2019-20 Blaze King Performance Thread Part 1 (Everything BK)

chemie

Feeling the Heat
Aug 11, 2018
267
New York City
I got about 40 boards of 4 ft by 9 inches Heat treated/kiln dried scrap wood from hipster part of the Brooklyn. It is an entertainment place of some sort of darting that uses a lot of soft wood boards. The store manager said they are all pine but he doesn’t know what types. I may get more from them in the future for free.
I intend to use them along with Black Locust to make Black Locust get going.I have a limited storage space so to use it as the most efficient as possible, almost 80% of my stash is Black Locust. I didn’t mix Black locust with any softwood before. And I am not sure if it is a good idea. I mixed BL with oak last year which was our first burning year. BL and oak mix lasted long and I think a good combination for overnight burn. But sometimes we felt that we need an immediate burst of heat so I am thinking BL-pine (soft) board mix would work. It may also eliminate excessive coaling issue that we observed BL-oak mix during the day.Am I thinking right?
If I am not mistaken I remember Jetsam mentioned that he is using pine in the coldest time of the year for quick hot fire with no coaling issue. Last winter, when I and wife both were working from home, we observed too much of coaling during the coldest times of the year. I think frequent loading was the contributing factor. But taking it from Jetsam, with pine mix or with mostly pine load i hope that would help eliminate coaling issue during the day.
My only concern is that I read on the internet that burning pine produces black smoke. I dont want to disturb the neighbors. If I am not mistaken, some members of BK family uses pine exclusively. What is your experience about burning pine? Does it produce black smoke ?I was told I can get continuous supply of pine boards. Some of them labeled as Doug Fir. Some of them labeled as S P F which means spruce pine fir.
IMG_2503.JPG
 
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ratsrepus

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2018
560
Howell, Mi
well Hello everyone, hope you all had a great summer. Its getting close here in Michigan. Started the annual haul fire wood from my far to the lake. Out of curiosity, whats the average life span of a door gasket?
 

Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
339
Eastern Alps, Italy
I
I got about 40 boards of 4 ft by 9 inches Heat treated/kiln dried scrap wood from hipster part of the Brooklyn. It is an entertainment place of some sort of darting that uses a lot of soft wood boards. The store manager said they are all pine but he doesn’t know what types. I may get more from them in the future for free.
I intend to use them along with Black Locust to make Black Locust get going.I have a limited storage space so to use it as the most efficient as possible, almost 80% of my stash is Black Locust. I didn’t mix Black locust with any softwood before. And I am not sure if it is a good idea. I mixed BL with oak last year which was our first burning year. BL and oak mix lasted long and I think a good combination for overnight burn. But sometimes we felt that we need an immediate burst of heat so I am thinking BL-pine (soft) board mix would work. It may also eliminate excessive coaling issue that we observed BL-oak mix during the day.Am I thinking right?
If I am not mistaken I remember Jetsam mentioned that he is using pine in the coldest time of the year for quick hot fire with no coaling issue. Last winter, when I and wife both were working from home, we observed too much of coaling during the coldest times of the year. I think frequent loading was the contributing factor. But taking it from Jetsam, with pine mix or with mostly pine load i hope that would help eliminate coaling issue during the day.
My only concern is that I read on the internet that burning pine produces black smoke. I dont want to disturb the neighbors. If I am not mistaken, some members of BK family uses pine exclusively. What is your experience about burning pine? Does it produce black smoke ?I was told I can get continuous supply of pine boards. Some of them labeled as Doug Fir. Some of them labeled as S P F which means spruce pine fir.
View attachment 246770
I happily burn Norway spruce almost exclusively, and never noticed black smoke (while the cat is engaged). Burning time with the t-stat at 5 o’clock is 12 hrs, at 3 is 24 hrs. All my reloads are on a nice bed of coals, just right to restart the stove in minutes. BK are ideal stoves for softwoods IMO, to the point I feel no need for hardwood at all. Of course, I have lots of space for my wood piles, so storing space isn’t an issue for me.
Do be sure that the wood is not treated with any chemicals, or the cat will be damaged (poisoned as they say).
 
