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Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BKVP, Oct 11, 2011.

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  1. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Welcome BKVP.
    Chris:
    Thanks for all the feedback, concerns, factual answers & customer appreciation.
    I know your guys build one he!! of a stove.
    You let the guys down there welding & assembling them that they have my (& others) appreciation here in Alaska.

    You right, some locust & oak (wood) here would be a dream fulfilled, but our birch isn't too bad for long burn times & good BTUs. (it's what we got)
    I'm impressed with the 40 - 45% less wood used by my new Cat KEJ1107 from the old 1982 BK with an internal blower chamber.

    Some thoughts:
    Maybe take the sharp edge off the door latch (rounded harder metal or run a pass of hard surface welding rod on the area that wears) & it might wear better. The "L" bolt, "latch catch" is easy to replace (make) so it should be the part that wears.
    My wife says, she has to use a light to see if the combustor indicator (cat thermometer) is above the "active" mark. (stove in the basement with poor lighting & our old eyes) but I like it being under the shield & protected. (Fluorescent paint/ bigger marks?)
    Just some ideas

    Thanks again.
    &
    Thank the folks making them, they are doing a GREAT JOB!
    So far today: 21 hours on a 3/4 load of birch/spruce mix( some uglies), house 72°. Only down to 22°f last night. When it gets cold, well have to burn full loads of birch & crank the stat up a notch.

    Dave, Alaska

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  2. AKSHADOW

    AKSHADOW Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I will be purchasing a Blaze King - King next week but I have not decided on which model: the classic, parlor, or ultra. I don't really need the side shields on the ultra, but I would like the deep ash pan. I don't like that you can't put an ash pan on the classic, but I do like the price. I like the looks of the parlor, but don't like that the ash pan is rather shallow and small. Any comments that might help steer me in the right direction? Owners of models without ash pans - is it that big of a deal? And owners of models with ash pans - how nice is it - could you easily live without it? Do the side shields on the ultra have any significant effect on the heat output or path of output?
  3. RAPhomme

    RAPhomme Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    mid-coastal ME
    +1

    I concur with this. I've learned more from looking over the BK manual than from reading many longer essays on fire-burning. There's a lot of knowledge in there.

    Actually, one question that was provoked by reading the manual: you seem to put a lot of emphasis on not disturbing the firebox environment too abruptly (by opening loading door or bypass door, turning thermostat too far too soon, etc). Is this because maintaining an optimal fuel/air mix is a fairly "delicate" operation, and that part of what optimal means in this context is "settled, stabilized"? If so, it strikes me that this is one of the most overlooked skills in making efficient fires.

    Related to that. I'd be fascinated to hear your brief thoughts (non-proprietary of course), as a technician, on what actual difference a thermostat makes. Is it more a) to even out the burn cycle, or b) to enforce a gradual adjustment of the firebox environment (i.e. to keep operator's hands from moving the damper too violently)? And is the important result more to increase burn times or to improve efficiency/emissions?

    Thanks so much for being, as far as I can tell, unprecedentedly open about your products. Nice to see.
  4. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,057
    Loc:
    Huntington, West Virginia
    Give us a King Insert please. All we have now in that range is the Buck 91.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    I have the Ultra. Have yet to use the ash pan. I'm a "shovel into a metal bucket & outside right away guy". I empty it hot, welder gloves & rake the coal to one side, shovel, rake t to the empty side, shovel, empty bucket, add wood to the coals & I'm up & burning with no long down time. I empty about every 10 days. 1/4 to 1/3 cord of wood (birch) thru the stove is about a 5 gallon bucket of ash.
    I figured once it was in the ash pan, I'd ned to dump it into a bucket, creating more dust. I just carefully & slowly shovel it into a bucket & outside right away. Maybe i should try the ash pan & see if it any easier.
    The heat shields don't seem to be an issue, they may help carry the heat up to the area where the fans move it around. I get plenty of heat & the sides get hot, even with the shields, but not so hot that anything fairly close is hot to the touch. The fans are a must for me, now that I've used it for 1-1/2 seasons. Basement location so the noise is not an issue. Usually on low to medium (book says to match fan speed close to the stat setting). Fans shut off when the stove is cold & won't run until the stove gets hot.
    If I need more heat, all I have to do is turn on the fan to low. (No T-stat change) Inside the fire is burning a little more but the fans are moving the heat away quicker. Stove stays same temp.
    for less heat, I don't run the fans, like during spring & summer. Winter time the fan is running unless I'm filling the stove or emptying the ashes. Don't run the fan with the door open, there is a little of a vortex over the front lip & sometimes it draws some smoke out. To load & not get smoke, I've learned to: shut the fans off, open the bypass, turn stat to high & crack the door & let it get a good draft going. Then slowly open the door, rake the coals to the front & semi level them, have the wood you're going to add close so you can load fast & close (or just cracked open) the door before it flames up. (gotta be fast with birch, the bark burns quick.)

    Hope this helped.

    Good luck, good stove choice IMO
  6. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    396
    Loc:
    Southern Delaware
    Chris - I, too, wish to welcome you to the forum, and thank you for having the courage to subject yourself to all of these crazed wood burners. :lol:

    Actually, as you have probably noticed by lurking for a while, this group of people is one of the nicest and most helpful on the internet. Plus, many have a wonderful sense of humor, and most simply have a genuine desire to help others...it appears you may be cut from the same mold.

    Good luck getting any work done, because there will continue to be lots of questions...we are a curious bunch. ;-)

    I look forward to learning more from you.

