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I'm on lifetime homesteading project number 5, all in Indiana and Michigan.
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Looks great! What brand is it? Do I assume correctly that you're in the US? From my experience with cooking with wood ranges, the entire secret is having consistent, dependable fuel. You'll need good kindling, of course, that will catch easily and burn hot enough to ignite your main fuel. Depending on your area, you'll probably want to find a source of dense wood like maple, hickory, oak, or beech. Other, less common species work well, too, like ironwood and osage orange. You'll want this stove fuel to be a good length for feeding the fire box, and small enough so you can put several sticks or a layer of sticks on top of coals and embers to keep the temperature even. Because the fuel will be relatively thin, it will take a very good quantity of it to meet your needs whenever you want to use the range/oven. Proper firewood is cured, that is, dried out of the rain long enough for the pieces to check on the ends and have some ring to them. Strike two pieces of damp wood together and they go 'thud.' Strike two pieces of cured hardwood together, and they almost ring. If you have mixed species and can't tell them apart, the results of fires with them will vary. Curing thin wood can vary, but even if finely split, expect it to take six months or more. The time of year it's cut matters, too.
On the range top, you can cook a little longer (if you don't mind waiting) if the fire doesn't come up or stay up well. In the oven, things like pot roasts and stewed chicken can be extended, but it's when you bake or roast things that require a steady, high temperature that you'll earn your bars.
I don't consider it wrong to have an alternate means to heat small quantities of things quickly. A gas or propane laundry stove or even camp stove for heating tea water or making some breakfast is perfectly fine. When you want high heat for something like coffee, that means heating up the entire range/oven to do it, and that puts more heat into the house, too. That's a good thing in the winter time and on the shoulders of winter, but somebody has to get up way before the others to get it done. Cooking with wood or coal will bring a whole new perspective.
You'll want to get in the habit of emptying the ash drawer regularly. What's going to happen to the fire when you pull the ash drawer out and go to the back door with it? Don't let the ashes build up enough so that the grates in the firebox rest in the hot coals. That's how grates get warped.
Please keep us informed! May your learning curve be favorable!
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