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Old 04-03-2014, 08:48 PM
Jfaust Jfaust is offline
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Default wood burning/cooking stove

Am looking to purchase a wood burning and maybe a combo wood cooking stove - any tips or suggestions for me by those who have some experience with 'em?
Thanks- I appreciate your comments/suggestions!
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:19 PM
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Am looking to purchase a wood burning and maybe a combo wood cooking stove - any tips or suggestions for me by those who have some experience with 'em?
Thanks- I appreciate your comments/suggestions!
I do know a few on here have found them used.
They are pricey new--Lehmans' use to carry them.

But if you find a used one---look hard for burnout and cracks and TAKE a bunch of big boys to help you. :

If you dig on this thread section you will find one that was restored.
And it took all the owner had to get it home.

Tractor Supply carries wood burners.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:21 PM
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First you need to know what this stove is for - cooking or heating.

I see you are in Idaho. While a cook stove will give off some heat, there is no way it will be enough to heat a house in the winter.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:17 PM
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First, I have to agree with coaltrain. I you want to go with wood, decide if you want a cookstove or a heating stove, a compromise stove does neither well.

I took that route and installed both. A heating stove in the living room and a cookstove in the kitchen. The best of both worlds.


Please understand that you can get a good stove cheap off of Craigslist. The REAL expense though is NOT the stove, but the stove and chimney pipe. The cost of that will far excede the price of the stove. Read this installation guide carefully to plan out what you need. Installing a woodstove chimney is only a two day weekend job for 2 people. I've already done both my chimneys myself.

http://www.northlineexpress.com/help...-planning.html
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:27 PM
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Default wood burning stove/cooking stove

ok so it sounds like I shouldn't try to do a combo unit - how much "trouble" is it to use a woodburning cook stove? & using it in the summer time - is it practical? what little things should I look for in getting a woodburning stove? preferances?any good articles ya suggest to read?
Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:04 PM
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I learned to cook on my granddad's wood cookstove. He also used coal, so it may have been a special type, as I think coal can burn a lot hotter than wood. We used corn cobs in the summer to heat coffee - they burn hot and fast and then they're gone so you're not heating the house up so much. Same for re-heating leftovers. Cooking dinner was more complicated, as you need to keep a small fire going - not too hot, but not going out, either. You move pans around on the top, depending on how hot the stove is, where. (So cooking on a wood stove takes a bit more attention and consideration than a modern gas or electric with precise heat settings!)

I've been looking at stove pipe ovens to add to a wood stove (an old "grandpa bear" type wood heat stove, I don't think they make them any longer) - but it's an air-tight type stove that regulates the heat beautifully, depending on how much air you let in. I used to use it for soups and stove-top cooking because it's 1/4" thick iron top was designed in a step-fashion. The lower step got hotter than the upper. With the stove pipe oven, I'd have winter baking taken care of and save the gas stove for summer cooking.

New stoves probably have a thermometer built in, but we used a hand over the top (or in the oven) - counting 1...2.. OUCH was hotter than 1....2....3....4...ouch. No kidding! That's how I was taught to gauge the heat! When water dances on the griddle, it's ready for pancakes. That sort of thing.

An experienced wood stove user knows exactly how much fuel to put in at a time, and you get so you know what mix of wood (dry kindling, cobs, larger, greener stick wood, etc.) - to keep an even heat going - and how often to add it. It's an art! Grandpa had a complex wood box divided for different sizes and types of kindling and fuel - he was a true artist of wood heat and cooking!
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:35 PM
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CarolAnn's experience above is much like ours.

We had a cook stove we bought at Lehman's brand new. We were just lucky enough at the time to be able to afford one from the proceeds of selling our house in the city. Very expensive, but the stove became the heart of our home I would say.

We ran it 10 months of the year. Just got too hot in July and August without any A/C or fans since we had no electricity. We found a nice little apartment sized propane stove to use the other 2 months.

