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New B w/Fisher Papa Bear

Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by bigblulbz, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. bigblulbz

    bigblulbz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Georgetown, MA
    Hi guys. This is my first post. Have been reading on here for a few days and got some really good info. My fiance & I just bought a house that has a Fisher Papa Bear stove. It was just tossed in. Not done really right at all, but operational. I don't believe anything is dangerous, just not much care or quality put into the installation. I will get some pics up as soon as I can. 1st I need a camera. I haven't operated a wood burning stove in about 15 years, but am only 33 years old. My memory has not deteriorated that much I hope. I cannot for the life of me, get this monster of a stove to leave me any meaningful coals to work with in the morning.

    I've tried leaving the door open & damping down till a bit of smoke comes out the front; then backing off a bit, shutting the door with the 2 vents wide open.
    I've tried getting it rip roaring with the door closed, vents wide open, listening to the fire as I slowly close the damper (knob on the pipe coming out the stove, not up to date with lingo, damper/flue?) till I hear the fire calm down a bit.

    That last effort was the closest I've gotten. What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks in advanced guys. This is a very informative site and look forward to hearing from you.

    DG

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  2. Grannyknot

    Grannyknot New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Loc:
    East Tennessee
    By meaningful coals, do you mean, you've got nothing but ashes in the morning?
    I've got a grandpa bear. For an overnight burn, at around 10pm, I fill the firebox with wood, shut the doors, open the vents and damper 100% and let the stove pipe temp get up to about 600.
    Once its at 600, I'll shut the damper to 50% so it doesn't get too hot. About 5 minutes later, I shut the air vents down to about 10% open, and shut the damper down to about 20% open.
    When I get up at 7, I scrape the ash off the top and reveal all the hot coals. Stir them up, pull them to the front and re-load.

    When I do a lot of low-temp overnight burns, I clean my chimney about every 3 weeks.
  3. bigblulbz

    bigblulbz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Georgetown, MA
    Yes, just ash. I had a nugget of an ember the size of a golf ball this morning and that is it. I will have to give your method a try this evening. I'll repost in the morning. Thank you.
  4. Grannyknot

    Grannyknot New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Loc:
    East Tennessee
    Well, my method is no where near perfect, and really just something I had to play around with based on the moisture content of the fuel I am using.
    I was mainly just curious what is different between my method and the method you currently use.
  5. bigblulbz

    bigblulbz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Georgetown, MA
    I leave my door vents open 100%. I was under the impression that if I reduced the air flow, I would kill the fire.
  6. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,604
    Loc:
    NE PA
    What kind of wood are you burning? That will make a difference in coals. Any oak is good, white oak or hickory is the best. The denser the better. The standing dead light stuff, will burn right up leaving no coals. I mix that during the day, not used overnight.
    I burn standing dead that has been left to dry after splitting, in a Mama Bear. My stove would be 6 inches shorter and 2 inches narrower than yours. Not even fully loading, I have a good bed of coals mostly towards the rear. It won't get much oxygen in the back, so the glowing coal pile will turn to black charcoal. Pull this mix toward the front, and load with small rounds and a few small splits and it takes right off. You won't get a build up of this many coals to work with until you burn 24/7 a few days. Once it builds up, the coals can get quite deep, 6 inches or so, to need to stir them around and burn them to ash for room to load.
    The air intakes, (or draft caps / air dampers) are open from 1/2 to 3/4 turn on moderately cold nights and 1 turn in the 20's or below. I heat 1850 s.f. on one level from the center of the home. I run with an exhaust damper, and close it overnight. I run it open until up to temp in the morning, and about 1/2 open to cook with 1 turn on the air cooking.
    Once you figure it out, for 24/7 burning, you'll find it burns to ash in the front where it gets the most air. You can shovel the ash from the front every morning to give you room to bring the coals ahead. The larger size of the Papa Bear should give you a coal bed 4 inches deep to last until the next afternoon. If it's warm all day, I rake the coals forward (with a bent poker) and close it down to a crack. Lots of heat, no smoke quite a few hours. About 3:00 PM it looks like ash, but when raked plenty of coals are hiding in that ash. Rake it around and cover with kindling and a little cardboard over the top to hold the heat. It takes right off. By 5 my wife is cooking on it. Colder days we keep it going lightly to simmer stews or soups.
    I also have an insulated 6" chimney straight up. That means a lot. The chimney is the engine that drives the stove. Otherwise I would need to have the exhaust damper open more or fully open. I also use a baffle plate across the exhaust outlet on all the older stoves I burn.
    With absolutely no other heat source, I have not had to relight with a match since lighting in October. A Papa Bear would be a little too much heat for the area we heat, but great for the larger cook top.
  7. bigblulbz

    bigblulbz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Georgetown, MA
    I'm heating about 2000 sqft with the stove in the finished basement on the far end of the wall. I know the wood is not the greatest, but it is what I have to work with for the next week or so. Mostly oak but not 100% seasoned. It's going to take time and experimenting to find what works with my layout, but at least now I have a basis to start with.
  8. bigblulbz

    bigblulbz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Georgetown, MA
    I'm home. Have the stove cranking. I took a look inside and noticed there is no baffle. Are there any thermal benefits other than those mentioned in the sticky you posted?
  9. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,604
    Loc:
    NE PA

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