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

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,851
Southern IN
Anytime a substrate is heated, it expands, as it cools, it contracts.
The binding agent (washcoat) can develop fractures from rapid expansion and contraction as well as rapid temperature changes (thermal shock). Try to keep air leaks and rapid temperature changes to a minimum.
When starting a load I usually cut the air for a couple minutes and let the flames die down, but I've occasionally closed the bypass with some big flame in the box. I'm guessing you'd say that's not a good idea, as I'm dumping a bunch of flame heat into the cat suddenly..
Not really. Tell me more
Have you been running some flame in the box, throughout the burn?
Nope....when I called BK today I was told any 7/8 gasket would work...where I bought it they carry BK...if it was a house brand or BK I dont know.
I addressed this topic with the office staff. Our gaskets are definitely different than off the shelf materials. Apologies for the confusion.
This could be a source of more confusion. True, you don't have to shovel it out as often but you still have to remove all the ash sooner or later. The need to remove them is not minimized. ;)
1579314669415.png
 

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
282
Crestwood, KY
Is anyone else having trouble with excessive coals? I'm getting 7-8 inches of coals in my blazeking ashford 30.2. The stove's heat output decreases significantly with the coals burning along. They take up quite a bit of room and prevent me from loading up the stove. Should I just keep loading on top of the coals or is there a good way to burn it down? Even if I leave my thermostat on full throttle, it could take many hours for the coals to burn down. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
I’m having the same issue. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,642
07462
I’m having the same issue. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.
Assuming that the wood moisture content is below 18% on a room temp piece that was freshly split...when I burn low I tend to collect coals pretty quick, I've found a couple simple ways of dealing with coals, before every reload I rake my coals forward creating a berm by the loading door, simply down with a hand garden rake and a welders glove, push everything to the rear of the box, then gently rake forward, this allows the ash to settle in the back. To reduce coaling in general, I try to keep a minimum of candle like flames in the firebox, this helps immensely, I can burn low and slow with no flames and have the cat probe at 1 - 2pm for +12 hrs, get decent heat for the house to, but its like the wood gets stripped out of its primary flavor and whats left is slag coals (best way I can put it) so now when its even a little warmer out I'll re-load and let the wood catch on fire, then back the t-stat control down to where the flames get micro candle like, you do it a few times you can find the sweet spot on your control, this has helped a lot.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,851
Southern IN
I’m having the same issue. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.
Maybe nothing, if your wood is dry. That's how the load progresses in any stove, cat or non-cat. The wood gasses out relatively early, leaving you to extract the heat from the remaining coals. If you are burning low, the coals have time to burn down before you need to re-load. If OTOH it's cold out, you need more heat and are burning the load faster, the load gasses out faster and you have to burn down the coals so you can load again and get the higher output provided in the early gassing stage of the burn.
On my stove, I can manipulate the coal bed, stir the ash down the grate, and then the auxiliary air hole in the ash pan housing feeds air through the grate to the coals to burn them down faster. I don't generally do that, though. I just open the air to about 1/4 and that maintains 300 on the stove top, which is enough to carry room temp until the next load unless it's very cold and windy out.
I'd think that on the BKs, the thermostat will automatically open up the air on the coals, so with dry wood they shouldn't be a problem unless, as I said, you are trying to get big heat out of the stove.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceBus

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,656
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Fix coals by raking them forward and burning on high, optionally with some kindling on top for extra heat.

Prevent coals by burning dryer wood, burning softwoods, splitting the wood smaller, or adding insulation or a heat source so the stove doesn't have to run on high all the time.

If you have coal problems all the time, not just during cold snaps, consider a larger stove, better insulation/windows/doors, and/or a permanent switch to softwoods.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alpine1

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
282
Crestwood, KY
Assuming that the wood moisture content is below 18% on a room temp piece that was freshly split...when I burn low I tend to collect coals pretty quick, I've found a couple simple ways of dealing with coals, before every reload I rake my coals forward creating a berm by the loading door, simply down with a hand garden rake and a welders glove, push everything to the rear of the box, then gently rake forward, this allows the ash to settle in the back. To reduce coaling in general, I try to keep a minimum of candle like flames in the firebox, this helps immensely, I can burn low and slow with no flames and have the cat probe at 1 - 2pm for +12 hrs, get decent heat for the house to, but its like the wood gets stripped out of its primary flavor and whats left is slag coals (best way I can put it) so now when its even a little warmer out I'll re-load and let the wood catch on fire, then back the t-stat control down to where the flames get micro candle like, you do it a few times you can find the sweet spot on your control, this has helped a lot.
Thanks, so you don’t let it burn hot for 20-30 minutes on high after each reload?

I currently have my door open like the other guy trying to burn coals down.
 

Attachments

  • Haha
Reactions: Woody Stover

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
282
Crestwood, KY
I’ll try the raking techniques as well. It’s 16 degrees here and the house is 70 so I think I’m doing okay. Just trying to figure all the ins and outs of this new stove. I do notice a MUCH hotter stove when there are less coals. The therm can be backed down much further with same heat output vs a large belly of coals. I don’t know why but that seems to be my experience.
 

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
282
Crestwood, KY
I had great service from my original ceramic cat for two years, so Im saying i bought two at the same time from condar, and the possibility exist that there might be a defect in the material used or the process. This was mentioned in the forum a while back
What do the BK's come with? Steel or ceramic?
 

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
282
Crestwood, KY
That's a butt load of coals.
LOL! It was even higher!

I think obviously I am reloading too early and often. Just trying to do it based on our lives/work schedule but may need to adjust. Like others have said, it's not the end of the world if my furnace kicks on. I can't remember the last time I reloaded with the cat in the inactive zone.....guessing this is my problem??
 