Our house was pretty open inside - kitchen/dining area/living room were all together. We kept the cook stove going all the time just shutting it down every 2 weeks for cleaning and inspection. That actually kept the house warm down to about 20F. Anything lower than that we then fired up the other heating stove.

If trying to use a cook stove for heat, you tend to fire it hotter. Then your oven gets to hot to do anything. Our stove had a thermometer in the over door which was great - just made sure we maintained around 350 then it was ready to use at any time. This was easy being an air tight stove that was new - very easy to control the fire. The fire box was on the left, so for the cook top if you wanted more heat, you used the left side. For less heat or simmering, the right side. A nice big pot of chili simmering on the right side was great - grab a bowl anytime during the day. To boil water we of course used the left side right above the fire, and had to crank it up a bit to do that.

This is similar to the one we had:

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Old 04-04-2014, 06:21 PM
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ok so it sounds like I shouldn't try to do a combo unit - how much "trouble" is it to use a woodburning cook stove? & using it in the summer time - is it practical? what little things should I look for in getting a woodburning stove? preferances?any good articles ya suggest to read?
Thanks!
Back in the '50's my aunt in SD cooked on a wood/ coal cook stove that was also used for heat in the winter. The wood stove in the parlor was for special occasions and Sundays. Each spring the stove was moved to a separate "summer kitchen" out building until fall when it was brought back in the house.

The neighbor men helped each other move stoves in this farming community.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:55 PM
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JR - I've heard of this too! Mom told about taking the stove out - then they'd clean the walls and re-paper almost every year. (I bet a few years of wallpaper application made decent insulation!)

Good way to make sure the pipes get cleaned well yearly also!
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:14 AM
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Default Been around this block

We've been around the block on this one before so you might do well to read some other posts. I've been around them all my life. We have a 1927 model Monkey Wards stove in our kitchen but we also have a gas stove we use in the summer. Much will depend on what you have to spend, how you plan to use it, and what you expect it to look like and do as well as how much room you have.

A cookstove can sit right up next to the wall. You have to have clearance from combustibles. Too, what are you going to use for fuel. That makes a diff in stoves too and ease of use. We've burned a heck of a lot of cobs which is wonderful fuel for a cookstove but they're not easily found anymore.

I remember picking up cobs after the hogs as a kid. An aromatic job but those hog manure encrusted cobs burned better than clean cobs.

We actually have three wood cookstoves. One in the kitchen, one in the summer kitchen and a spare in storage for parts for the one in the kitchen. In our neck of the woods, they can still be found though they're getting more expensive and harder to find. I was given a combination stove this summer for free, we just had to haul it out of a basement and I gave it away to a young fellow who wanted to use it but I'm fairly sure his new wife will never go for it.

A combination range is good if you don't have a summer kitchen and want a gas stove for summer but don't have room in your regular kitchen for two stoves.

Too, many folks have some romantic notion what a stove should look like. Most stoves in this area are white porcelain and made in the forties to the sixties. We had neighbors move in from Californy and they wanted a stove. There were oodles around but they had in their head that a cookstove should be black with nickel trim. Well, as I said, I've been around them all my life and I've been around for quite a long long time. I've only seen two like that in this country in all my life.

These city folks moved back to Californy and bought themselves an expensive fancy stove with all the shiny trim from Lehmans. Now I don't have that kind of money; I used to buy and trade stoves about thirty years ago. Many farmers had stoves in a shed or basement and a few in their house on the farm kitchen in those days. When they'd move to town, the stoves could be bought for less than twenty bucks and I'd haul them to the black hills where folks used them in cabins and I'd get two hundred bucks a piece for them.

That said, most cookstoves were made to cook and not really to heat though they heat too much in the hot summer. If you don't plan to do a lot of cooking or need an oven, I'd suggest a trashburner style stove. They gave good heat and provided two burners to cook. You can also pick up a two burner kerosene stove oven to place over the top of the burners if you want to bake something. I can still find these stoves around here for less than fifty bucks.

