Building-In a woodstove

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Non Sum, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Non Sum

    Non Sum Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    I’m thinking of knocking out a 4 foot length of wall, and building out a small recessed alcove just big enough to accommodate a woodstove (space is tight). Two questions:

    1. What might be the ideal (heat/fire resistant) materials to use in constructing the 3 walls surrounding the stove?

    2. Any woodstove brands you are pleasantly familiar with that I should check out?

    My stove criteria:
    { Not a fireplace, a good quality ($ not a big factor), not stonewalled (for quick heating/cooling), non-catalytic, glass door, heating area capable (c.900-1200sq/ft), good sized firebox, nice looking, (let’s face it) The Perfect Freaking Stove.}

    As always: Overwhelmingly, falling down, grateful to all!!
     
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    376
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    I would think that as long as you exceed the fire safety minimums for distances from the stove, build it with whatever your house is built with. I would consider some sort of reflective surface on the walls and ceilings though or you will be heating the outside more than the inside.
    Kirk
     

  3. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,870
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I have State Farm Insurance. Years ago, when I put my stove in, I consulted my agent. He had a pamphlet that detailed the distances, and installation of a stove, that the company deemed insurable.

    Concerning the stove, you said you didn't care for soapstone. I've had a Hearthstone for many years, that has done a great job. You just have to learn how to run them a bit differently - but they are handsome stoves.
     
  4. Non Sum

    Non Sum Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    When I read about "fire safety minimuns" twix stove and walls, the 'walls' regard those constructed of "combustable materials." I was intending walls no more 'combustable' than the walls of the stove itself.

    Yes, definitely, Kirk, "reflective surfaces," and not 'heat retaining' ones! I would also use heatproof insulation. But, I was hoping that someone knew of something (new?) that would serve where, in ancient times, asbestos would have been used with metal 2X4's.

    I Agree, Jolly, the "soapstone" models do look, and doubtless, work great as well. But, after reading several comments on this site regarding the 'lag' heat factor (i.e. slow to heat up, slow to cool down), I'm convinced that wouldn't serve my TN needs. Here, mornings are commonly cold, but around noon I'm glad the wood furnace has grown cold. If I've gotten too eager loading it in the morning the price is either: turn off the blower and waste the heat, or sweat it out. No, I need quick heatup, and quick cool down.

    I'm surprised that you haven't the same problem in LA? Perhaps, your home is larger than my 14X65 mobile, and so, takes up the surplus heat better?
     
  5. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,870
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana
    The house runs about 1950 square feet.

    You just have to get used to running a soapstone heater, and it does require an adjustment in thinking. Some folks never do adjust, my mother-in-law will melt the paint off of my walls. You always have to think an hour or two in advance, and resist the temptation to build 'er up, if the temp is rising pretty good in a few hours.

    Also, the heater has to be matched to the house, but that goes for most airtight heaters. When buying mine several years ago, I had cast my eyes on a bigger model, since it was only $150 more. Thank goodness for a well-eductaed salesman, who told me that it was way too much heater, and I would never be able to run it at peak efficiency. Even in the one I have, it has to get down to about 25 and stay there, for me to keep it stoked all the time. For regular winter weather, it's generally just one good fire to start, and then let her die, or just maintain a bed of coals.

    But I do admit, I've had to open a window or two, till I got the routine down. ;)
     
  6. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Your problem is going to be in the width. Basically you're talking about an alcove four feet wide (actually a bit less if the outside dimension is four feet).

    I have an alcove exactly 48.5 inches wide. I did a bunch of research and only found a couple of stoves whose specifications allowed for that little clearance (minimum 48"). Only one stove allowed for less - a Jotul stove. The model I looked at specified an alcove installation at least 35" wide. It's cast iron and non-catalytic.

    They're nice stoves - I don't remember the model I looked at but I have roughly the same size house (1,200 sq. ft.). I plan on getting the black cast iron one - it's nice looking, has a glass door and it's unique in that you can run it with the door open. (Although the representative said that you should only do it with a small fire and obviously it's not as efficient running like that.) They're only sold through distributors but I was lucky enough to have one just 20 miles away. And they've been in existence since 1853 so they'll probably remain around awhile <grin>

    Make very sure of the clearance - the building inspector told me that they are very strict on that. He said that I had to have the manufacturer's manual for my particular model so that they can verify that the clearances meet specifications.

    Here's a link to Jotul's main page http://www.jotulflame.com/jotulwood.html. Near the bottom, there's a link where you can enter your zip code and find the dealer nearest you. By the way, the model number is F 3 CB. You can get the manuals online - I just doublechecked and the minimum alcove width is 35" and minimum alcove depth is 24" (this is for protected surfaces which is defined in the manual).
     
  7. Non Sum

    Non Sum Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Thank you, Jolly. I've read enough about the soapstone stoves to know you have a heck of a stove there, well worth trying to master. But, I do believe that Barbarake has found the exact "freaking perfect" stove I was looking for in this particular instance.

    I didn't realize there was such an animal as an "alcove approved" woodstove! I've heard good things about the Jotul line, and am very pleased to see that you've found the best fit for my needs, and this make stove as well. Thank you!!

    (How very strange that you were searching for the same thing to fit the same situation at the same time! Synchonicity? I'm getting chills just thinking of it. I'll put some firewood in the mail for ya.)
     
  8. farmerscotty

    farmerscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    149
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003