2020-21 Blaze King Performance Thread (Everything BK)

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,683
South Puget Sound, WA
Time to start a new thread for the upcoming season.
 
  • Like
Reactions: huauqui and lsucet

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
@Highbeam, to answer your question from the old thread re: bypass door gasket replacement - i dont know that it needs to be done, but it's never passed the dollar bill test, and i've tried to tighten it up a bit and still not the greatest. So i was just pondering replacing it to see if that helped. But i'm not totally sure I'm going to do it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Highbeam

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
@Highbeam, to answer your question from the old thread re: bypass door gasket replacement - i dont know that it needs to be done, but it's never passed the dollar bill test, and i've tried to tighten it up a bit and still not the greatest. So i was just pondering replacing it to see if that helped. But i'm not totally sure I'm going to do it.
Unless i am missing something....if the gasket does not pass the dollar bill test then it is leaking and needs to be replaced. I just did the dollar bill test on my VC bypass door and it is tight. Will do the same on the Princess next time I am there. I am hoping it will be tight, it would be a bummer if it fails given how little i use that stove.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,489
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Unless i am missing something....if the gasket does not pass the dollar bill test then it is leaking and needs to be replaced. I just did the dollar bill test on my VC bypass door and it is tight. Will do the same on the Princess next time I am there. I am hoping it will be tight, it would be a bummer if it fails given how little i use that stove.
Ideally the bypass gasket is just as tight and dollar bill grabby as the door gasket but it’s less critical since the pressures aren’t that different on either side and any leakage would just a small bit of bypassed smoke. On a door, that leakage could ruin your cat and reduce control of the fire.

Replacing the bypass gasket is a bit more difficult but worth doing if you think it has failed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MissMac

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
it’s less critical since the pressures aren’t that different on either side and any leakage would just a small bit of bypassed smoke. On a door, that leakage could ruin your cat and reduce control of the fire.
Totally agree
 

Tumpin' Wood

Member
Feb 9, 2015
18
Temagami, ON
When checking my bypass last week, I discovered that the bolt that tensions the bypass plate had come loose. I removed it using a light oil and coated it with anti-seize before replacing. If you do this, be careful not to break the bolt.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,049
07462
I think I'm going to change out the door and window gasket this year before the season starts. I'm getting excited here, I have about 4.5 cords of wood that has been marinating for 3 years, 2 of those years are under the woodshed. We have about 10-12 weeks before shoulder season starts here, depends on how long summer wants to have a grip on us.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lsucet and Highbeam

Sailrmike

Burning Hunk
Sep 20, 2017
138
06371
Good to see folks talking about maintenance before the season even begins, my BK was a maintenance nightmare lol
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
Not yet, but the cranes are all south of here for the season and I saw the first V of Canada geese headed south today.

Likely I will bring the cordwood rack from the garden shed to the garage next time I have the lawnmower out. And fill it up. Looks like I may hit 14%MC on the nose with the kilns again this year, that will be pleasant and predictable to operate.
 

BKinger

New Member
Nov 11, 2018
6
NL, Canada
So, what are the main checks that everyone is performing with their stoves before the start of the season?

I will be checking the 3 gaskets (door, glass, & bypass) over the next few days. I have cleaned the chimney already but not the inside pipe as I do not want to remove it if I don't have to. This will be season 3 for my Ashford 30. Maintenance free so far, clear for the chimney cleaning every so often.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
So, what are the main checks that everyone is performing with their stoves before the start of the season?
I think you will be good to go. I have been keeping a relaxed eye on my wood pile over the summer, came under 20% around mid July, so good there.

Brush the pipe yes.

Dollar bill check the gaskets, bypass and loading door.

One thing you can do with the loading door open is squeeze the door glass between your hands and see if the glass wiggles in the glass gasket.

First burn I usually do a load at less than full box in case there is an issue with the combustor.

My burn season is long enough that I don't move stuff off the hearth for the summer, but if you moved your fire extinguisher or broom and dustpan or whatever this would be a good time to get your hearth tools set back up.

You did remind me I need a new firewood carrier for between the garage and stove room this fall, thanks for the reminder.
 