    Thanks again for stepping up!!!
  7. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,770
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    Welcome Chris. I have two seven month continuous burns in my King and had no idea 24/7/210 burning could be so relatively easy. No need to ever open windows in October yet still has the oomph to get it done in January. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing an Apex sized Chinook some day.
  8. BKVP

    BKVP Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Messages:
    275
    Loc:
    Walla Walla Washington
    To all of you, thank you very much for your warm welcome, questions and accolades. We are fortunate to have folks here at Blaze King that average nearly 20 years of service. The very first Blaze King was welded by Keith and he still works here..35+ years! Our finish line and shop staff have all been here for decades, which make it much easier to build a consistent, quality product. We are not perfect and do make mistakes, but thankfully and proudly, they are very few.

    On to the questions:

    BROTHERBART:

    If you like the King and Princess manuals, you should check out the new Chinook manual. The First Fire was written by yours truly over a decade ago because I had never owned a wood stove. I have that same King in my living room and I wrote my experience into that section of the manual. Thank you for the compliment and I will pass it on. As for building a non cat stove with a thermostat, is it possible, yes. Let me address the real purpose of the thermostat for a moment. Yes, it does even out the burn and by eliminating the erratic natural burning nature of wood, you can get extended burn times.

    The thermostat has a bi-metallic spring which is heat sensitive. So if a person were to leave the by pass open and the front door cracked open and also become distracted, the firebox may produce a great deal of heat, based upon how much fuel is in the firebox. This over firing will cause the spring to close the thermostat blade. Then the guy or gal realizes the door is still cracked open and the by pass is open and closes both. The thermostat blade is shut down tight and now the stove owner thinks the fire has gone out. Because the stove was over fired, it will take some time for the spring to relax and allow the air flow back into the firebox, based upon the prescribed knob setting. If this happens, the best thing to do is turn the knob to high because if you turn it to low, it will take much longer for the blade to open.

    The best solution of course is to not leave the stove unattended and not over fire the stove. And before you or any other wood burners ask, yes, the thermostat plays another critical role in the overall performance. That tad bit of information is part of the alien technology.


    BOGYDAVE:

    I spend a good sum of time each year in Alaska. Every inch of the state is amazing and Homer is just exceptional....especially when I have a big halibut on my line. Blaze King is most definitely the number one wood stove in Alaska. We have well informed consumers and a full state load of spectacular dealers that support our products. The dealers pay their staff well, treat them with respect and have little turn over. Thank makes our job much easier. As for the latch catch bolt, could it be better, you bet. I will pass on your observations to the lab rats. As for the florescent paint on the needle idea, we have thought of that and need to speak with our supplier. It would also be great to put that on the thermostat knob to help see in the dark.

    ASKSHADOW:

    You look to have reviewed the product well. A few observations. I am in my early 50's and have had some knee issues, so the higher the door opening is from the floor, the less bending over I will need to do to load the stove. I have a Parlor model because my wife says it is easier to clean around the stove. However, if you attach a fresh air kit, which I did, you will have to have a wall exit with the Parlor model or else you will be looking at the pipe through the legs and down through the floor attached to the back of the stove. The Classic does not have an ash drawer, but you can just shovel out the ashes. NOTE: You will want to put a slight bend in the shaft of the shovel due to the depth of the firebox, the ashes will want to fall off the shovel as you remove it.

    NORUMBEGA:

    Read my notes above to BrotherBart about the role of the thermostat. Seriously, there are some things about the role components play that we cannot discuss in this forum. A good friend owns a stove company, no it's not Tom at Woodstock. But another friend. He told me he purchased our KEJ1107 when it first came onto the market. He told me he took a plasma cutter and literally cut the stove in half. After measuring all the various specs., he then built his own version of the stove. He called me and said "What the heck, I copied every inch of the combustion design and made little changes and only get 12 hours out of it...what gives?"

    I wish I had known to say it was alien technology, but instead I said "The role every single component plays directly effects each and every other component. You cannot change anything about the stove and expect it to perform the same. So I think it was BrotherBart that eluded to how sensitive all the interplay is in the stoves various operations and the answer is yes.

    Thanks guys, great round of questions!

    Chris
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,041
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Chris, a belated welcome and thank you. I'm just catching up on this thread and appreciate the thorough and thoughtful responses. It's great to have good information straight from the company. Thanks for continuing a great tradition in American stove manufacturing and for taking the time to sit down and chat with us all.
  10. RAPhomme

    RAPhomme Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    mid-coastal ME
    Gotta love those recursive feedback loops. The whole thing reminds me of America's Cup yacht design--how what often makes the difference in performance is the little, often unexpected things, sometimes discovered in the process of trying to do something else, and how they interact with the very interactions they bring into play. I'm sure there's a fascinating history to be told of the discovery-path that led up to your "alien technology." Mucho thanks for sharing a bit of it.
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,079
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    An ash pan? The whole bottom of the firebox is an ash pan. BK is pretty proud of this 9"(?) depth from bottom of the door to bottom of the firebox. I have an ash pan on a stove with only about 3" of depth from the door to floor and I have never used the ash pan. I would absolutely not worry about the lack of a seperate ash pan on a stove with such a vast amount of storage space in the firebox.

    I am building a pole barn and this thread has made me consider a king classic vs. an englander 30 in addition to the infloor radiant heat. The king classic is the black sheep of the lineup with those holes on the bottom and no legs. Pure utility.
  12. ecocavalier02

    ecocavalier02 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,441
    Loc:
    ct
    Glad your a member here now. The stove you guys make is a remarkable stove. i love this thing to death and recommend it to anyone asking me about what stove to buy. looking forward to hearing more feedback.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,327
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I'm going to close this thread out so it does not become a long catch-all.
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