Fixing Blaze King Ashford 30 door stink with Play-Doh

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Smolder

Member
Dec 25, 2019
120
Ashton, Ontario
Hi Everyone and @BKVP,

We have had one of those rare Blaze King Ashford 30s with a stinky hinge. I observed that the knife edge close to the hinge was right at the edge of the gasket and under a lot more pressure than the latch side of the door gasket. We had wet wood last year (this year we have great wood), but it left a lot of creosote to demonstrate the issue.

This is the knife line on the hinge side, the knife is almost at the exterior edge of the gasket channel (pair of needle-nose pliers to show where the knife sits):

hinge_side_channel.jpg

This is the latch side of the door. It rides closer to the center of the gasket channel:

latch_side_channel.jpg

I removed the gasket and rolled up some Play-Doh so I could see exactly where the knife edge was. Here is the hinge side Play-Doh impression:
after_hing_side_playdoh.jpg

Here is the latch latch side:
before_latch_sid_playdoh.jpg

You can see an opportunity to split the error left and right and put the knife edge more cleanly in the center of the gasket and gasket channel.

The ashford is a normal plate-metal stove with pretty panels that hang on the outside, these make it pretty and help with the stoves love clearances. Taking the panels off is pretty easy:

You will need the following items:
1. Metal BK Shims if you want to adjust gasket pressure at the hinge side.
2. Wood cedar shims to slide under the front door casting before you loosen it (or to change vertical alignment).
3. An 11mm wrench - seems you can take an entire BK Ashford 30 with an 11mm wrench.

1. Remove the temp probe and carefully lift the top off. It's held there by gravity.
2. Each side is held in place by 2 top bolts (2 each side), you loosen or remove these panels by lifting upward. There are two bolts at the bottom but they seem to be mostly guides (you can reach the back, bottom bolt with your 11mm if it's snug and give it a turn to loosen it).

Loosen these:
remove_the_side_panels.jpg

3. With the sides out of the way you can now loosen the front. Slide those cedar shims under the left and right side of the front panel, close to ash drawer until snug. This will stop the front from dropping - loosen the four bolts that affix the front casting - also be careful, the bolts are short, You have maybe 5-8 full turns before the bolt comes out and the factory spaces fall into some strange place (likey your ash pan). Either way they are annoying to put back in. In any case you need to back these out.

4. (optional) if you are installing BK spacers on the hinge side, loosen those bolts a bit more and slide the spacer between the stove body flange and the front casting. Here are the spacers. These are about 1mm thick, not much, but a little goes a long way.
bk_spacers.jpg
5. Slide the front casting relative to the stove (in my case I needed to slide the front in the direction of the hing (to the left)) to center the knife edge relative to the gasket slot. (Note: Be sure to unlatch the door, but keep it as closed as possible, also watch your cedar shims).

6. Do more Play-Doh tests. Re-roll your Play-Doh and repeat until you've split the difference.

Hinge Side Play-Doh test after adjustment:
after_hing_side_playdoh.jpg

Latch-side Play-Doh test after adjustment:
after_latch_side_playdoh.jpg

7. Test the latch. If you move the front panel to far left the latch will drag, which sucks. You could probably pull out a file knock down the latch-grabber-arm-thing on the edge, or you can slide the front back a touch and go for "best fit".

8. Test vertical gasket grooves with more Play-Doh, this is your chance to make it perfect.

9. Tighten the 4 front panel bolts (caution, do not over-tighten, maybe snug plus a half turn, the BK bolts would probably turn until something broke).

Tightening the front with one extra spacer:

front_bold_with_spacer.jpg

10. Install a new gasket, get your red RTV ready:
new_gasket.jpg

11. Enjoy a nice fire free of the smell of beef-jerky.
stink_free_fire.jpg
 

Attachments

  • before_hing_side_playdoh.jpg
    before_hing_side_playdoh.jpg
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Sailrmike

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2017
295
06371
Hi Everyone and @BKVP,

We have had one of those rare Blaze King Ashford 30s with a stinky hinge. I observed that the knife edge close to the hinge was right at the edge of the gasket and under a lot more pressure than the latch side of the door gasket. We had wet wood last year (this year we have great wood), but it left a lot of creosote to demonstrate the issue.

