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Highbeam's Blaze King Ultra install

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Highbeam, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Should have titled this thread "Put my money where my mouth is" but I didn't. I've never burned but long have supported this stove as being the best thing since sliced bread. I was a BK fan before I ever ran one.

    So after a good run with a hearthstone Heritage and deciding that the stove is not cut out for the long run as a 24/7 heater I moved on to a Blaze King ultra on the same hearth. I included a picture of it for reference. It worked fine.

    So I knew what I wanted and went to the typical blaze king dealer, a hardware store, and was surpised that they were pretty decent. They actually had several key parts on display. A cat laying out to hold, the thermostat assembly totally out so that you could adjust it and see what happens, and also several of the stove models including the new sirocco for 1695$.

    The salesman thought I was odd and left me alone to do my inspecting. Then I walked over and told him to sell me one. I got the ultra with OAK, fans, nickel door and rails, and convection deck. All for much less than the price of a new Heritage. The ultra actually uses a different shaped front surface than the other models. Less round and more square. Same interior shape of course. The pedestal also comes welded on.

    He loaded my truck with everything except the nickel rails which arrived at my doorstep today, within 24 hours after I left the store. Everything inside the BK stoves is done exactly as it should be done. The only questionable thing is thin steel. They use 1/8" sheet for the body and 1/4" sheet for the top. That's right, sheet, not plate.

    So the first thing I noticed was that this stove shall be named the flaming roid. Check out the name on the box. I know a little bit of spanish and you first say the noun and then the adjective so Le roid de flames is the flaming roid to me. Ha!

    Oh and here's the old stove for comparison.

    Attached Files:

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    A series of installation photos. I did it myself with no help and a harbor freight dolly.

    Attached Files:

    jjs777_fzr and Joful like this.
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I did take my die grinder to the inside of the collar to remove all the spatter and two blobs of weld. No big deal and the fit of the appliance adapter became much tighter and uniform. I wouldn't have used a damper section but I had one on hand from a failed attempt at installing one into the heritage.

    The damper handle clears by only about 1/8" inch from the convection deck.

    OAK hookup is excellent with a sealed system and no room air. I reused my 3" flex but I admit that the semi rigid aluminum duct is not looking so great after several years and the new stove. Some dents and creases but servicable.

    Attached Files:

    n3pro likes this.
  4. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Looks good HB, did you and Todd get a two fer deal?
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    First fire. The manual is actually pretty crappy about this. There is the directions and then at the end of the manual there is the "first fire addendum" and then there are some included instructions from the paint company. I tried for low and slow and got a nice fire going and a very easy cat light off.

    The cat thermometer has no numbers, just ranges, and the manual indicates that as soon as the needle is in the "Active" zone you can engage the cat. Is that right? Or is there something else I should be waiting for?

    The convection deck sits so close to the cat meter that the cat meter's needle is not allowed to move if it is not spun upside down. Is that normal? Seems like a mistake.

    The stove top's paint discolored in a specific pattern closely reflecting the cat chamber below. Is that normal? Does the rest of the paint grey out over time?

    I only get the stovetop to about 400 for the first few hours but the cat was plenty hot. Still in the "active" range but it sure felt hot. Fans came on as expected and interior fire alarms went off from the paint burnoff. I was trying to keep the fire cool but the cat seems to love the smoke and a cold fire make a hot cat.

    My break in fire was on the "1" setting. I can hear the cat click closed at 1 or just above.

    We decided to throw some wood on, ignorant non-cat owners we are, so I put three splits of alder on the kindling coals. Each split was a normal 3-5" split from the heritage stash. Let the splits get flamed up for a few minutes, stat on 3, cat in active range, and engaged cat, turned down to 2 for a 5 minutes, and then to 1 at 7pm with no flames. The stove top went to 550, cat to top of active range, and then stayed there. A bit hotter than I wanted but I don't know what to expect so..... I went to bed when house temps hit 79 at 10:30. Next morning at 7 am I had about 30% of the wood still burning and cat still active. What the heck? Alien stuff. I pushed the wood chunks together, set the stat to 2 and went to work. Just ashes when I returned from work at 6.

    The picture of the window was from today after the fire cooled down. I really should have let the fire burn in for longer but was trying to keep the stove cool.

    Attached Files:

    Dairyman likes this.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Todd and I have spoken pretty regularly over the years and he contributed to the deicision. I offered to sent him a stove or parts since my dealer's prices were pretty good. These cat stoves are definitely more complicated to operate. The wife couldn't believe all the rules but I'm sure we'll get a rhythm down.

    Big question for cat stoves. Can I use my little chunks of fire starter? I bought the box at walmart and chopped them up into golf ball sized chunks that work great for firestarting. They surely have some wax and also sawdust looking stuff. The manual specifies no coal or liquid starters but says nothing about wax.

    I found a bunch of black and white paper for the first startup. BK did NOT include a supercedar in my stove.

    Also, the cat was ceramic, not SS and my stove was made in July of 2011. Nice big holes that look hard to clog.
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    You should be fine.

    I thought they were SuperCeder resellers?

    I've never had a clogged cat. Even with the tiny honeycomb holes that VC cats have.
  8. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    The cat thermometer has no numbers, just ranges, and the manual indicates that as soon as the needle is in the "Active" zone you can engage the cat. Is that right? Or is there something else I should be waiting for?

