The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Jotul F 602 lights like a charm

Fire inside a Jotul F 602 wood stoveAfter nearly two weeks of laboring over her new home, we fired up the princess for the first time Friday afternoon.  The instructions admonished us to light five progressively larger fires, allowing the stove to cool completely between each one, before burning a full-fledged fire, so we haven't yet tested how much heat our Jotul F 602 will put off at full speed.  So far, though, I can tell you that she's a joy to work with.

Jotul F 602 in an alcoveI'm a very inexperienced fire-maker, and starting our exterior wood furnace (aka the beast) was nearly always beyond my ability.  Mark could get the beast going with judicious application of storebought firestarter logs (wax and sawdust), but even he had to labor quite a bit to build the fire to the point where it wouldn't go out when he shut the door.  There was no point in leaving a small fire burning in the furnace because you'd come back to unburnt kindling and a cold stove.

The princess is nothing like that.  I crumbled up several sheets of newsprint, topped them off with about a dozen mostly dry twigs and a few thinly chopped bits of box elder kindling, and lit her up.  The Jotul is completely airtight and is designed so that the air intake at the front of the stove forms a roaring wind inside as soon as you close the glass door.  By the second of the five mini fires, I had figured out that I could just close the door soon after lighting the paper, and Air regulator on a Jotul F 602the stove would do the rest of the fire-starting by herself.  Within minutes, the flames were so well established that I felt quite confident leaving her alone --- no babysitting involved.

Clearly, the princess is going to be the cure to my constant winter refrain --- "Honey, sweetie pie, darling, will you please light me a fire?"  We may be fighting over who gets to light the fire this season.

Looking for other ways to make your homesteading life easier?  Our homemade chicken waterer cuts chicken-keeping chore time in half.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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May it keep you warm all winter! :-)
Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Nov 27 13:44:55 2010
I'm so happy with it --- I may post about nothing else this week. :-)
Comment by anna Sat Nov 27 15:43:22 2010

It looks really nice. We've got the Jotul F3 TD, and we're extremely happy with it. The build quality seems great, it heats beautifully, and it's easy to clean.

Of course, we're heading into summer now so ours has been retired for the season, just as yours is firing up. The good thing is that we can hang our Christmas stockings on it without worrying about heat!

Comment by Darren (Green Change) Sun Nov 28 05:02:06 2010
Too bad we can't share a wood stove with someone in the southern hemisphere like you all. :-) Your stove looks great too --- like a bigger version of our princess.
Comment by anna Sun Nov 28 10:53:11 2010

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