2021-2022 BK everything thread

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lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,697
San Ysidro, New Mexico
I've actually burned a lot of cottonwood in the BK and it does really well. The ash helps and it makes a lot of ash. You've got to dry it out of course. It also takes a lot of work to process that heavy green wood and you need a lot more of it to match the #s you get from fir. I'd prefer our cottonwood to western red cedar.

Some places in this nation, all they have to burn is cottonwood and those folks stay warm just fine.

Congratulations on the new truck. I have a 2000 F350 diesel which has been the subject of a huge crime wave in our area. People are getting them stolen so much I'm afraid to leave it at the trailhead. They must be really easy to steal.
I burn a lot of cottonwood. Just split it thick. Sometimes maybe I can just put four pieces and fill some gaps with small rounds from the branches.
That is still giving me a 24hrs schedule with lots of coals in the ashes for reloads. I learned to split big the kind of wood I get around here. That makes the trick. It is a pain to process it, more when green. Too much moisture. What I do is cut in rounds and leave it there for months before split it. That helps a lot. Just have to face the twisting and knots when splitting it.
The reason why I went with a 40 tons splitter. Lol.
40 ton splitter don't care how twisted it is. It pops it open like nothing and .more if you let it dry for awhile first like I do.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,776
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I burn a lot of cottonwood. Just split it thick. Sometimes maybe I can just put four pieces and fill some gaps with small rounds from the branches.
That is still giving me a 24hrs schedule with lots of coals in the ashes for reloads. I learned to split big the kind of wood I get around here. That makes the trick. It is a pain to process it, more when green. Too much moisture. What I do is cut in rounds and leave it there for months before split it. That helps a lot. Just have to face the twisting and knots when splitting it.
The reason why I went with a 40 tons splitter. Lol.
40 ton splitter don't care how twisted it is. It pops it open like nothing and .more if you let it dry for awhile first like I do.

I think there is more than one type of cottonwood in North America also. Ours, until it gets really big, is sometimes very straight grained and thin barked. Looks like a nice maple and I’ve been confused when maple logs and cottonwood logs are piled together. Cottonwood does have a fibrous cut and weird smell though.
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,247
Western Washington
They peel the cotton wood saw logs around here and that’s the filler you see in plywood. Very low value logs. They’ll chip smaller logs but will only take a certain percentage on a log truck load. Most of the old log brides on old logging roads are cotton wood since there was no market. A road builder I cut right of way for replaced a ton of them for fish passage culverts. They get huge here in the pnw. I’ve fell them 6’ in and I’ve heard they can reach 8’. The first log is a stove pipe and super heavy. When it’s milled it does harden and turn white with a lot of character. Sucks up stain very good. Not sure why it doesn’t make furniture grade like alder
 
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logfarmer

Burning Hunk
Oct 25, 2015
238
Ohio
7B24D021-8128-497D-990F-02B25075F0E7.jpeg

I found a good deal on this BK king! Been wanting one for a long time now and couldn’t pass this one up. Really was looking to get a princess but I couldn’t let the king get away. I’ve had it burning since Tuesday night and so far I absolutely love it. Bought a new cat for it since the other one was 16 yrs old…it was shot!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
Congratulations. It looks to be in good shape. Nice find.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,552
Long Island NY
Two by four cut offs to start the stove before the night reload. I guess I put too much in. Again.

16385822520897206951160429502950.jpg
 
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Larch

New Member
Nov 13, 2021
28
BC
Any body ever burn straight paper birch for the season in there blaze king, I have about 6 cords cut and planned for 2 years from now. I've burned a fair bit in a pacific energy but always mixed with something else. Seemed like more ash built up. Wondering if straight birch does produce alot of ash?
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,716
Fairbanks, Alaska
Any body ever burn straight paper birch for the season in there blaze king, I have about 6 cords cut and planned for 2 years from now. I've burned a fair bit in a pacific energy but always mixed with something else. Seemed like more ash built up. Wondering if straight birch does produce alot of ash?

