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How To burn a longer fire/newbie help

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by jimmieguns, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    can you all help me a bit? I have an old Vermont Casting model 0044 (1988) which I just learned how to start and build a fire successfully lately.

    My problem is it burn fast thru wood and when i go to bed it is out in 1-2 hours. I would like to get 5-6 hours from it without loading Please give some advice or tips. THANKS!

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  2. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Hopefully the wood is seasoned, but sounds like it is. Basically, rake hot coals forward, add a good sized round to the back of the stove, then add the rest of the splits. Your goal is to have that round catch later in the burn cycle, and extending your burn times. Good luck!

    Edit: you are closing the air down a bit correct?
  3. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Hello- thanks for your reply. Fist of all I don't have any "rounds", just splits- some are rather large splits. Yes, I have damper closed and air supply lever at setting of about 10 0'clock.
  4. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    I'm not too familiar with your particular stove, but as I said raking all of your coals forward a bit and even adding a LG split in the back on the floor of the stove should help. What kind of wood is this? Also, are you burning some of the coals down a bit before reloading? Putting wood on a lot of coals will also burn your wood down very hot and fast.
  5. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Wood type I do not know. I don't know enough yet as to how much coal ash I should build up to , etc. I just literally get the fire started with kindling/small pine. Then once established I add a few 1-3 inch mini's to get it going , then add slightly larger and larger to "keep it rolling" to try to get a really hot fire so i can turn on the fans to spread some heat. ANY tips,pointers are WELCOME! Thanks!
  6. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Are you using any stove top thermometers or flu thermos? Your process sounds correct to me. You'll get there, I'm sure others will chime in.
  7. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Hey thanks for the support-- dont have a thermometer-- nor anything built into unit. Can you recommend one? and, if I DID have one, what would you be telling me to look for and proceed with? THANKS!
  8. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Condar magnetic stovetop thermometer is a great one that many of US use here. Place it on either side of the top of your stove. This will help you gauge your temps a bit more. Sorry the pic sucks.

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  9. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Maybe I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are adding only a few splits to the stove at a time?

    If you haven't been try as others suggested letting it burn down to small coals, raking them together instead of having them all across the bottom to light the whole load at once, and load the stove up. Start turning the air control down as the stove heats up. It's better to try and burn in cycles than to keep adding a few splits here and there.

    pen
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Are you engaging the bypass damper once the stove is warmed up?
  11. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Thanks- I am basically trying to get an overnight 6 hour-ish slow burn, while still maintaining its built up heat to blow thru the vents to heat my drafty frigid house :( !!!.... i did find once when i loaded it up the fire went out altogether-- maybe that time was a wood quality issue.
  12. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Hi- yes i am- usually around 30-45 minutes after i start the fire-- too soon?
  13. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    How do I burn in-cycles? and would that tend to allow the fire to lose so of its built up heat and temp?

    Thanks
  14. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Rather than adding just a few splits every few hours, load the stove up and let her ride for 6,7,8,9,10+ however long it can based on it's size.

    How well seasoned is your firewood?

    pen
  15. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    For example- I have fed a fire tonight from 8:30 til now, about 15 splits- little by little-- seems like ALOT- am I wrong?

    Its is fairly well seasoned- meter tells me 12-20 range level. How would you guide me in the arrangement of "fill it up" ? or does that even matter,once the coals and embers are set about 1-2 incehes up in the front? Thanks
  16. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    The tighter packed the wood is, the less air can get between them, generally slowing down the burn.

    15 splits would depend on their size I guess. I have a good sized stove and there are times I can fill it with 4 pieces of wood. Other times, it takes 10. I'm guessing you saying 15 says this wood is split pretty small?

    12-20% sounds great so long as that is the measurement taken on a fresh face of the wood immediately after being split for testing.

    How's the wood feel? Pretty light? I'm wondering if you are burning a soft wood of some sort.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nope, just checking the procedure to be sure you weren't missing a step. FWIW, the splits sound small. I would be working with 6-7 splits being a full load, but they would be 8-9" splits.
  18. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Yes the split come to me about 4-6 inches, then I load up a tire on the ground and hack smaller (1-3 inches each) I feel that my stove burns better when they are smaller-- am I wrong?

    It fells pretty light- and yes i meassure both before and after i re-split. the wood kind I do no know-- i am not that good yet.. >>

    BTW needsw more wood as we speak-- what should I try? the LOAD HER UP idea or wait til bedtime? bedtime is 1 hour from now. THANKS
  19. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I'd wait for earlier in the evening some night. Do as you know is fine for tonight.

    It sounds to me that your splits are quite small, the 4-6 sounds more reasonable. In general, I like to keep my splits about the size that I can just comfortably grasp by the end and carry in one hand. This way they are not too big for the wife to handle if necessary, but large enough for decent burn times.

    If you have a digital camera, you can take a few pics of the wood you are working with and make a post in the wood shed room. There are folks around there that can identify what you are working with for you.

    pen
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  20. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    THANKS! wELL, JUST lloaded her up and the coals took to it perfectly---but the flames are really roaring and I have it max loaded,damper engaged and air lever at 8 oclock position(very low)

    seems like a fast burn ---hmm ideas or does this sound about what it should do--many many thanks
  21. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Time will tell!

    Did you load it up with the 4-6 inch splits or the 1-3's?

    pen
  22. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Oh yeah- meant to mention that Bud-- I mostly used big ones(the size you say you use) and mixed in some smaller resplit JUST incase my stove need the smaller lighter one to stay afloat! decent idea?
  23. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    That sounds like a legitimate plan.

    Look forward to hearing how it goes.

    It took me a lot of beer and late nights to get the stove dialed in. Once that happened, I still go through a lot of beer and stay of up late playing.

    This wood burning thing is fun, just make sure you keep it safe. No glowing external stove parts, and make sure your clearance to combustibles is met or greater, and keep that chimney swept.

    pen
  24. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    LOLLOL -- I am straight tonight- though I feed on wine(no beer :)) at night when i get to fire her up after work. Thanks for all the help! Have many more questions, but yes its fun but ALOT of work (resplitting,moving the wood around)....I am losing a ton of weight I cannot afford to lose-- to skinny already! lol
  25. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    I am curious to how your overnight burn went? If you can, take pictures of your wood, stove, etc. We love pics, we may be able to point out a thing or 2. Like previously mentioned, no glowing stove or chimney..... check your chimney regularly
    jimmieguns likes this.

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