2017-18 Blaze King Performance Thread PART 2 (Everything BK)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,091
3,983
803
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
With my low btu softwoods and hardwoods I have witnessed 24 hour burntimes on a pretty low setting with regularity. Usually I only get about 20 hours of active cat time. I run the stat a little higher than required in order to maintain 400 degree internal flue temperatures right above the stove.

If I was willing to run flue temperatures as low as some folks on here I would get much longer burn times.

The softwoods I use are Doug fir, some red cedar, and hemlock. Hardwoods are alder, maple, and sometimes lighter stuff like cottonwood.

I find that moisture content and ashiness of the fuel have a big impact on maximum burn times. Not so much btu content, though even our best wood fuel is much less dense than eastern fuels.
 

Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
295
179
303
46
Eastern Alps, Italy
@Ashful: for Italian standards, mine is just a house, and not very old... in the village where I live there are buildings from 1400 still inhabited so... Walls are 24” thick on our floor (4th) but ground floor (where the cows stable was before renovations in the 90’s) has 40” walls. Houses here were built with stones (and mortar) to be durable. And durable they are indeed. In other parts of the country, houses were built with red bricks, or even carved into mountain slopes (take a look at “sassi di Matera”).
Many people, little space, no money: they did their best.
 

kf6hap

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2016
690
315
803
Nevada City,Ca.
The Blaze King is engineered to NOT overfire The burn rate is thermostatically limited to force the stove to remain within BTU specs. One of the very first things I did was to try and overfire it. It would not. All of my other stoved could easily be overfired. This the beauty of a BK. A few house fires must have been avoided by this "feature".
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Highbeam

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,385
2,163
803
07462
So I have been watching a number of video's, reading peoples idea's on wood splitting and storage and overall burning techniques, few are bk owners but and a number of people's idea's or practices can be discarded, but a few burners make a good point and have persuaded me to start thinking about splitting thin again. I use to split to a max of 4", give or take I was 3" average. I switched to bigger fat pieces on my last season with my epa tube stove to try and get longer burn times / better control for slow burns.
My epiphany occurred the other day, I'm splitting 5" hard wood pieces and storing them for a minimum of 3 years and hoping they are dry enough on the 4th season to burn, yes the majority of the pieces are good to go, but then the next hurdle is getting maximum load volume in the stove, which can be difficult when all the pieces are larger. With smaller split I will be able to have drier wood without worrying, loading the stove box to max will be easier and with the full control of the burn through the t-stat air controller, long slow burns should not be difficult at all.
 

ratsrepus

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2018
524
213
773
Howell, Mi
I can see doing that with a BK with the controlled burn rate, but I'm afraid if I packed the Jotul full of little splits of dry stuff, it would take off to the moon. Or I would be sticking a rag or tin foil in the secondary intake
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashful

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,091
3,983
803
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
So I have been watching a number of video's, reading peoples idea's on wood splitting and storage and overall burning techniques, few are bk owners but and a number of people's idea's or practices can be discarded, but a few burners make a good point and have persuaded me to start thinking about splitting thin again. I use to split to a max of 4", give or take I was 3" average. I switched to bigger fat pieces on my last season with my epa tube stove to try and get longer burn times / better control for slow burns.
My epiphany occurred the other day, I'm splitting 5" hard wood pieces and storing them for a minimum of 3 years and hoping they are dry enough on the 4th season to burn, yes the majority of the pieces are good to go, but then the next hurdle is getting maximum load volume in the stove, which can be difficult when all the pieces are larger. With smaller split I will be able to have drier wood without worrying, loading the stove box to max will be easier and with the full control of the burn through the t-stat air controller, long slow burns should not be difficult at all.
Careful here. Any changes to split size may result in four years of undesirable splits.

I’ve been splitting larger to slow down the low end burn. So far, the same large splits make plenty of heat when I need to crank it up.

A mix seems to be the best answer for maximum lb of wood in the firebox.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashful

kf6hap

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2016
690
315
803
Nevada City,Ca.
I split and burn the same year. 4" Splits of oak, pine, madrone. They lay in the sun in summer then get stacked. No problems here.
 

tarzan

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2014
1,545
655
803
wv
Since you're three years ahead the biggest difference you will see is in spending more time splitting wood.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rdust

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,163
2,907
803
99
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Careful here. Any changes to split size may result in four years of undesirable splits.

I’ve been splitting larger to slow down the low end burn. So far, the same large splits make plenty of heat when I need to crank it up.

