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When to add more wood to the fire?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by KaptJaq, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Loading on a large coal bed will have the wood outgas much quicker, causing you to reload again, causing a coaling problem, causing......

    I find it more efficient to burn in cycles and my stove will Overfire if I load on a 500° bed. Even with Primary shut all the way, those secondaries are gonna go nuclear!!!

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  2. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    We try and do exactly what bws does. +1 not much temperature rise in the flue. There are times however when we add a few splits when its super cold and or windy out. With only a small to medium fire box, we need the space. The longer you run the stove the warmer your house will be since everything in and around your house absorbs and stores heat.
  3. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    Yup I always thought those who take coals out are robbing their stoves of energy.
  4. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    In my house, that fire has another 20 -30 minutes left before reloading.
    Looks really toasty though!

    gabe
  5. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Yep. If you have to shovel out ashes, like we do with the Fv, it's much easier to get all ashes when the coals are mostly gone...
  6. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    ...or use a coal rake. Move the larger coals to one side, clean half the ash, move the coals to the other side and get the rest of the ash. My rake has 1" gaps between the tines so it only moves the larger coals from side to side.

    KaptJaq
  7. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    I have an undersized stove for the house, in reality I need two or three stoves to provide enough heat. One method I have been doing to keep the heat output constantly high is to reload early and keep the secondary burn going almost constantly until I build up so many coals that I literally can't fit anymore wood of any decent size in there. It gets to the point that I have to be careful or coals will roll out of the stove. I then open up the air as Backwoods Savage mentioned and feed it one or two 1-2" pieces and once those pieces go to coals I'll add one or two more. This keeps the stove in the 500-600* range for almost the whole time it takes to burn the coals down.

    When feeding it the twigs I don't touch the air at all. Normal secondary burn varies between 3/4 and 7/8 closed and I open it to 1/2 to 5/8 closed for the twig feeding method and leave it there until the coals are burned down. The amount of heat in the coals will start off a secondary burn with just those couple twigs in there and I rarely see smoke out the chimney. The relatively small amount of new wood keeps the secondary tubes from going nuclear, once the secondaries really start to race from the open air the twigs go to coals and the secondaries taper off. The open flames of the twigs burning helps the coals burn down faster and it keeps them burning hotter.

    I have been considering doing this method for my girlfriend during the day when I am gone because it is easier to leave the air alone and just add a twig or two once there are no flames and a 12" deep coal bed can take 6+ hours to burn down with this method. She isn't interested enough for me to teach her the art of the secondary burn and doing it properly and with the small amount of new wood being added it would be much harder for her to get into an overfire condition by accident.

    Using really poor wood for the twigs works pretty well too. The twigs I have been using are sumac (I cannot think of worse wood) and it works perfectly fine for this method.
  8. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    We had a warm night and let the stove go out. The old man was not happy this morning. He came in from the cool dampness and went right to his favorite place. He got up on the hearth letting us know it was time for a reload. He stared at it a good ten minutes waiting for the reload. Finally he sulked off to find someplace warm. He hates shoulder season.

    IMG_6275_a.JPG

    KaptJaq
    Lance likes this.
  9. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    Lol - we have a fake electric woodstove for such an emergency. The pooch's favorite place is about a foot away.

    Kind of bummed - made it down to the bottom row of one of the 'short and ugly' piles and found those splits to be less than ideal. Hard starting, and take a while to build heat. I'll probably throw those on top of my last '12 pile and use them later.

    Gabe
  10. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    Brian89GT,

    Wow, that is way too much hassle! In contrast, I simply wait until the coals are burned way down so I can really load her to the gills. The I let her rip! I shut down my air supply after 15 minutes or so of getting the stove up to temp and the stove is good to go for about 3 hrs. Next I open the air all the way up (like savage said) and let it run another 3 hours. I never dig out coals, just 3 small scoops of ash each morning. So, 6 hour burn times during the day. At night the air supply never gets opened up so I get less heat but then have 8 to 12 hrs worth of heat.

    I figure one should allow the stove to go through the whole cycle fully and just take what it gives. Supplement a little with your furnace if needed a little here and there. Don't make it too much work or you'll lose the fun!

    This method heats my largish house in Minnesota during all months other than January and February. For those months, the gas furnace needs to help.
  11. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Hi There- I am new to this site, but love all the input and posts. I am on Long Island as well. New to woodburning insert home warming. May I ask for some guidance? Feel free to email me at fstmil@aol.com. Need a few short questions answered from a pro like you sound to be :) Many Thanks. Jim
  12. jimmieguns

    jimmieguns Member

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    Hi There- I am new to this site, but love all the input and posts. I am on Long Island as well. New to woodburning insert home warming. May I ask for some guidance? Feel free to email me at fstmil@aol.com. Need a few short questions answered from a pro like you sound to be :) Many Thanks. Jim
  13. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    Jimmie,

    The best way to get questions answered around here is to post them to the forums. Start a new thread so your answers don't get mixed in with others. When you post your questions you will have the collective knowledge of all the members working on your answer and I am sure you will see several interesting points of view.

    If it is something that you feel might be out of the scope of this forum please PM it to me (Use the "Start a conversation" link under the avatar.)

    KaptJaq
  14. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    When I read your first post I thought the Montpelier was a catalytic stove ;lol, didnt realize you were talking about your pet cat.

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