2020-21 Blaze King Performance Thread (Everything BK)

stoveliker

New Member
Nov 17, 2019
21
Eastern Long Island NY
Long Island has a disproportionately high representation here for a place that's so thoroughly paved. (Dix and I live a few miles apart and had similar-looking dogs, so it's okay if you get us confused. Hi Dix!)

I put solar on last year and have been running resistive heat so far- my first year in this house heating with anything but the BK!

As it gets colder, I'll tailor my wood usage to keep my power usage in line (goal is to use 90% of the solar credits generated this year by March).

I have such a small amount of wood ready for this year that I cringe every time I look at it, but I keep reminding myself that I'm not going to use 4 cords this year!

Speaking of which, I should go get some wood laid in for next year... I have a bunch of deadfall waiting for me to drag it out of the woods.
Interesting, where I live (out East) it's rather woody, not paved over at all. Pine barrens and such.
Yes, solar+electric (for me a heat pump, not resistive) is ideal. I only used 1 cord last year (with that old DutchWest cat stove) - solar and wood. And less than 1 tank of oil that also is used to heat my hot water...
It's my first winter with the BK, so I'll have to see how much wood I need - last winter was rather warm... No comparison to the DutchWest.
If you have too much wood, let me know ;-)
 

Sailrmike

Burning Hunk
Sep 20, 2017
173
06371
No, that is a probe I got with my thermoelectric fan - that I used to use on my cast iron DutchWest cat stove. BKVP is correct.
I was happily surprised the top of the Chinook got warm enough to run the fan too, though.

The location on the door is not ideal for this magnetic surface thermometer though, given the "lid" of the door there (2 walls).
If someone has a better location for this thing (just for fun, to best read the box temperature), I'm interested.
Box temp is a tough one on the Chinook. I would be tempted to try a mag thermometer behind a side shield vent hole ( if they're as big as I'm recalling). Hopefully shining a flashlight in the vent will let you see the temp readout well enough.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,737
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Interesting, where I live (out East) it's rather woody, not paved over at all. Pine barrens and such.
Yes, solar+electric (for me a heat pump, not resistive) is ideal. I only used 1 cord last year (with that old DutchWest cat stove) - solar and wood. And less than 1 tank of oil that also is used to heat my hot water...
It's my first winter with the BK, so I'll have to see how much wood I need - last winter was rather warm... No comparison to the DutchWest.
If you have too much wood, let me know ;-)
I grew up in other places, so we possibly have very different definitions of urbanization. ;) I can't see another house from my house, but I can always hear traffic... almost 20 years in and I still haven't acclimated to that.

The Home Depot in Riverhead carries a Rheem heat pump water heater for $1300, and LIPA will cut you a $650 rebate check on that puppy. Sell your old oil fired water heater on craigslist (I got $500 for mine), and it's almost free. I spent another $75 on pipe and parts, and ended my oil bill forever for around a $200 investment. Put it in heat pump only mode, and you'll barely even see it running on your usage graphs. Pretty sure it paid for itself in the first month or two.

I run my BK on ~12 hour cycles most of the heating season, with short hot burns as needed in winter. Crazy thing can go 24 hours with a full load and dry wood, though.

My favorite burn is the catch-up burn where I pack her full of pine during a cold snap and let her rip. You get a fun transformation from a black box that pumps out heat to a little inferno in the living room. I guess I'll be seeing that a lot less this year. :(
 
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Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
138
Jackson MS
Ah, thanks. From the picture it looked like a cat probe, that's what got me surprised ;-)
 

stoveliker

New Member
Nov 17, 2019
21
Eastern Long Island NY
Box temp is a tough one on the Chinook. I would be tempted to try a mag thermometer behind a side shield vent hole ( if they're as big as I'm recalling). Hopefully shining a flashlight in the vent will let you see the temp readout well enough.
That's a good idea. Have to look at how to take off the side shield. Not moving the thermometer (b/c being locked behind that shield) will give proper consistency :)
I wonder though whether the heat shield inside (above the bricks) limits the usefulness - as it does on the door where I have it now.
 

stoveliker

New Member
Nov 17, 2019
21
Eastern Long Island NY
I grew up in other places, so we possibly have very different definitions of urbanization. ;) I can't see another house from my house, but I can always hear traffic... almost 20 years in and I still haven't acclimated to that.

