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Thinking Wood Gun...any advice or experience?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by avc8130, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, you like that free wood, don't ya? LOL

    Now we are combining MANY things I like. I heard a chainsaw. Now if we can just bring a tractor to the thread...

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  2. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Is my Lull (rough terrain forklift) close enough to a tractor?
  3. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I've been debating that since watching the video. Better poll the audience.

    Lull:

    Tractor or not?
  4. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Lets do a different poll

    WG idle or off

    BAHAHAHAHA
    Gasifier likes this.
  5. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I'll give the Lull a tractor vote, but only since it's a rough terrain.:p

    Mike, all that free Oak is making me jealous, love free wood, especially hardwood.
    I like the Mansard roof, is the rest going to be hipped, or flat?

    TS
  6. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    So I had a good fire when I left today. Felt good about the 4 hr deal from darren. Wife checked it at 1pm. It was idle. Purge, saw coals add two logs. Checked it again at 3. Same deal. Purged and threw on two logs. She called at 7pm tonight and said it was running, but water temp was down to 120. Opened the fire box and there were two remnants of logs. no fire or coals. I had here leave it off so I could clean ash out and what not and I wanted to be the open to restart it.

    1. What is your cleaning regiment Daily weekly etc
    2. Its still not cold out, so I am guess the thing was idle more than not today
    3. not sure on my connection from the cyclone to the 7 inch pipe. I had cement it to seal it, but it dried out and I had some smoke leaked at restart. Think I need an adapter. Don't have room to do the 6 ft straight. Mine is 45 angle to a 9 ft horizontal that maintains the 45 incline to a 30 ft stack that runs through the garage and attic (triple wall insulated).
  7. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    At these temps I clean my ash pan about once every three days, maybe four. Just to be sure it does not get too full and plugged the cyclone. If that happens more stuff starts heading up your pipe. Not good. I clean the boiler about every five or six days. Depends on how it looks. It is time for a cleaning tonight when I get home for work.

    All terrain gets to be considered a tractor. I guess. :rolleyes: We always give the folks from the Island special treatment. And for good reason. ;lol In theory, he could hook a rough plow to the forks and plow up a plot for the wife's garden. See how they always rationalize things in Infinityland!
    infinitymike likes this.
  8. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Whats even cooler about the Lull than a tractor is it has 3 types of steering: front wheels only, all for wheels for a 13' radius turn and crab steering.
    That machine is incredible. I couldnt build the houses that I do with out it. I made a steel bucket for the forks and a 24' jib to reach those hard to get places.
    Gasifier likes this.
  9. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I clean the ash pan very 4-5 days in mild temps and every 3-4 days when colder. I clean the gasification and heat exchange tubes every 5-6 days.
    I only clean out the firebox when I see there is a large amount of white ash. That may be every couple weeks. I don't want to loose any of that precious fire starting charcoal.
  10. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Yeah be careful. I have had my cyclone clog up a few times. Usually I can un plug it from the bottom by sticking my finger up the hole. ( hey now get your mind out of the gutter)
    But a couple times I had to disconnect the pipe from the top and really clean it out.
    I still get condensation dripping down my stack into the ash pan and that makes for a nice pasty blash ash mud. Real good for clogging things up.
  11. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I clean the ash pan on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I'll probably have to do it a little more often when and if it gets cold and I really start burning wood. I clean the lower unit maybe once a week but usually once every two weeks. You can clean both with the boiler running but not both at the same time. It really cuts down on dust in the air, especially when you're cleaning the lower unit.

    Use high-temp silicone to seal up the pipes.
  12. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    Eh, it's got tractor tires after all. Yeah, I'll call it a tractor with a really long loader.

    Here's a tractor...A picture of my old Kubota from a few years back. I bought this tractor as salvage from an insurance company after it was fished out of a pool. Dried it out, cleaned it up and replaced a few bent parts and she was good to go. Had it for almost 20 years before selling it and buying a new Kioti. That's my Salsco chipper on the back and the wife in the driver's seat. She used to help a lot more with the firewood before the youngin' came along. He's 2 now but hell be stacking firewood before too long.

    [​IMG]

    The new Kioti. Yes, Mike, that was last summer when I was framing my new deck. 24'x24', split level. I'm no builder but I managed to muddle through that one.

    [​IMG]
  13. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    Mike, looks like some good hunting on that property! When does Jersey whitetail season close? That new house with no windows would make a great ground-blind.
  14. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    So the fire was out again at 6am. Got it started again. Thinking that I didn't have a good coal base since the fire I created last night was because the one yesterday went out.
  15. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I'm not so sure about your operating strategy. I find my boiler likes LESS attention. Put a fair amount of wood in it, come back in 10-12 hours, rake coals/ash and reload.

    Why was it still running at 120F? What is your low water temp aquastat set to?

    I clean the ash pan not often enough. It is generally full when I get to it. Must be 5-7 days. I clean the lower tubes too often. I rarely find anything in them. I find most of the ash in the lower unit is bunched up behind the front door below the fire tube opening. I have yet to need to work inside the wood chamber. I just feed the ash through the nozzles like AHS says to. Works fine.

