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Progress Hybrid Ash Pan question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by ClanCameron, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron New Member

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    Wow, never knew about the front center bottom air hole! I'd guess it was blocked since the ash bed was a least 3-4 inches deep and I didn't make a point of pushing ash away from the front window. So to reply - i'm assuming " that the air supple WASN'T available from that source before I got the ash pan". BTW - emptied the huge ash pan after only six days of burning just tonight. Ash was clearly not falling through anymore, an the whole pan was topped off and level all the way across.

    Re: the stove color - not custom, it is the stock 'metallic brown', but has a lot of silver glow to it. One of the gals at Woodstock described it as 'kinda like champagne'.

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  2. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the reply.
  3. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Rideau,
    In my case. covering the air hole in front with ash, makes no difference in the burn. The air comes out of that hole with some pretty strong force, so it blows ash and small coals right out of the way. You would have to get a split up tight against it to really "block" it as your referring to.
  4. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    This post got me thinking, why is it sometimes my fire takes of so much better and the stove heats up MUCH quicker? The answer is that emptying the firebox makes a HUGE improvement. I never really connected the two until the last 2 times I emptied the stove and noticed what a big difference there was. There is a happy medium, you need some hot coals to get longer burns, but an overly full ash base makes it harder to get the stove going after a reload. I'm not sure I understand why, the airflow does not seem that much different with a few more inches of ashes.
  5. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Makes perfect sense. However, we need to clarify something first. I imagine there is a BIG difference to these scenarios with, and without the ashcan. The reason is, with the ash pan after I rake the coals there is almost no ash left, only hot coal chunks greater than about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (width of slots in grate). I then rake these hot coals to the front of the stove, which leaves me with a clean grate/stove floor in the back of the stove, nothing but iron. So I have a maybe 2" high pile of hot coals, about 4" wide, the length of the front of the stove (about 20"). Now I place a small split right on top of the coals in the front, that split will generally light up seconds after I shut the door, sometime prior. I then put the largest split on the floor in the back and pile the rest in. So the only part that light up at first is the front/bottom. This gives me a nice long burn. It burns really nicely because there is nothing under it insulating it (no ashes), and it does not take off too fast and burn lots of wood because only the front is on hot coals.

    When I see pics of this done without the ash pan, I always see much more ash in the base, with lots of hot coals hiding in the ashes, all across the stove. Two things occur, 1 it's slow to take off because all of the insulating ashes under all the wood. No air gets under the wood because it's sitting in ashes. BUT, it slowly lights up the entire bottom layer of wood eventually because those hot coals hiding in the ashes eventually heat up the wood enough to ignite it all. So then the entire stove takes off burning, and out gassing, and secondaries....

    The reason there seem to always be more ashes in the non-ash pan stoves is I think it's much more difficult to remove all the ashes, without also removing all the hot coals. With the ash pan, you just rake the ashes back and fourth a few times, and all the powder ash falls thru the grate, and your left with only chunks of hot coals which can then be pushed to the front.

    Now if I want a fast hot burn(quick heat, and/or a lot of heat), I leave the hot coals spread out across the entire stove instead.
  6. NectarNook

    NectarNook Member

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    We got one without the pan. I have only needed to empty the ash once every two weeks. I take the time to remove the cast iron cooktop and vacuum out the catalyst when I take out the ashes. Seems to work well. I keep the ashes in their bucket on the hearth until they are fully cooled (a couple days), then toss them out in the garden or driveway depending on where they are needed.

    It's not difficult to empty the ashes. The biggest thing is doing it with a steady hand because they "poof" easily and can make a mess if you shake them around or bump the shovel on the way to the bucket. Angle the bucket and gently put the ashes in the bucket. Tossing them in unceremoniously will ensure that every inch of your beautiful house will be covered in a thin layer of fine ash an hour later. Ask me how I know. ;)

    A long handled shovel would be nice, but isn't necessary. I use a short one and it does the trick just fine.
  7. NectarNook

    NectarNook Member

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    Holy cow! Those tiles are gorgeous! I'm jealous now. I thought the ones I found were perfect, but yours are much sharper. :)

    Here's my (as yet unfinished because I'm in the process of finishing the rest of the house) hearth, complete with ash bucket and shovel:

    [​IMG]
  8. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Thanks nectar... My room looked unfinished like that for a year before I finished it last month. Those tiles look great too, they have lots of color in them.


