Wood Stoves

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fitwind, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. fitwind

    fitwind Well-Known Member

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    Hi I was wondering what size and kind of wood stove to get I have a small house 800 sq. ft. And I have no clue about wood stove it will be my first one or would I be better off with central air and heat I plan on getting one put in later.I have propane right now but is way to expensive and dont use it Im trying to get back to alot of the plain ole basic living .
     
  2. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    are you thinking of a wood stove for just heating or also for cooking, heating and hot water?
    we are heating our small, under 1000 sq.feet house with an Amisch made Kitchen queen stove. I cook on it all winter and the small model that we got has a 17 gallon hot water reservoir hidden behind the warming shelf. It took me a while to get the oven right, burned a few things. I find there are a lot more woodstoves still in use in rural areas in Germany, Austria and Chechoslovakia than here. (these are the areas I am familiar with). My mom's stove is a lot better than mine, even though smaller it heats better, faster and is more efficient. compared to it my stove here is a wood destruction device. Not that I want to talk bad about an amish man who wants to make a living too. My stove has a very big firebox, which is way down. When the damper is opened ffor the oven the heat travels under the oven, up on the other side and then over the top, which makes more sense than the other way around.
     

  3. qliner

    qliner qliner

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    Hi Tabitha,
    You mentioned that your mother's stove heats possibly better than your Kitchen Queen... I've been considering getting a Kitchen Queen but haven't made the leap yet. Can you tell me the make and model of your mother's stove and some pros and cons about both yours and hers?

    Anyone that has any advice in this area at all they are willing to share, thank you. My house is largish, 2000-2500 sq ft. We heat almost entirely with wood, but right now have just a little Loki which has a BTU rating of about 52K. It's a nice little stove but doesn't quite have the capacity to heat this space. I considered the Kitchen Queen because of the size of the firebox and that it is a cookstove however, I would like to look at other stove models also if I could find one that would

    1. Hold a fire all night
    2. Heat at least 2000 square feet
    3. Cookstove w/oven

    Any suggestions anyone?

    Regards,
    Caroline
     
  4. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    There are two decisions you are going to have to make:

    Decision 1: Do you want a stove that is made of cast iron or plate steel? Plate steel stoves are welded together whereas cast iron stoves are bolted and cemented together. Cast iron can also crack if you make a quick, roaring hot fire in a cold stove. Many people think that cast iron stoves are prettier.

    Decision 2: All new stoves are required to meet EPA air pollution standards. There are two ways that stoves accomplish this. They use either secondary combustion or ceramic catalysts. Secondary combustion generally uses a set of perforated pipes, placed near the top of the firebox. Air is circulated through these pipes which is used to burn off volatile gases. The system is pretty fool-proof and indestructible. Ceramic catalyst accomplish the same thing (burning off volatile gases) similar to a car’s catalytic converter. The problem with ceramic catalyst is that they can plug and break. They periodically need cleaning and are expensive to replace if they break.

    Based on the above, my recommendation is a plate-steel woodstove with secondary combustion. We have a Lopi brand stove (made in the USA), but there are several similar brands available.
     
  5. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    In the early 80s, I had a Fisher Baby Bear woodstove that heated my 800 square foot house very well. It had a warming surface, like most woodstoves, but was by no means a wood cookstove. It easily held a fire overnight and kept my place toasty warm.
     
  6. qliner

    qliner qliner

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    Thank you for your responses. We have a small Lopi know, however I was kind of hoping to get a wood cook stove. I am having trouble finding one that heats a house, they're generally designed to heat a kitchen. Maybe I have to give up this vision I have of a cookstove (unless i'm willing to get the amish one I guess). If not a cookstove, there are loads of choices for stoves for heating a house of this size that meet EPA standards.
     
  7. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Ya know, I don’t think that I’d really like to be cooking on a woodstove that, at the same time, was heating the entire house. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but I don’t treasure the idea of cooking in the nude.
     
  8. qliner

    qliner qliner

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    LOL Hmm actually I hadn't considered my cooking attire in the matter. I will say, I am a heat fanatic. I sit up next to the woodstove until my back is practically on fire. I know, it's strange. Just one of those people that can't seem to stay warm enough in winter and I've lived in Maine most of my life.

    Anyway, I don't see that as a problem. I just have to make a decision I guess. I wish there was a wood stove out there that had a large firebox, an oven (it doesnt' have to be large) and a cook top, where the whole thing wasn't huge all around. Sigh. If I had a second chimmny it would be a non-issue, I would have another woodstove.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Depends some on where you live, you don't have your profile filled out. A stove can be impractical for primary heating a house with several rooms up here in Minnesota, while a small unit will do real well in a more southern climate. How many btu do you need, and is your floorplan laid out to curculate heat through the 800 square feet?

