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

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Just a quick follow up, after a couple of loads I’m still learning, but my burn times are getting better, pic below is what was left at 12hrs yesterday, cat just below active. Was up on the cat and shut down within 10-15min after a reload of mixed softwood. I’m still baffled at how to get a 24hr burn!! Need to modify my damper, as even with it shut all the way I still draft at .10” I will say it is heating the house nice, much more even temps between upstairs and downstairs as compared to the summit.
Please post a picture of your full load.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
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rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,537
Michigan
That's a great looking load!
Pulled some pieces off my cribbed ends of the shed which I don’t do unless it gets cold. I hate having to build the ends! ;lol
 

rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,537
Michigan
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rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,537
Michigan
Nice. That's almost full. ==c
You have no idea how bad the spot on the left bothered me. I “almost” went out and split a filler piece but figured a piece weighing a pound wouldn’t gain me much. :)
 

vwmike

Feeling the Heat
Oct 7, 2013
294
Chilliwack, BC, Can.
Did you add those washers on the hinge pins under the door frame? I added them to mine but they weren't on there from the factory in 2012. It helped the gasket line up with the stove front better.

Your firebox looks like mine after being stirred and about 18 hours burning on low with straight doug fir. With an ashier wood like red alder that coaling stage lasts much longer. My chimney is only 12' tall so my draft strength is surely lower.

Normally, that many coals will be enough to keep the cat meter well into the active range. When your stove is stone cold, does the cat meter point to the bottom mark of the inactive range? I'm worried that your meter might be under reporting.
Yes I added the washers after reading it on here and checking my alignment it was also lopsided. I’ve been obsessing over my door since rebuilding it,I think it’s really good, I don’t see any signs of leaking.

I don’t think it’s a wood issues, it’s 18 month seasoned mixture of pine fir hemlock maple, measure 15-17% and leaves behind no unburnt coals just ash.

I have a labelled condor cat meter seems to read ambient temp when stove is cold. During a 12 hr burn it’s only active about 8-10 of those hrs.

When reloading, I close the bypass once flue temp are above 500, cat lights off right away, I also close the pipe damper. I turn it down to 2.5, if I leave it wide open I can see flue temps in the overfire range of 1000. After 10-15 minutes I’ll dial it down to the O in normal.

Overall it’s working good, I can definitely see and feel the difference of how my summit would waste so much heat and wood those first couple hours when hit temps of 700-800. My house is warmer when I wake up in the mornings now, and I’m amazed how long the princess stays hot when other stoves would be ice cold!
 

shoot-straight

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2012
736
Kennedyville, MD
When you burn heavily coaling wood like oak, locust or hickory- too much ash becomes an issue. The coals sink in and cool off. They are smothered. I shovel out partially about every 3-4 days with a full clean out every 2 weeks or when weatherand burn cycle allow.

One reason I really Like a mixture of soft and hard woods. I use one to balance out the other.

Right now it's all oak. Heat pump hasn't run since first week of November. I think I got some crap accumulated at the very top- need to sweep. I can Tell, it gets a bit sluggish when i close my damper. Been burning low for a while so it's not unexpected.

getting to work on 2022 and beyond tomorrow. 2 cords of pine to pickup and at least 5 cords of white oak to buck and transport!
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
When you burn heavily coaling wood like oak, locust or hickory- too much ash becomes an issue. The coals sink in and cool off. They are smothered. I shovel out partially about every 3-4 days with a full clean out every 2 weeks or when weatherand burn cycle allow.
Hey SS, check out this post I made earlier about a grate to cover the ash plug hole in a BK Ashford. It makes cleaning ash out of the stove without losing your coals a breeze. I just cut every second bar out of the grate using a cutoff tool, takes 30 seconds, to get a reasonable grate spacing that will allow ash to fall thru. It’s definitely worth a try, if you’re cleaning out frequently.

I came from owning several Jotuls with a grate floor to the BK’s with their ash plug system, and I wasn’t really a fan of it at first. In fact, I’m still not. You lose too many coals down the hole, while trying to plow ash into it. But I have a solution.

I bought a 3-7/8" diameter cast iron floor drain grate (https://www.mcmaster.com/2413K1), removed every second bar from that with my die grinder, and now I just drop that into the hole when it’s time to plow ash. I’m able to rake the ash and coals across this grate, allowing the ash to fall into the pan while keeping my coals in the stove. It works brilliantly.

When done, simply use the plug lifter tool that comes with your stove to lift the hot little floor drain grate out, and set it on your hearth to cool while re-installing the plug.

If BK wants to start selling these, or supplying a similar thing with their stoves, it would go a long way toward helping the users with this chore. I’d only expect a $1 royalty for each unit sold. [emoji14]
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
589
NW Ontario
I've had no luck googling, so I'm wondering if any of you know how many psi (roughly) comes out of a can of compressed air?

Second question - what do you think the max psi you could use to blow out the cat in place before you start doing damage? I know you're not supposed to use an air compressor, but just looking to understand the details. Thanks!
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,194
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I've had no luck googling, so I'm wondering if any of you know how many psi (roughly) comes out of a can of compressed air?

Second question - what do you think the max psi you could use to blow out the cat in place before you start doing damage? I know you're not supposed to use an air compressor, but just looking to understand the details. Thanks!
I had the same questions. 60-70 psi in a can. Also consider the size of the nozzle on that can because what we’re concerned with is velocity.

