Burning all day? Coals/reloading

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NickW

Minister of Fire
Oct 16, 2019
722
SE WI
I'll burn a load of softwood to help burn my coals down when they get excessive. Gives good heat but for a shorter time and then reload with hardwood.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
You're going to have better luck batch burning that insert.

Put wood in it light it, once it gets going set the air control where you need it, and walk away (of course monitoring periodically for over/under firing). Reload once your down to coals, and ideally burn the coals down some first.

If you need more heat, put in more wood for each load and open the air control more. In warmer weather you might be 8-10hrs between cycles, as temperatures get cooler you'll get closer to 6, and at full tilt you might be reloading every 3 hrs. But you still burn in cycles.

Once you start doing it you'll see what I mean, you spend less time tending to the stove and you get more heat from your wood.

I haven’t been able to get anywhere near those times. It’s a 2.5 cubic foot box. I’ve loaded it up with 6-7 pieces. 3 north/south. The the rest east/west. Getting it going, air control all the way down I’m maybe able to get 3-3.5 hrs before it’s dwindling coals.

Other than packing tighter or using thicker pieces is there anyway to extent my time?
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
I haven’t been able to get anywhere near those times. It’s a 2.5 cubic foot box. I’ve loaded it up with 6-7 pieces. 3 north/south. The the rest east/west. Getting it going, air control all the way down I’m maybe able to get 3-3.5 hrs before it’s dwindling coals.

Other than packing tighter or using thicker pieces is there anyway to extent my time?


One thing that does make it harder is the guard piece that's in the front. Kind of limits how easily I can pack the pieces in. Has anyone ever taken these off? It's just a hunk of metal meant to keep logs from rolling into the glass.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,445
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
I haven’t been able to get anywhere near those times. It’s a 2.5 cubic foot box. I’ve loaded it up with 6-7 pieces. 3 north/south. The the rest east/west. Getting it going, air control all the way down I’m maybe able to get 3-3.5 hrs before it’s dwindling coals.

Other than packing tighter or using thicker pieces is there anyway to extent my time?

That's probably pretty close to what I get when loading that way, on the next load I load everything north south on some of the old coals and get probably 5hrs before I'm down to all coals. Not that the coals are a bad thing, I still get could heat for an hour or 2 after as they burn down.

Yes using larger pieces of wood will help to extend burn time as well.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
That's probably pretty close to what I get when loading that way, on the next load I load everything north south on some of the old coals and get probably 5hrs before I'm down to all coals. Not that the coals are a bad thing, I still get could heat for an hour or 2 after as they burn down.

Yes using larger pieces of wood will help to extend burn time as well.
Is it better to fill it all the same direction? Either N/S or E/W? The guard piece makes it hard to load all the way across N/S...My wife likes it there for safety, but I'm considering taking it off (if possible)
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,316
Colorado
I would agree with your lovely wife---leave it there...wives are always right . I think one of your big logs will roll over and hit the glass even if you load it the other way--sounds like your really putting wood in there for a longer burn and maybe something will fall forward and hurt the door or something...old clancey
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
I would agree with your lovely wife---leave it there...wives are always right . I think one of your big logs will roll over and hit the glass even if you load it the other way--sounds like your really putting wood in there for a longer burn and maybe something will fall forward and hurt the door or something...old clancey


Haha, probably true. I will probably keep experimenting. How tightly I pack it, how big the splits are, and how soon I can get the air turned down.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,445
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Is it better to fill it all the same direction? Either N/S or E/W? The guard piece makes it hard to load all the way across N/S...My wife likes it there for safety, but I'm considering taking it off (if possible)

Yes it's possible to get more wood in if all stacked the same way.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
I would agree with your lovely wife---leave it there...wives are always right . I think one of your big logs will roll over and hit the glass even if you load it the other way--sounds like your really putting wood in there for a longer burn and maybe something will fall forward and hurt the door or something...old clancey

When I pack it full, can the wood go all the way up to the air tubes? Or should there be some open space?
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,445
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
When I pack it full, can the wood go all the way up to the air tubes? Or should there be some open space?

Try it both ways, my stove I need to leave an 1" of clearance, otherwise the air from the tubes burns the wood so fast it can overfire. But many people can also load right to the tubes and not have this issue, depends on a few factors including draft.
 
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NickW

Minister of Fire
Oct 16, 2019
722
SE WI
Owners manuals typically say not to go higher than the firebricks or refractory panels.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,679
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
My cat stove has no problem with partial loads. It also has no problem burning slowly and can go 30 hours on one full load. Flexibility and high control is a big reason for a good cat stove. You only have to burn it hot with each load to "char" that load before turning the air down. It's not the whole load getting burnt up at high output. This is recommended on all stoves.

