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Blaze King Build Differences - What makes them 'better'?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Peter B., Jan 13, 2012.

  1. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Shallow bottom maybe compared to the king but it's still 6 inches deep! I don't know of another stove besides a BK with stoves this deep.

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  2. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

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    No, I am not a troll, but I _still_ haven't heard anything from BK owners about what - technically - makes their stoves so 'swell'.

    Below is a cutaway of a Chinook. I see nothing particularly unusual or remarkable about the design. It's a box... with a cat... and a thermostat.

    And maybe that thermostat really is that effective. BK says they've been using the same one since '77 and introduced the first certified cat stove in '84, so obviously, they've got some 'time in' on product testing (in particular)...

    But that thermostat really must be magic to produce burn times so far in excess of competing stoves - cat or no-cat.

    I don't get it.

    PB

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  3. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I agree. My old cat stove was half the size with kind of a thermostat. It would either stall out or melt down mid burn and you never knew which was coming. Unattended repeatable controlled burns with 100+ pounds in the firebox is pretty remarkable.
  4. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Yep..if anything the t-stat would shorten the burn times if it opens much...which it usually doesn't on my stove.
    I know this because I had the cover off for a whole weekend before and watched it a lot.
    If you get it set right it will though..has to be just where the flapper closes when you're setting up for the long no flame burn.
    I sound like a broken record.
    But people just don't want to believe it...the t-stat is not the magic to long burns on this stove.
  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I don't think the T Stat ever opens on my stove. After I have a fresh load of wood burning well I turn the dial to about 12:00 position. I have been told that anything lower than about 1 is all the way shut down.

    These last few days I have kicked it up to around 1-1.5 though. It got down to -26* last night though. The "high" today so far has been -12*

    With normal burning I get a pretty solid 12-14hrs of good heat. I could let it go longer, but if I refill 2x a day it gets to burning right away and I can pack the wood in and have the stove back to cruising along just a few mins.
  6. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Here is what you do.
    After your stove is into a good cruise move the knob back and forth and listen for the click on the way down.
    Where you hear the click leave the knob there...you really have to be on the edge of opening it.
    When your stove gets near the end of the cycle it will open some and maybe get things going again.
    In the morning turn it down and listen for the click..if you hear it that means it did open some.
    You will find that is somewhere around 2 when you set it for the night.
    Look at the label behind the knob for the sticker that says "normal".
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I was thinking the advantage of the t-stat was more at the beginning of the burn and it kept too much air from entering when most of the out gassing would occur thus stretching out the burn at the beginning of the cycle not the end? Or maybe it just opens and closes as needed to maintain a long even low output burn? If it was just there to open up at the end of the burn in the coaling stage it would just burn down the coals faster.
  8. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I never realized that there was such controversy with the Blaze Kings. As far as the long burn times I can certainly believe it, Ive got less than half the firebox size and I have no problem getting 10-12hr of usable heat and have stretched as long as 14hr with enough coals to relight no kindling. If double the box = double the burn time than 20-30 sounds quite realistic.
  9. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    The t-stat works fine on mine I can sit here for hours on end and watch the fire come to "life"(coals get more red or flames may even start) over and over. If I set it on 1.5 or lower I agree with everyone else it's not going to open again. I find if I set mine around what I'd say is 1.75 the t-stat is allowed to work.

    I don't think it's any one thing that makes these stove burn so well. It's the stoves overall design, air flow, cat placement, t-stat spring tension etc. In the one thread the BKVP made when he first signed up he posted that he a had competing company tear the stove a part and build it exactly like they see it but theirs still didn't perform the same.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    So you can sit there and watch the fire go back and forth from a black box smoulder to red coals or flame as the t-stat opens and closes?
  11. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Yes, usually it's more the coals just glow more red for a bit then dull back out. Sometimes I'll get flames and even some secondary type flames dancing on top of the wood. When my stove is stone cold the t-stat closes around 1 so if I go that low I know the t-stat is never going to open once I get that low.

    As I type this the stove just had some flames come to life when it was out for the last half our or so.
  12. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Ok this pretty much convinces me the t-stat is the key to lengthening the burn and does most of the work in the first stages of the burn.

    I don't see any reason why they couldn't do this in a non cat to keep a low secondary burn from snuffing out or going nuclear? Do the Blaze King non cats have t-stats?
  13. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    If you get it set right in the normal range it will work somewhat..but it never realy opens enough in my stove.

    I have reloaded it and have set it at 2 with a lot of flame and after a half hour to a hour the stove did settle down on it's own..t-stat closed or came close to it.
    The tension is key and may differ between stoves is all I can assume.
    If it was not even there it would be no big deal to me.
    Surely it does not extend the burn.
    Well it could be really helpfully if the cat flamed out and the stove started to cool ..then it opens the air to get things going again.
    I have had the cat die out just because I did not char the wood good enough and there was no smoke to feed the cat.
    One of those times I think the t-stat did save the day..long boring story though..lol.
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think it may also have a lot to do with draft. Everyones setup can be different and I'm thinking if you have a stronger draft the t-stat may not have to work as often as someone with a weaker draft?
  15. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    You maybe right Todd..good thought.
    I do have a strong draft it seems.
    All I know for sure is I can run this thing for the whole cycle below 1 and never have it open and no probs.
    But this season I have been leaving it set between 1.75 to a little over two and it must be opening some during the night because I seem to have less wood in the morning doing that.
    I had the cover off during the day and never seen it open..but at night without the extra heat from the sun it very well may with it set around 2.
    Hey I'm still learning also..lol.
  16. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    Same with mine...but if it ever gets to the point of actually flaming, the flames are usually quite small.

    The "ghost" flames dancing around in the top of the stove are very entertaining...they roll around above the wood...sometimes disappearing and returning a few seconds later. This is not flame from the wood...I'm guessing it is smoke that hasn't passed through the cat yet and suddenly ignites.
  17. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I just know that if I put the T Stat in "normal" it would overheat the house. I have been running it today at #1, and it's 75* in the house. It was -25* when I got up this morning, warmed up to around -10*, now starting to get chilly again, already down to -14*.
  18. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I use to think the same.
    But unless you get close to two the flapper will still be shut anyhow.
    Try it sometime.
    Best way to see is just to take the two screws of the t-stat cover and check it out.
  19. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Mine opens/closes at around #1.
  20. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    That's interesting.
    No way mine will..not even with a room temp stove.
    Makes me wonder how good BK's Q.C. is in installing and setting up the t-stat.
  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Well there were several that had backword springs. I think Rusty Shackleford on here was one.
  22. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    At least mines not backwards.
  23. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    How do you tell if it's on backwards without taking it apart? Thanks
  24. Osburning

    Osburning New Member

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    I see most comparisons to tube stoves. But how do blaze kings compare to other cat stoves. Does the Princess, Chinook, King burn longer and more efficiently than similar sized cat stoves from Woodstock, Vermont Casting, Etc.

    Are Blaze Kings priced close to other Cat stoves of similar sizes.
  25. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    All the efficiencies and GPH numbers are similar with all cat stoves but the BK's stretch out the burns longer than any other.

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