As has been said, make sure it has good grates that are not cracked or warped and that shake freely. Also make sure the firebox liner is good and the oven is not rusted through. Or if you can afford it, I'd suggest buying an Amish made suppertime stove or if you've really got "money to burn" invest in a Waterford Stanley. Then you'll have a real stove and a lovely heirloom to leave when you're done with it as it will outlast you.
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:14 PM
Mad_Professor Mad_Professor is offline
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I have my grandmothers old Glennwood that is an early hybrid. It has two gas burners I need to update, all the rest is wood fired.

Plan is to update the gas burners to run propane with electronic ignition and no pilot light.

Rest of the stove is wood fired, in good shape, just needs a good clean up.

This will keep the kitchen warm with the wood but sure will not heat the house.

For heat I have a 2nd stove that will take 26" wood. Heats the whole house in the coldest weather and has a flat top that I can heat/boil water and cook on if needed in a pinch.

Will need a second stream of wood for the cookstove, 12" lengths.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:02 AM
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I have my grandmothers old Glennwood that is an early hybrid. It has two gas burners I need to update, all the rest is wood fired.

Plan is to update the gas burners to run propane with electronic ignition and no pilot light.

Rest of the stove is wood fired, in good shape, just needs a good clean up.

This will keep the kitchen warm with the wood but sure will not heat the house.

For heat I have a 2nd stove that will take 26" wood. Heats the whole house in the coldest weather and has a flat top that I can heat/boil water and cook on if needed in a pinch.

Will need a second stream of wood for the cookstove, 12" lengths.
I have found that old lumber is the best wood I can use in the cookstove. It cuts up nicely and burns well, giving lots of heat but not lasting long. It's a nice size and if you know some carpenters where you can get construction scrap, the fuel is free. Also, lots of old sheds to get lumber from.
One question. Why in the world would you want to rig up your stove with electronic pilot? Does it have gas pilots? If so, they're preferable to electric any day of the week, and if not, what's the matter with a match or a gas welder's striker? We had four generations of our family cook on the same old five burner Sears Kenmore stove and we had to strike a match or striker every time we boiled a pot of coffee. Big deal! At least we had a stove that worked when the power was off.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:31 PM
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Default Kindling & getting a cold stove going

If you're really lucky, you'll find a manufacturer that uses kiln dried hardwood; windows, furniture, door trim, even electrical transformer manufacturers can be a source of the best kindling you can find. They might not GIVE it to you - but usually you can get it cheap (unless they already have too many people speaking for it.) Be polite and respectful - and ASK before you raid anyone's dumpster or wood scrap pile. I've gotten scraps of lovely rock maple, butternut and oak -mostly too small to make something out of, but wow, what a quick, hot fire! You don't want to use much of this stuff, but it's great to get a cold stove of any type started. I've also had bits and pieces of pitch pine to start my fires (the pitch-soaked core left when a hard pine stump rots) - that's hard to find, though.

For a while in the 80's, I had a TexMex wood burning water heater, but our high water pressure (compared to Mexico) blew out the seams. Their recommendation was to get on the Rodale mailing list for free fuel!
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:02 PM
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how much "trouble" is it to use a woodburning cook stove? & using it in the summer time - is it practical?Thanks!
Oh, a woodburning stove is the best thing since sliced bread. That's why every housewife in America wants one. Is it a problem in the summer. Oh, of course not.

OK, now back to planet Earth. Of course a woodstove is problematic! How could it not be? Why do you think there's not a woodstove to be found in suburban America since 1945? Stoves do smoke sometimes, you need to clean out the ashes, you need to clean out soot, you need to clean out the chimney. Annnnnd, you need to wait!

