Blaze King Princess 32 newbie questions

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New Member
Apr 20, 2022

I am on my 2nd month of continuous burning with my new Princess 32. I have a couple of question that I'd appreciate some wisdom on. I am burning Ash and Red Elm and the pieces I've tested are at 20% moisture or slightly less.

My questions are:
1. My stove cools off and my room temp drops when the stove runs out of logs. At this point I do a hot reload with cat thermometer between 10 and 12 oclock. My question is, at this point the cherry red coal bed is about as high as the bottom of the loading door. This limits the reload to 4 to 6 pieces instead of a another row of logs in the bottom of the box. Does this matter or is the amount of coals normal? I know they are still hot and putting off heat, but not enough to keep our house temps up and they limit my reload size. Now that it is cold, I am reloading 3 to 4 times a day.
2. How do you guys deal with the coals during reload? I try to move them around to find white ash to remove and then level the coal bed back off for the reload. I find that pretty much everywhere everything is glowing and I hardly find any white ash to remove. So back to my first question, my coal bed is rather thick, but it is still all glowing so I figure it would be a waste to remove it. This wasn't an issue in warmer temps as I could let it burn down much longer and the stove could still easily keep our room temp up.
3. I had one reload the other day where I was getting crazy out of control sparks where I had to actually shut the door until things calmed down. I get some from time to time, but this was a large amount and they were coming out of the stove and landing beyond my hearth plate. What causes this?
4. Hot reloads. After I reload, my Cat gauge is always up in the active zone, so I always shut the bypass and leave it on max for 20 minutes or so and then throttle down. I've read some people recommend leaving the bypass open during this first high heat time to make the Cat happy. Thoughts?
5. Does it matter if the Cat gauge stays past the high end of the active zone when things are turned up past 4:30 ? Should I try to keep it in the active zone?
6. The Red Elm I am burning really stinks out the chimney compared to other wood burners around town. Is this typical for dead red elm or is my Cat not consuming the smoke the way it should?

Thanks for any insight,
Burn pine when it is cold out and you won't have a coal problem.
I suspect your are reloading so often because you can't get a full load of fresh fuel in the box with the coals taking up so much room. Obviously you know your situation, but I will say I get loads of heat from the coals. I'm on a roughly 12 hour burn cycle. I don't have as much time in the morning to burn down coals, so I rake them flat and reload. In the evening, I rake the coals forward and turn the stove up full throttle. This throws out a lot of heat for a couple hours. If I really want to burn them down all the way, I'll stick some pine, poplar, or basswood on top and let that eat away at the coals. Once the coal volume is down significantly, I can stuff the box full for the overnight burn. I would certainly suggest raking the coals forward into a pile and burning them down. Concentrating the coals in a pile will allow them to burn hotter (and quicker) and get usable heat while making more room for the next load.

Certain woods are prone to a shower of sparks. I almost always get sparks with burr oak. Every once in a while, I'll get sparks with ash. but it's pretty rare. I've never had sparks when burning elm, but I don't have red here, just American.

The bypass needle is only an indication of when to close the bypass. Don't use it as a gauge for how the fire is burning. Once the needle reads "active" don't try to decipher any more useful information from it.

The only wood I burn that "stinks" is basswood. Doesn't seem to matter if it's actual smoke after a reload or much later in the burn when there's no evidence of still produces an unpleasant smell.
Your princess is temporarily undersized if a belly full of fuel (coals) is not enough to keep the house hot. It doesn’t hurt anything to “only” load one row of splits but it won’t solve your coaling issue.

I assume you’re running at max stat setting during this time? Try throwing a single split in on top of the coals. That single split burning can create a draft that fans the coals to help reduce them quickly, get more heat, and make room for the next full load.

I like to run a fresh load for several minutes with an open bypass even when the cat meter says it’s very active. This is to let the fuel load warm up and the smoke get hot before channeling that new smoke through a smoking hot cat.
welcome! With our Princess, we find more coals with hard wood (oak, ironwood) than we do with softer woods (ash, birch, pine). We too remove the ash each morning, pushing aside the remaining coals both red and black. Then to reduce the coals to ash, we burn a few small pieces of softer wood. this usually does a great job burning the coals down enough to be able to fill the box fulll of good hard wood for a nice long burn. I hope this helps. Merry Christmas
In normal weather I run two full loads a day I usually end up with a pile of coals at the end of a full load like you do as well. On a typical day, I load a full load at 5am and get home around 5pm at which time my cat is usually just in the active zone. I will open bypass and turn the t-stat to high and run the blower on high for a few minutes before opening the loading door. Then I will shut the blower off and rake all the coals to the front in a big pile and lay one 2-3” split E/W on top of the coals and let that burn for about an hour. After an hour I will repeat. After the second hour of this process the coals have burned down pretty substantially and I usually have raised my house temp a couple degrees. At that point I’ll level out the coals and do a full reload for over night. In the morning I am usually loading on a pretty deep bed of coals.