14x32 in NH Lakes Region

Started by DavidRaftery, January 23, 2014, 10:57:06 AM

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DavidRaftery

I've had a request for more info on my wood stove. I bought a Vermont Castings Aspen; it is the smallest stove they make. The catalog says it puts out 18,000 BTUs/hour and will heat up to 600 sq ft. It is side loading, with glass on the side door and takes 16 inch long logs. It is a heavy sucker, weighing 240 lbs. The dealer I purchased it from told me that Vermont Castings had been sold awhile ago and the quality had gone down. They were sold again to a new owner, who manufactures stoves and he said the quality has returned. Installing wood heat is not cheap. I paid $1,000 for the wood stove and about another $1,000 for the chimney and insulated double wall roof piping.

I have been happy with my stove so far. My chimney is a straight run up through the roof, so it draws well. I have not had any problems with backdraft. I have only been using the integral damper on the rear of the stove; I don't have a second damper on the chimney. The stove only takes 16 inch logs, so this can be a pain if your logs are a little long. I have had to put some logs diagonally in the stove or leave the ends hanging outside the open door, when they were too long. I make sure all the firewood that I cut will fit in the stove. I have not tried packing the stove full of logs over a bed of coals yet, so I don't know how long this will burn overnight. I have been getting up every couple of hours to add 2 logs to the stove. If you like to watch your fire through a big glass door, this is not the stove for you. Since the glass is on the side door, the view of the fire is reduced.

It is hard to tell the performance so far because only my roof and about 3/4 of the walls are insulated. I still need to finish the walls, insulate under the floor and put plastic vapor barrier up before I get a true picture of how well this stove heats. What I can report is that this fall, when the outside temperature was 30 degrees, I was able to get the temperature up to 55 degrees inside the cabin. Hopefully once this place is fully insulated, it will be so warm that I'll need to crack a window when the stove is running! Vermont Castings sells an adaptor to connect the stove to use outside air; I may purchase this eventually.

When my buddies come up this year, we are going to rotate the wood stove 45 degrees, so the rear faces the corner of the south and bathroom walls. The required clearance is less at the rear of the stove than on the sides. With the stove in it's current position, the bathroom wall next to the stove gets too hot. The cement board is there temporarily to block some of the heat.



I'm still learning how to operate a wood stove, so any suggestions are welcome !
Dave Raftery

MountainDon

We bought a VC Aspen back in 2009. We like it. Once you are finished with the insulation you should be able to make the interior uncomfortably warm. At least we can with our 470 sq ft cabin. We have the fresh air intake installed. I found that to make the stove easier to start and operate. Prior to that, I had to crack open a window or door to get the fire going. I guess I air sealed the shell too well.  ;)  I've got quite used to cutting firewood to 15 to 16" lengths.

We used a telescoping black pipe section between the stove top and the insulated pipe ceiling connector. That makes it quite easy to clean the chimney.  I remove the screws that secure the black pipe to the upper adapter, twist the black pipe to unlock and then push the upper part down to telescope with the lower part a little. Then the black pipe section gets taken outside. A bag is taped to the open end of the insulated pipe. From the roof the cleaning brush is pushed down and then pulled up. Those two strokes usually cleans the pipe out. The bag catches the debris. The stove chimney connection opening is vacuumed out and everything reassembled and we're good for another year.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


MountainDon

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.

Migraine Craftsman

Thank you very much! for this reading it now.

DavidRaftery

I went up to the cabin 3 weeks ago to open for the season. There was still 8 inches of snow in the driveway. I shoveled just enough to get my truck off the road and used my plastic toboggan to bring my gear up to the cabin. Then I had to shovel out the front door which had a large pile of snow that had slid off the roof during the winter.

On Saturday, the temperature went up to 70 degrees. I used the new brush cutter attachment for my gas powered weed whacker, to cut small saplings in front of the cabin. It worked really well; it easily cuts through 2 inch saplings. I drilled more holes and pulled more electrical wire in the walls as well. The ice was just starting to go out on the nearby lake.

I talked to my auto mechanic last month and he can get me wholesale pricing on 6 V golf cart batteries, so I plan to get 4 of those for my 24 V solar system.

I'm hoping to head up again this weekend to fill up my water tank from the well. Goals for this year are to finish the exterior siding, make a permanent mount for my solar panels, and finish wiring and insulating.











