2020-21 Blaze King Performance Thread (Everything BK)

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,129
South Puget Sound, WA
Anyway, who else checks their flue probe meter like a spark plug? You always wanted that tan, chocolate color to indicate proper air to fuel ratio and complete combustion. Here’s my flue probe after 16 hours or 2/3 of the way through the load of 14% Doug fir. Upper 20s overnight so we’re packing it full.
That looks great. How do you get the fir down to 14%? Our fir balances out at around 17% even if it is 3 yr old in the shed.
Stay warm tonight. It's gonna be chilly for all of us.
 

huauqui

Burning Hunk
Jan 14, 2015
183
Weeping Water, NE
Well, the cold is here and the stove is hot. Finally moved from 2 loads a day to a third partial load to keep the temps up. I load about 9:30 at night again about 6:45 in the morning and then throw in a partial load at 5:30-6:00 PM to help burn down the coals. That third load helps me get by till the evening reload and really burns down the coal bed. I was running at about 2:15-2:30 on the dial now I am up around 2:45-3 o'clock on the setting with about 1/3 fan added in for good measure. The Princess loves running a bit hotter than normal and the wife loves the warmth.

What have you changed in your loading schedule to keep warm?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,730
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
That looks great. How do you get the fir down to 14%? Our fir balances out at around 17% even if it is 3 yr old in the shed.
Stay warm tonight. It's gonna be chilly for all of us.
I have two moisture meters, and bring a warm split outside and split again to retest. Very consistently 14. Last year, and more so this year, I’m dealing with fir that was delivered in log length, large diameter, and then processed in the summer right away and into the shed packed tight. I was worried it wouldn’t dry so I have been checking. The fuel goes in around July and stays there one full year plus however long it then takes to burn it so this stuff is 20 months old.

Maybe since these trees are felled in the summer and immediately CSS they aren’t as wet as what you’re getting? The woodshed keeps everything dry and is out in the wind with no shade.

I do know that after startup, this fuel is essentially smoke free unlike the tarped stuff I used previously. I’m fast approaching stealth burn status with the more properly seasoned and dry fuel. Wood sheds are pretty great. F88DC867-BB37-4A51-A418-116B12AE8628.jpeg
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Loaded stove last night at 7:00 p.m. with nice load of old growth fir. Woke up at 3:45 a.m. to a house at 71F. 18F outside. King simmering along on 40 +/- lbs of very, very, very old, old growth fir. Still very heavy from when trees could get that size and age. Added 4 large pieces and headed off to work at 4:00 a.m. Set thermostat at 3:30, and will get home around 3:00 pm. Will run until 7:00 p.m. and repeat the process. We are scheduled for 6 consecutive days of snow....yeah!
 

huauqui

Burning Hunk
Jan 14, 2015
183
Weeping Water, NE
I know, I regularly get reports from our nuclear station on the Missouri River, and that's only about an hour away from you ;-)
Tron, I have a good friend who is at that station. We had -16 Fahrenheit Tuesday morning and looks like it won't break until a week from Friday when we may near 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The worst night looks to be Saturday with a predicted low of -21 and a high of -8 for the day Sunday. Fortunately this time it isn't accompanied by 30 mile an hour winds and lots of snow.

BKVP I am not able to hold 71 but I can hold 68-70 depending on if we get any sun during the day to add some solar to the living areas. Could I run it hotter, yes. The problem is I am not home to load when it would need it. Heating from the basement of this 1,700 square foot ranch we are thrilled to be able to do this much. We have discussed dragging the Fireview back into service in the upstairs just to add some heat when it gets this cold. Most of the time the house runs 71-72 degrees but not this time of year.
 
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Gotrek

Burning Hunk
Nov 20, 2014
238
Manitoba
So I reloaded the stove just now, let it get up to temp and went to close the bypass and it won't "cam" over. I can see that the bypass plate is down but can't "lock" it down. There is resistance in the bypass handle if I try to force it a little like something is in the way.

