Updated Stove in Log Cabin

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

tonyurban

New Member
Aug 16, 2021
4
Readstown, WI
First post, but I've been reading for a while and am learning more and more (great info)...

I have an old log cabin in SW Wisconsin that I'm looking to do an update on the Stove and Hearth. We are in the process of getting our roof replaced and thought it would be a good time to update as the more I've read here, the more I've understood what was done wrong and where improvements might be made.

First, the cabin. roughly 6" rectangle logs, 35x20-ish, two story, upstairs is an open loft, downstairs there are no interior walls besides a 1/2 bath. The cabin roof and floors are uninsulated and the doors are homemade which all means we close up for the winter in roughly December and re-open in March or so. If the weather breaks enough mid-winter, I try and get a weekend in to make sure everything is ok as this is obviously a seasonal residence. We don't plan on insulating much more since it is part time. All of the heat is provided by the wood stove only. We have electricity but trying to do anything with heat would probably just be a waste.

We are there normally for the weekends only with some 3-4 day weekends, arriving on Friday so the cabin is whatever temperature it is outside. We generally get the stove as hot as we can when we arrive and then tuck in for bed while the cabin warms up. Generally I can get it from 30 or so degrees up to 60-ish by morning. However I only get about 3 hours of sleep at a time as the fire will burn itself out if I wait much longer. The wood stove is an old Scandia 318 smoker, with an 8" single-wall pipe. It passes through the roof with a few feet of Class A, then back to single wall from the looks, unknown brand installed by the old owner some 25-ish years ago. The chimney run currently is approximately 15 feet, straight up through the roof, mostly indoors.

My plan is to do one of two things, though I'm leaning towards #1 (looking for fast warm-ups, longer burn time primarily). I don't have a stove picked out, but I am set on replacing the chimney for sure as I don't think its safe:

1) Install new 6" double wall to new class A, adding 6' or more outside to lengthen the chimney above the roof peak. Along with the 6" pipe, shop for an updated stove of an appropriate btu for an uninsulated cabin, maybe an Englander w03/w08 or 32-nc. The lack of insulation makes btu estimates a crap-shoot. We generally stop coming up when the overnight temps dip below the 20's as it takes too much wood to keep it warm.

2) Find another old stove like a big Fisher or similar. Since we primarily only weekend heat, save a few bucks, get another old stove that has a good size firebox that will heat the cabin nicely. In any case, it'll get a new chimney as well. If we ever decide to live here full time, I can revisit the stove in 10 years or so.

Lots of typing and I'll attach some pics to help flush out details, looking for stove and/or chimney recommendations.

Thanks.
Tony

IMG_20210815_094339583.jpg IMG_20210815_094538881.jpg IMG_20210815_094547554.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,518
South Puget Sound, WA
As you know, it takes a ton of heat to bring a 20º cabin up to a comfortable range. Switching the to Fisher is not going to reduce wood consumption or heat more. It won't be more efficient than the old Scandia. A Cawley-Lemay might work. In contemporary stoves look at the Drolet Austral in addition to the Englander 32-NC.
 

marty319

Feeling the Heat
Nov 17, 2014
345
Belair mb
I used to come out to my cabin on a Friday night and sometimes it was -30 c in the cabin.first thing I did was open all the windows and doors and get the dead air outta there as it was often warmer outside. After many years of struggling to warm the place up I installed 10000 watts of baseboard heat as well as I wired in a plug for a construction heater.with the stove and heaters going I could warm the place up in a couple of hours.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,470
Northern NH
IMO you want a big FIsher with lots of surface area. You need radiant heat which is line of site of the stove. Even if the air in the cabin is cool if the stove is hot you will warm up quick.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isaac Carlson

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,518
South Puget Sound, WA
IMO you want a big FIsher with lots of surface area. You need radiant heat which is line of site of the stove. Even if the air in the cabin is cool if the stove is hot you will warm up quick.
That's why I suggested the unshielded Austral. It's probably 45% more efficient than the old Fisher. I'm not convinced the Fisher would greatly outperform the old Sandia. However, I would have some sort of supplemental booster heat. Not sure what amperage service the cabin has, but if it is 100amp then that booster would be electric like Marty suggested.
 

tonyurban

New Member
Aug 16, 2021
4
Readstown, WI
There is 100 amp service to the cabin and I had thought about adding a few 3kw baseboard units to help out during the heating season. Baseboard heat would probably mean I wouldn't need a fire much during the fall months too. I wasn't sure it would help that much during peak cold as I'm not really too familiar with baseboard heat. It probably wouldn't hurt. A mini-split that provides heat looked like an option but again, not too familiar with those units (a bit of ac would be nice in the summer tho). I looked at a few of the Drolet stoves and the Austral does look interesting. I actually found an Austral I for sale locally.

In any case, it sounds like an unshielded radiator stove (whether newer or older) is what would be recommended to get quick heat out into cabin? The Drolet probably has a better burn time as well.

@marty319 no doubt, it's often colder inside than out. Guessing that's due to the logs radiating the cold back into our cabin or just everything is cold.