This is the knife line on the hinge side, the knife is almost at the exterior edge of the gasket channel (pair of needle-nose pliers to show where the knife sits):

View attachment 264151

This is the latch side of the door. It rides closer to the center of the gasket channel:

View attachment 264152

I removed the gasket and rolled up some Play-Doh so I could see exactly where the knife edge was. Here is the hinge side Play-Doh impression:
View attachment 264153

Here is the latch latch side:
View attachment 264154

You can see an opportunity to split the error left and right and put the knife edge more cleanly in the center of the gasket and gasket channel.

The ashford is a normal plate-metal stove with pretty panels that hang on the outside, these make it pretty and help with the stoves love clearances. Taking the panels off is pretty easy:

You will need the following items:
1. Metal BK Shims if you want to adjust gasket pressure at the hinge side.
2. Wood cedar shims to slide under the front door casting before you loosen it (or to change vertical alignment).
3. An 11mm wrench - seems you can take an entire BK Ashford 30 with an 11mm wrench.

1. Remove the temp probe and carefully lift the top off. It's held there by gravity.
2. Each side is held in place by 2 top bolts (2 each side), you loosen or remove these panels by lifting upward. There are two bolts at the bottom but they seem to be mostly guides (you can reach the back, bottom bolt with your 11mm if it's snug and give it a turn to loosen it).

Loosen these:
View attachment 264155

3. With the sides out of the way you can now loosen the front. Slide those cedar shims under the left and right side of the front panel, close to ash drawer until snug. This will stop the front from dropping - loosen the four bolts that affix the front casting - also be careful, the bolts are short, You have maybe 5-8 full turns before the bolt comes out and the factory spaces fall into some strange place (likey your ash pan). Either way they are annoying to put back in. In any case you need to back these out.

4. (optional) if you are installing BK spacers on the hinge side, loosen those bolts a bit more and slide the spacer between the stove body flange and the front casting. Here are the spacers. These are about 1mm thick, not much, but a little goes a long way.
View attachment 264156
5. Slide the front casting relative to the stove (in my case I needed to slide the front in the direction of the hing (to the left)) to center the knife edge relative to the gasket slot. (Note: Be sure to unlatch the door, but keep it as closed as possible, also watch your cedar shims).

6. Do more Play-Doh tests. Re-roll your Play-Doh and repeat until you've split the difference.

Hinge Side Play-Doh test after adjustment:
View attachment 264157

Latch-side Play-Doh test after adjustment:
View attachment 264158

7. Test the latch. If you move the front panel to far left the latch will drag, which sucks. You could probably pull out a file knock down the latch-grabber-arm-thing on the edge, or you can slide the front back a touch and go for "best fit".

8. Test vertical gasket grooves with more Play-Doh, this is your chance to make it perfect.

9. Tighten the 4 front panel bolts (caution, do not over-tighten, maybe snug plus a half turn, the BK bolts would probably turn until something broke).

Tightening the front with one extra spacer:

View attachment 264159

10. Install a new gasket, get your red RTV ready:
View attachment 264160

11. Enjoy a nice fire free of the smell of beef-jerky.
View attachment 264161
Nice post with great pictures! My Chinook did the same thing on the hinge side. Was no way to fix to my knowledge. Thanks for sharing!
 
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Reactions: Smolder

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,489
Fairbanks, Alaska
Nice writeup, well documented, and a vexing problem sometimes.
 
