Small Wood Stove Review: Morso 1410 Squirrel

by ziggy on December 14, 2010 -- 15 comments -- Follow

Morso 1410 Squirrel: Small Wood Stove

The Morso 1410 is a very small, clean-burning wood stove

The Morso 1410 “Squirrel” is a sleek, small wood stove. And I’m very glad to have its company. It’s been getting a fair workout these days, and I’m happy with its performance. Here’s a little rundown on my experience with the small wood stove out of Denmark.

Morso 1410: Small Wood Stove Review

I love the design of the 1410. The attractive squirrel relief on either side of the stove body attracts a lot of attention. Given that this stove occupies a prominent space in the house, it’s a big bonus that the stove itself is pleasing to look at. The proportions are very agreeable, too. Something about the Jotul 602 and other stoves with similar proportions are awkward to me — their relatively deep fireboxes seem too narrow to load comfortably. But the firebox of the 1410 is more like a square, making for easy loading and arrangement of wood.

Note, however, that this stove only accepts very small pieces of wood — up to 12″ maximum, which will require a lot more cutting and processing on the user’s part. However, if you can acquire furniture scraps or some similar free resource for burning, it’s perfect. Either way, expect to do more splitting. But it comes with the territory anyway, right? You can’t expect to want a small wood stove without needing to cut your wood down smaller, too. I actually find that the stove does really well with more pieces of smaller wood, instead of fewer pieces of chunkier wood, as well. It burns extremely cleanly and efficiently, from what I can observe. Many times I’ve walked outside to see little to no smoke coming out of the chimney while the stove is burning. That’s a very good thing.

On that note, the stove has a neat secondary burn feature, whereby air intakes at the top of the firebox help to burn off more of the gases before they escape through the chimney. This helps with the stove’s efficiency, and makes watching the fire burn that much more exciting. It’s hard to explain, but it looks like watching a fiery, upside down waterfall when the burn conditions are just right. That reminds me of my other favorite feature of the stove design — the huge viewing window. I’m a sucker for watching wood burn. (Who isn’t?) The whole process is unobstructed and beautiful to view. Best of all, the air flow pattern inside the stove keeps the glass very clean and free from soot, so the flame is never hidden under a dirty pane of glass.

I also like the damper design, a spin-dial that can be spun down or open. There’s three and a half rotations between fully open and closed, so there’s a lot of play between the most wide open setting and the fully closed position. Something that is a little less intuitive, though, is that you cannot easily tell how open the damper is just by looking at it. It’s a small drawback, I think, because otherwise the wheel offers a big range of tuning the air intake.

There’s one little thing I’m not crazy about – the fact that the cast iron top plate sits up a tiny amount (1/8″, maybe?) if you run your flue out of the rear of the stove. That makes it hard to sit large pots or skillets completely level on the surface of the stove, unless you put them on top of that plate. (12″ skillets hang off the stovetop surface, for example.) But often the hottest part of the top surface is the very front. Since we do a lot of cooking on the stove, it becomes a little annoying sometimes, but if you don’t use your Squirrel for cooking, it shouldn’t matter.

I’m hesitant to claim any particular “burn time” for the 1410. We’ve had some embers left in the morning after a long day of fire burning, and other days when we’ve had to start from scratch. Again, this is a small wood stove, so it needs a lot more tending than a larger stove, and you’ll no doubt experience more time loading it and starting fires.

Overall, the Morso 1410 is a beautiful, well-designed, and clean-burning small wood stove.

p.s. Fun fact — all Morso wood stoves are made from 98% recycled cast iron. Very sweet.

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  • Noah

    Is that a fan on top of the oven? It looks like it warms up and radiates the heat outwards. is that true? If so, that’s super cool… err… warm!

  • It is. It creates is own electricity once the surface temperatures get hot enough. Quite nifty. Helps to move hot air around!

    http://www.caframo.com/hearth/hearth_products_woodstove.php

  • onesojourner

    I installed a jotul f 100 2 summers ago. we have been pretty happy with it. it will only take about a 14.5 inch piece of wood though. It keeps our living area plenty warm all winter though. The only issues with these small stoves are that they prefer to be fed a constant supply of kindling. If I try to put a big stick in that’s all that will fit. Keep us posted on the over night burns. I have managed to have just enough coals left in the morning that I can coax a flame out of some kindling but that’s that best I have managed so far.

