2018-19 Blaze King Performance Thread Part 1 (Everything BK)

Ashful Posted By Ashful, Aug 27, 2018 at 8:25 AM

  1. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,885
    1,906
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I bought a condar steelcat last year. It had the rigid square cells. Paid $100 extra for it versus getting it from firecat since the firecat people can't seem to respond to either email or the query form on their website. (As of a year later, they still haven't answered either message; I'll try them again in a year or two when I go cat shopping.)
     
  2. Alpine1

    Alpine1
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Apr 27, 2017
    216
    124
    Loc:
    Eastern Alps, Italy
    @MissMac
    Actually, I have never measured my splits (except for lenght, which is 40cm/16inches give or take) until today but after reading your post I went to the woodshed and measured many splits. Well, I was wrong: my bigger splits are 20/22 cm (8/9 inches) and the average ones are 15 cm (6 inches). I am not good at eyeballing splits diameter, evidently! Shorter splits go directly into my wood cooker/boiler. I found that bigger splits last longer, even though you can’t fill every gap in the stove. I will try, for knowledge ‘s sake, to load the stove with the biggest splits I have, then fill all the gaps with small splits and see what I will get in terms of burn time. Playing Tetris was a favourite pastime LOL
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    chemie and MissMac like this.
  3. Diabel

    Diabel
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 11, 2008
    1,773
    266
    Loc:
    Ottawa, ON
    Question about the Princess thermostat:

    Looking at the knob

    Open wide is set at 6 o’clock. Going counter clockwise, at about 1 o’clock (thin white line) is the shut position. At about 1 o’clock I can hear the click of the thermostat shutting. I can continue turning the knob to about 8 o’clock counterclockwise. Is this normal?

    I am on my 5th burn with the Princess and I am not sure if the thermostat is functioning correctly.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. lsucet

    lsucet
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    May 14, 2015
    917
    276
    Loc:
    San Ysidro, New Mexico
    yes it is normal. what you dont want is that it goes pass 6 o'clock when you turn it clockwise. it should have a solid stop at 6 o'clock.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. lsucet

    lsucet
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    May 14, 2015
    917
    276
    Loc:
    San Ysidro, New Mexico
    Also you want to work it between the range of the white line.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. Diabel

    Diabel
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 11, 2008
    1,773
    266
    Loc:
    Ottawa, ON
    Yes it solidly stops at 8 o’clock.

    Thank you for clarification.

    I will have more questions as I am trying to figure this stove up. I am so used to my VC.....
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. lsucet

    lsucet
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    May 14, 2015
    917
    276
    Loc:
    San Ysidro, New Mexico
    forget about where it stops counterclockwise. it needs to stop at 6 o'clock clockwise.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,885
    1,906
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Most of the answers come down to "stick the wood in, close the bypass, set the dial to the desired burn length, come back tomorrow".

    There is a learning curve while you figure out where on your dial the burn lengths you want are. That's a matter of trial and error. Luckily max burn is in the same place for everyone, and starting off in shoulder season you will have the chance to figure out where your lowest burn is.

    Once you figure out how low you can go without stalling the cat, you can figure out the intermediate settings that you need.
     
    MissMac, Diabel and Alpine1 like this.
  9. Diabel

    Diabel
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 11, 2008
    1,773
    266
    Loc:
    Ottawa, ON
    I hear the click at 1 o’clock and at that position I will stall the cat. At this early stage of my burning it the spot seems to sit at about 2:30. I am sure I will be able to push it upward as it gets colder.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. lsucet

    lsucet
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    May 14, 2015
    917
    276
    Loc:
    San Ysidro, New Mexico
    As recommended by others, give you some time to find the sweet spot that works for your system/setup. the click can be at different position of the dial according to the stove temperature. if you do a hot burn possibly the click will be at 3 or 4 o'clock. Try the dial around 1:30 or 2 o'clock and go from there.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    14,639
    3,095
    Loc:
    Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
    This is one of those things that varies by installation. Some people on here are able to run the stat fully closed and not stall the cat. Usually due to a strong draft pulling just as much air through the EPA hole (your closed throttle blades do not close off 100% of air) as your stove does on a higher stat setting. Riding the hole is even possible on a short stack if other factors are present.

    The stat is self regulating in that it maintains a set stove temperature so it will automatically close farther to hold the stove temp when draft is stronger due to cold outside temperatures. Also, you might want to turn the stat up to a higher setting for more heat when it's cold. For a combination of reasons, I think you will find that you just don't mess with it much. The house will just stay warm.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    MissMac likes this.
  12. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,885
    1,906
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    That varies with firebox temperature. There is a bimetal spring controlling when that flapper that you hear shuts. In other words, it doesn't happen at any one place on the dial. At any given setting (except flat out open, maybe) the flapper will swing more open and more closed regularly as the temperature goes up and down. This does not always correlate nicely with visible flames in the firebox.

    You will learn to trust the thermostat after a while. It's good to not trust it at first, until you know the stove is operating properly.
     
  13. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,885
    1,906
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Boom chicka wow wow.

    It's not the size of the stack, it's how you use it! Ask around.

