So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, October 4, 2012
Quest for fire
Over 100 miles of driving, hours of on-line research, and my lovely wife and I still haven’t found a replacement for our wood cookstove. The old one still, works. I replaced the firebricks and patched it up, but it won’t last forever.
It’s an old one, back in the days before air tight woodstoves extended burn times. At best, a load of wood lasts 3 - 4 hours. While it’s enough to keep the house warm during milder weather, it doesn’t keep up when true winter blows in. For those bitterly cold winter nights, there’s a massive woodstove in the basement or the oil furnace kicks in. A good kitchen stove of modern design should be able to handle almost all of our heating needs. Rarely would we need the other heating methods.
If heating was all we were looking for, our search would be simple, but we want to be able to cook. The old stove is a pretty decent cookstove. In fact, it handles most of our cooking needs. The problem has been to find a good stove for heating and cooking. Everything is a compromise, but some are better than others.
The local stove dealer had a Deva cookstove by Hearthstone on the display floor. At just under $4000 it’s at the absolute upper end of what I’m willing to pay for. The stove looks well built and has a good sized firebox. The only major downside, (besides price) is that the cook top is glass. The manual warns against using rough pans that could scratch it. Sure, the cook top could be replaced with a piece of steel, but that’s an added expense.
Another stove that caught my fancy is The Vermont Bun Baker. The plain metal one without soapstones sides is more in my budget. Unfortunately, there is nobody nearby who has any on display. It does appear to cook well. There is a water jacket option for heating up household hot water, so that’s a plus. On the downside, the firebox is on the small side.
Those are just two of the dozens of stoves we’ve looked at, both in stores and on-line. Decisions, decisions. It is tempting to ignore the problem one more year. My fear is that the old stove will be like the Wonderful One Horse Shay and completely fall apart one day. That’s not something to take lightly with something full of burning logs.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.