An air compressor is perfectly suitable if not superior substitute if you are smart enough (I know you are) to crank down the output pressure. I found 20 psi through a rubber vacuum hose (like 1/8”) was plenty. It also “felt” less forceful than the canned air.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
589
NW Ontario
I had the same questions. 60-70 psi in a can. Also consider the size of the nozzle on that can because what we’re concerned with is velocity.

An air compressor is perfectly suitable if not superior substitute if you are smart enough (I know you are) to crank down the output pressure. I found 20 psi through a rubber vacuum hose (like 1/8”) was plenty. It also “felt” less forceful than the canned air.
Wow! That's a lot of psi! I would have thought that that much psi would be enough to cause delamination? But, I also know that BKVP has said it's okay to use the can. Thanks for the info @Highbeam
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,194
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Wow! That's a lot of psi! I would have thought that that much psi would be enough to cause delamination? But, I also know that BKVP has said it's okay to use the can. Thanks for the info @Highbeam
You’re safest bet is canned air but at some point you’ll be dealing with a nearly dead cat that isn’t worth anything anyway. Even with a new cat your worst case scenario is not catastrophic. 20 psi is a squishy tire but through a small tube is way more velocity than a vacuum can make.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,720
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Use a filter with the air compressor to avoid blowing iron-contaminated water or machine oil into your cat. (It's not a fancy upgrade, you can get one at home depot for less than 20 bucks).
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
101
Jackson MS
If you don't have an oilless compressor and drain the water after each use, that is... ;-)
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,163
Fairbanks, Alaska
My wife went to a ladies church retreat Friday night (this is not a rabbit hole) and found the temperature in her cabin less than satisfactory. On her arrival home Saturday afternoon she suggested we drive 90 miles one way to her favorite remote cabin, the one with the sauna in it.

There are two immediate problems here, one I have a customer in a tricky spot I need to see at 0900 on Sunday, and two I have a lovely collection of dopplebocks in the garage fridge as I have given up North American lagers for lent.

I turned the little knob on the side of my stove about one finger width towards the fat end of the swoosh.

My wife is dressed appropriately to sauna.

Blaze King performance, it is a thing.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
Use a shop vac. Atmospheric pressure automatically limits you to 14 psi, if that were your concern.
Of course, pressure doesn’t really matter, it’s only quoted as an attempt to limit velocity.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,720
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Overall it’s working good, I can definitely see and feel the difference of how my summit would waste so much heat and wood those first couple hours when hit temps of 700-800. My house is warmer when I wake up in the mornings now, and I’m amazed how long the princess stays hot when other stoves would be ice cold!
I can't tell you how many times I've screwed up my loading schedule in cold weather due to sleeping in or working late or whatever, thinking I'd have to start a fire, and being wrong about that.

A princess with a bellyful of coal will go for a long time!
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
589
NW Ontario
Use a shop vac. Atmospheric pressure automatically limits you to 14 psi, if that were your concern.
Of course, pressure doesn’t really matter, it’s only quoted as an attempt to limit velocity.
So even with a compressor dialled down to say 10psi, there's still a chance you can damage the cat because of the velocity coming out of the nozzle?

My cat has been partially chalked full of fly ash deeper in the backs of the cells for a few months now with stuff that vacuumming the face won't get. I think that part of the issue was that i never pulled it last summer to vacuum from both sides like I did the first year.

I hit it yesterday with just under 10psi coming out of a wee electric compressor - I started down around 2-3psi, but wasn't getting anywhere. I got nervous and stopped though - I don't want to cause peeling on the cat. I think I improved the overall situation, but there's still some fly ash in there.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,720
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I would like to make the case for a steel cat gasket here. It's not complex (just a folded piece of steel blocking airflow to the sides, with the fold allowing for expansion and contraction). It could be loose or (more convenient) welded onto the cat.

With such a gasket, we could yank the cat and clean it properly without buying disposable gasket every time. A wash with vinegar and distilled water is way better than a can of keyboard duster.

There is at least one stove maker out there (forget whose manual I read this in) who recommends regular treatment with a vinegar spray bottle followed by a distilled water rinse, which is a bit less likely to put folks off than the big boiling pot thing.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
So even with a compressor dialled down to say 10psi, there's still a chance you can damage the cat because of the velocity coming out of the nozzle?
I think anything is possible, but I also think you’re worrying way too much about it. Cats are disposable, despite the misleading name, you use them up and throw them away after a few years. I suspect that at reduced pressure from a compressor, or with a shop vac, the only coating likely to blow off was already compromised. I just do the minimal amount of work required to get it reasonably clean, wrap it in a gasket and push it back into its hole, and get back to burning. If I took a small fraction of the coating off in the process, I’m not sweating it, as I couldn’t continue using it clogged. I’m still getting 3+ years and 18-20 cords out of the combustor, even if I am doing a small amount of damage in the process.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
589
NW Ontario
I think anything is possible, but I also think you’re worrying way too much about it. Cats are disposable, despite the misleading name, you use them up and throw them away after a few years. I suspect that at reduced pressure from a compressor, or with a shop vac, the only coating likely to blow off was already compromised. I just do the minimal amount of work required to get it reasonably clean, wrap it in a gasket and push it back into its hole, and get back to burning. If I took a small fraction of the coating off in the process, I’m not sweating it, as I couldn’t continue using it clogged. I’m still getting 3+ years and 18-20 cords out of the combustor, even if I am doing a small amount of damage in the process.
Well said, as usual.