Mixed birch is the preferred BK fuel up here. I am an outlier running spruce only, but I can get the spruce cheaper per BTU since (almost) everyone one else is trying to buy birch. I have run mixed birch/spruce for I think two seasons before switching to spruce only.

I really like the consistency, the predictability, of having unform fuel over the course of the entire season, and now year after year. There is less guess work involved in knowing what the stove will be doing a few hours from now.

I think there are seven species of birch that grow in Alaska but only five that grow this far north. The one thing about birch, compared to spruce, is the coaling stage lasts a really long time with birch. That is good in the shoulder seasons when I don't need a lot of BTU per hour, but problematic in really cold weather when I want lots of BTUs per hour.

The last year I was running mixed birch/spruce we had a pretty significant cold snap, I think our daytime highs didn't get above -42dF for about 9 days. I literally brought a metal trashcan into the house, shoveled live birch coals out of my fire box to make room for spruce, dumped the coals into the snow on one of the garden beds and I haven't bought anymore birch since then.

With spruce, shorter window to do a hot reload on live coals, but I can maintain a much higher BTU output for days at a time as long as I can hit the reload windows. Depends on your (our) insulaton envelope and outdoor ambients and desired indoor temp, but if it never got below abut -25dF up here, in the house I own now, I would be comfortable running birch for the entire heating season.

Or you can have a small stash of dry softwood for the coldest two weeks...
 
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John Galt

Burning Hunk
Oct 22, 2019
120
W Montana
I finally received my manometer (Dwyer 2000-00) and got it installed. At a really hot burn, it read .14 with a fully closed damper. As a recap... The flue is 32' straight, ICC Ultrablack pipe, a damper 12" off the stove with washers covering the cute "ICC" cut outs inside, and then adjustable pipe to the support box.

I had the thermostat fully open, the damper closed, the bypass closed and the draft was great and steady at .05 for 15 minutes. After 30 minutes it had climbed and I had to shut down the thermostat since the cat was pegged.

Obviously a second damper is required unless I have done something horribly wrong. Should this go directly on top of the first or at the support box? I believe those are my two options with the adjustable pipe. The ceiling is 9'. Once the fire has died down, what should the draft reading be?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,776
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I finally received my manometer (Dwyer 2000-00) and got it installed. At a really hot burn, it read .14 with a fully closed damper. As a recap... The flue is 32' straight, ICC Ultrablack pipe, a damper 12" off the stove with washers covering the cute "ICC" cut outs inside, and then adjustable pipe to the support box.

I had the thermostat fully open, the damper closed, the bypass closed and the draft was great and steady at .05 for 15 minutes. After 30 minutes it had climbed and I had to shut down the thermostat since the cat was pegged.

Obviously a second damper is required unless I have done something horribly wrong. Should this go directly on top of the first or at the support box? I believe those are my two options with the adjustable pipe. The ceiling is 9'. Once the fire has died down, what should the draft reading be?

Your questions are good and probably why I don’t have a manometer. They just create more questions. Another gauge to obsess with.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,776
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Came home from the Christmas parade in small town tonight. Standing in the dark and rain at 39 F for two hours. Came home to a 78 degree house and it felt great. I need to remember not to take for granted how great it is to have a wood stove with a thermostat and very long burns. There’s no futzing with the load to get it just right, there is confidence that the intake will be adjusted automatically to keep a safe, clean, constant burn and comfortable home without any needed interaction. All dang day.

Anyway, still happy with the BK!

F96C7A34-629C-434F-8A51-746B531CB99A.jpeg
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,546
07462
I finally received my manometer (Dwyer 2000-00) and got it installed. At a really hot burn, it read .14 with a fully closed damper. As a recap... The flue is 32' straight, ICC Ultrablack pipe, a damper 12" off the stove with washers covering the cute "ICC" cut outs inside, and then adjustable pipe to the support box.