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chemie

Feeling the Heat
Aug 11, 2018
267
New York City
I

I happily burn Norway spruce almost exclusively, and never noticed black smoke (while the cat is engaged). Burning time with the t-stat at 5 o’clock is 12 hrs, at 3 is 24 hrs. All my reloads are on a nice bed of coals, just right to restart the stove in minutes. BK are ideal stoves for softwoods IMO, to the point I feel no need for hardwood at all. Of course, I have lots of space for my wood piles, so storing space isn’t an issue for me.
Do be sure that the wood is not treated with any chemicals, or the cat will be damaged (poisoned as they say).
It is not treated chemically. It was the first thing I asked. Also from the lumber labels, it doesnt show other than it is kiln dried. Thanks for the feedback. I cut the boards in 16 inches size. Since they are very dry, I assume they also help to balance out not so perfectly seasoned firewood with MC content of %23.
c5430575455dc6bafca5e60070eab25f.jpg 7e5c8a20402f09cf4486cf2798b00f78.jpg 1b3a3f4ebe19f52447235f0cbb88b310.jpg 3c0f1d231692bb1ec6ebeef8abe13a92.jpg
 
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Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
339
Eastern Alps, Italy
Your stove filling Tetris will be boring, but highly effective!
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,813
Indiana
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,639
07462
It is not treated chemically. It was the first thing I asked. Also from the lumber labels, it doesnt show other than it is kiln dried. Thanks for the feedback. I cut the boards in 16 inches size. Since they are very dry, I assume they also help to balance out not so perfectly seasoned firewood with MC content of %23.
I burnt non treated dimensional lumber a few times, as long as the t-stat is set at half or below you will be fine, I also cut the boards @ 16" and literally filled the stove box until I couldn't fit anymore just to see what would happen... 18hr burn is what I got.
If you take just 2-4 boards and burn them to help lite off the locust you can have the t-stat adjusted much higher, I only recommend the lower t-stat settings for full loads, also the black smoke thing is really because of the pine pitch, usually its large globs that will cause the black smoke issue.
 
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chemie

Feeling the Heat
Aug 11, 2018
267
New York City
I burnt non treated dimensional lumber a few times, as long as the t-stat is set at half or below you will be fine, I also cut the boards @ 16" and literally filled the stove box until I couldn't fit anymore just to see what would happen... 18hr burn is what I got.
If you take just 2-4 boards and burn them to help lite off the locust you can have the t-stat adjusted much higher, I only recommend the lower t-stat settings for full loads, also the black smoke thing is really because of the pine pitch, usually its large globs that will cause the black smoke issue.
I plan to experiment one full box of board while watching it carefully. In most cases, I am thinking to put a board or two in each layers of stacking in the box to have black locusts get going. I am thinking that since they are kiln dried and in lumber form, they should have less pitch as compared to firewood forms. I also hope that by burning them with black locust, they can help balancing out MC of some black locusts ( about %23-24). Though I am not so sure if it would be the case.
 

Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
641
connecticut
It is not treated chemically. It was the first thing I asked. Also from the lumber labels, it doesnt show other than it is kiln dried. Thanks for the feedback. I cut the boards in 16 inches size. Since they are very dry, I assume they also help to balance out not so perfectly seasoned firewood with MC content of %23.
View attachment 246790 View attachment 246791 View attachment 246792 View attachment 246793
Looks like Douglas fir. I’ve burned a few loads of the same, no problemos
 
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bigaar

Member
Nov 22, 2016
14
Bloomington, IN
My steel cat is getting weak. It clogs quickly and is not burning the smoke near as well as it used to. It’s burned through just 2.5 seasons.

I went to the dealer to try and send it in for warranty. The guy insisted that I take it home and soak it in a 1:1 solution of vinegar and distilled water. He said a rep named Chris recommends that. Is this BKVP?

Anybody heard of this?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,209
South Puget Sound, WA
Chris is BKVP. You could try pickling it and that might get you through the season. Otherwise it's replacement time.
 