I clocked myself making the morning capacino from a cold stove. Yes, I'm likely to be the only Californian that makes expresso on a woodburning stove. From the time I struck the match, till the time I took the first sip, was 45 minutes! Sorry, but that's just a little too long to stay in my morning fog. Frying bacon for breakfast takes just a little longer also. Don't have a number to give you yet.

So, even in the winter, propane is nice to get things started when you are in a hurry. I have a camping stove hooked up to a 5 gallon tank that supplies cooking fuel for months. Save the woodstove for bean soup and venison stew that slowly cooks all day long.

Don't get the idea that you'll be burning a fire all night long so there will be hot coals in the morning. There won't be, unless you get up every two hours all night long to feed the fire. Cookstoves are designed to produce heat for short amounts of time, and don't work well for overnight burns.

Here are a few tips to speed up the process a bit. I take standard 12X6 inch brown paper lunch bags that I pre-stuff with crumpled newspaper and a few crossed sticks of kindling. When ready to light the fire, I just drop in one bag into the firebox. To control smoke, and improve the draft, I open the stove right at the stovepipe, and shove one crumpled sheet of newspaper directly up the chimney. In one motion, I light the stovepipe paper on fire, slap that fire-ring shut, then divert the still burning match to my lunch bag kindling.

In the 5 seconds or so it takes to do this, the chimney pipe paper bursts into flame, there's a sudden rush of heat up the chimney pipe, which forms the initial draft the sucks fresh air past the kindling bag. As the kindling bag catches fire, the smoke it produces gets sucked up the chimney pipe because of that initial heat pulse. Do it right, and there will be no smoke at all inside the kitchen.

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what little things should I look for in getting a woodburning stove? preferances?any good articles ya suggest to read?
Thanks!
Cast iron is the way to go for most things. That's because it has thermal mass that dampeneds the temperature swings of the firebox. Cast iron also has the advantage of being cleanable with only soapless hot water, which you usually have an abundant supply when burning wood.

You need other methods for heat control rather than just controlling the size of the flame. The standard method is to shift the pots back and forth across the top of the grill to move to from one hot spot to another. Here, glass lids help a lot, even with cast iron pots and pans. A quick glance through the glass will tell you when you need to relocate to either increase or decrease the heat. That's much better than constantly lifting lids which will slow a simmer even further, and also loose precious flavors out the top.

Another way to control the heat is with the use of trivets. Those are the little 6-8 inch iron rings (with decrative patterns inside) that elevates the pot off the griddle top. It's a good way to bring a rolling boil down to a simmer when you're cramped for space.

Lastly, have a pot ring suspended from the ceiling to hang all the extra pots you want to show off. When hung over the stove, they stay warm and dry, and who wants to lug heavy cast-iron any distance?
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:31 PM
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MichaelK brought up many valid points and that is precisely why we have two stoves in our kitchen or as I've said, if I had room for just one, it would be a combination range.

I too, want to get my coffee pot a going quickly. I'd often start the stove and once it was hot and my coffee was made on the gas stove, bring the pot over and set it at the right side of the wood stove to keep it hot.

Stoves are like women. Each is diffn't and there's no blanket statement that can be used in how to handle them. When you cook on your wood stove, you learn where the hot spots and cool spots are, how you have to set the draft and the damper. How it varies from a windy day to a calm as that will affect your draft. You learn how to regulate the heat with certain fuels, which wood or fuel is best for which job, etc..

To cook on a wood stove is a work of art. Too many people have the idealistic idea that cooking on wood is nostalgic and romantic. They're in for an awakening.

When it's twenty below zero, I love coming in, putting down the oven door and setting my feet there to warm up. Bread or biscuits , pizza, etc. from a woodfired oven are unlike any you can produce in a gas or electric oven. The wood cookstove can fry bacon that is unequalled any other way, but yes, it's an art. You will need to take time to figure out how to use it, and it is a huge dirty, old queen that will demand your attention and perhaps far more than you have or are willing to give her, so everyone thinking of getting a wood cookstove needs to remember that and MichaelK you are so right. No warm coals come morning unless you've gotten up several times in the night. Anyone thinking a wood cookstove can heat the house is nuts.

