At just over 800 square feet, we didn’t need a huge wood stove for our cabin, but we wanted something that we’d enjoy, well, hopefully for the rest of our lives. A few things were important to us. We didn’t want cheap quality. We wanted glass, because, come on, who doesn’t love staring into the flames? And less importantly, but of minor significance, we wanted it to be attractive since, again, we don’t want to have to buy another one of these things and we’ll be looking at it for many years to come.

Commence wood stove research. We settled, happily, with the Hearthstone Tribute. A little stove rated for heating up to 1,000 square feet. It’s about 18″ x 24″ so it won’t eat up too much floor space in our small space. The stove uses soapstone, which holds the heat of the fire. So even when the fire goes out, it continues to radiate heat for some time.

The guys at VBS Heating in Homer were kind enough to load the crated stove onto our trailer for us. Once we got it home, it was time to get it up to the cabin. This meant crossing about 30 feet of not smooth land and then four feet up onto the deck of the cabin and then on in to its new home. Mr. Open Sky lay down some extra 2″ x 10″ boards that we had and slid/walked it all the way over to the cabin using just brute strength. Once he got to the cabin he threw a rope over the one log beam that juts out away from the cabin (it supports the nook roof) and used a one-ton come-along to hoist it up to the deck. From there it was slide/walking it using a piece of vinyl (to help it slide better) to get it near its final resting place.

When it came time to install the stove, Mr. Open Sky built a sturdy pedestal using rough-cut 2″ x 6″ lumber. It is stout and sturdy. On top of that we lay the hearth pad. Getting the stove 12-inches off the floor wasn’t too bad, although a two-person endeavor. Mister rocked it onto two legs while I slid a couple lumber scraps under the lifted legs. Then we switched sides. Back and forth until we got it high enough. The last two pieces were long enough to bridge the gap over to the hearth pad. From there we slid/walked it to where it needed to sit, then he rocked one side up, I removed that wood and then the same with the opposite side. And viola there it sits as pretty as can be.

Installing the stove pipe was fairly uneventful other than at first we were going to run the pipe out the wall and then outside only to find out at Spenard Builders Supply that we couldn’t with the way our roof overhangs out there. So we went pretty much straight up. There is a small bend to accommodate going between roof joists but it looks and works just fine. On top of the roof, we went with a Dektite silicone pipe flashing boot to keep out the snow and rain. It’s dark orange in color but doesn’t look horrible with the brown metal roof. And honestly after a couple days we didn’t really even notice it any more.

Currently we have the pipe only about 36-inches above the nook roof but next year we will have to raise the height to above the main cabin roof line for proper draft purposes. But for now, again because of cost and expediency, we have it down low.

I would mention, the only negative we have to say about the stove is that while the Hearthstone website says it holds up to a 16″ log, it really can’t practically. More like 14″ because of the door. Not a problem when we harvest the firewood ourselves. But for purchasing cords of firewood from someone else, it has posed problems. Most everyone cuts to 16″ we have found. One guy told us he’d cut to 12-14″ and then he delivered us wood that was all 16″. So we can’t use it without chop-sawing every single piece. Another company said they’d cut to 12″ but it would cost quite a bit more for their extra time. I understand their reasoning but at $270 a cord (base price before delivery fee and cutting it shorter), we can’t spend more. None of these may be your problems, but it is something to think about if you end up wanting to purchase one of these awesome stoves.

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