The Home Depot in Riverhead carries a Rheem heat pump water heater for $1300, and LIPA will cut you a $650 rebate check on that puppy. Sell your old oil fired water heater on craigslist (I got $500 for mine), and it's almost free. I spent another $75 on pipe and parts, and ended my oil bill forever for around a $200 investment. Put it in heat pump only mode, and you'll barely even see it running on your usage graphs. Pretty sure it paid for itself in the first month or two.

I run my BK on ~12 hour cycles most of the heating season, with short hot burns as needed in winter. Crazy thing can go 24 hours with a full load and dry wood, though.

My favorite burn is the catch-up burn where I pack her full of pine during a cold snap and let her rip. You get a fun transformation from a black box that pumps out heat to a little inferno in the living room. I guess I'll be seeing that a lot less this year. :(
Well, I grew up in another country, in the woods. And then lived in Eastern TN for a while. It's not bad here. Neighbors yes, but dead quiet in the nights.
I'll be thinking of that heat pump water heater. Though I don't like getting rid of the safe and sound "insurance" called the oil furnace. With my generator I can run the fridge and the boiler (hot water) if the power goes down. I'll see how much kWhs I have in the bank after a few winters here (so far 2, but only 1 with the split ductless heat pump (and AC) and solar).
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,142
07462
I'm watching that forecast for tomorrow, rain with cooler weather on tap, you all guessed it, the stove will be lit up again, also think so homemade meatballs w/ a nice red sauce is in order.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,737
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Well, I grew up in another country, in the woods. And then lived in Eastern TN for a while. It's not bad here. Neighbors yes, but dead quiet in the nights.
I'll be thinking of that heat pump water heater. Though I don't like getting rid of the safe and sound "insurance" called the oil furnace. With my generator I can run the fridge and the boiler (hot water) if the power goes down. I'll see how much kWhs I have in the bank after a few winters here (so far 2, but only 1 with the split ductless heat pump (and AC) and solar).
The water heater really is a heat pump when you put it in heat pump only mode- same as the difference between your minisplit and a resistive space heater. It won't make your generator cry unless it was close to the limit already.

However, put it in hybrid mode, and it will light up its resistive elements and pull 4000w if the heat pump gets behind and the water gets too cold (this is in the same power requirement range as an electric dryer).

Either way it's slower than an oil fired unit (much slower on heat pump only mode), but no oil bill!
 
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twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
422
Southern New Hampshire
I've been running my Blaze King Princess for 3 full seasons now - so I've put ~10 cords of hardwood through it. Never done any maintenance or cleaning of the original catalyst.

I've only had 3 fires so far this year, but the stove <seems> a bit sluggish. May be my imagination, and I haven't needed to run it hard yet, but it seems like it takes longer to go active, and drops out sooner when I turn it down.

So it's time to shop for a replacement catalyst, and have it on hand in case my suspicions are correct.

What are my best options? Is the steel cat the way to go, or stick with ceramic?
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,276
Iowa
I've been running my Blaze King Princess for 3 full seasons now - so I've put ~10 cords of hardwood through it. Never done any maintenance or cleaning of the original catalyst.

I've only had 3 fires so far this year, but the stove <seems> a bit sluggish. May be my imagination, and I haven't needed to run it hard yet, but it seems like it takes longer to go active, and drops out sooner when I turn it down.

So it's time to shop for a replacement catalyst, and have it on hand in case my suspicions are correct.

What are my best options? Is the steel cat the way to go, or stick with ceramic?
Soooo? Give the Cat a little cleaning before retiring it. It can make a significant difference. At least in your head :) Betting you may have some significant ash buildup if you've never cleaned it yet! Worth the very minor effort.