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bigaar

Member
Nov 22, 2016
14
Bloomington, IN
Chris is BKVP. You could try pickling it and that might get you through the season. Otherwise it's replacement time.
Why does my dealer tell me this thing should last 10 yrs, but no one here is surprised that my cat limped it’s way to lasting 2.5 seasons?

Any idea how long to soak?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,625
Downeast Maine
Why does my dealer tell me this thing should last 10 yrs, but no one here is surprised that my cat limped it’s way to lasting 2.5 seasons?

Any idea how long to soak?
Oftentimes dealership service departments will tell customers there is nothing wrong with their car. Your wood appliance dealer apparently can't be bothered to sell you a cat.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,420
Philadelphia
Why does my dealer tell me this thing should last 10 yrs, but no one here is surprised that my cat limped it’s way to lasting 2.5 seasons?

Any idea how long to soak?
Several here have done the cat pickling routine, I think it has been recommended by Woodstock for years, and Jotul before them. I’ve never seen BKVP actually recommend it, but I’ll let him speak for himself, there. He is here nearly daily.

Most here seem to get a mild extension on the life of their cat, when doing this. Maybe another few thousand hours, it would seem. @Highbeam is our most recent expert, on this old subject.

As to why you’re seeing a reduction in performance after 2.5 seasons, that has to do more with statistics than anything else. The 10 year warranty is based on most (90%+?) of their customers using their stove 1000 - 1500 hours per year, against the typical < 15,000 hour lifetime of a cumbustor. That small fraction of customers who burn their stoves 24/7, which also happens to be nearly the same population who spends their free time on a hearth forum, will run up that 15,000 hour lifetime much more quickly. Sometimes as quickly as 2.5 years, and BK is apparently fine with eating that relatively small cost for this relatively small population, to continue marketing a 10 year warranty.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,861
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Several here have done the cat pickling routine, I think it has been recommended by Woodstock for years, and Jotul before them. I’ve never seen BKVP actually recommend it, but I’ll let him speak for himself, there. He is here nearly daily.

Most here seem to get a mild extension on the life of their cat, when doing this. Maybe another few thousand hours, it would seem. @Highbeam is our most recent expert, on this old subject.

As to why you’re seeing a reduction in performance after 2.5 seasons, that has to do more with statistics than anything else. The 10 year warranty is based on most (90%+?) of their customers using their stove 1000 - 1500 hours per year, against the typical < 15,000 hour lifetime of a cumbustor. That small fraction of customers who burn their stoves 24/7, which also happens to be nearly the same population who spends their free time on a hearth forum, will run up that 15,000 hour lifetime much more quickly. Sometimes as quickly as 2.5 years, and BK is apparently fine with eating that relatively small cost for this relatively small population, to continue marketing a 10 year warranty.
Good post ash. I would tune that expected life down to 10-12k hours before massive loss in performance. Manufacturers of cats produce that range and some stove manufacturers claim a number of years of cat life which is only half true. I can predict a 100 year cat life if you never use the stove! Whatever the time/hours, once it fails it fails. Let the smoke be the obvious symptom.

@bigaar , if you decide to try the vinegar boil I wrote a pretty detailed thread about doing it with photos. Search my username for threads by me. It was a steel cat too! This time of year, if you decide to try the vinegar bath, I would order a new ceramic cat plus a second cat gasket (like 8$) since you will need a new gasket to reinstall the pickled cat. The new cat comes with a gasket of its own. Full time burning you might make it to 2020 on the old cat.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,420
Philadelphia
The new cat comes with a gasket of its own.
... unless you order it from Firecat Combustors. I added 10 feet of extra gasket to my last combustor order, thinking I should get that plus the three feet that always comes with a new cat. But I just got the ten feet I ordered, along with a naked cat.

The frustrating thing about this is that the shipping costs more than the material, itself.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,861
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
... unless you order it from Firecat Combustors. I added 10 feet of extra gasket to my last combustor order, thinking I should get that plus the three feet that always comes with a new cat. But I just got the ten feet I ordered, along with a naked cat.