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
282
Crestwood, KY
Off the Las Vegas for International Builders Show, then MEM, KOP, NOL, MSP, FAI,MCO, ANC, MSP again, BOI and one great bourbon town Louisville. I'll post March and April later....

Be nice to one another...
Holler when you are in the Ville. I can recommend some great bourbons bars around here. Cheers!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Woody Stover

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
282
Crestwood, KY
We had a daytime high in the minus 30*C range yesterday, and it’s currently -20*C without the windchill. My first year, i pretty much burned loads on high trying to keep the whole house comfortable, which ate a lot of wood, disrupted my sleep, and still left the furthest reaches of the house a bit meh.

Over the last 2 winters, I’ve take up some great advice on this forum, and now run my stove like @Ashful

Whether it’s spring or fall or the deep freeze of winter, i pretty much run the stove at the same dialed down setting, and then let the furnace make up the difference. When it’s bloody-murder cold out, this basically translates into the furnace kicking on a few times in the wee hours of the morning, and about a half hour before its time to get up in the a.m. This makes the whole house happy - me especially, cause i’m not having to get up at an un-Godly hour and get a new load going with enough time to try and warm things up sufficiently before the better half has to get up.

Overall, my house is way more comfortable, and my wood consumption isn’t ridiculous.
This is great advice for the noob and I can already see the value in it as I have had a few of those 3am reloads. I mean come on, this isn't 1652 right? I have a furnace and it won't kill my pride to let it kick on occasionally. Haha!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Indiana wood

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
282
Crestwood, KY
When starting a load I usually cut the air for a couple minutes and let the flames die down, but I've occasionally closed the bypass with some big flame in the box. I'm guessing you'd say that's not a good idea, as I'm dumping a bunch of flame heat into the cat suddenly..
Have you been running some flame in the box, throughout the burn?
What is the proper way to do it? On a reload with the bypass open, aren't you suppose to let the box warm up for 10-15? If it's already raging hot, do you close the bypass right away on a reload? I guess I thought large flames were ok as the flame shield should protect the cat, right? What am I missing?
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Holler when you are in the Ville. I can recommend some great bourbons bars around here. Cheers!
I may do that....I've found a few in the past. Anyone that serves I.W.Harper 11 Year is a good starting point.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MacinJosh

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,851
Southern IN
What is the proper way to do it? On a reload with the bypass open, aren't you suppose to let the box warm up for 10-15? If it's already raging hot, do you close the bypass right away on a reload? I guess I thought large flames were ok as the flame shield should protect the cat, right? What am I missing?
Yeah, I put the flame to the new load for a while with bypass open, like you say for 10-15 min, with a pretty lively fire. Then I cut the air and let the flame die back for a couple min before closing the bypass.
I seldom load when it's "blazing hot" on the previous load, if that's what you mean. If I do load a couple more splits in when there is still half a load left, I'll burn the new splits in for several minutes until they are catching an coaling a little bit. Then, as before, I cut the air and let the flame die back for a minute before closing the bypass. I just don't like having big flames going, and closing the bypass when a lot of flame heat may cause a rapid temp change in the somewhat cooler cat. I'm probably being a little over-cautious, though..
Yes, the heat shield keeps flames from hitting the face of the cat, which is a big no-no.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
751
Vancouver Island

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,656
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Thanks, so you don’t let it burn hot for 20-30 minutes on high after each reload?

I currently have my door open like the other guy trying to burn coals down.
You need some pine to burn! Holy coaly.

You are wasting crazy BTUs by having the door wide open, unless you have an OAK on that thing. The heat from the coals is driving draft, and draft is pulling warm air out of your house as fast as it can whoosh up a 6" pipe.

Not so bad with the OAK, but it is still drawing some room air in that case.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,074
Iowa
Thanks, so you don’t let it burn hot for 20-30 minutes on high after each reload?

I currently have my door open like the other guy trying to burn coals down.

Oh my;lol Possibly record setting! I mean no disrespect but dayum!
 
  • Wow
Reactions: Woody Stover

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,642
07462
@MacinJosh Don't burn coals with the door open, coals can pop and come out pretty far, also I do let the load catch, on an active cat I don't burn on high for 20 -30 min, no need to, I just rake coals forward and load on top, close door let load catch decently then turn air back down and go about my day candle like flames in about 2pm of the t-stat air control for me, could be different for you since every stove has a different personality, also my splits are room temp when I reload, this allows me to close the cat by-pass right away when loading with an active cat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MacinJosh

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,652
Downeast Maine
I assumed the biggest benefit to the BK stoves would be the thermostatic control. In other words, the stove burns the coals down for you. If it's really cold and I need to reload my tiny non cat stove faster than the coals burn down the air control will need to be adjusted to burn the coals down faster. Sometimes even raking them to the front before I put a load in. Sounds like I have a BK ;lol :p
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,656
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I assumed the biggest benefit to the BK stoves would be the thermostatic control. In other words, the stove burns the coals down for you. If it's really cold and I need to reload my tiny non cat stove faster than the coals burn down the air control will need to be adjusted to burn the coals down faster. Sometimes even raking them to the front before I put a load in. Sounds like I have a BK ;lol :p
If you're always going to burn on high, there's not much point to spending the extra on a BK unless you are worried about overfires and want the thermostatic protection.

I went BK because I want long-ass low burns, and it is sure good at that. (And it does fine at high burns, too. Mine even does high burns without coal problems, because I feed it pine! :))
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,652
Downeast Maine
If you're always going to burn on high, there's not much point to spending the extra on a BK unless you are worried about overfires and want the thermostatic protection.

I went BK because I want long-ass low burns, and it is sure good at that. (And it does fine at high burns, too. Mine even does high burns without coal problems, because I feed it pine! :))
I only burn hardwoods when I'm asleep.