I had the thermostat fully open, the damper closed, the bypass closed and the draft was great and steady at .05 for 15 minutes. After 30 minutes it had climbed and I had to shut down the thermostat since the cat was pegged.

Obviously a second damper is required unless I have done something horribly wrong. Should this go directly on top of the first or at the support box? I believe those are my two options with the adjustable pipe. The ceiling is 9'. Once the fire has died down, what should the draft reading be?
John, where are you taking the measurement? Above or below the damper? If its above you might be getting a false reading since its daylighted to the cap, if its below the damper then monitor for a bit before adding a second.
I was at .18wc before adding my dampers, I did 2 of them and had the same issue with the telescoping dvl pipe, so I added one damper right off the flue collar on the stove and the second damper about a foot away from the ceiling support box which allows me to lift the pipe out when I do my chimney maintenance.
I primarily use the upper damper the most, I took readings after and got the stove draw down to .08wc on high burn which was night and day for me, I'll use the flue collar damper during storms when it blows out of the NE.
Even with the damper fully closed I will peg my cat probe at 3 - 4 o'clock, running a second full season on that cat and have had no issues with degrading it and my stack plume is non existent, unless I'm reloading you cant tell that I'm burning, occasionally a smoke odor here and there, but no smoke or even steam, they stove pre-damper would make larger coals but it didnt feel as warm, post damper I burn basically all the way down to ash and the stove top is 2x hotter then before.
 
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John Galt

Burning Hunk
Oct 22, 2019
120
W Montana
John, where are you taking the measurement? Above or below the damper? If its above you might be getting a false reading since its daylighted to the cap, if its below the damper then monitor for a bit before adding a second.
I was at .18wc before adding my dampers, I did 2 of them and had the same issue with the telescoping dvl pipe, so I added one damper right off the flue collar on the stove and the second damper about a foot away from the ceiling support box which allows me to lift the pipe out when I do my chimney maintenance.
I primarily use the upper damper the most, I took readings after and got the stove draw down to .08wc on high burn which was night and day for me, I'll use the flue collar damper during storms when it blows out of the NE.
Even with the damper fully closed I will peg my cat probe at 3 - 4 o'clock, running a second full season on that cat and have had no issues with degrading it and my stack plume is non existent, unless I'm reloading you cant tell that I'm burning, occasionally a smoke odor here and there, but no smoke or even steam, they stove pre-damper would make larger coals but it didnt feel as warm, post damper I burn basically all the way down to ash and the stove top is 2x hotter then before.
The measurement is below the damper. A wise #bholler once said "Draft measured on stove side of damper, temp on the chimney side" I wrote that down. :p
It would be a shame if I have to sit in the basement watching a fire and sipping whisky just to ensure the draft isn't too high. I need to borrow a dog from someone. I'll run some more tests before dropping in another damper. Thanks.
 

logfarmer

Burning Hunk
Oct 25, 2015
238
Ohio
Have a question for you BK experts, I added wood this evening after a 20hr+burn opened up everything and added 5 pieces of wood. Charred wood good and shut everything down, we have 20-30 mph winds right now and my stove got pretty warm. When I added wood my cat was still active at about 11 o’clock, should I have shut it down sooner than I did to prevent it from getting so warm?For the 20 hr burn my stat was set at 1.75 and I have not tried to set it any lower yet, still learning the stove and that’s all the heat I needed anyhow. I set it to 1.5 and is still burning warm and drafting strong. Afraid to cut it back much more in case the wind stops and I stall the stove. What are your thoughts?!
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,716
Fairbanks, Alaska
@logfarmer Leave it high enough for about 30 minutes to get the moisture baked out of new fuel. If you turn it down too far too fast you will end up with water condensing on the inside of your chimney pipe, then tar sticks to the water and you got creosote. Once the new fuel is baked down to 0.0% MC you can turn it down as far as you want.