Is it ok to let this load burn out so I can see what's wrong later or should I kill the air and put out the fire asap?

Bad timing to -35 tonight :)
 
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gthomas785

Feeling the Heat
Feb 8, 2020
331
Central MA
If the damper is closing, then maybe find a way to hold/tie the handle and let it burn out until you can take a closer look?

Any chance a piece of wood got in there?
 

Gotrek

Burning Hunk
Nov 20, 2014
238
Manitoba
If the damper is closing, then maybe find a way to hold/tie the handle and let it burn out until you can take a closer look?

Any chance a piece of wood got in there?

I'm thinking maybe junk from the chimney or just a pile of ash. There seems to be quite a bit of fly ash on the combustor I'm thinking there is a pile behind it maybe.

Yeah right now the door is staying shut so I set it like usual and will keep an eye on it.

I turned on the old electric furnace. Probably good to run it anyways :)
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
Loaded stove last night at 7:00 p.m. with nice load of old growth fir. Woke up at 3:45 a.m. to a house at 71F. 18F outside. King simmering along on 40 +/- lbs of very, very, very old, old growth fir. Still very heavy from when trees could get that size and age. Added 4 large pieces and headed off to work at 4:00 a.m. Set thermostat at 3:30, and will get home around 3:00 pm. Will run until 7:00 p.m. and repeat the process. We are scheduled for 6 consecutive days of snow....yeah!
I’ve burned a lot of old growth fir ( we call it yellow fir) in the old pre epa stove. It definitely burned hotter and longer. There was also an old growth bark day. Had to be careful as it would over fire a stove if you weren’t careful. Hard to find nowadays around here. Wonder what a dry cord of that would run a cord.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,730
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I'm thinking maybe junk from the chimney or just a pile of ash. There seems to be quite a bit of fly ash on the combustor I'm thinking there is a pile behind it maybe.

Yeah right now the door is staying shut so I set it like usual and will keep an eye on it.

I turned on the old electric furnace. Probably good to run it anyways :)
If you can see it is shut but just not clamped down then I would just run it. The bypass plate is big and heavy and other brands just use gravity. Worst case, a skinny little leak of smoke bypasses the cat. No big deal.
 

Gotrek

Burning Hunk
Nov 20, 2014
238
Manitoba
If you can see it is shut but just not clamped down then I would just run it. The bypass plate is big and heavy and other brands just use gravity. Worst case, a skinny little leak of smoke bypasses the cat. No big deal.

Yeah that's what I did. Seemed to run like usual. I shoved a glove hand up there this morning. Cant feel any debris around it. My best guess is the rod that goes through the back of the door is not in the right place it was still to hot to mess with so tonight hopefully I can blindly guide it back into place without pulling the glue pipe or the cat(just regasketed it before the season:( )
 
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MTASH

Burning Hunk
Dec 24, 2018
161
Montana
-26F this morning. Looks like a few more days of this before temps improve, hopefully back into the +20s by Monday.
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
Yeah that's what I did. Seemed to run like usual. I shoved a glove hand up there this morning. Cant feel any debris around it. My best guess is the rod that goes through the back of the door is not in the right place it was still to hot to mess with so tonight hopefully I can blindly guide it back into place without pulling the glue pipe or the cat(just regasketed it before the season:( )
Did one of stainless steel bypass retainers (those that are to each side of the combustor) get knocked out of place when you installed the combustor)? It could also be debris on the bottom of the bypass ramp.
 

MNWade

Member
Nov 25, 2017
6
MN
Real winter reigning in MN for the last week and into next week. Today will be the warmest ( 2 above F. ) for the next 3-4 days, lows expected near -20, highs single digits below 0. Loading the princess 3 times a day instead of 2. #keepingtheglassclean I have about an hour of outside chores each night after work and coming in to the wood heat makes it bearable. Stay warm all.
 