  • Like
Reactions: huauqui

BKinger

New Member
Nov 11, 2018
6
NL, Canada
Thanks Poindexter, great advice. will check the gaps for sure and yes, will also need to clean the stove pipe. Just need to find a more flexible brush. I do use the Sooteater for the chimney but would not want to try to run that through the stove pipe. I've been looking at the Pellet Stove brushes as these are a lot more flexible than the Sooteater rods.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,049
07462
@BKinger sweep the black pipe, remove it and vacuum behind the cat, fly ash and debris will accumulate behind the cat, also take a pic with your cell phone to check the back of the cat to see if there are any cracks or chunks flaking off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Poindexter

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,489
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I shove the sooteater right up through the BK bypass and sweep the black pipe, no bends though. Even after sweeping it I still lift the black pipe off of the stove to vacuum all the debris that falls into the cat chamber and to lube the bypass mechanism so it slides like buttah.

You can suck the debris all out with a vacuum and a good hose but it's easier with the pipe off and then you can get to the bypass.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Poindexter

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
KennyP and Highbeam are both correct in my book. "Sweep the pipe" includes lifting the telescope off the stove collar to clean off the back side of the cat. Also while I am in there I brush off the gasket for the bypass door to help it score as high as possible on the upcoming dollar bill test.

I keep a 2" soft bristled paint brush in the box with the 6" round chimney brush so only one paint brush got ruined with carbon dust.

I did also bring my firewood rack into the garage from the tool shed this afternoon. I was pretty disoriented at lunch time - I was in myoffice parking lot so I could take off my mask to eat a sandwich. Outdoor ambient was about +50dF, but the sky looked pregnant like it was carrying around about six inches of snow to drop somewhere. No frost in my forecast yet, but the Canada geese are breaking camp.

Ordinarily my first fire is in the 20s of August, might make it into September this year if the weather holds a few more days.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,126
Unity/Bangor, Maine
So, what are the main checks that everyone is performing with their stoves before the start of the season?

I will be checking the 3 gaskets (door, glass, & bypass) over the next few days. I have cleaned the chimney already but not the inside pipe as I do not want to remove it if I don't have to. This will be season 3 for my Ashford 30. Maintenance free so far, clear for the chimney cleaning every so often.
This is what I do each Fall . . .

-- Clean out all ash inside firebox to inspect firebox completely for any damage, including using a flashlight to check for any failed joints, warping or cracks.

-- Clean out fly ash above baffle, shake off ash from baffle blanket.

-- Sweep chimney and stove pipe

-- Lubricate air control with graphite powder after vacuuming

-- Clean "glass"

-- Clean and apply sealant to slate hearth (I'm kinda partial to the "wet" look myself)

-- Clean back wall

-- Dollar bill test on all doors, including ash pan

-- Insure stove pipe screws are still in place and stove pipe is locked together tight


Granted some of these items may not apply to a Blaze King . . . and other folks with a BK may opt to add another step like cleaning or inspecting the combustor I would imagine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kennyp2339

Yukonerci

New Member
Sep 3, 2020
4
Yukon, Canada
Hi, I was wondering if anybody got to "deep clean" their blaze king king? I'm burning very dry pine and spruce, which produce some hard caked creosote on the inside walls of the stove, above the bricks and from the "roof" of it. I can scrape it off easily but a lot is falling, and also forming behind the side and back wall steel shields. These shields also extend some beyond the vertical bricks, which is I guess part of the design to hold them in place. There is roughly 1" - 1 1/2" between the shields and the walls, which makes it almost impossible to clean up. Anybody ever dismantled the inside to clean behind the shields? I guess the brick would have to be removed. But once that is done, can the shield be removed or are they welded in place?
I'm not going to do that often, but I notice a lot of stuff behind there, after 10 years of burning...
I attached some pics for clarity

Thanks in advance!
 

Attachments

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,683
South Puget Sound, WA
@Yukonerci, something similar came up a year or so ago. Discussion here:

 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,489
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
They’re welded in. Extraordinary measures are required to remove the significant amount of junk that falls back there. It can be done on my princess but unlike the king, there’s no rear internal shield so that’s good.
 

Sailrmike

Burning Hunk
Sep 20, 2017
138
06371
1599178700364.png

I used to use a product like this for my Chinook 30. You can try searching for "dryer cleaning brush"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yukonerci

Yukonerci

New Member
Sep 3, 2020
4
Yukon, Canada
Ya was afraid they were welded in... Love my BK but this is a design flaw. Well at least I won't take all the bricks out just to see I can't remove the shields...! I managed to get about 75% out with a butter knife :)
Thanks all.