Ember holder?

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nola mike

Minister of Fire
Sep 13, 2010
928
Richmond/Montross, Virginia
Has anyone tried anything to contain embers on a reload? I have coals/embers on a hot reload. If I could keep them contained I'd be able to pack the firebox tighter and better organized. I was envisioning a mesh wire u shaped cage in the shape of a log. On reload with a lot of coals, shovel them into the log and load the rest of the stove. This would also have the effect of burning those coals quicker. Thinking that a variation (flat, larger, raised) would allow a quick coal burn if needed (max surface area of coals exposed). I know you big stove big firebox guys don't have these problems, but they're real ;)
 
I have an ash bucket from Rural King for cool ashes. I use a spare Dutch Oven for the red hot ones, if I even use it. Cast Iron can take the heat, just make sure to set it out of the wind, with a lid preferably, and on cement or bricks. It will get HOT!
 
I have an ash bucket from Rural King for cool ashes. I use a spare Dutch Oven for the red hot ones, if I even use it. Cast Iron can take the heat, just make sure to set it out of the wind, with a lid preferably, and on cement or bricks. It will get HOT!
The idea is to keep the hot coals in the stove to burn down, just keep them where I want them. I think they'll burn down quicker this way as well rather than just having them spread/smothered on the floor
 
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Oh, then never mind. I thought you wanted to clean the ashes all out, but while the coals are burning. My mistake.
 
I use a metal wire mesh cat poo scooper to move (only) the coals to where I want them, if my toothless rake doesn't do the trick.
Easy to move them into a line shape to add splits next to them (and eventually on top).
 
I use a poker to pull coals forwards and push them to the center where the air jet from the andiron will hit them, leaving a channel in the center for the air jet to reach under the new splits. If I miss some it does not seem to matter. They burn up the same. But it does make the reload light quicker.
 
Sounds like you're making this harder than it needs to be. My stove has a small firebox and top loads I just put the new splits on top of the hot coals and it all just burns. My stove does have a slotted grate and an ashpan under it so I can empty the ashes easily and never fool with the coals.
 
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I like to keep it K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. I learned to make a fire around 11 years old, and I still do it the same, lol....I old school.
 
Seems overly complicated to me. I just rake all the coals flat, throw the fresh wood on top and let er rip. Never had any problems doing it that way. If I get too many coals I'll hit the air boost on my insert to burn them down some before I reload, but that's it
 
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Seems overly complicated to me. I just rake all the coals flat, throw the fresh wood on top and let er rip. Never had any problems doing it that way. If I get too many coals I'll hit the air boost on my insert to burn them down some before I reload, but that's it
You're missing the point. For max heat output the stove needs to have minimum coaling time and maximum amount of wood/load. A bed of disorganized embers might cost me the room to add another split or 2.
 
You're missing the point. For max heat output the stove needs to have minimum coaling time and maximum amount of wood/load. A bed of disorganized embers might cost me the room to add another split or 2.
Maybe but a box to put the embers in will definitely cost you a split or 2. I agree with others it sounds needlessly complicated
 
Has anyone tried anything to contain embers on a reload? I have coals/embers on a hot reload. If I could keep them contained I'd be able to pack the firebox tighter and better organized. I was envisioning a mesh wire u shaped cage in the shape of a log. On reload with a lot of coals, shovel them into the log and load the rest of the stove. This would also have the effect of burning those coals quicker. Thinking that a variation (flat, larger, raised) would allow a quick coal burn if needed (max surface area of coals exposed). I know you big stove big firebox guys don't have these problems, but they're real ;)
Are you looking for a way to reduce excessive coals?
Pile coals e/w just inside the loading door. Lay a small dry split e/w on top and let er rip wide open. Should greatly reduce your coal load giving you the loading room desired. Doing this as I type. Nothing extra required except some planning ahead for the extra time required. Unless I misinterpreted your post?
 