Holiday

Burning Hunk
Feb 18, 2013
231
Saskatchewan, Canada
It's a chilly one, -37c, -31F here last night. 2 loads a day, furnace comes on once or twice just before reloading. No point trying to avoid that, I have gas here.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
I'm still amazed at how the stove controls what is happening inside.

Case in point, I am almost running out of wood but have half a face cord of sassafras left. It was CSS this summer, but is still 22% or so when I measure farther than an inch into the split (on a fresh surface) - infact you can even see it being a bit darker inside for.the first 15 minutes after splitting.

So, I split them into pieces of 1.5-2" max and criss cross stack them 5 ft or so from the stove, with a fan that switches on for 5 mins every hour to blow out what humid air may be hanging inside. After 4 days it is good to go.

I use his overnight, thinking I will leave the remnant maple and cherry that I have for when I really want heat, i.e. during the day. It's okay for our night's to get down to 60.

I stuff the box with tiny splits, char, dial down, and it runs for a crazy 14 hrs @ a Tstat setting of 3 o'clock. On tiny splits of the lightest, softest wood I know apart from balsa...

I'd expected it would run out early morning, and I'd reload with good wood. But it keeps the home @65+ and does so for 14 hrs... !!!

I think this stove does not convert energy from wood to heat, it simply creates it, using some wood to fool us in thinking we are what matters... :p::-)
 
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Greenback

New Member
Nov 22, 2020
17
Okanagan BC
Loading the new princess insert with what I can use out of my douglas fir cord. At these temps, the insert is definitely just supplementing the furnace. -23 celsius last night, and highs of -12 or so during the day.

I figure I'm using the furnace about half as much as I would without the insert. Next winter I hope to have a blocking plate in and see how much of a difference that makes.
 

Gotrek

Burning Hunk
Nov 20, 2014
238
Manitoba
Did one of stainless steel bypass retainers (those that are to each side of the combustor) get knocked out of place when you installed the combustor)? It could also be debris on the bottom of the bypass ramp.

They both looked like they were in place. What I'm thinking is that if I recall the door rides in slots on either side and I think maybe one side came out I seem to remember this happening 2 years ago as well due to a branch on a log getting pushed into the door while its open. I'm inspecting it tonight.
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
I'm still amazed at how the stove controls what is happening inside.

Case in point, I am almost running out of wood but have half a face cord of sassafras left. It was CSS this summer, but is still 22% or so when I measure farther than an inch into the split (on a fresh surface) - infact you can even see it being a bit darker inside for.the first 15 minutes after splitting.

So, I split them into pieces of 1.5-2" max and criss cross stack them 5 ft or so from the stove, with a fan that switches on for 5 mins every hour to blow out what humid air may be hanging inside. After 4 days it is good to go.

I use his overnight, thinking I will leave the remnant maple and cherry that I have for when I really want heat, i.e. during the day. It's okay for our night's to get down to 60.

I stuff the box with tiny splits, char, dial down, and it runs for a crazy 14 hrs @ a Tstat setting of 3 o'clock. On tiny splits of the lightest, softest wood I know apart from balsa...

I'd expected it would run out early morning, and I'd reload with good wood. But it keeps the home @65+ and does so for 14 hrs... !!!

I think this stove does not convert energy from wood to heat, it simply creates it, using some wood to fool us in thinking we are what matters... :p::-)
I totally agree. Probably old news to everybody that’s owned these stoves for a while but it’s pretty cool to me for my first season. I think the strangest thing is how sometimes it will go tremendously longer than normal. At least in my case, I’ve scratched my head a few times. Same light load last night barely gave me any room to reload this am. I had it cranked for an hour trying to get some of it burnt down. House was 70 outside was 32. No difference in the setting. I have no idea why/how lol
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
Who was it that coined the phrase...
Alien Technology?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
At least 10’ years ago on this forum.
Lol, I was thinking about Arthur C. Clark...

Didn't know he had a screen name here