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Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wendell, Sep 16, 2009.
There was a lot of coals and the fire was really burning but it was less than 10 minutes.
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Another couple questions. Do you stack the wood right up against the andirons? Do you load all the way to the top of the firebox?
I just started my first real fire, doing top down so I have this great fire going on top but it hasn't fully engulfed all of the wood. Do you need to have all of the wood burning or can you just go by the stove top temperature?
I just filled mine up with 5 splits of Boxelder after a top down type starter. I waited til it burned down to a coal bed then packed it full, burned at #2 to get it going again, reduced down to #1, engaged after 10 minutes stove top was at 300 and she took off fast! She's cruising at 550 now with the air set at a smidgen above .5. Pack it full right up against the andirons and baffle.
I really wish I wasn't such a worry wart. :-S
I'm burning mostly pine and even split a piece to make sure it was dry and it measured at 16%, The piece I had right in front had a big knot and it was oozing some pitch but I thought must just be normal for pine as I have never burned it before. Now, however, with the cat engaged, my glass has become all black.Could that be still from the cement?
Stove top is at 400 and the flue is at 475 at a setting of 1 so that doesn't seem right either.
Probably about 30 minutes since I engaged the cat, turned it down to .5 (using the top of the handle as the reference) about 10 minutes ago.
Top at 500, flue at 275.
Also, glass has cleaned itself some and only ghost flames (in fact, there are moments with no flame at all). Kind of weird getting this much heat and not having a roaring fire going.
Sounds good, your glass should clean itself. I bet the pitch had something to do with it. Have fun, keep playing with it.
Mine is still holding 550 with internal flue temp of 500. I think I put too much wood in there the house is getting too warm, time to crack a window.
You raise a good point there - "using the top of the handle as the reference" - I always use the point where the handle actually intersects with the vertical metal of the gauge to determine where I am at. Experimentally I found that the min I can do this way is 0 and max is 5 so I figured that at least for my stove this was perhaps the best standard reference.
Based on your temperatures I would say you have the cat burning - have you been able to look up in there and see it glowing? Just wait til you see the reflection of the cat on the floor - that is a nice sight!
I also go by the top of the handle and painted it white for better visual.
Now, this is cool. turned up for a bit and now back down and just have the entire top of the box in flames, 4 inches above the wood. Tried to take a picture but ir doesn't show up. Maybe they really are ghost flames!
When you reload, do you need to have all of the wood burning before you turn it down and engage the cat? I've been waiting but the flame just won't come around the front but the temps are all OK.
I think you just need to wait 10-20 minutes to ensure moisture is driven off, regardless of flames.
What I have noticed, and maybe someone else can concur, is that when you allow most of the wood to "char up" the temp will spike quicker as opposed to if you pack it and only allow it to light up on the front piece of wood.
I think there are a few Fireview burners here that push the coals up front on a reload allowing only the front couple of pieces to light. When those are burned when the cat is on, the nest pieces get burned, and so on until the flames reach the bigger pieces in back. I guess you can get the long-burn times this. You get a longer burn this way, with less of a "spike."
Maybe Dennis or Todd can explain it better; they seem to have the stove mastered pretty well.
Yep, I reload after pushing most of the coals forward towards the glass, works great. I don't think it matters if every bit of wood is charred before lite off, but I know what your saying about the fire not coming around to the front during bypass and I think sometimes you need to turn the air down more so all the flame doesn't get sucked up the pipe out back.
Todd, you reminded me of a question I had regarding the flames:
I've noticed on a video that was posted a while back that showed the flames (while the cat was engaged) going from back to front. Sometimes I see the exploding flames in my Fireview either go straight up or more towards the back of the stove. If it was not a new stove (bought Fall 2008), I would think that there was a slight gasket leak in the bypass.
Which direction have you noticed the flames going in? Towards front(where draft is going through cat) or straight up?
I've had the same thought about the bypass gasket leak, in fact I changed out my bypass gasket this year because sometimes I see flame traveling towards the back near the bypass but other times it goes front to back, I think it depends on the load and air setting? I think as long as there isn't a consistant flame running up into the bypass you should be fine. The bypass can be tightened by the nut on that U bolt if need be.
Got my probe thermometer installed, got my avatar changed and here is a picture of it burning.
But my avatar didn't change. What's up?
Wendell, what's up with that dirty hearth? :lol: You getting her figured out yet, looks like some cold weather moving in, time for some full loads and see what she can do.
Where did you get that soapstone steamer?
Geez, Todd, you weren't supposed to notice that. I sure didn't until I posted the pic. I guess the flash really shows everything. I have done a few full loads but not an all hardwood one yet. Most stove top temps in the 425-450 range with one up to 500. Still trying to get used to all this heat with no flames in the last several hours of the burn. Do you turn your air up later in the burn or just let it go until it is time to load?
I got the Hearthstone steamer from Lehman's. They had the best price I found online.
I've taken to just leaving it alone - once I set the air I walk away. Ok, I keep going back and looking at it. But I leave the air alone. I've found the stove top temp seems to keep rising for a while then it will hold steady or creep down a bit as the wood just slowly disappears, then the temp will slowly drop once the wood is down to a few large coals that aren't touching each other anymore. I also have yet to do a full load though and wonder if others 'fiddle' with the air control once things are going.
I just can't wait for a really cold day/night so I can load it up full! We may hit 30 here in about 10 days... will that be the night?
I usually engage at #1 and wait a few minutes then throttle down from there as needed til the flame slows down and starts to lift off the splits. Once in awhile I may tweak the air some, I like to keep a little red in the lower coals. Last few nights I've been burning at about .75 with 3/4 full loads of Boxelder/Pine and the stove top goes up to about 550 for a couple hours then slowly drops. Still have a good bed of coals left in morning but no need to fire back up til late at night.
I did have a little scare the other night after I engaged the cat I set her at about .5 and the flames disappeared but the cat was still eating and bright red. It climbed to 600 quickely and I thought it shouldn't get any higher not even a full load so I left it, after about 1/2 hour I looked at the stove top temp and it was at 740! Yowza, a new record for me, I disengaged and let the cat cool down. I guess sometimes you just get the right conditions for that cat and she'll take off. Every time I've been over 700 stove top (3 or4 times) there is no flame or red coals just a bright red cat, I think if there is some flame in there it takes some of the smoke away from the cat and it doesn't have to work as hard.
Wow! Good to know that can happen, I didn't realize it could get that hot so quickly and I certainly wouldn't have expected it without the flames, but your theory does make sense to me. So in this case do you think that a little more air (to keep flames in the box) might have kept the cat cooler?
Yes a little more air and flame would of cooled it off but disengaging will cool it off faster. I've asked Woodstock about that 700 max stove top and they said the cat can handle it, it's the inside cast parts they're worried about, but it still gets your undies in a bunch when you see that 700 mark!
I actually was thinking of the a bit more air to avoid the situation, once you are overheated I would agree it is too late to take a slow approach.
So when you disengage, do you increase air to get a flame going or just open the bypass and wait? I'm trying to work out the 'proper' SOP here for if/when it ever happens to me of course....