You have andirons (those metal guards sticking up) which are supposed to prevent wood from rolling into the glass but really most stoves don't have those. They are unnecessary if you are loading in a manner to prevent logs from rolling. I would get rid of them if possible. They are mostly for aesthetics.

The best way to get a long and low burn is to get a cat stove. Otherwise you need to make the best out of what you have. Larger splits and turn the air down sooner to avoid getting everything all hot will slow it down.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,164
Woolwich nj
Is it better to fill it all the same direction? Either N/S or E/W? The guard piece makes it hard to load all the way across N/S...My wife likes it there for safety, but I'm considering taking it off (if possible)
load in all one direction. If you want longer burn times there are 3 things you need to do. 1 split thicker, my overnight splits are like 5x5.. 4x4 5x6.. 2 is to split square and rectangle so when you load everything is packed tightly with very little space in between. The more space in between your splits the less wood you will have. Triangle and pie shaped pieces are a tough way to load a box. Dont get me wrong I have Triangle and pie shaped splits I burn that stuff during the day.. I split my wood for both during the day and I take a little extra time and split specifically for overnight. 3 is the species of wood will also make a difference. There's a big difference between burning white oak and black/sweet gum Iv loaded my box which is 2.3 cuft and have gotten 16 hr burns with oak and hickory. Your not going to get long burns with small/medium split wood with average BTUs you need to look for dense wood.. look up the wood BTU chart. I dont know if you purchase wood or your on the scrounge but what ever your doing you need to learn your wood types because that makes a huge difference in burn times. Dont make the assumption that all wood is created equal. Poplar weights 2100 lbs per cord and has about 13 million BTUs per cord. White oak weights 4800 lbs per cord and has 29 million BTUs per cord. You can load the box to the gills with both and the White oak will out perform the poplar every day of the week, but yet both times the box was loaded full.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
load in all one direction. If you want longer burn times there are 3 things you need to do. 1 split thicker, my overnight splits are like 5x5.. 4x4 5x6.. 2 is to split square and rectangle so when you load everything is packed tightly with very little space in between. The more space in between your splits the less wood you will have. Triangle and pie shaped pieces are a tough way to load a box. Dont get me wrong I have Triangle and pie shaped splits I burn that stuff during the day.. I split my wood for both during the day and I take a little extra time and split specifically for overnight. 3 is the species of wood will also make a difference. There's a big difference between burning white oak and black/sweet gum Iv loaded my box which is 2.3 cuft and have gotten 16 hr burns with oak and hickory. Your not going to get long burns with small/medium split wood with average BTUs you need to look for dense wood.. look up the wood BTU chart. I dont know if you purchase wood or your on the scrounge but what ever your doing you need to learn your wood types because that makes a huge difference in burn times. Dont make the assumption that all wood is created equal. Poplar weights 2100 lbs per cord and has about 13 million BTUs per cord. White oak weights 4800 lbs per cord and has 29 million BTUs per cord. You can load the box to the gills with both and the White oak will out perform the poplar every day of the week, but yet both times the box was loaded full.
I have had some better success recently, by packing it tighter. Yesterday afternoon I started a fire and went approx. 5.5 hrs before loading up again. Last night I loaded it up, probably with a bit more than the afternoon load and there were still plenty of hot coals there this morning. That would have been maybe 8-9 hrs?
I may still consider taking out the guard piece...that would probably allow me to put in an additional 3 splits or so? But honestly, if I'm getting 5+ hrs per load that seems decent to me.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
My cat stove has no problem with partial loads. It also has no problem burning slowly and can go 30 hours on one full load. Flexibility and high control is a big reason for a good cat stove. You only have to burn it hot with each load to "char" that load before turning the air down. It's not the whole load getting burnt up at high output. This is recommended on all stoves.

You have andirons (those metal guards sticking up) which are supposed to prevent wood from rolling into the glass but really most stoves don't have those. They are unnecessary if you are loading in a manner to prevent logs from rolling. I would get rid of them if possible. They are mostly for aesthetics.