Ok, I gave it a shot today. Used a paint strainer, got the idea for the material from another recent thread. The idea is basically to have the embers act like another log without taking up extra room and without wasting time for the embers to burn down. It worked great. I used the holder as a shovel to get under the embers. This also allowed me to sift out some ash. Scooped embers from the right to the left. This let my ember pile have some form. Able to load logs on the right and fill the stove. Not sure why nobody seems to get the point of this, dunno if I'm doing a poor job explaining or what, but it allowed me to keep the stove at a higher temperature and reload more splits earlier.
Again, this would only be an issue with a small undersized stove.

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It didn’t survive, did it? That one I made the rake out of felt like aluminum.
 
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It didn’t survive, did it? That one I made the rake out of felt like aluminum.
it survived 1 fire so far, ha. Don't have high hopes for longevity though. This was proof of concept. I need to find something more sturdy for sure. I take it you were where I got the idea from...
 
You can get expanded metal in heavier steel with different hole sizes. The expanded metal that you often see on landscaper’s trailers is reasonably stout, but, may be too open depending on your expectations for sifting coals/embers.
 
Able to load logs on the right and fill the stove. Not sure why nobody seems to get the point of this,
It just might be a matter of getting the proper hearth tool for your needs. I have two tools for moving stuff around in my stove: a poker (bent 90* at the end), and a raker. Both fabricated from 3/8" square steel stock and both ~20" long. The raker has a rectangular chunk of plate steel (1.5" x 5") welded at the end. It makes for a great raker. I am able to quickly move coals and ashes around, shape coals into a heap, ('log'), flatten coals, and create depressions/ channel, and clear ash & coals out in front dog house to improve air draft into fire.
 
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Ok, I gave it a shot today. Used a paint strainer, got the idea for the material from another recent thread. The idea is basically to have the embers act like another log without taking up extra room and without wasting time for the embers to burn down. It worked great. I used the holder as a shovel to get under the embers. This also allowed me to sift out some ash. Scooped embers from the right to the left. This let my ember pile have some form. Able to load logs on the right and fill the stove. Not sure why nobody seems to get the point of this, dunno if I'm doing a poor job explaining or what, but it allowed me to keep the stove at a higher temperature and reload more splits earlier.
Again, this would only be an issue with a small undersized stove.

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I follow you completely and this is actually a great idea. That way you can essentially make an "ember log", then load up your stove, and put your ember log on top to burn up and light your splits below.

Essentially you need something like this, simply 3x larger (and realistically more holes and less steel) if I'm understanding correctly that way you can load your stove normally and simply move your coals as a single "log" wherever you wish, such as on the top your fresh wood, where they'll quickly burn up rather than continue to accumulate at the bottom of the stove.

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If you find something that works, let me know. I'm interested. Great idea. I'm gonna keep looking too.
 
I made a couple perforated shovels to harvest coals and embers from my ash bed. There is a thread here somewhere. I haven't used them in years.
 
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Maybe a stainless kitty litter sifter? There are several old threads on the topic and a variety of tools for this on the market.
 
Several problems I ran into:
1. The embers want to jump out of the stove when I'm trying to corral them.
2. If I don't have enough embers, the holder now takes up real estate.
3. The aluminum melted pretty quickly.

I now think the ideal tool would be the length of the stove, L shaped. I could get all the coals in the tool, move them to the side and hold them there. Load first log, then depending on what's next embers get tucked between 2 logs on the bottom or dumped on top to fill void between the first 2 logs
 
I grabbed some pics of my most recent reload. I do like to run my burns left to right and back again in my stove when it is doing 24/7 duty, so a pile of coals roughly the size and shape of one split is nearly ideal for me. With some experience I can pretty well wrangle my glowing coals around with the L shaped tool that came with my stove.

NB: This was an early reload. We are about to leave for Xmas Eve service, it was now or deal with a cold stove when we get home.

First pic, remaining coals. Second, I got my biggest available split in the bottom right corner, and managed to fit another small piece between the biggun and the coals. Third, I agitated the coals with the L shaped doohickey to knock the ash off them, and then fourth, fill her up and let her rip.

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Im way to afraid to load mine like that, but Im glad you can. I never leave while its running hot, but my stove is by far pretty old school. Its a cast iron box with a fire in it. Im looking for another one, better, but has to wait til spring.....Im happy with my burner for now.