    I just reloaded and took some pictures of exactly what I was explaining above. First, the stove door open before touching the ashes, not much left, and stove top at about 225:
    image.jpg

    image.jpg

    Now after I raked the coals making all the fine ash fall thru the grate and into the ash pan, and then the leftover hot coals raked to the front of stove (and one unburnt chunk), note the rear completely clean:
    image.jpg

    Now here is a very small load put in, largest split in back. It's upper 40's here tonight, and will be 50 by morning, so just taking the chill out for the night. This will slow burn till 8 or 9 am.
    image.jpg

    And lastly what the fire looked like after 3 or 4 minutes when the pipe hit 250, and I shut it down:
    image.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  9. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    No Ashpan No thanx.. silly idea.. Clean catalyst errytime ya remove ashes ? Oh your'e not really heating with stove or its secondary heat . Its my primary no time to Vac catalyst erry ash dump.. stove needs be burning .. 24-7..ashpan makes stove correct and efficient .. ive the Brown PH too its not brown some idiot named that color..i like it its jess not brown at all..Crayola says soooo
  10. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Machria

    Thanks for the photos. I must admit the ash pan sounds interesting for the Progress.

    My concerns are:

    1. I know of at least one case where a Progress ash pan latch was accidentally bumped and it severely overfired/damaged the stove.
    2. Seems like one more gasket to worry about leaking.

    I might try to make a coal rake and see if that makes life easier.
  11. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I believe the case where it was bumped folks were sitting around the stove and someone used pan handle as a foot rest... not exactly a common use case I would think.

    One more gasket - yeah, I am concerned about that one too. I console myself with the thought that I open it far less frequently than the door so perhaps it won't wear out as fast. Plus the design does seem to put quite a tight pull on the door... time will tell.

    I've very much enjoyed being able to quickly swap out my ash pans (I have two) and move on with my morning load. I didn't really mind using the shovel with the FV, but as I generally do this first thing in the morning the time it saves has been nice (not to mention the fact that I don't have to be as awake and careful to avoid messes when just swapping pans).
  12. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Same thing I do with my little Keystone. Love this ash pan system but wish it was a bit larger. Mine fills up in 3 days of 24/7 burning. Does the ash grate lift out easily if it does happen to blow a gasket and warp?
  13. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Ok - so you had a 250* temp with that little flame? I'm very curious about this one. My thermometer is on the cast (back there next to the flue exit). If I load up like you did, I'd have all my wood blackened by time the temp would go up to 250 (well, I'm presuming that you are starting out at 200 or less).
  14. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    1. You would need to hit the Ash pan handle with a zambonie to damage it, it is pretty beefy and solid. in addition, it's UNDER the stove and set back a few inches, it would be pretty hard to hit if you were trying. I have no concern for that whatsoever.
    2. Sure, there is a gasket on it, but I do not see that ever being a problem either. The way it latches it closes super tight with force applied from the latch system, and, there is not much heat on it, the latch and gasket are insulated from the ash pan itself. The ash pan slides into the ash pan compartment, which has the gasket, door and latch system. So while the ash pan itself gets hot, the surrounding enclosure with gasket does not, so it shows little where if any after 1 full year of use for me.

    Woodstock sells a nice coal rake for $20. Although, I cut the handle off, and added 6" of length to it as I wanted it longer. They should make one 26" long for the Progress Hybrid. http://store.woodstove.com/product.php?productid=16591&cat=298&page=2

    You should only need to swap it out about once a week at most. The problem with shoveling the coals, I'd imagine you need to shovel them out every time you re-load. Why would you want to do that everytime, when you could do it once a week or 2?

    Yes, the ash pan grate (shown in my pics above) lifts right out.

    My 250 was my Pipe temp, about 10" above the stove, not the stove top. ;) Oh, and there was more red hot burnign wood below that little flame than what appears in the pic, it got going down below pretty fast.

    Here's a pic of what was left this morning at 9:00am after I raked all the ash. Just barely enough to re-light, maybe with a little Super Cedar dust thrown in to help it along. And you can see my modified Woodstock ash rake in the pic:



    photo.JPG
  15. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

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    Every time I fill my PH I first rake the ashes down into the pan, and smile. Ours rarely gets as few coals (or residual ash) as the pictures above. As for it being too complex, I'm sure the same argument was made for keeping the bed pan rather than switching to indoor plumbing (what if one of those pipes were to leak?). I do sympathize with those who don't like the looks, but we have been very pleased with how our pan has functioned. I like the pan-swapping idea - we might settle into a regular schedule with that sort of convenience.
  16. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Fireman, I'm pretty sure his mother-in-law vacuumed under the stove while he was out at the store, and knocked the handle open.

