Saturday, December 12, 2009

Scandinavian wood burning stoves

Jotul 606

Jotul 602

Jotul 601

It has been unusually cold this holiday season in Northern California, and my mind is occupied with fitting out a small Forest Service cabin that we are in the process of purchasing at Echo Lake. First order of business- after shoring up the ca.1921 foundation- is to fit a proper wood stove more in keeping with the vintage of the place.

Finely cast and enameled classic box stoves from Scandinavia were popular in the U.S. in the mid ‘70s from makers such as Jøtul, Morsø, and Lange. Lange has been absorbed by a company making sleek, minimalist stoves, and Jøtul and Morsø each have a single model available in the old style. Sadly, the rich enameled colors are a thing of the past…”any color you want, as long as its black.”

The Jøtul 606- one of the nicest stoves of its type to my eye- is no longer made, and rarer than hen’s teeth in the U.S. Built on a firebox similar to that of the 602, it features a heat exchanger that functions as a secondary combustion chamber, and radiates more of the heat generated into the room rather than up the stack.

The Jøtul 602, nicknamed “The Little Giant,” is capable of kicking out some serious heat despite its small size. Back in the day, I lived for several years in a little cabin in the mountains of Mendocino Co. with no electricity or telephone, and my Waterford- made copy of the 602 was the focus of my daily routine. I still have that stove as a reminder of the days of chopping wood and carrying water.

From Jøtul’s website:

The Classic Award for Design Excellence is awarded to products that have been in the market for at least ten years and are still commercially successful. The aim is to encourage companies to invest in design long-term. Experience shows that good design products are competitive, have longevity and give stable profit as well as offers the customer functional and aesthetically pleasing products.
Jøtul F 602 a best seller since 1936, received the Classic Award for Design Excellence in 1999.

The Jøtul 601, apparently available only in Eastern Europe and Russia, is even smaller than the 602. Sweet!




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  2. Do you have information about a Jotul 600? It looks like a 602 but has a horse rather than a lion on the side.

    1. The 600 is smaller than the 602. In my opinion it is not something i would buy becouse you can not fill it up with logs in the evening and find it still with some "fire" in there in the morning. The 602 we have in the livingroom is a "roundburner" (keep the heat trough the night) but the 600 is cold after maybe 4 hours.