Having a spare is a great idea as well. Mostly in today's strange environment.
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
I'm watching that forecast for tomorrow, rain with cooler weather on tap, you all guessed it, the stove will be lit up again, also think so homemade meatballs w/ a nice red sauce is in order.
Elk meatballs!!
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,276
Iowa
Elk balls eh ;lol
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,276
Iowa

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,737
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I've been running my Blaze King Princess for 3 full seasons now - so I've put ~10 cords of hardwood through it. Never done any maintenance or cleaning of the original catalyst.

I've only had 3 fires so far this year, but the stove <seems> a bit sluggish. May be my imagination, and I haven't needed to run it hard yet, but it seems like it takes longer to go active, and drops out sooner when I turn it down.

So it's time to shop for a replacement catalyst, and have it on hand in case my suspicions are correct.

What are my best options? Is the steel cat the way to go, or stick with ceramic?
I liked steel a little better, but it wasn't a night and day change. I'd recommend steel more strongly for a stove where the door gets opened without bypassing the cat. (Hard-to-train wife or kids, for example.)

+1 for cleaning the cat with vinegar before tossing it.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,659
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Soooo? Give the Cat a little cleaning before retiring it. It can make a significant difference. At least in your head :) Betting you may have some significant ash buildup if you've never cleaned it yet! Worth the very minor effort.

Having a spare is a great idea as well. Mostly in today's strange environment.
The ceramic cat in the princess is far less prone to clogging than the 30 box cats.

I like Midwest hearth on amazon for replacement cats. They are made by the same company that made your original ceramic. Come delivered fast, cheap, and with the gasket installed.

I also prefer ceramic cats. Both work great but I found no advantage to steel for the end user so no reason to pay more. I actually got less life from my steel cat.

All new cats are hyperactive at first so be careful when reading a user report about how great their new steel cat worked when really a new ceramic would have also been a huge improvement over their dead cat.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
651
NW Ontario
I've recently put in a new door gasket, and I think it's failing. I need some advice about whether or not it can be salvaged. The butt joint was nice and tight when it was put in, but at some point after the door was rehung and I had a few fires, I noticed that the joint has separated, and I'm seeing evidence that it's no good. If I run my finger down the groove in the rope, I can feel the depression where the two ends butt together, and to look at it you can see that the ends aren't butted up anymore. The rope is fraying, and crispy on the outside at the joint (from creo), and you can also see a bit of soot staining that's occurring on the flat face of the knife edge of the door frame. I can't pull paper through, but I think that's because the gasket is so thick everywhere else. Here's some pics:

1602856551066.png


1602856581497.png


1602856612450.png


1602856644146.png


As you can see, it's clearly not a good seal at the joint. I've held up a lighter and some candles during the burn to see if they get sucked in at that spot, and it doesn't seem that they do. I can snuff the fire no problem by dialing down.

I'm frustrated, and hoping that there is a way this can be salvaged. This was the new rope that BK had sent me to try and remedy some of my smell issues, and it seems as though I've mucked it up before I'll even get a chance to use it which is also frustrating. I've tried to fluff it with my fingers a bit, but didn't make a difference. Any suggestions on how to salvage it would be most appreciated. Thanks fellas.
 

vwmike

Feeling the Heat
Oct 7, 2013
321
Chilliwack, BC, Can.
I've recently put in a new door gasket, and I think it's failing. I need some advice about whether or not it can be salvaged. The butt joint was nice and tight when it was put in, but at some point after the door was rehung and I had a few fires, I noticed that the joint has separated, and I'm seeing evidence that it's no good. If I run my finger down the groove in the rope, I can feel the depression where the two ends butt together, and to look at it you can see that the ends aren't butted up anymore. The rope is fraying, and crispy on the outside at the joint (from creo), and you can also see a bit of soot staining that's occurring on the flat face of the knife edge of the door frame. I can't pull paper through, but I think that's because the gasket is so thick everywhere else. Here's some pics:

View attachment 264885

View attachment 264886

View attachment 264887

View attachment 264888

As you can see, it's clearly not a good seal at the joint. I've held up a lighter and some candles during the burn to see if they get sucked in at that spot, and it doesn't seem that they do. I can snuff the fire no problem by dialing down.