    I have no ashpan. I suspect an ashpan might keep flyash down. However, I have no concerns about it re my burn. After each fire, I use the Woodstock rake, as illustrated by Machria, and just rake the coals to the front. I rake the ashes to the back. I keep the floor of the stove with some ash at all times. I find it very easy to separate the ash from the coals, both in raking forward and in removing ash from the stove. I never remove any coals when I remove ash. Just slide the shovel along the bottom of the firebox, starting in the front. Push the shovel until it is heaping, and the coals naturally fall of the top, the ash sits on the shovel. Gently empty shovel into stainless pail, repeat. WHen I finish the front, I move to the middle, then the back. Once all the ash is out, I push the coals all to the front, keep a thin layer of ash in the rest of the stove. Empty the stove maybe once a week at peak heating season. Have absolutely no problem starting fires...they usually ignite before the door is closed. Always lay the fire much the same way everyone else describes...largest log in the back on small amount of ash, then load the rest of the stove.

    There is no difference in my burn when the firebox has been emptied of ash, or when it is in need of emptying. I always keep the front pretty clear of ash until the last burn or two before emptying, always keep the air inlet open.

    I think the stove works well with or without the ashpan, and Woodstock must too or they would strongly recommend getting as ashpan. They don't express an opinion re ashpan vis a vis burning. So, I think you should go by what you prefer, whether it is for appearance or convenience sake. I wouldn't want anyone who didn't want an ashpan to feel that there is any problem running the PH without one. There isn't. And it is really easy to clean the ash out of the stove, and to rake the coals forward.
    NectarNook likes this.
  17. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    We have the ash pan and I love it.
    You can pull the coals back and forth a few times and there is no ash in the box.

    If it starts to get full I just shake it back and forth a few times and it packs down a little, we empty it about once a month and we burn 24/7.

    You will get ash and debris in the door mechanism and on the gaskets to the door so you have to make sure that area and the gaskets are clear when closing it.
  18. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Did not mean to imply that I do it every day. Rather the window of opportunity is generally first thing in the morning as that is when the lowest fire/least coals happens when burning 24/7.

    I change my ash pan out about 2-3 times/week during peak burning times (Jan-Feb). Right now I'm getting 2 weeks or more between cleanings. My frequency of cleaning is less often with the PH than it was with the FV, but not by much. I do push a lot of wood through in those cold weeks.
  19. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    The Ash pan itself gets wonky when hot. or becomes out of square . switching out pans is a good 24/7 idea.. thin 1/4 in strips on bottom pan would keep it flat n str8 when hot.. Cracking Ash door brings up flames IMED.. It takes time to build up heat in the progress .. I bet the New Steel stove heats up Fassssst.. Woodstock been out of Ash rakes for 8 months now or so.. cant get one. gonna just bend an extra cast fireplace shovel..
  20. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron New Member

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    I just got my rake from woodsmanspartsplus.com http://www.woodmanspartsplus.com/225145/products/Stove-Ash-Rake-Natural-Iron.html?d_id=21560 I had used my fireplace shovel and it just fell apart after awhile, being exposed to a hot coal bed once too often.
  21. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    This ash pan thing is getting a little silly. It is a nice feature for convenience, but that's it. It have experience with both since I do not have one and my dad does. The stove burns no different with or without. What you get with the ash pan is the convenience of not having to shovel ash out of the stove. You also get the appearance of the ash pan, one more gasket to maintain, and one more place something could (however unlikely) fail and damage the stove. That's it. Different strokes...

    I shovel ash once a week (on Sunday) most of the winter. When really cold (like it's been lately) and I'm running two FULL loads a day, I shovel ash every four days. No big deal. Just insert shovel, tilt to dump off the coals, and place ash in bucket. Easy peasy. The stove burns no different whether I've just shoveled or it's time to shovel. The only difference is eventually I want to get more wood in the stove if it's really cold. That's why I shovel every four days when it's really cold.

    Machria, those pictures are neat but for the vast majority of winter and the vast majority of climates they are not at all representative of what the inside of the stove is going to look like when you need to reload. Most peoples homes would be pretty darn cold at that point! I just don't want someone who may be reading this thread to get the wrong idea.
  22. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron New Member

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    Thanks for that (empty firebox=cold house), Waulie. However, it's never fun, especially on a like-minded chat site, to feel like one's being scolded. Probably 80% of what on the Hearth someone on the Hearth is going to feel like it's silly, no big deal, or old news. Let's just let it go and read on! Frankly, I'm not a frequent reader or post-er and I'm just glad a few of you took the time to respond at all! So thanks all.
  23. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Didn't mean to sound like I was scolding anybody! It's just that I know there are lots of people (most?) who find this site because they're researching a potential stove purchase. When the threads start to go all crazy into the minutia and end up as an argument that's amounts to "my stove is better", "my setup is better", etc., it does get
    . It's why I don't hang around that much anymore. Sometimes though, I can't let it go because I know there are probably dozens of people reading the threads to inform their decisions that will never comment or even sign up to HDC. I feel like a little perspective can sometimes go a long way.
    ClanCameron likes this.
  24. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron New Member

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    ten-four good buddy. Have a great weekend.
  25. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    You as well, good sir! Keep warm. :cool:

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