

    You have a nice stove, enjoy the wood heat.

  5. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jan 24, 2012
    Pt Pleasant, PA (SE PA)
    We don't have the same stove but mine is small too - 1.7 cu ft firebox so can chime in here as I have been "experimenting" with this stove almost a year. Here is what I have learned:

    - a little layer of ash seems to give me better burn times but that you will have to determine for your stove

    - for the longest burns, rake the coals forward, throw bigger splits or rounds in the back and put smaller spits in the front on top of the coals. I just read about this method here LAST week and have not only increased my burn times by a few hours, really, a few hours, but am not using as much wood as it burns front to back, top to bottom leaving a lot of coals for AM start ups!

    - load orientation really depends on what I brought in to burn. We have a good stash of small 12" splits and smaller for n/s burns but other than it looking cool to see the ends burn, doesn't seem to make much of a difference to my heat output or burn time, I stack what fits, that's all.

    - i stack about 2" from the glass and almost to the tube as per the manual. Read it to see what your stove recommends, too little or too much wood is not going to burn efficiently (or safely)

    - meter you wood until you are confident you know what "good wood" looks/feels like. These small stoves don't take well to moisture, if it sizzles like bacon, you are not going to get heat.

    - air control, I still fiddle, probably too much with it. I use a probe thermometer so once that gets about 400, i push the damper in about half way. Once I get a good steady burn, i push it in almost all the way and that's when I see the secondaries kick in (non cat stove, it does it on its own) I do the same thing overnight but get the temps up to about 600 or so before I damper down and go to bed

    - I always think we may have bought a stove too small (heating a 900 sq ft 1860's drafty old converted barn) but then I realize it is 78 in my living room and 70 upstairs and know we are just fine. i just want a bigger stove so I can cut wood " traditional stove length" instead of my little 14" splits that fall through the racks all the time!

    No matter what, a year into all if this, I have no regrets and no more $4k spent annually on oil, parts and maintenance for our furnace! ;)

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