    Do you need central air, or is that a minor want? You can have a wood furnace, that uses the same air ducts & fan to move heat through the house as the central air would use. You will get much more even house heating if you use the whole house & need a lot of heat. A stove tends to overheat the room it is in, and leave distant rooms cold. Fans help, but depends on your needs.

    You really didn't supply much info.

    As to heating stoves vs cooking stoves, how does one match up the heat needed to bake a loaf of bread, vs the heat the house needs? That becomes a rather difficult combo to make work. Big compromise to try to get 100% both from the same unit.

    --->Paul
     
  10. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    If you only use your propane for cooking and a hot water heater, it goes a lot farther.

    I've run a Hearthstone woodstove for over 20 years. It's soapstone and cast iron, and I like it better than any others I've used. Soapstone heaters do have their little quirks, though, and can be a bit expensive.

    In your case, I'm thinking a decent plate stell stove will work fine. It has the advantage of not being too costly, and they heat up quickly.

    My .02 cents, YMMV.
     
  11. qliner

    qliner qliner

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    I live in Maine and the house is 2000 - 2400 square feet. I think I am comprimising too much trying to get a cookstove since we heat mostly with heat. Our current woodstove which is a Loki is 52K BTU and it's not quite enough.

    The reason I was looking at the Amish made Kitchen Queen cook stove is becasue it has a large firebox, claims it can heat over 2000 sq ft and is efficient. I'm not interested in the hot water heater. Guess I'll just pay the arabs for my hot water.

    So, I was looking for other cookstove alternatives to the Kitchen Queen and Pioneer Maid.

    Here's a link to those stoves: http://www.woodstoves.net/cookstoves.htm
     
  12. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    the stove you need is a vermont castings Aspen. I wonder who has one for sale?

    oh thats right I do!

    it will do 800sqft easy, and you can cook on it. and its small.
     
  13. qliner

    qliner qliner

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    Small is what i'm trying to get away from. I have a small 52K btu stove now and my house is 2000 - 2400 sq feet, plus I was hoping to get a cookstove / heating stove combination.
     
  14. Calico Katie

    Calico Katie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I’ve been eyeing these for a while. I don’t necessarily need full cooking or baking capability. Mostly as a backup if I needed it for a coffeepot and skillet in the mornings and a pot of stew during the day. Is anyone familiar with any of these models? They are the cast iron and I have a hunch they’re not going to be very efficient.

    http://www.usstove.com/cgi-bin/csvsearchProdindivid.pl?ID=130

    http://www.usstove.com/cgi-bin/csvsearchProdindivid.pl?ID=132

    http://www.usstove.com/cgi-bin/csvsearchProdindivid.pl?ID=131
     
  15. RenieB

    RenieB Well-Known Member

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    We have a Vermont Castings Resolute and it heats are house fine. We don't use it all the time because at our age running a wood stove is not an easy task. We have bought some of those Bio blocks as they are easier to handle than the logs. What we do is run the stove for in the mornings and it will last most of the day and it does save a lot on the oil.

    RenieB
     
  16. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    going back to the original poster--how is your house set up? more than one floor? WE have three levels, the stove( a small Lopi) is on the main level (about 600 sf with a tall ceiling, which it heats great) and it's too hot upstairs(for me--about 300 sf). There is a basement, but we have a wall heater for the kids room(we dont' expect the woodstove to heat that) which they use about 5 hours a day when it's cold. Most people think in terms of heating a whole house, but really (at least to my mind) you should think about heating your main living area, kitchen/family room, and let the bedrooms be cold. But that depends on your climate too ;0).

    Sooo, you can get by with a small stove, and you can cook a lot of stuff on it--what do you cook anyways? If you want to bake make a fire pit outside and do it in the dutch oven(it'll taste wonderful). OUr Lopi has a multiple layer top to it, I have to get the fire really hot and roaring to boil water, but it will simmer stuff fine on a regular fire whatever you'd put in a crock pot(use cast iron, it will hold the heat), which reminds me, get cast iron cookware!!!!!

    I like the outdoor kitchen woodstove, I have a free kitchen woodstove I'm going to set up outside, I won't have to worry about getting poisoned with cracks.

    Have you ever heated with a woodstove? I think price wise for it to be "cheap" you have to get your own wood, no buying it. If you are in an area with a lot of frezzing weather, you need to have back up heat to turn on when you leave for more than a day or so, so your pipes don't freeze.
     