  • Kaj Lauritzen

    It is actually a good thing that the stove is a bit on the small side. It forces the user to keep the stove burning cleanly by having to put in small amounts of wood and burning with a good flame. Often people tend to get stoves that are a little bigger than needed. Then they fire it up, put in big chunks of wood, and turn down th air so it can burn all night. The result is that the gasses are not burnt properly, letting the neighbours enjoy a mix of stinking, unburned gasses. And the lack of air lets a lot of the gasses condense into soot, visible on the glas but also clogging up the smokestack. But it is nice for me as a dane to see, that danish heaters are popular so far from home! I have af finnish masonry heater though, and would not put in an iron stove again. I never quite understood why you broke down the cob bench-oven without trying to make it work – you didnt have a vertical smokestack, so of course it couldn´t work. With the small iron stove you don´t have any capacity for accumulating heat.

  • Hiya Kaj:

    Yep, the cast iron stove is not my ideal. It would have been hard to outfit the original rocket stove without a lot of tweaking. I wasn’t sure if the indoor stack would have been enough so I wasn’t willing to make modifications without a greater confidence that what I would do would work.

    I think a tiny masonry stove is the ideal, but after the rocket stove experience, I wasn’t ready to try building a whole other stove myself. Although I don’t think it’s impossible that I would do it again sometime, because I agree: cast iron stoves are not that great, not terribly efficient. There’s no storage of heat.

    We’ll see…

  • Kaj Lauritzen

    You could check this out http://www.einfaelle-statt-abfaelle.de/ they have af booklet called “Heft 5: Abwärmeöfen” – I don´t know if they have English versions but they have a lot of interesting stuff. Including this description on how to combine iron heaters with masonry/clay.

  • chaburchak

    Would a simple cob surround make the stove more efficient? Something like this…

    http://housealive.org/wpg2?g2_itemId=22

  • Anthony

    Having a good working knowledge of the Morso’s and many other wood-burning brands, the points that you raise with regards to the ‘bit that you are not crazy about’ – this stove / fireplace wasnot designed with cooking in mind at all – this is not a stove plate to cook on, it’s a fireplace…!!!

  • Yep, I understand that they are not designed to cook on, but the ability to cook is such an obvious benefit to any wood stove that I wish just that one little thing about this stove were different to accommodate the option. (It is a very small detail, too, that small raised plate.)

  • pumps pipe

    Great job u have done here.Your small wood stove solution will be really helpful for tiny house.The Jøtul F 602 CB models efficiency is really impressive. On the other hand The Morso 1410 Squirrel is useful for great squirrel relief on either side of the stove.So it is pleasing to look you express from the heart and your clarity on this significant content can be easily looked. Remarkable post and will look forward to your future update.

    Small Appliances

  • boone

    hey ziggy,

    these pictures sure make me miss all of you guys. hi to everyone. btw what is the indoor temp this year?

    d

  • Pingback: Wood-Burning Stoves for Small Houses | Sustainablog()

  • Christian Weisenburger

    hi ziggy,

    I am likely going to buy the Squirrel on your recommendation. I am debating though whether I will purchase the more expensive Morso 3112

    http://www.morsona.com/index.php/classic-stoves/morso-3112.html

    One advantage is that it fits 12″ logs instead of just 10″. It costs perhaps $400+ more. Do you think it is worth it?

    Chris

  • Hmm. The specs seem quite similar. Size-wise, it is nearly the same. Seems like the only advantage is the max log size, perhaps. I would say at that extra cost, it may not be worth it. Plus, the 1410 kinda looks better with the squirrel!

  • Zanne

    Hi Ziggy,
    I’ve been reading all your details and looking at the pics. Great job. I’m hoping to build a hyperadobe cottage in the high desert of the southwest. The info about the stoves is interesting. Lots to think about. One thing I was reading about lately is wood bricks. Even when you cut your own wood, one or two of these bricks would keep a stove going all night. They’re just compressed wood, no other substances or glue. Of course, the kind made from hardwood is the best. Maybe not for use all the time, but good for emergencies or for when you just want a full night’s sleep ;-}
    Looking forward to reading more on your site.
    Thanks

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