I'm frustrated, and hoping that there is a way this can be salvaged. This was the new rope that BK had sent me to try and remedy some of my smell issues, and it seems as though I've mucked it up before I'll even get a chance to use it which is also frustrating. I've tried to fluff it with my fingers a bit, but didn't make a difference. Any suggestions on how to salvage it would be most appreciated. Thanks fellas.

Looks to me like you put the joint in the wrong spot. It normally goes on the lower corner on the hinge side if I remember right.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
When the gasket is installed, it should be "bunched", not stretched. It will retract some...so it looks like it retracted.

You can try to reseat it but removing 6"-8" on each end, pull slightly so it isn't so thin at the seem.

Worth a try....
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
651
NW Ontario
Looks to me like you put the joint in the wrong spot. It normally goes on the lower corner on the hinge side if I remember right.
No - this is where I was told to put the joint from someone at BK.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
651
NW Ontario
When the gasket is installed, it should be "bunched", not stretched. It will retract some...so it looks like it retracted.

You can try to reseat it but removing 6"-8" on each end, pull slightly so it isn't so thin at the seem.

Worth a try....
Would putting a little stub of gasket material in that slot possibly work too? I still have the tail end of the stove rope - could i cut a little chunk and try to RTV it in there, or would reseating it be the better option?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,659
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Looks to me like you put the joint in the wrong spot. It normally goes on the lower corner on the hinge side if I remember right.
I replaced mine as it was delivered from BK with the joint at the bottom corner by the hinge. My NC30 has the joint midway up the hinge side. I'm not sure how standardized this location really is.

Some folks even wrap the butt joint with a thin flat gasket but I've only seen that when the joint is a butt joint away from the corner.
 
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stoveliker

New Member
Nov 17, 2019
21
Eastern Long Island NY
Question. For those with a BK 30 firebox, what is your "don't go below" thermostat setting?

I know that depends on climate, set up (draft), and wood type and humidity, so it's not a number I can just dial in and be happy. But it's good to know what reasonable numbers are.
Please list chimney height, approx. outside temperature, and wood data with the thermostat setting so at least some comparison can be made? (Am I forgetting important data?)

I am not sure if all thermostats look the same. Mine has its "low" (end of the swoosh) at about 1 o'clock, and its "high" (end of the swoosh) at 6 o'clock.

(Also note that I can dial it far back below the "low" 1 o'clock all the way thru 12 back to 8 o'clock. The high end runs into a stop at 6 o'clock at the end of the swoosh. Is there an issue closing it all the way to the stop at 8 o'clock when the stove is not in use? I assume it _should_ completely close the air inlet this way?)

Some comparison data would be appreciated! Thank you again for the freely distributed insight here!
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,659
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
During periods of non use I set the thermostat to the middle of the normal range, mid swoosh for you 30 box guys. My theory is that at this setting the bimetallic coil is unloaded and maybe will stay closer to the factory tension.

Sort of like why some people don’t store magazines loaded.
 
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MNWade

Member
Nov 25, 2017
4
MN
First 24 hour burn with my new Princess. Stacked it full at 5pm last night, opened the door at 4:45 tonight. ( close enough ). Coming from a very high maintenance, needy top down burner, ..... I don‘t know what to do with my time. I am stuck between being in awe and being board. LOL. Burning dry, cured oak slab wood. Yes it is 60% smaller splits, but if I Tetris them in there, almost no air space and equals a couple very large splits. Pretty sure i could have gone another 4-6 hours on this load. This stove has the potential to use half as much wood as my last stove. Also, love the constant even heat, no up and down heat cycles.