    Definitely. I put wood in mine last night, woke up this morning to the smoke detectors. The cycle timer popped on just after the boiler fired. This causes a wood gas explosion that comes back out through the intake. When I opened the boiler, it still had 80% of the wood load from the night before.

    High temp silicone here also. I may re-do my connection next year. I have an idea to make a solid, welded SS connector with bolt flanges at the cyclone and at the masonry thimble. I might use a rope gasket, or some of the high temp stuff WG uses on the cyclone attachment. That all depends how motivated I get.

    ac

    Lull: NOT a tractor, but cool in its own rite.
  16. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    That wood gas explosion is something that may happen when using the cycle timer, you just can't predict it. First time it happened to me I was right at the boiler and I just about soiled myself!

    My cleaning is only once per week, even in the coldest weather. I guess I'm lucky, but I have yet to plug up the cyclone...however, I do get a fair amount of ash accumulation at the base of my chimney which requires cleaning 2 times a year or so. I do not clean the firebox much anymore, rake it around a bit to get the ash to fall thru the nozzle and then clean out the nozzle tube trying to repserve as much of the coals in the firebox as possible. I also don't clean the ash accumulation at the bottom of the doors anymore as long as all the tubes are not obstructed. The ash will help to preserve the door seals.

    All my joints are sealed with high temp silicone and I have no leaks that I know of.

    CT, if I read your post correctly your are cycling once every 4 hours? With the current low heat load we have I doubt I could maintain hot coals going that long. Once (1 clip=3 min. I think) every hour seems to work fairly well for us. The trick for us is to get the timer to initially turn on about 30 minutes after a good fire to maintain the bed of coals and then every hour after that.
  17. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I'm not so sure about your operating strategy. I find my boiler likes LESS attention. Put a fair amount of wood in it, come back in 10-12 hours, rake coals/ash and reload.

    I agree with AC about loading the boiler with sufficient wood and coming back about 10 hours later. With the average temps we are having I load about 3/4 full and I get about 11-12 hours with it. Today is colder so it will probably give me 10-11 hours.

    Definitely. I put wood in mine last night, woke up this morning to the smoke detectors. The cycle timer popped on just after the boiler fired. This causes a wood gas explosion that comes back out through the intake. When I opened the boiler, it still had 80% of the wood load from the night before.

    With the fan on these Wood Guns you have to make sure everything is sealed up perfect. Once you get that taken care of it is smooth sailing after that. It took me a while to get it just right. Now it is trouble free.

    High temp silicone here also. I may re-do my connection next year. I have an idea to make a solid, welded SS connector with bolt flanges at the cyclone and at the masonry thimble. I might use a rope gasket, or some of the high temp stuff WG uses on the cyclone attachment. That all depends how motivated I get.

    If you have horizontal runs, even with a decent pitch to them, make sure you keep them clean. And check them often. Don't want a fire in the wrong place!

    This is especially true if you are burning wood that is not as dry as it should be.
  18. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    Everything that these guys said.

    CT has the new control unit and not a regular cycle timer like the rest of us. Call AHS and see if you can program your cycle timer to fire every hour or so for a few minutes. Four hours is too long to go. And I'll also say that more is better. I load my boiler exactly twice a day and no more. Once at 6:00am and then again sometime around 8:00. That gets me though the day and the night.
  19. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    That seems to be exactly the trend. The day temps are warmer so I can get that extra ~4 hours out of the "day" load.

    ac
  20. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    So once I have a good bed of coals, put a lot of wood in and make sure it cycles every hour or so. I have a call into AHS to see if I can adjust the timer.
  21. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    That's what I do. Once I put in enough wood to maintain a coal bed, everything got MUCH better. I started the mantra of putting in more wood than I thought would be necessary and things improved.

    ac
  22. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I like to come back to about 10% of a load left in the firebox. I've got that just about figured out now and haven't come home to a cold boiler in a couple of weeks or better. It's a learning curve with these things...You'll get her figured out.
  23. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Who has a Wood Gun and storage?
  24. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    Ok. So my fire went out again. Spoke with Darren at AHS. (very patient guy and helpful. Not sure I have had customer support like that ever). Anyway, he said the new control come shipped with the timer to go on every four hours for 10 minutes. To change it, he would need to send me a new chip with a new interval. No charge, just need to send the other one back. We talked maybe every two hours instead of four. He thinks part of the problem might be the demand. I have 3000 sf, but plan to add a 4th zone when I finish the basement and possible a 5th if the wife lets me build a detach 2 car garage with office or apt done the road. In hindsight maybe the 100 wood have been better since I hear these works better when under a load. He suggest I bump the temp in the house up since it has been very mild here in CT. 50's this week.
  25. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    It would seem to me that you would want it to cycle on once an hour for a few minutes. Then you would cover even more territory of mild weather. Turning the temperature of the house up does seem like the bass ackwards thing to do to me. Burn more wood and have your house warmer than you need to.? Just sayin.
    muncybob likes this.

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