Dave Raftery


Mike 870

Wow that's big pile of snow to get through.  Good luck with all your projects this year.

DavidRaftery

I headed up to the cabin on May 3rd for the weekend. I lucked out with the weather; it was supposed to drizzle most of the weekend but there was no rain at all on Saturday or Sunday.

I brought up my new kitchen stove. Moving it around was easy with the hand truck. The hard parts were setting it on it's side to get it out of the truck, onto the front stoop and inside the front door. It took awhile but I got it inside without any damage. The second picture shows it's approximate position in the kitchen. I have to remove the lumber which is against the wall behind the stove. When I finally get cabinets and a decent kitchen counter top, the counter top will extend in an L shape in front of the north window where the trash can currently sits !





I also filled my IBC tote with water from the well. I am still using my 12 V pump which is not very powerful, so I had to prime the hose to get the water flowing. Once I hook up my inverter, I'll use a 120 V pump which will be much easier - no need to drag the battery out to the well. The well was completely full, which is what I expected. The wood chips worked great to keep me from sinking into the mud.





Did some target practice with the Ruger LC9s. I am now able to get 6 inch groupings at 20 feet. The key for me is a smooth trigger pull. I still have a long way to go.
Dave Raftery

DavidRaftery

Question on insulation:

I currently have R19 under my rafters. I'm thinking of increasing the insulation by adding 2 inches of rigid foam on the inside. 2 inch  blue polyisocyanurate insulation has a R value of 13. Can this be used inside or just outside on foundations? The pink XPS is R10 for a 2 inch thickness. I could use furring strips to hold it in place and secure them to the rafters with 3 1/2 inch construction screws. I want to attach the furring strips parallel to the rafters because I want to install T&G pine horizontally in the future.

Would this work? Am I missing anything here?

Thanks,
Dave
Dave Raftery

Migraine Craftsman

Quote from: DavidRaftery on July 20, 2019, 09:19:16 AM
Question on insulation:

I currently have R19 under my rafters. I'm thinking of increasing the insulation by adding 2 inches of rigid foam on the inside. 2 inch  blue polyisocyanurate insulation has a R value of 13. Can this be used inside or just outside on foundations? The pink XPS is R10 for a 2 inch thickness. I could use furring strips to hold it in place and secure them to the rafters with 3 1/2 inch construction screws. I want to attach the furring strips parallel to the rafters because I want to install T&G pine horizontally in the future.

Would this work? Am I missing anything here?

Thanks,
Dave

Dave I asked this question to my building inspector, he wasn't too crazy about it. He stated he'd be worried about condensation forming since it would be a solid seal. I like the idea for R value and sound insulation but never experimented doing it that way.
Sorry couldn't be more help.


Don_P

I did similar, originally I used R19 fiberglass and then went underneath it inside with 2 layers of 3/4" xps, seams offset and taped. I screwed 7/16" osb under that and then T&G for the finish, the osb allowed nailing anywhere and we ran a border of T&G around the ceiling running the other way, which that solid backing allowed.

It can dry to the interior on one side of the foam and to the exterior on the other side, I don't buy the condensation argument. We reroofed a few weeks ago. I had to pull several bad sheets, we let the shingles go too long at around 30 years. No visible issues in the bays.

DavidRaftery

Thanks for the feedback. I'm not too worried about condensation. I have 1 inch of free air space above the fiberglass batts. This space is open at the eves and the peak, so I should get good air flow over the fiberglass.

What are your thoughts about using plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier on the inside? I see a lot of people doing this these days. I was planning to do this on my exterior walls. I put an addition on 20 years ago and used plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier. The local building inspector wasn't too crazy about it. He thought the moisture might migrate down to my floor and rot the subfloor. He didn't make me take it out though. We moved since then so I don't know if anything like that happened.

Dave
Dave Raftery

DavidRaftery

I've been making slow but steady progress on the cabin. I finished siding the west wall except for a couple of boards at the top.



I plan to put a pull down attic stair in the west loft. I had to remove one loft joist on the end and move it against the wall to make room for the rough opening. Next I'll box in the opening and add shorter loft joists on each side. I figure this is a quick and inexpensive solution for accessing the loft.