Tony
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,518
South Puget Sound, WA
Baseboard or resistance heaters are 100% efficient. A pair of 3kW heaters will be adding 20473 BYUs/hr. During fall and spring weather that may be enough to make it comfy with a small fire.
 

marty319

Feeling the Heat
Nov 17, 2014
345
Belair mb
Well I did this every Friday for years when I was working.i have 100 amp service and use the dimplex connex baseboards .you can run them individually or all together with a wireless thermostat.they are a lot smaller than normal baseboards as well.i live at my cabin now so hardley use the baseboards and heat entirely with wood.all I have access to for wood here is mostly pine and polar.very little birch and tamarack.pine suits me well as it seasons quickly.drolet stoves are decent and sbi has great customer service. Good luck in your search.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,472
central pa
There is 100 amp service to the cabin and I had thought about adding a few 3kw baseboard units to help out during the heating season. Baseboard heat would probably mean I wouldn't need a fire much during the fall months too. I wasn't sure it would help that much during peak cold as I'm not really too familiar with baseboard heat. It probably wouldn't hurt. A mini-split that provides heat looked like an option but again, not too familiar with those units (a bit of ac would be nice in the summer tho). I looked at a few of the Drolet stoves and the Austral does look interesting. I actually found an Austral I for sale locally.

In any case, it sounds like an unshielded radiator stove (whether newer or older) is what would be recommended to get quick heat out into cabin? The Drolet probably has a better burn time as well.

@marty319 no doubt, it's often colder inside than out. Guessing that's due to the logs radiating the cold back into our cabin or just everything is cold.

Tony
With more burn time comes lower btus per hour and you need allot of btus per hour.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,332
Lackawaxen PA
I have electric baseboard at the cabin. The cabin is well insulated. What I like, it's maintenance free, no water in pipes and cheap to install. Also we use the electric when a fire is too much heat. Each room has its own digital thermostat. I can set the house to warm up before I get there. Currently doing that with a 7 day programmable tstat. But may change the heat to internet control. I just hooked up the window air conditioner to internet control.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
161
Wisconsin
I have a very similar situation at our log cabin in the UP. I am considering installing a direct vent propane wall furnace to supplement the wood stove. Can you get a propane tank and get it filled?
 

Attachments

  • 19563-9-0519-ENFR-DV-55E-5.pdf
    1.5 MB · Views: 27
  • 00044_070119_HighEfficientDV.pdf
    6.8 MB · Views: 31

tonyurban

New Member
Aug 16, 2021
4
Readstown, WI
I have electric baseboard at the cabin. The cabin is well insulated. What I like, it's maintenance free, no water in pipes and cheap to install. Also we use the electric when a fire is to much heat. Each room has it's own digital thermostat. I can set the house to warm up before I get there. Currently doing that with a 7 day programmable tstat. But may change the heat to internet control. I just hooked up the window air conditioner to internet control.

My "cabin in the woods" just received fiber internet so that may not be far in the offing either. If I can switch baseboards on in advance of my drive there, probably would make a nice overall difference in that initial chill when we arrive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P

tonyurban

New Member
Aug 16, 2021
4
Readstown, WI
I have a very similar situation at our log cabin in the UP. I am considering installing a direct vent propane wall furnace to supplement the wood stove. Can you get a propane tank and get it filled?

Yes, definitely could do that. I'd probably be more inclined to try the baseboard heat route first but propane is an option.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,518
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, definitely could do that. I'd probably be more inclined to try the baseboard heat route first but propane is an option.
I think that together with a large modern stove and good dry firewood will speed up the heating a lot.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,332
Lackawaxen PA
My "cabin in the woods" just received fiber internet so that may not be far in the offing either. If I can switch baseboards on in advance of my drive there, probably would make a nice overall difference in that initial chill when we arrive.

It will take some creative hook ups to control groups of electric baseboard. I did it many years ago. what a improvement. No more Friday nights with coats on huddled around the stove.
 

Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
545
NW Wisconsin
With a nice big stove, it shouldn't take long to heat up a cabin. Our big cookstove will heat up our 160 year old 1500 sq ft drafty cabin/farmhouse in an hour or two. That's going from 50*to 80* and with the stove on one end and having to push heat through two doors. A small cabin should heat even faster if it's as open as the pictures make it feel. I grew up with a wood boiler in the basement and then a barrel stove with a homemade forced air jacket hooked into the central air. That barrel stove would heat that big farmhouse in no time flat and keep on going. It was common to see the thermostat maxed out at about 100*. Funny enough, my wife does that now in our current house with the cookstove. I came home one day and it was 120*!! I went back outside because it was too hot. The butter had melted all over the cupboard and made a terrible mess. We went a whole day without a fire because the house was so hot. It was at or below zero that day too.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,472
central pa
With a nice big stove, it shouldn't take long to heat up a cabin. Our big cookstove will heat up our 160 year old 1500 sq ft drafty cabin/farmhouse in an hour or two. That's going from 50*to 80* and with the stove on one end and having to push heat through two doors. A small cabin should heat even faster if it's as open as the pictures make it feel. I grew up with a wood boiler in the basement and then a barrel stove with a homemade forced air jacket hooked into the central air. That barrel stove would heat that big farmhouse in no time flat and keep on going. It was common to see the thermostat maxed out at about 100*. Funny enough, my wife does that now in our current house with the cookstove. I came home one day and it was 120*!! I went back outside because it was too hot. The butter had melted all over the cupboard and made a terrible mess. We went a whole day without a fire because the house was so hot. It was at or below zero that day too.
Heating a house that has dropped to 50 air temp.is very different from trying to bring the heat up in a cabin. I have been in cabins that took a day or more to bring everything up to temp
 
  • Like
Reactions: moresnow