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  1. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    769
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Have heard several stove shops recommend duraflame logs for break fires on not cat stoves despite saying clearing the label to not use in woodstoves. I used 1/4 of a duraflame (or generic) starter log all last year with no issues. I did switch to fat sticks because they give more coverage in the box and seem to get a fire going quicker.
    Curly likes this.

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  2. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,209
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    Once you try Super Cedars you'll never use anything else!

    Ray
  3. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    769
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I tried the cedars, but prefer fat sticks.
  4. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,209
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    I think you're the 1st person that has said this here.. To each his own :)

    Ray
  5. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    769
    Loc:
    Massachusetts

    There were a few of us in the how do you start a fire thread a while back.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,881
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Curly, you are overcleaning the insert. Your dealer is right. Leave the ashbed in there and only clean when it starts threatening to spill out of the stove.
    raybonz and Curly like this.
  7. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    769
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I'm making the assumption this is the same box as the Alterra given the size and manufacturer. I clean mine out weekly, and certainly not fully. I leave almost all the coals (ones that dont sift through hardwire mesh) and about a half inch of ash. It fills up quick because it's small, but it will hold coals for more than a day. I burn every evening from about 3pm to whenever it goes out and all day on the weekends. Usually sometime after midnight. Best time for burn without smoldering is about 5 hrs and I'm guessing the conditions were right (wood/atmospheric/etc). Thats burning kiln dried mixed hardwoods. Typical reload times are more likely in a 3 hr range. You'll have to manage the coal stage pretty well and get a feel for when to open the air up and burn it down....I can usually get a good sense while bumping the air back up as it reaches a plateau of heat output. Adding some small splits in a small firebox doesn't help like it does in a larger one. Haven't tried the handful of pellets, but would like to. Regardless, just because you see a lot of ash in the box, don't believe it to be more than an inch until you tamp it down with your shovel. What you see at the end of a burn is very fluffy stuff and won't hinder your burn a lot of the time. That being said, the heat out put and fire restarting does seem to benefit from more frequently cleaning, but again, that's just removing some of the ash, not all.

    The glass rarely gets dirty for me...usually just a fine white haze that wipes off with a few swipes of a damp paper towel. The circular cataract dead upper center where the front secondary fires into is an issue for me as well. It was discussed here and also an issue for many not cat stove owners. If you look up CLR on this site, I believe you'll find said conversation between myself and Hearth.com Members I think. Some potential solutions were pontificated there.
    Curly likes this.
  8. Curly

    Curly New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Wilmington, DE
    Looks like I was a little anal about cleaning out all the ash. I'll make it a point to leave much more in there. I wasn't even leaving in the black coals. We'll be close to 63 today so I'll get back into some good burns this weekend when the temp is supposed to drop again. Thank you begreen and jdp.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,272
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Most mfgs suggest leaving at least an inch of ash in the bottom. Helps to insulate.
    Curly likes this.

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