A friend gave me their old bureau and I brought that up and got it inside the cabin. It was very heavy even with the drawers removed. I've been thinking of where to build a small closet. Another friend suggested making a movable closet like the funiture used 150 years ago. What did they call them - armoires?



I bought a couple of 4x6 PT posts to use to support my 2 solar panels and moved them out back. I discovered I can use my hand truck on one end of the posts and then wheel them around with the hand truck carrying half the load.




Our local Dollar store is selling LED Desk Lamps for $1. I bought several of them, cut off the plug and attached them directly to my 12 VDC battery. They work great!



I also purchased a 5 cubic foot freezer and an external thermostat to use as a refrigerator. I tried it out at home in my basement and it works great. I just plug the freezer into the thermostat and run the temperature probe into the freezer. I have it set at 45 degrees and am using a Kill-O-Watt meter to see how much energy it uses.




I hope to go up next weekend and start digging post holes for my solar stand.



Dave
Dave Raftery

Don_P

I think the old time chifferobe is probably more useful than an armoire. They have a door on one side for hanging clothes, usually a mirror on the backside of the door, and drawers on the other half.

Poly is frowned on nowadays for most climates but yours is probably strictly heating so it should be ok on the warm side of the wall assembly. Do some searching and reading at buildingscience.com

Lorangerlife


Great looking cabin!  I had begun to build my own in Bristol NH years ago after buying plans from John.  I'm curious what did it end up costing to get that foundation done?


DavidRaftery

Lorangerlife,

I paid my concrete contractor $8K for the foundation walls and another $1K to pour the basement floor. My total site excavation work was $35K. This included installing the septic system, digging a shallow well and installing well casing, putting 6 inches of rock on my driveway, digging and back filling the foundation, grading and building the 2 rock walls.

Sorry I didn't see your message earlier. PM me if you have other questions.
Dave Raftery

Lorangerlife


No worries at all!  We've narrowed it down to 3 properties in town and we're hoping to be building by next summer if all goes well.  Thanks so much for all the info!

DavidRaftery

Question: what is the best way to insulate around vent piping and vent stack in an exterior wall? Can I split my fiberglass insulation to slide it around the pipes, the same way I would do it for electrical wires? Or will this cause condensation or mold problems. I would think there would be minimal air flow in vent pipes, so they should stay at ambient temperature and not sweat. Or am I wrong? Thanks in advance!
Dave Raftery

DavidRaftery

I'm still here working on my cabin!

Last year I built a Murphy Bed and installed a pull down attic stairs for easy access to the loft.



My son visited the cabin for the first time this summer. He helped me install the second solar panel. I put up the solar stand and the first panel back in 2019.



This year I've been working on the kitchen, nailing up T&G pine, installing kitchen cabinets and a butcher block counter. It came out nice.



Here are interior views of my current progress.





Dave Raftery

MountainDon

The kitchen and the T&G do look nice. :)
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.

Redoverfarm

Looking good.  I enjoy working with T&G.


DavidRaftery

Looking back on what I accomplished last year in 2021 before starting up again this year.

My son visited the cabin for the first time and helped me install a second solar panel on the stand.
Permanently hooked up Charge Controller, Circuit Breakers and 24/12V transformer in basement. Connected everything to 4  Golf Cart batteries which now live outside in a battery box.
Installed kitchen cabinets, sink & butcher block counter, after installing T&G on east wall.
Cut down 2 dead trees and split for firewood.
Moved the 2 new IBC totes into woods above well. I will fill them each spring from the well and then gravity feed water into the tanks in the cellar as needed. This brings me up to 4 INC totes at the cabin.
Installed DC switches in junction box next to front door for 12 volt wiring to lights and water pump.
Installed 12V AM/FM radio with speakers on west wall.
Got T&G installed half way up on the west wall.
Bought a propane Mr Heater non-venting wall heater for backup heat.

Plans for 2022 include:

Re-configuring the solar system to 24 volts and installing PSW inverter.
Connect a gas line to kitchen stove from external propane tank.
Hook up shower drain piping and water supply lines to shower.
Install propane on demand water heater.
Build cellar stairs.
Nail up as much T&G inside as possible.

A few more pictures from last year:

Golf cart batteries



Wiring DC switches



T&G on west wall


Dave Raftery