The frustrating thing about this is that the shipping costs more than the material, itself.
Bummer. My last ceramic cat came with gasket. I’ll be sure to check next time just in case I need to order gasket separately. I don’t expect to make it another year on this cat since it is also on its third season.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,132
Fairbanks, Alaska
@chemie , yes pitch burns black, even after is is dried out, inside the firebox, but a hot and hungry combustor should reward you with a clean plume and a warm wife. I counsel caution in filling the box with that much surface area using KD lumber only. Using "some" KD lumber to cocktail your black locust to get the average MC down to or less than 20% is good, but having dry cord wood is a lot easier in the long run.

@ratsrepus , I got five years out of my door gasket.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,645
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I got about 40 boards of 4 ft by 9 inches Heat treated/kiln dried scrap wood from hipster part of the Brooklyn. It is an entertainment place of some sort of darting that uses a lot of soft wood boards. The store manager said they are all pine but he doesn’t know what types. I may get more from them in the future for free.
I intend to use them along with Black Locust to make Black Locust get going.I have a limited storage space so to use it as the most efficient as possible, almost 80% of my stash is Black Locust. I didn’t mix Black locust with any softwood before. And I am not sure if it is a good idea. I mixed BL with oak last year which was our first burning year. BL and oak mix lasted long and I think a good combination for overnight burn. But sometimes we felt that we need an immediate burst of heat so I am thinking BL-pine (soft) board mix would work. It may also eliminate excessive coaling issue that we observed BL-oak mix during the day.Am I thinking right?
If I am not mistaken I remember Jetsam mentioned that he is using pine in the coldest time of the year for quick hot fire with no coaling issue. Last winter, when I and wife both were working from home, we observed too much of coaling during the coldest times of the year. I think frequent loading was the contributing factor. But taking it from Jetsam, with pine mix or with mostly pine load i hope that would help eliminate coaling issue during the day.
My only concern is that I read on the internet that burning pine produces black smoke. I dont want to disturb the neighbors. If I am not mistaken, some members of BK family uses pine exclusively. What is your experience about burning pine? Does it produce black smoke ?I was told I can get continuous supply of pine boards. Some of them labeled as Doug Fir. Some of them labeled as S P F which means spruce pine fir.
View attachment 246770
The pinkish stuff on the top is doug fir. The stuff on the bottom is probably pine.

Both are fine in the BK if your gaskets are in good shape. A combo of bone dry dimensional lumber and black locust is potentially dangerous for a new stove operator in a non-thermostatic stove, though, so this isn't a general endorsement for that practice. :)

Pine smokes like any other wood. If you're burning properly, it won't smoke at all.
 
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MagdalenaP

Member
Nov 10, 2018
167
Tilbury, ON
Curious, what's the average cost range for new blaze kings (any models)? I'd call a dealer, but it's Sunday...
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,861
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
@Highbeam You said ceramic, are you suggesting that i should switch from the steel cat to the ceramic in an Ashford?
After running both types, I would go to ceramic if I had the choice. According to some other ashford owners you do have the choice. Much less money, larger cell openings for less clogging.

Unless you need to burn snow covered wood or can’t keep door gasket tight.

It’s up to you. At least consider the option.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,861
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Curious, what's the average cost range for new blaze kings (any models)? I'd call a dealer, but it's Sunday...
The is a huge range of prices for the same stove as you travel across the country. Not just actual shipping costs but additional distributor levels adding excessive profits. There used to be a terrible penalty for crossing the Mississippi.

Even between dealers there can be quite a difference.

7 years ago my princess ultra with every option plus 10% sales tax was under 3500$ in western Washington.
 

snaple4

Burning Hunk
Dec 18, 2017
217
AR
Curious, what's the average cost range for new blaze kings (any models)? I'd call a dealer, but it's Sunday...

I checked prices earlier this summer in Arkansas. Prices without shipping. Can’t remember what if any options (probably just basic). NO dealer within 200 miles keeps BK in store.

Bk ash ford 30. 3695

Shoonok 30 3900

Boxer 2900