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Another Stove Grate Question

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by ironguy, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. ironguy

    ironguy New Member

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    I didn't want to hi-jack the thread about fabricating a stove grate, so I will ask my question in a new thread here. I'm curious how many people use grates in their stoves? Is it definitely better to have one than not? It seems like a lot of the stoves I've read about recently in my various researches don't have grates---they don't perhaps make a point of saying they don't, but the way they describe building and re-stoking fires makes it rather clear they're building the fire directly on fire bricks.

    Incidentally, the grate in my stove I borrowed from an old gas grill, and I support the grate on a couple scrap pieces of mild steel tubing. I thought it would be beneficial to get air up under the wood, and to give the ashes somewhere to fall. But it also takes up valuable space in my firebox, which has a slanted roof. I'm pretty new to wood stoves and have been trying to learn all I can. This forum is an excellent resource. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    If your stove didn't come with one, then it doesn't need it. If you have a "doghouse" directly behind the door for your primary combustion air, that's all you'll need to burn correctly. Take the grate out. More room = more wood = more heat.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    What kind of stove is that, Ironguy?
    Is it the pyramid stove? Gibraltar?
  4. ironguy

    ironguy New Member

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    It's the stove pictured in my avatar, an Aurora stove whose exact age I'm unsure of. I bought it used from the original owner, and no grate was included; but I also didn't think to ask about it at the time. I don't think he used it much, but he owned it for a long time.

    I'm not familiar with the term "doghouse" (well, except when I'm in the doghouse)---what does it refer to? This stove has two knobs on the front for air adjustment; no ash dump; and it has a blower.
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think maybe Daksy is referring to a small box on the inside of the door or elsewhere which the air enters before the fire? Most have some kind of baffle or preheat chamber.
  6. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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  7. ironguy

    ironguy New Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts and link. Maybe I'll take the grate back out and see how it goes. It's a nice stove and throws off the heat, but space inside is certainly at a premium.

    This stove has any kind of preheating chamber. Air goes straight from the room to the firebox.
  8. ironguy

    ironguy New Member

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    Just as a quick followup I thought I'd let you guys know, I removed the grate, and the stove doesn't miss it at all. If anything I think it may burn a little better---the bed of coals that forms remains intact; before, some of it was falling through the grate. It makes more of a difference than I even thought it might.
    Defiant likes this.
  9. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    When you clean the ash, allow about an inch to remain. It holds the coals heat and prevents air getting to them. If you were to burn on the bottom of a fireplace this way, it could smoke and not burn hot enough for extremely large flues. That is when you raise the wood on a grate so the air gets under it, allowing it to burn much faster and smoke free. It's also the way to get it to burn hot enough for a large hanging kettle over it. Inside a stove, keep it on firebrick or a bed of ash to protect iron stove bottom.
  10. ironguy

    ironguy New Member

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    Thanks coaly, I appreciate the tips. I've learned a lot since putting in this stove; it's all very interesting to me. It seems like there's a sweet spot where you can slow the fire down a little bit and actually get more combustion and heat because the combustible gasses are lingering just a tad longer and not flying so speedily up the chimney. I'm a blacksmith, so pretty much anything to do with fire interests me; fire is essentially a tool for a blacksmith, just like a hammer.

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