The best way to get a long and low burn is to get a cat stove. Otherwise you need to make the best out of what you have. Larger splits and turn the air down sooner to avoid getting everything all hot will slow it down.
If I remove the metal guard, is there any problem with loading closer to the glass? Other than the obvious issue of possible rolling. I'd say if I remove the guard I could gain another 4-5 inches of space. It would probably mean another 3-4 splits that could go in.
Does the insert need that space to be open for any reason? I know the air comes in from somewhere there near the front?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,164
Woolwich nj
I have had some better success recently, by packing it tighter. Yesterday afternoon I started a fire and went approx. 5.5 hrs before loading up again. Last night I loaded it up, probably with a bit more than the afternoon load and there were still plenty of hot coals there this morning. That would have been maybe 8-9 hrs?
I may still consider taking out the guard piece...that would probably allow me to put in an additional 3 splits or so? But honestly, if I'm getting 5+ hrs per load that seems decent to me.
ok.. cool really the object is to get the longest burn time available. As a new stove owner its really exciting, but it becomes old if you have a lot to do regarding your stove. Make sure, if your able, to get and store premium harwoods as they are key to long burns and if your splitting your own follow the advice I gave you earlier regarding splitting square. Burning is enjoyable and will stay that way, but only if your not a slave to the stove. Tending to it all the time gets old. There are so many other things that go with wood burning like getting wood, splitting and storage. The best wood is seasoned for 2 seasons. When im burning 24/7 and need alot of heat, I may load the stove 2xs a day.. 3xs max. It takes a while to get where you need to be. Not one person on the forum started out with 3 years of seasoned wood and got extended burn times right away.. keep asking questions and up your game.. If you don't have access to wood at your home or area the best thing to do is get log lenth delivered to your have and cut and split specifically for your stove.. as no one will fulfill your needs like you.. then you know its done right.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
ok.. cool really the object is to get the longest burn time available. As a new stove owner its really exciting, but it becomes old if you have a lot to do regarding your stove. Make sure, if your able, to get and store premium harwoods as they are key to long burns and if your splitting your own follow the advice I gave you earlier regarding splitting square. Burning is enjoyable and will stay that way, but only if your not a slave to the stove. Tending to it all the time gets old. There are so many other things that go with wood burning like getting wood, splitting and storage. The best wood is seasoned for 2 seasons. When im burning 24/7 and need alot of heat, I may load the stove 2xs a day.. 3xs max. It takes a while to get where you need to be. Not one person on the forum started out with 3 years of seasoned wood and got extended burn times right away.. keep asking questions and up your game.. If you don't have access to wood at your home or area the best thing to do is get log lenth delivered to your have and cut and split specifically for your stove.. as no one will fulfill your needs like you.. then you know its done right.
Sounds good, thanks. I bought wood this time, since I hadn't anticipated the need early enough. Got the insert installed a few months back. Since then I've been felling smaller trees on our property, cutting and splitting for next year. Hopefully it'll be usable by then. I figure I'll keep thinning out the back of the property for a while, see how far ahead I can get on the seasoning.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,798
South Puget Sound, WA
I haven’t been able to get anywhere near those times. It’s a 2.5 cubic foot box. I’ve loaded it up with 6-7 pieces. 3 north/south. The the rest east/west. Getting it going, air control all the way down I’m maybe able to get 3-3.5 hrs before it’s dwindling coals.

Other than packing tighter or using thicker pieces is there anyway to extent my time?
Try loading it all one direction, packed full with minimal air gaps between the splits. Thicker splits will burn longer. Pack the gaps with thinner pieces.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
Try loading it all one direction, packed full with minimal air gaps between the splits. Thicker splits will burn longer. Pack the gaps with thinner pieces.

Getting better at this. Have been going about 6 hrs between loads.

FA76E31C-7EAF-42E2-A2D6-4095C6BA838E.jpeg
 

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,516
Long Island, NY

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
Your glass should not look like that, with clean burns.

Is that you air control under the ash lip of the Osburn?

The air control is on the bottom right. Near the logo. I think most of the discoloration is from either the end of the cycle, or the beginning…when I tend to overload and there’s smoking as it gets started? Even with the strongest hottest fires I’ve never been able to keep the sides clear.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
69
Cincinnati, OH
This is more what it typically looks like. When I haven’t been loading a ton of new wood all at once without a strong base.

BD247F7D-38F1-43D9-9CE6-099A004166A2.jpeg
 

FramerJ

New Member
Mar 18, 2021
42
Missouri
Your glass should not look like that, with clean burns.

Is that you air control under the ash lip of the Osburn?
So what exactly is happening if your glass looks like that? I got my Neo2.5 installed this summer and have been burning some fires here and there the last couple of weeks and my glass does this sometimes. Its a brown dusty residue not some black tar and wipes off pretty easy. Is it usually an air control issue. Im new to wood burning so Im still learning and experimenting. I understand there are all kinds of variables to this. Door seal is tight and wood is dry.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,164
Woolwich nj
So what exactly is happening if your glass looks like that? I got my Neo2.5 installed this summer and have been burning some fires here and there the last couple of weeks and my glass does this sometimes. Its a brown dusty residue not some black tar and wipes off pretty easy. Is it usually an air control issue. Im new to wood burning so Im still learning and experimenting. I understand there are all kinds of variables to this. Door seal is tight and wood is dry.
its an indication of your smoldering you wood some.. aka.. your turning back the aire before the wood gassed off
 
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Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,516
Long Island, NY
Getting better at this. Have been going about 6 hrs between loads.

View attachment 285826

When your secondaries kick in, and you start to close the air down , does the glass clear, even somewhat?

It ties into what Woodsplitter said, above.