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Let the big cat eat! Buck 91 up and running. Advice, tricks and tips welcome...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Woody Stover, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Just like mine although on the HV2500 the ash door is more like the door on the bottom of a fireplace where it hinges in the middle. Also mine is on the right. But when mine has a coal bed its hot, so hot you almost need a welding mask to wear with the welding gloves that I wear. It instantly catches too. I have the same swiss cheese air disperser thing like you see in your 2nd to last pic, at the top of the door opening. I now have about a 2.5" long "Tat" of that pattern in my upper forearm from loading the hot stove a few weeks ago and bumping it. And I did have welding gloves on at the time but I think i hit right past them?

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  2. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I some times will load EW in my 2500 which is similar to the B91 and the Ap52 in design. But when loading EW its usually on a night I don't need much heat and I am only putting a few splits in to maintain low heat and a coal bed, same for a day burn where not much is needed.

    My problem like yours im sure is that its hard to load EW and fill it up, my cats hang down in front making loading a pain to stack the rear up, and also wood can roll and hit glass if you stack to high in the front. I mean when I reLLY want heat a full NS load can get 10+ hours out and when I just need a small amout of heat I can burn for 24 hours on a full NS load. My stove is 3.5cuft which I think is 1cuft smallet than the buck?
  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Pretty much everything I have is 16", so filling it E/W looks like a problem. If the weather is cold (40/20,) I need high heat output. The 91 has a heat shield under the cat, almost the full depth of the box, so I can't stack real high. I'm measuring the 91 at about 2.5 cu.ft. usable space...
  4. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    most my wood I cut to avg 16", and I have a shield in the front as well. I never measured it in useable space, im just quoting what the specs are.
  5. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    I have been loading N/S in this stove. Buck recommends you load E/W. Maybe I will load E/W for a while and see if there is a difference.
  6. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Just remember the ticket to loading E/W is putting an air trench in the ash N/S down the middle.
  7. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Huh. I figured this meant to load N/S, I don't know:
    "Manufacturer’s recommendation for peak performance and long catalyst life is to burn seasoned hardwood (wood
    dried 6-12 month) and place wood from front to back position in the heater."

    Next load I take over there, I'm bringing a good bit of Pignut Hickory and BL. I'll try mixing that stuff in with the Black Oak and see if that stretches the length of time that the stove temp will stay over 300...
  8. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    Let us know if you see any difference. I've never loaded anything but N/S because I don't like to have to think about what might fall out when I open the door or what might hit the glass. Sometimes I will put a couple splits all the way in the back (one on top of the other) E/W and load the rest N/S. I do this when I'm dealing with shorter splits that I get from scrounging already bucked wood. I have found that the ones in the back usually have plenty left in them in the morning probably because of lack of air circulation back there against the wall. Also it just seems so much easier to load N/S then trying to reach and push whole splits to the back.
  9. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I do the reverse of this. I will load splits NS to the back wall then cram what i can in the front EW. I usually get ones into the sides of the bays and then a few in the front. This is where i use thoe super short pieces or end cuts that i then split up. I usually only do this on really cold nites where i need plenty of heat and am going to run it hard. Other wise there is plenty of wood to get 12 hours out of it. The wood in the front burns first and leaves good coals infront of the other wood.
  10. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, that's gotta burn the back of the load better. I've been mostly loading with a split or two across the back, or I'll shove excess coals back there. I am looking to increase output when it's super-cold out; Harder to heat the entire house with the stove not central to the floor plan. On an average night I get pretty good heat, and use any remaining partially-burned chunks to get the stove up to temp for the reload. I got 'er up and rockin' in about twenty minutes this AM... ==c
  11. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    My stove is on one side of my home as well. Its in a seperate room thats about as wide as the back of house with a door on each end of room. I have fans to push cold inthere. To make it worse the rooms away from the stove have no insulation except for ceiling.
  12. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Probably no insulation in the stove room here, either. All glass on three and a third walls (1/3-wall flanks a glassed-in porch.) The room does have two doors, but I just have one desk fan blowing in at the bottom of one door. I want to get two low-speed fans that are small enough to fit under a chair and a couch so that I can move air into both doors. After the end of the season I need to pull the stove and get block-off insulation up in the smoke chamber. Kinda forgot about that when I moved the stove into position. ;em When I realized what I had (hadn't) done I didn't think it would be too big a deal, but now I want more output so I'm going back in over the summer. <> I need more heat out of every hard-gotten stick of wood I put in there...
  13. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Well i do have insulation in the stove room walls as it was an addition at a later period.
  14. whodaman

    whodaman New Member

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    Have you looked into insulating your walls with foam? I actually had a guy come out and quote to add foam into my already insulated walls and the price was not that bad at all.
    It was actually cheaper than putting more in my attic. Just a thought. He quoted me around $1400 to insulate my entire ranch house of 1888 sq ft.
  15. twobucks

    twobucks New Member

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    Talked to the Buck stove company. They've never heard of wood being too dry for a stove. Catalytics eat smoke.

    Now on my 2nd buck 91. Moved. Left the first one.

