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  1. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

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    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    My favorite tool for tending the fire in my Fisher GrandPa is an Ash Rake. Most fireplace tool sets don't include one, but they should!

    Ash Rake.JPG

    Does anyone else use an Ash Rake? I have them for my other stoves as well...

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  2. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    NE PA
    When you burn 24 / 7, you soon learn the configuration of a Mama, Papa or Baby Bear that burns from front to back is perfect for shoveling out the dead ash in the morning from the very front, then dragging the coals from the rear ahead to build your morning fire on. I use a bent poker to pull coals ahead. A few small splits takes right off for morning cooking. This keeps the ash down for constant burning without building up when it's your only heat source.

    I use a rake in the ash pan of locomotives and traction engines to keep the ash from piling up and blocking grates. Air through the grates is extremely important to avoid warping or melting coal grates.
  3. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
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    The ash rake also works really well in my 2 fireplace inserts and my smaller woodstove, which have smaller and less tall fireboxes than my GrandPa. When it's time to add wood I use the rake to evenly spread out the coals over the bottom of the firebox, which lets me maximize how much new wood I can add. After I rake the coals I close the door and open the air intake for a couple of minutes to really get the coals glowing, then I add as much wood as I can fit and it fires right up on that even bed of red hot coals! I'm expecting this to become more important for my GrandPa once I install the firebox baffle, and have a less tall firebox to work with.
  4. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
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    I have also heard these tools referred to as an Ash or Coal Hoe, versus a Rake. Either way, they work great!
  5. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

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    Sep 26, 2012
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    Just used the Ash Rake this morning: It looked like the fire had gone completely out last night and the floor of the stove was completely covered in light gray ash with no evidence of life left. A few seconds of Raking fractured the dead light gray surface ash and brought the live coals and charred coals (black charcoal) to the surface - so they were no longer being smothered by the light gray ash. Then I cracked the door open while gathering some wood and when I looked back inside the entire floor of the stove was covered with red hot glowing coals - to place my fresh wood on top of, and watch effortless self-ignition...
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,427
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I just picked up a grandpa. In the top rear of your firebox pictured is there a baffle or something else above the brick? My grandpa has nothing but sheet metal floor to ceiling in the back plus the bottom row of 6 bricks.
  7. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
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    What you're seeing is an upper course of 3 firebricks laying horizontally and set into the channel above the lower course of firebricks that are set vertically on the floor of the stove.

    I am actually in the process of building an angle iron baffle frame to hold a shelf of firebricks below the flue outlet to improve efficiency - but after welding my frame together learned it wouldn't quite fit inside, so I cut it in half and am in the process of welding tapped tabs on it to be able to assemble it inside the stove right in position and then bolt it together. That project should be complete in a few days.
  8. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

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    Here's a better picture of the upper course of 3 horizontal firebricks set into the channel:

    Upper Course.JPG
  9. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
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    The rear edge of my planned Baffle Shelf will sit right on top of the upper course of firebricks, and the front edge has short legs on each end to sit on top of the side firebricks. Firebricks will sit inside the frame of the shelf. I welded it up hoping I could angle/wiggle it inside as 1-piece, but I couldn't so. Now, I am in the process of making it into a 2-piece unit by cutting it in half and welding tapped (threaded) tabs on so the 2 pieces will bolt together and not interfere with how everything sets.

    Here's what the first 1 piece version looked like:
    Frame 1.JPG
  10. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Agreed they should come with an ash rake ! I purchased a new set and took the old shovel bent the front and walla ash rake ::-).

    Pete
  11. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
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    Here is another version of an Ash Rake that I use in one of my fireplace inserts:

    Another Ash Rake.JPG
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Is that channel you added for the top row of bricks welded in? Good idea for a rear baffle support. Are you trying to get a particular tilt agle on the baffle?
  13. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

    Joined:
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    Yes, the channel is welded in place to the back wall. It would be reasonable to say that it came with the stove since it's not evident that anything has ever been done to this Fisher stove since it was installed in 1978 - when the house was built. This will be my 8th winter owning the house, and thus the stove. I only very recently replaced a bunch of cracked firebricks (cracked I believe due to rough handling of firewood while loading the stove), but I really haven't done much to this stove - other than burn fires in it. I think I'm the first person to ever replace some firebricks and the 3 I removed and replaced in that channel looked original to me. When I first got the house I noticed the stove was a little rusty in spots as was the stove-pipe, and I just used some Rutland Stove Polish on it (wax with black dye). I only just re-applied the same type of Stove Polish last weekend - so it took 7 winters of use to get a little rusty looking again. Reading here on this site about the potential efficiency benefits of baffles, and knowing how to weld, led me to try building and using a baffle. I also looked inside my other top exhaust small modern woodstove and my 2 top exhaust modern fireplace inserts, and all of their baffle shelves are level and made of firebrick - so that's what I'm planning as well. Just a simple level shelf made of angle iron to hold a row of around 6 firebricks. My more modern units also have re-burner pipes below their baffle shelves, but I'm not planning anything like that for the Fisher.
  14. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

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    OK, I cut my 1-piece baffle frame in half, and welded on some tabs and then drilled/tapped to make a 2-piece baffle frame that will sit on that upper course of firebricks at the rear:
    Frame 2.JPG
  15. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

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    I just installed the 2-piece baffle frame inside the stove, and filled it with firebricks (stood the end firebricks on edge rather than cutting any):
    Fisher Baffle Installed.JPG
    jjs777_fzr likes this.
  16. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
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    970
    Loc:
    WA state
    I have that same rake.
  17. Ski-Freak

    Ski-Freak New Member

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    Sep 26, 2012
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    The new baffle really stabilized the stove-pipe temperature, and eliminated any of the past run-away symptoms!
  18. Lcj7

    Lcj7 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
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    Loc:
    Western Fingerlakes NY
    The addition of the shelf baffle in my grandpa bear has done the same for my exhaust temps!

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