(Mother Earth News Magazine article text)
There are now an awful lot of good wood-fired furnaces, cookstoves, space heaters, etc., on the market ... some of the best are advertised in MOTHER's pages ... and we ain't gonna take any sides in the argument about which is the very best of all.
Every so often, however, someone does come along with a new twist or two on an old basic idea and - for that reason alone - we like to call your attention to his or her novel new approach. And the fellow we'd like you to know about right here is a stove builder from Indiana named J-------.
Nope. J------ didn't invent the burning of wood for heat nor the idea of doing it inside a stove made of welded-up steel plates. It's the design of his space heater that puts J------- in our "we'd like you to know about" category.
What J------ has done, you see, is take the freestanding fireplace idea (which was pretty good to start with) ... and add a few twists of his own (to make it really great).
J------ started by putting fireproof glass across the front of the wood-burner (and, in some cases, around three of its four sides) so you can have a completely enclosed blaze ... yet still see and enjoy the flame! Then he put a tent-shaped hood up over the fire chamber, installed some short lengths of three-inch pipe in the cone's top, and connected them to a sleeve that runs up the back and around the sides of the furnace.
"This makes it possible," J------ explains, "to put a small blower on the unit and force air through the sleeve. The air, of course, is heated as it passes over the walls of the fireplace. And it's heated even more as it's blown through the pipes, down through another sleeve, and onto the floor. Or, if you like, you can hook ducts to the second sleeve and direct the hot air to any part of the house just as with a conventional furnace."
Result:  an 80% efficient wood-burner with  a completely enclosed but  completely visible fire that has  cool surfaces and which  operates automatically while it  burns logs up to 24 inches long and  heats houses with as much as 2,000 square feet of floor space  without any cold spots, corners, or drafts.
And that's why J------'s line of "JUCA Super-Fireplaces" which start at $408.60 are designed to pay for themselves in a single heating season. (And, yes, the steel plates used in the construction of the units are so heavy that the freestanding furnaces should last a good many years.)
And so MOTHER salutes J------ and the advances he's brought to the newly rediscovered art of burning wood for space heat. If you'd like to know more about his extremely efficient furnaces, write to: JUCA, Inc., Dept. ME, P.O. Box -------, Indiana.
Mother Earth News JULY/AUGUST 1978 p.63
We had been merrily just making a few JUCAs locally up to that point. We have no idea how Mother Earth News ever found out about us. We had never advertised ANYWHERE! Their reporter interviewed the (Nuclear Physicist) originator of the JUCA design. (We have edited his name in the reprinted text above, because he doesn't really like publicity or fame.)
We also edited the address given in that article, because it is no longer a valid address. We DID leave in the reference to the 1978 prices! In today's dollars, that would be over $3,000, so we have actually been able to LOWER the cost of modern JUCAs, even while doubling the thickness of all the firebox walls, and adding many other small improvements over the years.
The Reporter did not actually understand all the dozens of sophistications which were designed into the JUCA units, but he did fairly well. Cones and sleeves have always amused us! Heat Exchangers would have been more accurate, but in 1978, few people probably would have understood what that meant!