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Here's what happens when you purchase a wood stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wg_bent, Nov 20, 2006.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    When you really watch a modern wood stove burn...I mean really look at everything happening when a peice of wood burns it's a facinating thing to watch. The other day I had a good solid bed of coals from over night burn of a particularly dense chunk of oak that was 99% knot. Early in the morning I had put a couple pine splits on and they were about half burned, and the fire was quite hot. I tossed on a split of sumac and sat down on the hearth to watch. I'm not sure I've ever tossed on a well seasoned split of sumac so I wanted to see how it burned.

    First thing that happened was I singed hell out of my knuckles....Yup stove is hot enough all right...

    The back surface of the sumac cought fire in about 3 seconds. Bright yellow flames shot up and into the secondary burn, but it was the bark on the front that I could see throught the glass that was so amazing. From under the loose bark a small wisper of a curl of smoke appeared in about 5 or 10 seconds...the wood was giving up it's gas. The curls stayed there for a bit,...apparently getting dissapated and burned up near the front baffle. Suddenly the bark began to turn black and deep blue flames appear on it's surface...the white curls of smoke lying under the bark remained..protected from the heat somehow. After about 30 seconds blue and deep orange flames appeared and hung in mid air as the heat began to burn the curls of smoke coming from underneath the bark. The flames danced out in front of the wood, completely disconnected from the wood as if appearing by magic. There was no smoke visible where the flames were appearing. Slowly as the wood itself began to burn, the brighter yellow flames engulfed the wood and became mixed with the blue/orange flames and the coffee was ready.

    It was a nice few minutes of watching the stove. It's one of the reasons I really enjoy burning wood.

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  2. CK-1

    CK-1 Feeling the Heat

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    You can't get that effect from Pellets... :)
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What, the singed knuckles? I'm sure you could if you tried :)

    Warren, you're right. Man's attraction to flame is primal. It is fascinating.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Do you realize what a mess bran flakes and milk make on a monitor?
  5. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Always a neat effect to see the flames burning in mid air...almost looks like the air itself is on fire!

    Corey
  6. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    I have seen very similar results in my stove. Since it is the first non-cat I've ever owned or seen running I am always amazed by the flames.

    The other night, I loaded up two splits of nice oak with a piece of elm on top for good measure and left the air control wide open. The wood was a little slow to take off, since the coal bed had burned down quite significantly. Slowly flames started to appear and then all of the sudden, as if doused by gasoline, all three logs erupted into flame and firebox filled with flames from the top and bottom. The flames were so sudden and intense that everyone in the room looked over at the stove and then looked at me, as if to say "Hey tweedle-dumb, is the stove you built about to launch or self destruct?"

    Left the flames like that for 5-10 minutes and shut her down. Surface temp of 500 degrees, stack at 300, the wood had no flames attached to it and the flames were just rolling from one tube to the next. I can see why the non-cat stoves have become so popular. You definitely don't get a show like that with a cat combustor.
  7. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    So, what kind of a stove is an Osborn 1800 insert - I couldn't find any details. I ask because my non-CAT, modern EPA certified stove certainly doesn't over-night worth a damn, and I wondered what capacity the Osborn has...
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  9. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    I agree Warren, I could just sit and watch the fire for hours. That was a big part of the decision to go with the Osburn and the bay window design...Now if the thing would just get here!

    BTW...What do you do on warm evenings...One of those front loading washers with a recliner?
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Well, there ya go. I tried a little experiment last night that i never did before. I loaded the stove with the logs placed side to side rather than front to back. My theory was that since the primary air comes in from the front, a side to side load would burn longer since the combustion air would have a harder time getting to the back.

    I noticed that it took longer to get the secondary combustion going on a full reload(coal bed was poor though) but I did have some larger chunks of coals at the back of the stove than usual. This was with a load of relatively smaller splits, so I don't know if it matters much with larger splits. I may try it a few more times to play a bit. Was an interesting experiment. One thing I noticed was that the glass was quite clean this morning.

    The one spec above on the Osburn that is not accurate is the 16" log length. If going side to side, that is the max, but if your doing a front to back load, the max log length is more like 18 or 19 " but gets close to the glass and tends to make the glass dirtyier than if using shorter logs.
  11. DriftWood

    DriftWood Minister of Fire

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    I had something similar last night,, packed a hot 450 stove, lots of coals, with a dry reload. I got it going and my wife turned off the room lights We sat for at least 30 minutes the two of us watching the flames dance. It is surprising how much they look and act like aura borealis. I am a wood burner who likes watching the flames dance in the fire box.
  12. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Driftwood aura borealis is a great way to sum up the "ghost flames" as the stove is just running along after turned down and the missive secondary burn is over.

    Warren Sitting here reading your first post of this thread and smiling the whole time.
    I'm right there with you brotherman.
  13. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    Wife and I have found it better than most junk on tv. I liked the reference Warren made to the 'singed knuckles' - got 'em, both hands, even though there is a good pair of gloves right next to the tool set.
    The neatest thing to watch is the secondary burn taking off after putting in a few dry pine splits. It actually swirls in the very top center of the stove and makes a ring of bright fire there. Really beautiful.
  14. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    LOL too funny BB.
  15. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Veeeerry funny Dylan...Veeeeerry funny. :)
  16. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Thats exactly how I feel, as does another buddy of mine (GotWood). We call our stoves the best HD channel available.

    Most of us on this forum love burning, which is where I got my handle from as well as being an old Simpons fan. (bonus point if you can figure out which episode/character its derived from) For people like us, there is almost no point in getting a stove that doesnt have a nice glass front as well as seating to sit and be dazed by a fire in its optimum state. Right now I have a dumb grin on my face just listening to the rumble of my reburner. As for the secondary burn flame bursts, here's a thread with a pic I took a few weeks ago of my stove mid-explosion. It's on page 2, but make sure to click on the thumbnail to get the proper effect.
  17. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    Not seeing the flames is a down side to a wood furnace. I only see the flames when I open the door and peak in,but can't do that long or the smoke alarm goes off.
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