    Yep as soon as it's active you can engage the cat.

    The convection deck sits so close to the cat meter that the cat meter's needle is not allowed to move if it is not spun upside down. Is that normal? Seems like a mistake.

    I also thought this was goofy but not a big deal, flip it upside down and everything is fine.


    The stove top's paint discolored in a specific pattern closely reflecting the cat chamber below. Is that normal? Does the rest of the paint grey out over time?

    The stove top color will even out over time.

    I only get the stovetop to about 400 for the first few hours but the cat was plenty hot. Still in the "active" range but it sure felt hot. Fans came on as expected and interior fire alarms went off from the paint burnoff. I was trying to keep the fire cool but the cat seems to love the smoke and a cold fire make a hot cat.

    :)

    My break in fire was on the "1" setting. I can hear the cat click closed at 1 or just above.

    When it's cooler my t-stat will close a touch over 1, when it's a good hot stove it closes just a tick under 2.

    What the heck? Alien stuff.

    Yep ;)

    The picture of the window was from today after the fire cooled down. I really should have let the fire burn in for longer but was trying to keep the stove cool.

    Once the weather cools off and you can burn hotter the glass stays pretty clean, not non cat clean by any stretch but you'll get over it when you see how much easier things will now be.

    Big question for cat stoves. Can I use my little chunks of fire starter?

    I do, I have not had any issues, you won't be needing many.

    Also, the cat was ceramic, not SS and my stove was made in July of 2011. Nice big holes that look hard to clog.

    Mine is also ceramic, no issues with it plugging or anything else. I brushed it once last season just because, it didn't even have fly ash built up on it.

    Oh yeah, the stove looks great and welcome to the dark side. ;) The Princess isn't perfect by any stretch but I really like mine. ::-)
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The question from me is; what is it like going from 1.5 cu ft of usable firebox space to nearly 2.8 cu ft of usable space with a big, functional front door?
  10. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I forgot to add, enjoy that nice deep firebox! Nothing like having 6 inches of ash in the bottom and still getting silly burn times. When it gets cold dig out some ash and fit another layer of splits in the stove.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Congrats and thanks for the detailed report. Looking forward to the reports over the season. Le roi des flammes = The king of flames . Obviously a phrase coined before the internet and email.
  12. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    It's also French, you gringo, not Spanish. Roi = king, Flammes = flames. Flame King, or King of Flames.

    Spanish would be something like Rey de las Llamas, senor.
    jeff_t likes this.
  13. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    ;lol
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I figured pretty quickly it was french but my spanish education made me read it in that language and it is eerily similar to flaming roids.

    Good news on the firestarters, I'm not a big fan of newspapers being all under 40 and everything.

    Going from 1.5 to 2.8 is awesome. I just don't know what to do with all the space. I can chuck wood in N/S instead of trying to fit them in through the side door. It really is huge. The family still thinks I'm a little odd. When the little stove kept us very comfortable, why double the size? Well, if the manual and my little bit of experience is correct, the heat isn't much more but the burntime is much much longer.

    Flue temperatures hovered around 400 degrees. The Heritage regularly ran above 1000 and up to 1200. It cruised at 800 and was puking smoke if I let it drop much under about 700. Much less heat sent up the flue with the BK.
  15. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Everything about your Flaming Roid sounds and looks great, Highbeam. Thanks for the comprehensive report...looking forward to follow-ups. Your amigo/ami senor/monsieur Rick
  16. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I thought it was only the inserts that had that problem, guess not. I ended up buying a smaller diameter condor thermo with numbers on it, I like it much better. Think I paid $30 for it. Your gonna get crazy burn times with the freestander, your gonna have a new loading schedule from the old stove.
  17. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Congrats on the new stove HighBeam.... Welcome to the twilight... err... cat zone :cool:
  18. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    Congrats Highbeam!

    Just remember with this one don't open the door and monkey with the wood (I know first time) just let her goooooooo!
  19. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Looks good HB... Thats a dandy of a stove. Your wood supply just went from a 3 yr supply, to a 6 yr supply :)

    The Aliens have landed;)
    Dairyman likes this.
  20. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Whatever you do, don't fill it up. You'll be suffering stove-tending withdrawal by the time you have to fill it again. You are going to be suffering wood-processing withdrawal as it is... >>
  21. pyronut

    pyronut Member

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    Congrats. Looks Great.
  22. Patapsco Mike

    Patapsco Mike Feeling the Heat

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    I won't ever forget the first time I put a couple logs in my then-new BK. After the cat lit off, I kept going back to look at it again and again, and the wood just seemed to sit there doing nothing- but the cat stayed lit. Hour after hour after hour. I was astonished at how long it burned with just a small amount of wood- and not even good wood. I wondered what was going to happen when I loaded that sucker up with big oak logs.

    Now, years later, I know. It will burn all day long, literally. Enjoy!
  23. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    ;lol Flaming Roid ;lol That's a classic! Stove looks great Highbeam, I'm sure you will be pleased with the performance.
  24. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Funny thing, I put up my 6 cords for this year long ago so that it would be nice and dry. Then I cut down 28 huge trees so another 8-10 cords are setting in rounds. Ugh, I may be selling some wood.
  25. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    With all these cat installs maybe we need to split out the hearth room to Cat talk and Tube talk :)

    Congrats on the install!

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