Installation questions of Jotul F 400 Castine

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New Member
Mar 16, 2022
Day, CA
I am currently doing a major rehab of an almost 100 year old cabin in NE California that has sat vacant for 25 years. I have completely gutted to studs and am in process of moving same walls and in process of redoing both interior & exterior. I have purchased a used green Jotul F400 in excellent shape and I also have an older Garrison with soapstone top (V3 I believe). My plan is to use the Jotul in the cabin. Garrison will go in studio when it is built at later date.

Where this stove will be going will be in front of a new wall construction that separates the main bedroom from the living area. Located very close to mid cabin. Space is pretty small - 750 sq. ft. with one bedroom (about 200 sq. ft of area), one bath. The rest of the cabin will be open living space. The new wall will have a total length of 10 ft. I am trying to figure out the best wall design to accomplish my goals of reducing space between wall & stove, being fire safe & giving some thermal mass to help radiate heat into bedroom and retain some heat in the evenings when the fire dwindles.

Here are the wall ideas I am currently considering -
  1. Build a standard wood stud wall using concrete backer board & rock wool insulation. I understand this will require a 1" heat shield of backer board or some other material. This reduces my clearance to 6" from what I have read. (5" to front of shield)
  2. Build the same wall, but use steel framing. I believe this will allow me to not need the heat shield, but am not 100% after reading for days, lol.
  3. Construct a portion (4ft wide to ceiling) behind the stove in cinder block and the remaining wall traditional wood stud construction. Again, I think this will not require a heat shield, but not 100%. I also feel this will create the best thermal mass, but am not sure. I have heard that cinder block may not be the best for a high heat area, but am unsure if this is true or not. Years ago my grand father built a wall like this out of concrete for his wood stove. In a similar position and space. It did a great job. Blocks seem to be a good alternative to a big concrete pour. Also, should make clear that my plan is to cover the cinder block with tin tiles or the like for aesthetics. Do this on a heat shield or directly to wall? Not sure if heat shield is overkill or not.
I am leaning towards #3, but have very little data I can find on anyone doing this outside of a basement.
Are there other solutions I am missing?
Is one of these better than the rest and why?
What are the cons with any of these choices? Any big problems with #3 that I should be aware of?

Also, the Jotul is new to us - so any advice or words of wisdom about it are appreciated, too. The only real complaint I see is about draw and smoking, but this does not seem to be a consistent complaint and I wonder if it is not poor design or use. I plan on going straight up through 8' ceiling and 5' attic with the pipe & chimney. No bends for best results. Also considering adding an outside vent to stove. I am insulating and wrapping the cabin much tighter than when it was last remodeled in the late 70"s. From my reading a tightly sealed house can cause the smoking and draft issues described in some of the Jotul reviews. So, anyone's real world experience is appreciated.

I think I got all the details here. I know a lot of unpacking here, just trying to be as detailed as I can from the go. I answer a lot of these kinds of posts for my area of expertise and know that more info can save a lot of time. If I did leave anything out, just let me know and I will get you the info.

My thanks in advance,
Boyd M.
Thermal mass of the wall I don’t think matters that much. I don’t like the looks of the stand-off heat shield. So I vote metal suds cement board and finish it with the best looking non combustible material that fits your decor. Remember double wall allows closer clearances.

Top vent the F400 with at least 15’ you will be happy. I really like mine.


Installation questions of Jotul F 400 Castine