    Ran 14 hours on a small load. Curing the paint. I have a 24 foot chimney. Draws like champ. I expected 4 hours with the tiny amount of fuel. Loaded at 6 and ran till 8 am this morning. Coals and stove at 450-500.
    Bucks a good stove and realistic in it's specs. Very happy with my second catalytic.
  16. twobucks

    twobucks New Member

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    Get a good installer who knows his stuff. If the chimney is bad or the crown is cracked, they will let you know. AFI is good.
  17. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forums, twobucks! Good username. ==c That's a good endorsement of the stove, if you went out and bought another one...
    I called Buck to ask about the flue collar; Got transferred to a guy in the back who knew his stuff. How did you find their customer service to be?
    What's your chimney setup? My MIL already had an 8" stainless liner on her old insert, so she was halfway there. 21' of insulated liner...draws great.
    What's your house layout and how big a space are you heating? Stove centrally located in the floor plan?
    I don't know how long you've been running the 91, but your input and comments are welcome on what's been said in this thread so far...
    I'm growing attached to the 91...don't think I'll be leaving it if MIL moves. I'll find somebody that can use it. ==c
  18. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I thought about it when I moved in which was the time as I was doing dry wall repair in about 1/3 of the area. Could not afford it then. And now were settled I hate to think about a 4" hole every 16"!!! I also have a brick house so doing it from the outside I don't see as viable, and through the plate in the attic I don't see how they can logistically getinto that tiny part of the roof to drill those top plates?? I would love to do it though!!! Even if its piecemeal, say half the uninsulated walls then the other half if they don't gouge you for a small job??
  19. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    Well, I did the E/W for a couple of days, I will go back and continue doing N/S.
  20. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    What didn't you like about E-W compared to N-S?

    The last couple of days I've loaded the stove my usual way. With the cat probe up to about 1000, down to 900 or so after loading, I'll leave the bypass open for a while to char the middle part of the load. Well, as soon as I close the bypass, the cat probe drops to under 700 and I'm seeing (and smelling) smoke out of the stack. At first I thought "Uh-oh, combustor fading." I've been putting Red Oak in there, and today when I re-opened the door, I heard hissing (no visible wet spots on the ends, sounded like an 18% hiss.) ==c This is dead standing (upper 20s MC when cut,) not split real big, split and stacked single-row since 5/11. Some of the same batch I burned earlier was doing OK but I seem to be into some slightly wetter stuff. I'll test some Maple and Hickory I have and see if it's lower MC. I have some two-year Ash so maybe I'll end up mixing in a few splits per load of the borderline Oak with drier stuff. Eventually, the Oak loads dry out and take off but I don't like waiting. I want a clean burn as quick as possible. Dratted Oak. I've got some stacked double-row, split bigger, on full pallets. Some was live blowdown White. How long do I have to wait on that stuff, five years? :rolleyes: Better get more dead Ash stacked now, and soft Maple for shoulder burns... Can't stop now if I want dry wood. With ten cords or better stacked, I was way ahead. Then I had to go and buy the Buck. ;lol I need serious heat output over there, so I need dry wood. I still think the combustor might be a little weak, when I read others' accounts of how fast their cats get up to 1200 or more after closing the bypass. I would think that any excess moisture in the wood could inhibit this cat lighting off. May not affect a fresher cat as much...
  21. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    This is all my opinion of course, to each his own. N/S is easier for me to load. With the air flow of the stove being N/S I think the fire catches and burns quicker. No chance of log rolling out onto glass. Seemed like I could only get E/W up to 800-900 while N/S usually rides 1000-1100. I wish I could get it up to 1300-1500, but I think either my wood is not dry enough or my cat is getting old or combo of both. I am currently burning Locust, which should get up to a nice temp.
  22. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    Now, I have only have my 91 for a couple of months, is there something I can do with the air controls to get it hotter? I just close down to 1/8 of an inch like the book states.
  23. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I think those two things might be keeping me from realizing max output, as well. I went ahead and ordered a new cat, so we'll see what that does. Now, I didn't drop the heat shield to have a look at the cat. Shoulda done that over that last warm stretch we had. ;hm Hard to believe it could be plugged with ash after only a couple of months, but who knows? When they record readings on the 91, I'm seeing some 1400-1500s, maybe as some of the load dries out later in the burn?
    I sometimes burn the Fv with the air open a little more, and a bit of flame in the box. That gets stove temps a little higher. I have to watch it to make sure the load doesn't take off a little more and get big flames, so that's something I do during the day when I could keep an eye on it. I think if my wood was totally dry, the load would have less tendency to take off from the wood drying out during the burn. When setting up an overnight burn, I tend to err on the side of caution. You could try giving the 91a little more air. I think they recommend low air settings in the manual because that gives the most efficient burn and lowest wood consumption, but sometimes we just need a little more heat. Watch your cat temps, for sure... You might also experiment with balance between shotgun air and airwash air to get the load to burn differently??
  24. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    Dave, when I load up on hot coals, I open the right side air all the way and let er rip. The left side shotgun pretty much stays closed all the time unless I'm starting with just a few coals or starting cold. If I'm loading with the cat above 500 and it hasn't dropped below that by the time I get the wood in, I close the door, reengage the cat and leave the air wide open. If it has dropped below 500 I leave the bypass open. Once the cat gets to 1000, I'll shut the air down to about half and let it settle down a little. It usually then goes on to about 1500 to 1800 depending on how high I have the fan on. Once it peaks there, I shut it down to about 1/8 to 1/4 and let it settle down again and then shut the air completely. I have found that if I shut it all the way down too quickly, I get a lot of backpuffing explosions which send small amounts of smoke out past the door gasket by the handle side. Not a lot but enough that I can smell it which I don't like. (enjoy smelling smoke outside once in awhile but hate it inside).
    This is my third year with the 91 but first full year with the liner (which made a HUGE difference along with better wood) and I'm starting to feel like we're finally becoming partners. I keep the beast fed and it keeps it's end of the bargain. Fine tuning your procedure takes awhile and I'm sure I'm not there yet.
  25. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    Well, I will keep playing with it. I got it up to 1500 today. Just wish I could do it consistently.

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