A cool tool for ash removal

MnDave Posted By MnDave, Dec 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM

  1. MnDave

    MnDave
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    Since I burn 24/7 I had to come up with a plan for ash removal without taking the stove all the way down.

    Here is what I do.

    Once the majority of the larger coals have burned down and the stovepipe temp is around 150F, I start stiring the ashes every half hour or so. I might do this 4 or 5 times until the stove is around 100F.

    Then I take a small sheet of stainless steel mesh and while wearing my welders glove I push the mesh along the bottom of the firebox like a shovel. The light ash flows through the screen while the larger coal fragments are carried on the top of the screen to the back of the stove. I then drag the ash under the screen toward the front of the stove.

    At that point I could probably open the ash dump cover but instead I shovel it into and ash bucket and take it outside.

    Someday I will cut the mesh sheet to a smaller size, weld some flats on the edges to make it a little more rigid, and put it on a handle. Once I have the mesh on a handle I could work on an even hotter stove.

    MnDave
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot
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    I considered doing something along those lines, but I went with a COTs product instead. While in the local pet shop letting the kids check out all the animals, I spied an all metal cast aluminum cat litter scoop. It was big and deep so it could hold lots of ash/coals. It works great.

    I scrape a clean area for the coals and once I have sifted them I pile them in that spot. Then I can shovel out the ash and am left with just coals.

    I love DIY projects, but sometimes there are better options. The scoop cost ~$10 and the rib doesn't mind it being out and visible. Just my 2 cents.
     
  3. HotCoals

    HotCoals
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    Best thing I did recently was to buy a galvanized 5 gallon can made for ashes from TSC.
    It has a cover.
    I scoop the ashes then I dump them in the can with the lid sorta on..way less mess.
     
  4. madison

    madison
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    search the www for Kol Keeper shovel. just watch out for the paint fumes that burn off during the first use. it was made in china so who knows what is in that paint.
     
  5. joecool85

    joecool85
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    Jan 24, 2010
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    Am I the only one who just shovels the coals around?

    I shovel the coals from the right side onto the left. Then I remove all but 1/2" of the ashes from the right hand side. I then move all coals that are piled on the left onto the right hand side of the stove. Lastly I remove all but 1/2" or so of the ashes on the left hand side and then spread the coals around or bring them to the front (depending on what size/species I'm burning next). Takes maybe 2-3 minutes max and I can leave the stove hot. I normally wait till it's down to 300F or so though or it's pretty toasty to work on.

    **edit**
    Btw, if you're waiting till it's down to 100F, you're not really burning 24/7, right? I mean it's not like your stove is putting off usable heat at that point.
     
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  6. Dyno625

    Dyno625
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    Feb 27, 2012
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    My ash bucket came with a metal scoop with a long handle, I already had a shovel that came with my hearth tools. So I took the scoop that came with the ash bucket and drilled a series of 1/2 inch holes in it and made my own ash sifting shovel. It works pretty good and made good use of what I already had on hand.
     
  7. MnDave

    MnDave
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    I am going to copy what you did. Thanks!
    MnDave
     
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  8. begreen

    begreen
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  9. Dyno625

    Dyno625
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    Here is a pic of the one I made.
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. rkofler

    rkofler
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    Love it, im going to make one right now!! Great idea
     
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  11. Dyno625

    Dyno625
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    Glad you guys like it!
     
  12. wkpoor

    wkpoor
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    I have used that same locking lid bucket for many yrs.
     
  13. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford
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    I just shovel out the ash and whatever coals come with it. I gently spill the scoop load into a steel bucket. I carry the steel bucket outside and dump the ash/coals into a steel trash can with a tight cover. I'm going to reload anyway so a few lost coals is no big deal.
     
  14. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran
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    Heh, heh, heh...
     
  15. Tuneighty

    Tuneighty
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    Oct 11, 2012
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    I did the exact same thing. However I think I am going to get the Lowe's Childrens' Garden Hoe. But that shovel works great for shoulder season!
     
  16. Tuneighty

    Tuneighty
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    Oct 11, 2012
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    Anyone else sift their ash removal can (several days after sitting outside) ? I have collected about a 5 cups of charcoal that I have then used for cooking.
     
  17. Shmudda

    Shmudda
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    Dec 6, 2009
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    Joe,

    I do this exact procedure too for the last 17 years! Takes a little more time, but in the end you get all the ash out and just leave the hot coals. Works good for me!
     
  18. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon
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    OK, tell. How do you do this?

    The coaling thing is a perpetual problem for me because A) I'm "under-stoved" and in really cold weather have to reload before it's optimal to keep the indoor temp from dropping too far, B) the hottest-burning wood I can get in quantity is beech, which I love but which coals like crazy, especially after a longer lower burn, and C) for reasons too complicated to go into, I have to buy my wood c/s/d, and invariably end up with a fair amount that isn't fully seasoned.

    My outside coal pail ends up sometimes with more charcoal than ash, which is problematic for disposal (Strewing masses of charcoal in your flowerbeds and under the shrubs is ugly as hell come summertime!), and a real waste.
     
  19. Tuneighty

    Tuneighty
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    Oct 11, 2012
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    I have a piece material, similar to hardware cloth. It has smaller holes though. I think it is actually from the top of the chimney to keep critters out. I sift it over my fire pit, all the ash gets piled in the pit and then sent to the garden. It keeps all the decent size charcoal bits.
     
  20. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon
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    Thanks. I have no firepit, so I've been trying to figure out a way to make a sort of bowl-shaped sieve I can put in the top of my outdoor ashcan so the stuff doesn't spill all over the place. I have some hardware cloth in the barn, so you've inspired me to give it a try.
     
  21. Tuneighty

    Tuneighty
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    I mainly use the fire pit as a precaution, even after leaving it out a few days. It could probably be sifted right over the garden/flower beds.
     
  22. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon
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    The ash is probably fine, but I worry about some stray hot coals falling about during the sieving process. That's less of an issue now that we've got about 18 inches of snow on the ground, but on the other hand, I ain't strolling over to the flowerbeds through 18 inches of snow, either. I'm just hoping I can get the barn door open after my guy plows the drive so I can get to the hardware cloth.
     
  23. Waulie

    Waulie
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    Aug 31, 2011
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    I'm firmly in the push coals to one side, shovel, push coals to other side, shovel camp. I like tools and gadgets, but I do also enjoy simple things.
     
  24. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon
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    Good for you. So glad that works for you.
    Some of us, though, don't have such large stoves and have greater coaling problems, so the "push to the side" thing isn't possible. What I get is a huge multitude of very small coals that can't really be pushed, and the firebox is way too small to just put them to one side in any case.
     
  25. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford
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    You've got to burn down those coals before you reload. I run the last half hour or more of the burn cycle with the air wide open. This keeps the coals in check. I learned this the hard way after I had to shovel out a couple buckets full of red hot coals so I could get a full load in to make heat.
     
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