When the wind stops, turn the Tstat back up to keep it from stalling.

Every install is different, but those are the basics.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,980
Iowa
Have a question for you BK experts, I added wood this evening after a 20hr+burn opened up everything and added 5 pieces of wood. Charred wood good and shut everything down, we have 20-30 mph winds right now and my stove got pretty warm. When I added wood my cat was still active at about 11 o’clock, should I have shut it down sooner than I did to prevent it from getting so warm?For the 20 hr burn my stat was set at 1.75 and I have not tried to set it any lower yet, still learning the stove and that’s all the heat I needed anyhow. I set it to 1.5 and is still burning warm and drafting strong. Afraid to cut it back much more in case the wind stops and I stall the stove. What are your thoughts?!
Curious? Was your home calling for more heat when the stove was still running with the cat gauge at the 11 o'clock position? Or did you reload at that time for convenience?
 

ajzzara

New Member
Dec 1, 2021
7
Hawley, PA
The brochure says a width of 20" in front, 18" in the back. So I'd go 17-17.5" or so E/W.
Depth (N/S) is 16.75", so don't go larger than 16".
If you cut all your wood to 16", you'll be fine.
Thank you for the information, and the quick response! I really appreciate it!
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
@SnowSnob , ..

Talking to one of my customers today, he wants a new Subaru. The dealer has zero new vehicles on the lot, and everything scheduled to come in on or before March 1, 2022 is already sold. He offered $8k over MSRP (his words not mine) and he was invited to call back on 01-03-2022 to see what was scheduled for delivery in April 2022.

...

Wife and I bought a new Crosstrek Sport and actually got a good deal on it . . . the caveat being I had to call around and finally found a single dealership willing to offer up a decent price AND we had to order it. Ordered in July, arrived in September . . . which wasn't a big deal for us as we were able to order up exactly what we wanted. Bonus was being able to sell her Legacy at a very good price through CarMax which gave us a hefty chunk of change to put down on the new car.

Then again . . . things are much, much different in Alaska when it comes to vehicles as I know you guys pay a premium.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
898
Rochester NY
Lately I've been considering a second stove for the main level of my house. It would heat my living room, kitchen, and ideally upstairs bedrooms enough to barely need my gas furnace. It's a split level home, so there's really no way my current stove and placement would heat the entire place, but it does well for the entire downstairs. I have a T5 which I love and my first thought was to get a second one since I'm so familiar with using them now but now the idea of a cat stove makes more sense, being able to adjust the thermostat and all seems pretty desirable especially being on the main living floor of the house. a T5 would probably heat us out of the area or we'd be cracking doors/windows at the very least.

I already know a BK would be a good option but my question is how much smoke do they put out the chimney on those long, low burns? I recall threads in the past of people complaining about the smoke, or creosote build up, etc. Whether that's a symptom of wet wood or just the nature of a super slow long burn is what I don't exactly know being that I've never used a cat stove. Basically I just don't want to be smoking out my neighbor to the north of me since this chimney would be close to the front of his house, even though he's a fellow wood burner and hoarder for his fireplace but I still have to be considerate here in my neighborhood because I do burn 24/7. My other chimney is on the other side of the back of the house so it's well out of the way of the neighbors and typically the prevailing west wind just carries the startup smoke through the backyard where I don't have neighbors behind me.

The other question is how do they do with short chimneys? My guess is the chimney I'd need would be 14' at most, pretty much the same as the T5 which I do consider an easy breathing stove. I have a feeling the BK's would require a bit more draft though. I'd also assume an outdoor air kit being used on this stove, unlike my T5 which at the time my dealer claimed wasn't necessary.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,552
Long Island NY
14 ft would be (too) short. Recommended is at least 15 ft (if insulated and straight up).

Creosote should not be a problem if your wood is dry, you char the load (bake out remaining moisture while having a hot chimney), and your set up is good.