    Yeah, I wasn't kidding about "set the dial, come back tomorrow". That's how we roll in shoulder season. You can find people openly scoffing at the idea of 24 hour burns in some places, but not in this thread. :cool:
     
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    14,639
    3,095
    Loc:
    Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
    I've been thinking about this lately. In the shoulder season the house will slowly cool and eventually a fire is needed. The rate that the house cools in the shoulder season is less than the rate of heat production from the lowest setting of a BK being burned constantly.

    Operators of BKs have two choices, a high burn rate for a short time like a noncat will rewarm the house quickly or we can burn low and slow and try to slowly warm the house and then ultimately overwarm it so that the time to the next fire is extended.

    What do you all do? I like the short and hot fires since they keep the firebox cleaner and get the dog warm faster but then I have to turn the stove down to minimum output just to limit the maximum house temperature. I am moving away from low and slow during the shoulder season. The low and slow works great in winter when the constant low and slow rate is perfect to maintain the house temp.
     

    Attached Files:

    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Poindexter likes this.
  15. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,885
    1,906
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY

    I generally only light a few fires a year. When it's low of 60 high of 70, no fire is required. Low of 40 high of 50, burn fairly low. Low of 50 high of 60 is that difficult zone. I will go down to my minimum, and if I get a 65 degree day thrown in the middle of the week, I'll go below my minimum. It costs pollution and extra wood, and causes creosote buildup, but it's usually not for long.

    (If anyone is confused by the idea that turning the knob way down uses more wood, yes it does. The thermostat lets air in to meet that temperature, but it no longer has the cat making most of the heat for it like a regular low burn would.)

    I don't recommend that solution to anyone who doesn't sweep and inspect their own chimney regularly. Honestly, if I was less lazy I would let it go out and make a new fire later.
     
    Highbeam likes this.
  16. MissMac

    MissMac
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 4, 2017
    180
    89
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    I'm doing low and slow, as this is my first legit shoulder season burning window. Doing lots of experimenting since i'm home and have the time to make observations to try and figure out the absolute lowest i can set my tstat while keeping the cat engaged and consuming the whole load. I've found that my low settings don't overcook my house and actually maintain it at a cozy temperature (it's been between -2 and 10 degrees Celsius out). Being able to build on what i learned about the stove last winter is making me pretty pleased about this low/slow feature on the stove.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Alpine1 and Highbeam like this.
  17. lsucet

    lsucet
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    May 14, 2015
    917
    276
    Loc:
    San Ysidro, New Mexico
    It is hard to tell what works better. i understand what you are saying about overheat the house cause that is what is happening to me. Reason why last night was no fire for me. at this time of the year here the lowest temp is around the time i get up to go to work, around 5:30 am. always coming to a house after work that is between 74 and 79 around the house. No full load yet, around half or 3/4 but big chunks. last night before go to bed stove area still 77 and the cat probe still just above inactive zone and nothing in there. outside temp will drop just about 46 overnight. NO FIRE FOR ME.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    14,639
    3,095
    Loc:
    Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
    Here is the princess stat and flapper. Freshly lubed with copper antiseize.

    The hole punched in the middle means it is never really closed even when it clicks shut. Hence, riding the hole!

    After a 30 minute or longer warm up at full throttle per BK's directions, when I shut the thermostat to even 50% setting, the flapper valve clicks closed and I'm riding the hole until the whole stove cools off and the flapper cracks opens again. You can actually see this happen because the hot coals turn red again as the thermostat starts doing its modulation thing.

    Note that not all models have a hole, I think the king has a hidden hole. You might not see it but you can still ride it.
     

    Attached Files:

    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. MissMac

    MissMac
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 4, 2017
    180
    89
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    I was thinking that i needed to lube my tstat as well. looking at your pic - did you apply the lube where the tstat arm meets that metal housing/box? what spefic brand of lube?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. Highbeam

    Highbeam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    14,639
    3,095
    Loc:
    Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
    Yes, the friction/spring washer is right there against the cast thermostat housing. Finger a blob of antisieze lube onto that area as you turn the knob back and forth to distribute the lube.

    I don't know that brand (maybe permatex and maybe nev-r-sieze) but any automotive store will sell antisieze. It may be silver colored or copper colored. I really think you could use about any grease here. It's an annual chore for me.

    Removing the thermostat cover requires some knowledge and there is a risk if you are not fully aware of what you are doing. The biggest hint is to remove and install the cover only with the thermostat fully closed in the coldest position.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  21. Rickb

    Rickb
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 24, 2012
    829
    218
    Loc:
    St.Louis
    First fire of the winter!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. MissMac

    MissMac
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 4, 2017
    180
    89
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    yup, already had that cover off last winter, so no worries there. last thing i need is to get my stove stuck on the nuclear option!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Highbeam likes this.
  23. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,885
    1,906
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    There really IS porn of everything on the internet.
     
  24. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    2,885
    1,906
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I may light up tonight or tomorrow.

    I did sweep the flue and vacuum the exhaust ledge and the cat, but I still need to take the covers off the old PI and lube the right side and tighten down the mounts on the left side (flapper on the right, fan on the left).

    Honestly, I don't know that the flapper needs lubrication, but I am sure that the fan mounts need tightening, and maybe some new rubber washers.
     
  25. Rickb

    Rickb
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 24, 2012
    829
    218
    Loc:
    St.Louis
    lmao!!! Needed that.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page