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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.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)October 4, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    Vermont stoves are sooo good. I wish we could have taken ours when we moved. They are top quality. I miss it. Maybe you can find one on Craigslist.

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    Replies
    1. Craigslist didn't have anything quite like I wanted in a 3 state area.

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  2. I like both but not the idea of the glass top on the Deva. The Vermont looks good but the oven is below the fire box. And hot air rises...

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    Replies
    1. My cast iron cookware would scratch the glass top all to heck and gone. The Vermont stove does seem to bake OK on the Youtube videos.

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  3. I'm sure you have covered all the bases. How 'bout Canada?

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    Replies
    1. Still haven't gotten around getting my passport. I've got the form sitting in my van. One of those things I've been meaning to do.

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  4. Winter is on its way so you better hurry up and get one soon or head out for Florida.

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    Replies
    1. I suggested to my lovely wife that we set sail in a couple weeks and just keep heading south.

      Not this year.

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  5. If I lived in a place where we had more than a couple of days of Winter, I'd have me a wood burning stove!

    Have to wait until I move to the woods, I reckon!

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    Replies
    1. They certainly make sense for us northern folk who live in the woods. Firewood grows on trees. :)

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  6. I have a friend that bought one of these and he is very happy with it. Similar in style to the Deva and no glass top. I believe it was made in the czech republic. Also only about 60% of the cost.
    http://newwoodstoves.net/index.php/product/magnum

    It might be worth a look.

    Woods

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  7. Ah, I remember having a woodburning stove to heat our house when I was young, and the days of watching my father chop the wood for the winter. Good luck on your search.

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