Not all cat stoves have an even output, especially at low burn rates. It is the Tstat of the BK that gives that desirable control over the output.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,546
07462
Have a question for you BK experts, I added wood this evening after a 20hr+burn opened up everything and added 5 pieces of wood. Charred wood good and shut everything down, we have 20-30 mph winds right now and my stove got pretty warm. When I added wood my cat was still active at about 11 o’clock, should I have shut it down sooner than I did to prevent it from getting so warm?For the 20 hr burn my stat was set at 1.75 and I have not tried to set it any lower yet, still learning the stove and that’s all the heat I needed anyhow. I set it to 1.5 and is still burning warm and drafting strong. Afraid to cut it back much more in case the wind stops and I stall the stove. What are your thoughts?!
You need to play around with your stove some more, I can not give specific advice here because all drafts are different, best advice I can give is reload a full fire box, get the pieces burning well then start shutting the T-stat down in increments until your comfortable without the stove stalling the load.
If you look at your T-stat knob think of a clock, if you turn the knob straight up and down thats 12 o'clock or noon, many of us here will run between 1 - 3 o'clock, for myself. my sweet spot in the heart of winter is 2 o'clock with the blower running on low, right now since we're still in fall mode of mid 20's at night and 40 during the day so I load the stove to the gills, let it rip at max for 20 min then turn the t-stat down to 1 o'clock, that gives me no flames, dirty glass with a glowing cat, more importantly the house only goes to 72 / 73 deg f and wont fall below 70 deg f for 20hrs, even when temps dip to the upper 20's.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,776
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Lately I've been considering a second stove for the main level of my house. It would heat my living room, kitchen, and ideally upstairs bedrooms enough to barely need my gas furnace. It's a split level home, so there's really no way my current stove and placement would heat the entire place, but it does well for the entire downstairs. I have a T5 which I love and my first thought was to get a second one since I'm so familiar with using them now but now the idea of a cat stove makes more sense, being able to adjust the thermostat and all seems pretty desirable especially being on the main living floor of the house. a T5 would probably heat us out of the area or we'd be cracking doors/windows at the very least.

I already know a BK would be a good option but my question is how much smoke do they put out the chimney on those long, low burns? I recall threads in the past of people complaining about the smoke, or creosote build up, etc. Whether that's a symptom of wet wood or just the nature of a super slow long burn is what I don't exactly know being that I've never used a cat stove. Basically I just don't want to be smoking out my neighbor to the north of me since this chimney would be close to the front of his house, even though he's a fellow wood burner and hoarder for his fireplace but I still have to be considerate here in my neighborhood because I do burn 24/7. My other chimney is on the other side of the back of the house so it's well out of the way of the neighbors and typically the prevailing west wind just carries the startup smoke through the backyard where I don't have neighbors behind me.

The other question is how do they do with short chimneys? My guess is the chimney I'd need would be 14' at most, pretty much the same as the T5 which I do consider an easy breathing stove. I have a feeling the BK's would require a bit more draft though. I'd also assume an outdoor air kit being used on this stove, unlike my T5 which at the time my dealer claimed wasn't necessary.

Once everything is up to temperature and you are in that long and low cruise that these things are famous for, the smoke is minimized. That is the least smokey time. When you start up a cold stove, the smoke can be super bad like a freight train even with 12% MC wood. Not just as bad as everything else but way worse than your T5 noncat and for longer. If you keep this cat stove hot then this cold stove warm up smoke is not nearly as much of an issue. I do my best to start fires after dark. Many folks try methods to minimize this problem but that's because it's a problem.

Cat stoves running on low is when they are most efficient and have the lowest emissions. The cat has more time to munch on the slow moving smoke. It's pretty great and very comfortable. With my softwoods, I still have something visible like a blue haze every so often. Creosote is not a problem.

Burning or adding any new stove with extremely close and down wind neighbors is very risky. I like burning wood but if I lived that close to someone I would worry about being a good neighbor.
 
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