When I was a kid, the neighbors had a cookstove in the kitchen and of course that was all. They had an oil burner in the living room but it was a NW room and the curtains blew with the wind with the windows shut. When it got real cold, the old oil burner didn't make a dent in heating that big NW room, so they'd move into the kitchen with all the house plants.

This old couple would take turns staying up all night feeding the stove so their houseplants wouldn't freeze three feet from the stove!
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:37 PM
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Smile good cooking and use tips!

This is great information- please keep adding your tips and suggestions - I'm soaking it all in and have got soooo much to learn before I make the leap!
THANKS!
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:23 PM
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I bought a brand new Kitchen Queen for my "canning shed" (as she calls it)
The building is 30 x 60 and has a 10' ceiling (partially completed as they say). I converted it from what it was built originally as a granary. I calculated the square area and decided on the Kitchen Queen as it is rated for 2500 sq. ft and it will heat 25 gallons of water while you are cooking.

Admittedly the building is all one room, but that seems to be no problem.
I looked at many of the wood cook stoves and picked this one. A lot of research went into that decision so I guess you could imagine I am happy with my choice. I got the "top of the line" with it and there are less expensive models, all pretty good. It heats the building well. I have boiled water on it and fired up a pressure cooker on it so I guess it works good. Have not been cooking regularly on it as yet.

Whatever you get, place it properly and make it easy to get on all sides of it and away from anything that can burn.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:19 AM
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Whatever you get, place it properly and make it easy to get on all sides of it and away from anything that can burn.
Very important point that I failed to mention. When I was installing my stoves, I bought double-wall stove pipe, and triple-wall chimney pipe to decrease my installation distances. I also altered the construction of the walls immediately adjacent to the stoves. Instead of wood, I used steel 2X4's, insulated the walls with paper-free fiberglass, and then covered it all with cement board rather than sheetrock. I also covered the bottom of the second floor joists directly over the stoves with cement board also. So, the immediate perimeter of the stove is made totally out of non-combustables.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:01 PM
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Default Livin' off grid- wood burning stoves

Thanks for the tips and suggestions. The dbl wall stove pipe & triple wall chimney pipe and adjusting walls w/ steel 2x4's along w/using cement board are good things I need to consider. Icu4dzs - how much was your Kitchen Queen that you mentioned?
any more cooking tips?
My wife found this article that she thought was real interesting-

http://www.smokeymountainfireplaces....to-save-money/
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:27 AM
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My wife found this article that she thought was real interesting-

http://www.smokeymountainfireplaces....to-save-money/
Maybe yes, but not with that stove. Sorry, but just because that little stove has a flat top doesn't make it a cookstove. You gonna bake a loaf of bread with that stove? I don't think so! And that 2399.00$ SALE price got my attention too. Go on Craigslist and you're likely to find a like-new stove to 239$, not 2399$!

You're likely to find a nice stove cheap, because the realities of woodburning crash headlong into the romantic notions that people have about them. Either that or that the stove was sized incorrectly for the space they were trying to heat.

Keep in mind that I saved a lot of money buying used, and installing the chimneys myself. Pay retail for a stove, then pay a licensed contractor to install an INSURANCE APPROVED INSPECTED chimney, and you're costs are in the 5, 6, 7 thousand dollor range. I also save by cutting, splitting, and stacking my own wood, from deadfalls on my property. If you add the cost of commercially delivered wood, the cost skyrocket.

Don't get me wrong. I'll fight tooth and nail to keep my stoves, but you always end up paying for convenience, and the one thing most woodstoves are not is convenient! You MAY save lots of money, but only if you very zealously control costs! The good news though is after the next really bad ice storm, and the power is out all over your county, yours will be the only house on your road that's warm and comfy. How convenient is that?
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