Friday, December 22, 2006
Before you can use a masonry stove there are several items you need to plan for. Once the stove was assembled we had to wait several days for the mortar to dry before we could start breaking it in. Break-in consisted of a series of fires starting with just kindling and working up to a normal fire.
Normally the stove gets fed twice per day. You can also double fire the stove where once the first fire has burned down you put wood in for the second fire, otherwise you wait about 8-12 hours before the next fire. A Tulikivi masonry stove is different in concept than a cast iron stove. You feed them based on the weight of the wood. To calculate the weight of the wood you should burn you have to know how much your stove weighs. Since our stove is 6,700 pounds you divide by 100 and get 67 pounds and then multiple that by 1.5 to get the maximum amount of wood per day. Ideally the company says you should burn 1-1.2 pounds per 100 pounds of stove per day. For two firings this comes out to about 40-50 pounds of wood at a time. The weather hasn't been cold enough to really do that yet. Like any wood stove you open the air controls and dampers before you start the wood but unlike a metal stove you never slow the fire down. You want to burn the stove wide open and then when the fire is out close the dampers to keep heat from going up the chimney.
The bake oven in our stove will warm food from a fire burned in the main chamber but if you want to bake in the oven you build the fire in the oven itself. When you burn in the oven the same rule about the weight of the wood applies plus you should only burn in one of the chambers at a time. Tonight we burned in the bake oven for the first time.
It takes quite awhile for the stove to warm all that soapstone - but when it starts to purr, it is a fantastic heat and it extends for hours and hours. With the sun and a burn this am, the radiant did not run at all today and the temps were in the high 20s. Great!