A mix seems to be the best answer for maximum lb of wood in the firebox.
I am finishing a woodpile I split before I got a splitter. As a result, the oak is mostly normal sized splits, while I appear to have taken the view that the maple needed a lot less splitting. ;)

Anyway, 2.5 years later, I am splitting some of this maple again on its way into the house. I had the same thought process- why not split everything down to 3" minisplits? Easier for the wife, easier to pack the stove full, and the BK doesn't care about split size.

Well, after a couple weeks of that, I am not sure anymore. I think the smaller splits do actually not burn as long as a similar load with some big splits and some small splits. My stove isn't leaking (see a couple pages ago where I burned a stoveload of wood chips), but it still seems like the little stuff doesn't go as long.

I don't have a good explanation for this- what do y'all think?
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,385
2,163
803
07462
Since you're three years ahead the biggest difference you will see is in spending more time splitting wood.
I do have a lot of time on my hands
 
  • Like
Reactions: coutufr

kf6hap

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2016
690
315
803
Nevada City,Ca.
More surface area = somewhat faster burn, but not by much if comparing 3" vs 4". Rounds do burn longer. They can take years to dry though. Rather than immediately stacking splits, laying them out in the sun is my trick for same season drying/burning. On oak I split the bark off as it slows drying. When the wood darkens somewhat and checks, it is ready. My old 1976 Montgomery Wards splitter is still going strong. The BK is wonderfully unfussy about what I burn in it. If it is clean wood, I burn it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlbergSteve

drz1050

Minister of Fire
Sep 11, 2014
791
195
803
Ballston Lake, NY
one large solid split has 0% airspace. The same amount of area made up with smaller splits probably has 20-30% airspace. The stove burns longer with larger splits because there is more wood in the stove. Also, as said above the surface area is multiplied.
 

rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,525
1,182
803
Michigan
I like a mix but a 3” split is filler size for me. I try to keep my max size around 7 or 8 inches at their largest point.(use the splitter beam for sizing). I’m ahead and lazy so I don’t want to handle any more pieces than necessary. ;lol

Examples

4AFF8812-7780-492F-9C0E-D2F34E61F4C5.jpeg EB4C5332-D041-4641-B228-80885A4CDAFC.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,471
2,997
803
Southern IN
Almost no one is going to be ok with a big piece of insulated duct laying behind their stove. At least no one that is willing to drop $3K on a stove, those folks typically like things to look nice.
I guess I am 'almost no one' then. ==c I might spend 3K on a stove, but I won't be too concerned with form over function. My better half might question my relative weighting of function and form, however.. ;)
BKs do NOT rage out of control!...As their are no dampers to fiddle with continually, operation is somewhat boring
As a rule, cat stoves aren't as likely to overfire. A secondary stove would probably make me a bit nervous at times. My stove doesn't have a thermostat so it's not as foolproof as a BK, but taking into account outside temp, wood type loaded etc, I can get a load going and leave without a second thought. I have a marker on my stovetop meter, and I've never returned home to a recorded temp of over 625 over the cat.
we have some huge piles of oak/juniper
You live about 250 miles north of my sister..don't recall her mentioning any Oak where she is in the Rio Grande Valley. Is Oak easy to get where you are? What kind of Oak? Neighbor buddy lived in Alamosa for a time. He said that with the high humidity here, 20 degrees is like -10 out there. Didn't ask him if he burned wood there but I have talked to him about putting in a stove here.. ==c
I am finishing a woodpile I split before I got a splitter. As a result, the oak is mostly normal sized splits, while I appear to have taken the view that the maple needed a lot less splitting. ;)
I'm into some Black Locust that I split and stacked about four years ago. I made the mistake of splitting those big. It's hard enough to get medium splits of BL burning, let alone big ones. <>
I like a mix but a 3” split is filler size for me. I try to keep my max size around 7 or 8 inches at their largest point.
What kind of wood are we looking at in those loads? I think I see some Maple and Oak in the bottom pic..
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
14,707
7,322
803
Philadelphia
So I have been watching a number of video's, reading peoples idea's on wood splitting and storage and overall burning techniques, few are bk owners but and a number of people's idea's or practices can be discarded, but a few burners make a good point and have persuaded me to start thinking about splitting thin again. I use to split to a max of 4", give or take I was 3" average. I switched to bigger fat pieces on my last season with my epa tube stove to try and get longer burn times / better control for slow burns.
My epiphany occurred the other day, I'm splitting 5" hard wood pieces and storing them for a minimum of 3 years and hoping they are dry enough on the 4th season to burn, yes the majority of the pieces are good to go, but then the next hurdle is getting maximum load volume in the stove, which can be difficult when all the pieces are larger. With smaller split I will be able to have drier wood without worrying, loading the stove box to max will be easier and with the full control of the burn through the t-stat air controller, long slow burns should not be difficult at all.
If you looked at my woodpiles, you'd see no consistency in the size of splits. Everything from 2" to 8" splits, with a ton in that 3" - 5" range, but this is not by accident. I've found that having a range of split sizes helps me load the stove to max capacity. I put the big stuff in first, since there's no higher packing density than a solid chunk of 100% wood, and then pack the smaller splits in all around it. It's my own personal thrice-daily game of Tetris, albeit in slow-motion with a back button.

