Had a full size fire last night. This pic is from the initial light off. throughout the evening i did two small reloads. one with two full size splits, and 1 with one full size split. Overall the stove ran awesome. No draft problems, i was actually able to fully close the air control for over an hour and had active/busy flames and good burn. I think once the temps drop i am going to be happy i put in a flue damper.
I went upstairs at 9:30pm with the stove only about half full and on low setting. Got up this morning at 6:15 and it still had red coals to light kindling with - very impressed!
Only issues are:
- getting heat from the basement upstairs (it's working OK, but the basement gets to about 85 degrees, so pretty toasty). This was a problem I expected to have, and I think will just take a little getting used to
-smoke on reloads. Because the front door of this stove is basically the entire front wall of the stove, smoke out the front door is very difficult to avoid. I think i have to be smart about timing reloads - coals need to be hot enough to create some draft, but maybe can't reload when the stove is 50% full, just too much smoke and fire.
-still thinking my flue probe is not accurate. I had the Cat cruising right in the middle of its zone. the STT per infrared laser peaked at 675 and then settled in around 550. but my flue gases were supposedly never above 450, and most of the time that gauge hovers right at 400 or even lower. Does this seem right/possible? (flue probe through the double wall exactly 20" above the stove)