  17. Pigeon Lady

    Pigeon Lady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We used the this year's tax refund to purchase the Pioneer Maid from Obadiah's in Montana. Took advantage of their military discount.

    http://www.woodstoves.net/

    The weather warmed up and there was so much to do outside it's taken us this long to get it up and running. We fired it up for the first time this week.

    Just as Ken was bringing in the kindling and the matches I came across a terrible review of this stove online! It really made us wonder if we'd wasted the money and dampend our enthusiasm somewhat. Anyway, we went about starting that first little fire to break the stove in and the next day we put a real fire in it. I can honestly say that we are absolutely delighted with the stove!

    We live in a typical 100 yr old Virginia farmhouse. About 1800sq ft. It has the center hall and stair well with the livingroom on one side and master bedroom on the other. The stove is in the diningroom at the back of the house so the big test was to see if it heated the rest of the house. It did! - and that's without the oven door open.

    We found that things that normally reqire an oven temp. of 400, such as cornbread cook just fine when this guage reads 300 to 325. At this temp the dining room was about 85 degrees and the thermostat in the hall by the stairs was 73. And it didn't take much of a fire to get it to that point. It's a totally different warmth than the heat pump. Very cozy, no drafts. Last year we spent a fortune on propane and felt cold all the time. I think we're going to save a bundle this year. After our main meal about 7:30pm we didn't add anymore wood. It stayed warm most of the night.

    I put some pictures on my blog and will continue with updates on how we like the stove. Some people experience a lot of frustration when they first try cooking on a woodstove but other than the initial unfamiliarity, it just sort of clicked. Now I feel as if I've been cooking on it all my life! I hated to go back to the electric stove today. The weather was too warm for a fire.

    http://theinkyspinnery.blogspot.com/

    Let it snow!

    Pauline
     
  18. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    I am rather surprised at some of the comments regarding the Kitchen Queen. I was going to have my grandparents old Monarch restored but it was going to cost megabucks. The man who looked at it is nationally know for his stove restorations and just lives a few miles from me. I told him I was looking at getting Pioneer Maid and he told me that the very best stove for my money would be the Kitchen Queen. We had put on a 600 sq. ft. addition so our little Vermont Casting Acclaim just was not going to heat 1550 sq. ft.

    Our Kitchen Queen heats the whole house..........really well and uses less wood then we used in the Vermont Casting. I was surprised that someone called it a wood eater because it can be controlled very well. I went to my daughter's last Friday morning and didn't come back until Monday afternoon. I had it turned down really low. I had thought being gone that long the fire would be completely out but when I started shaking it down to empty ashes I had coals and was able to throw a couple pieces of kindling on and start a fire.

    Last winter I heated all my water accept for showers (which if I take baths I wouldn't even need that), dryed all my clothes, did all my cooking and baking as well as heating the whole house. On mild days......over 32 degrees, I frequently have to crack a window or the house is just too hot.(that is with it turned down.

    I didn't notice where the original poster was from. I would think a small Vermont Casting would be adequate if the house isn't elongated and the winter isn't too cold. Here in Michigan we could get a bit cold at the far end of the house if the temp was low and there was a wind.
     
  19. Jan Sears

    Jan Sears Well-Known Member

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    Pidgeon Lady gave the website for Obadiah's. They have 2 woodstoves for heating/cooking The first one is the Esse Wood Cooker & the second one is the Bakers Oven. Has anyone ever used one or the other of these 2 stoves? They interest me as they have a glass door to see the fire burning but also have the capability of being able to use it as a cook stove. Also they seem to take very little space. Thoughts anyone?
     
  20. LiberalCountryBoy

    LiberalCountryBoy Well-Known Member

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    Calico Katie I have a large Logwood exactly as pictured in your second link. It will work for what you desire. Somehow they get around the catalytic requirement, don't ask me how.
    My bedroom (which for the previous owners was the living room) is 24 x 18 and that is where my mine is installed. I know it's not the best location but that is where the existing chimney is located and I only wanted it for emergency heating and cooking and to save a little on the propane central heating.
    I fired it up for the very first time just last night :dance:
    It heated the room up in about ten minutes and the propane central heat never even clicked on last night when it when down to 36 degrees.
    Even though we really don't need it tonight I am going to fire it up again just for the jollies of it.

    edited to add: I found out why this model doesn't have a catalytic converter.
    Exempt by the Environmental Protection Agency for low maintenance wood burning. :)