There's an added bonus, here. Since I want a varied range of split sizes, I can just quickly split rounds to whatever size they go most easily and quickly, rather than worry about re-splitting that 6" (or even 8") piece to get everything in a narrow consistent window.
 

rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,525
1,182
803
Michigan
What kind of wood are we looking at in those loads? I think I see some Maple and Oak in the bottom pic..
Looks like Oak, Ash, Honey Locust and maybe a piece of maple. I've been burning 90% Oak and Honey Locust this year with some random pieces mixed in. I can't wait till the HL is gone, I have not been impressed.
 

aaronk25

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2017
162
146
103
Rochester
Yup, for sure, but all i'm really curious about is how long people have been able to stretch a load of pine, under whatever conditions. Just trying to see what types of successes others have had, regardless of all the variables. Just a point of interest on my part.
36 hours on a load of pine....but that was burning 2x6, 2x10 and 2x4s completely cubing our the entire fire box and on low.
cf16c7db76396bb230e2e4f8500241c0.jpgcef263707f9fe8d63ec4e9e213030248.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

drz1050

Minister of Fire
Sep 11, 2014
791
195
803
Ballston Lake, NY
most dimensional lumber is SPF- Spruce, Pine, Fir, so it can be any of these... unless you got that from a local mill.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashful

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,471
2,997
803
Southern IN
can't wait till the HL is gone, I have not been impressed.
Yeah, I saw those pronounced rings and figured "Michigan, he's gotta be burning the last of the Ash."
Too bad about the HL. There's a dead one at my buddy's house I was gonna get. Figured it would be almost as good as BL, but your assessment isn't encouraging. :(
 

aaronk25

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2017
162
146
103
Rochester
most dimensional lumber is SPF- Spruce, Pine, Fir, so it can be any of these... unless you got that from a local mill.
Ya not really sure. I think fir, bit like you said they can switch back and forth. It all weighs about the same and I’d say this equals the same btu as strategic my selected and stacked red oak, and it only equals the BTU because by volume 30% more can be fit into stove and then the 5% moisture content doesn’t strip away btus for drying of the wood.....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
You live about 250 miles north of my sister..don't recall her mentioning any Oak where she is in the Rio Grande Valley. Is Oak easy to get where you are? What kind of Oak? Neighbor buddy lived in Alamosa for a time. He said that with the high humidity here, 20 degrees is like -10 out there.
What we have here is called "Gambel Oak". It can grow as brush....especially if it's been cut at ground level....and is often not too big in diameter...3"-6". However, here on my property/in this little valley...we have larger specimens....up to 12" in diameter on my neighbors land. I cut maybe 30 standing dead offerings...all 5" to 8"....last year and really like the slow burn/even heat for overnight burns.

I'm at 7100 ft and we have quite a bit of it here.....but @ 7100 ft in the Vail Valley where I lived for over 30 years there's not a single stick. I think it like the drier climate here....

either way....good stuff.

http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/natural-resources/gambel-oak-management-6-311/
 

shoot-straight

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2012
685
210
803
Kennedyville, MD
for most, wood is take what you can get. i burned a bunch of reject 1/4" thich pallet wood for a while. it was free, and gave off BTUs. wouldnt want to do that full time though.

mix is the right answer to this for other situations. i like really big splits when it gets cold, they just seem to do a better job not giving up all their heat at once. yes i know the stat is supposed to do that, but it can only do so much. smaller splits are needed as others have mentioned to fill in the gaps and are good for shorter burns when you dont want a full load (the after work-bedtime load). i like a variety of wood too. there are times i want a less dense, less coal-causing wood, and times i want the other.
 

allan5oh

Member
Jan 19, 2016
142
28
93
Winnipeg, MB
Yeah, I saw those pronounced rings and figured "Michigan, he's gotta be burning the last of the Ash."
Too bad about the HL. There's a dead one at my buddy's house I was gonna get. Figured it would be almost as good as BL, but your assessment isn't encouraging. :(
My parents have 8 acres and the shelter belt is entirely made out of ash. Since we are in winnipeg it is quite dense too even for ash. They found the emerald ash borer in winnipeg this past summer. They could be real busy over the next few summers. This is on top of battling Dutch elm.

The good news is they think the climate might slow or stop the borer.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.