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'burn your wood across the firebox, or straight in?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Dexter, Sep 24, 2008.

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  1. Dexter

    Dexter Member

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    I burn a Firelight CB. I cut my wood only about 14" long, so I can easily build the fire with the logs straight in. Since it's a "front to back" primary airflow, I don't get the higher logs rolling forward onto the doors/glass when the lower wood collapses. This sometimes happened when building the fire with the wood across the box.

    I can shut down a hot-but-waning fire at 10 O'clock, and the coals will be hot enough to light new fuel in the morning -- all with lodgepole pine.

    How do you set your fires -- straight in, or across the box?

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Straight in is usually called North South, or "NS", and sideways is therefore "EW". Theory is that EW burns longer, NS burns hotter. Loading NS is easier for me, but I try to load EW at night.
  3. High_Iron

    High_Iron Member

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    same here
  4. acesover

    acesover New Member

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    front to back i dont need anything rolling out.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    With all the new found wiggle room in the big box I'm doing both as an experiment. Putting a log or two E/W on top of a bed of N/S logs gets a big fire going quickly and yet keeps burning nicely.
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Full time North to South, burns times are plenty long enough.
  7. Randyb

    Randyb New Member

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    AP,

    If I have a right side door and airflow is front to back, is straight in still NS or is it then EW? Is it based on door entry or airflow?
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Neither, it's based on facing the stove front. Think of the back of the stove as north, front of the stove as south. Left side is west and the right side is east. At least that's how I think of it.
  9. skinnykid

    skinnykid New Member

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    could someone explain this "theory" to me, how is this sposed to work??
  10. Randyb

    Randyb New Member

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  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Most stoves feed air to the fire from the front. If the logs are laid out N/S then the air can travel the length of the log, like in a box stove like the Jotul 602. This leads to rapid combustion over the length of the logs. When the logs are in the stove E/W, the front log effectively acts like a dam for the air flow. So the fire is concentrated at the front until the log burns through. That slows the fire down.
  12. skinnykid

    skinnykid New Member

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    ok that was my next question about where the air enters on modern stoves. I always thought that on my quad it enters the fire box from the sides from behind the fire blocks.

    I thought it came in from the bottom and was directed to the sides.
  13. junksta

    junksta New Member

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    let's see, if my back is toward the stove, south is to my left.....no. no, east is to my other left. Wonder if they make a combo stove thermometer/compass?
  14. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    First, you'll need a magnetic compass. Then, you'll need to know the declination for your latitude & longitude, which can be found here:

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomagmodels/Declination.jsp

    Using that information, you'll correct the reading you get on your magnetic compass to find true north. Then, you'll need to establish some directional references in your stove room to which you can easily refer while loading the stove. These can be windows or doors, or any stationary points. Don't use furniture, because somebody might move it. Alternatively, you can scribe the true N-S line into the paint on the top of your stove. Remember that as the years go by, the declination changes ever-so-slowly. Rick
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I don't have info on your stove, but if it has airwashed glass, at least some of the air is introduced at the front of the stove.
  16. junksta

    junksta New Member

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    ..but my door is hinged on the north side ie. left side.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No, no. The north is the back of the stove. Left side is the west side.
  18. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Above 6350 feet, there is no magnetic north. Rick
  19. junksta

    junksta New Member

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    Now I get it, will be turning the stove around 90 degrees tomorrow, that should work.
  20. MaineMike100

    MaineMike100 Member

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    My stove is a glenwood built in 1880, will I need to make an allowance for the change in declination?
  21. junksta

    junksta New Member

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    Mike, that's got to be a record on this forum for an old stove. Is it for looks or do you still use it?
  22. Dexter

    Dexter Member

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    Hey Fossil...

    At airports, they paint runway numbers based on the runway's magnetic heading (direction it points relative to mag. north.) They do this rounded to the nearest 10 degrees: A runway pointed at 134.4 degrees will be numbered "13". You will occasionally see the magnetic variation (declination) drift enough, e.g., .15 degrees drift west, that they'll actually re-number a runway. But that has little effect on the efficiency of wood-fired, steam-powered aircraft.
  23. RonB

    RonB Feeling the Heat

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    I burn NS. That was a primary requirement for the EPA stove that replaced my older Vestal (it too was NS--actually it was whatever it wanted to be with a 6+c.f. firebox). Logs don't roll out and good combustion, especially at start up. Now for those really cold nights (10 to 20 below) I do both. I run the 18" splits NS all the way to the back (24" deep stove) and I run 3-4 splits EW across the front right behind the glass. I don't know if it burns any longer that way because I get 8-12 hr burns with just NS. But, it does put more pounds of wood in the stove to better utilize the full 3.44 c.f. and that equals maximum heat.
  24. Dexter

    Dexter Member

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    That's a BIG stove, Ron
  25. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, Dexter, I remember...for I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth solo in a Cessna (though never got my license). 30+ years in the US Navy...you and I must be two of the last people to remember it as "variation" instead of the seemingly popular trend to call it "declination". What I remember is: True Virgins Make Dull Company At Weddings, or, going the other way, Can Dead Men Vote Twice At Elections (ships were full of deviation). Ah, the good old days. Be safe, whatever you do. Rick
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