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Reactions: Smolder

Smolder

Member
Dec 25, 2019
120
Ashton, Ontario
I wonder how many of the smelly ashfords could be fixed the same way.

good question. Alignment seems to make a big difference. I also think the radius’s on the corners of the knife edge are very sharp, as is the turn the gasket has to make. The knife edge radius thins and curves inward at the bend making a smaller contact point, whereas the gasket tends to narrow when making the tight bend. Together it means one wants to ensure a little more gasket material makes it to the corners.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,437
Downeast Maine
I bet there are plenty of folks who aren't very careful when moving and installing the stoves and that might lead to a lot of these smell/alignment problems. I had to drive over a lot of broken and rough roads bringing my solid cast iron stove home, so I could imagine how shaken up a clad stove could get over a long drive.
 

Smolder

Member
Dec 25, 2019
120
Ashton, Ontario
I bet there are plenty of folks who aren't very careful when moving and installing the stoves and that might lead to a lot of these smell/alignment problems. I had to drive over a lot of broken and rough roads bringing my solid cast iron stove home, so I could imagine how shaken up a clad stove could get over a long drive.

I could see that, or even being tilted and lifted, the cladding bolts aren't "overly tight" just snug.
 
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MTASH

Burning Hunk
Dec 24, 2018
184
Montana
OP, what did your top and bottom gaskets look like?

My hinge and latch sides are exactly like yours, but I also noticed that the knife edge is right at the bottom of the gasket along the bottom of the door. Not sure I could lower the door enough to compensate...
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,301
South Puget Sound, WA
This should be written up in a dealer tech service bulletin and part of the factory QC.
 

Bullyboy

Burning Hunk
Apr 8, 2017
137
Central Ontario
I certainly hope that this works long term for you. Amazing documentation by the way. I wish I had of been as organized. I basically went thru the same process last Feb as per instructions from Blaze King. Worked perfect with a very clear 50/50 split on the gasket. Used paper covered in chalk, wish I had of thought of play dough. Zero smell. Unfortunately in about 6 to 8 weeks the smell was back with a vengeance. That's the most frustrating part of all of this. I have gone thru 3 or 4 fixes that all worked great but only temporarily.

I have a friend who bought the same stove on my recommendation. Fortunately for him no such issues. I guess for me as his friend as well. lol. Anyway, I sincerely hope this is a permanent fix for you. Such a beautiful stove and amazing heater.
 

Smolder

Member
Dec 25, 2019
120
Ashton, Ontario
OP, what did your top and bottom gaskets look like?

My hinge and latch sides are exactly like yours, but I also noticed that the knife edge is right at the bottom of the gasket along the bottom of the door. Not sure I could lower the door enough to compensate...

My knife edge is centered top to bottom even amounts of dirty and clean gasket now. Can you slide a match book under the front corners of the stove above the legs? If so, you can probably move the entire front (with door) downward relative to the firebox to get better centering.
 

Smolder

Member
Dec 25, 2019
120
Ashton, Ontario
I certainly hope that this works long term for you. Amazing documentation by the way. I wish I had of been as organized. I basically went thru the same process last Feb as per instructions from Blaze King. Worked perfect with a very clear 50/50 split on the gasket. Used paper covered in chalk, wish I had of thought of play dough. Zero smell. Unfortunately in about 6 to 8 weeks the smell was back with a vengeance. That's the most frustrating part of all of this. I have gone thru 3 or 4 fixes that all worked great but only temporarily.

I have a friend who bought the same stove on my recommendation. Fortunately for him no such issues. I guess for me as his friend as well. lol. Anyway, I sincerely hope this is a permanent fix for you. Such a beautiful stove and amazing heater.

You replaced the gasket as well? That's is brutal. If the smell comes back I think I'm going to try one of the graphite impregnated stove gaskets. The BK gasket seems pretty solid, but it also does seem porous (I can hold the part I cut off when replacing the gasket and blow through it pretty easy).
 

MTASH

Burning Hunk
Dec 24, 2018
184
Montana
My knife edge is centered top to bottom even amounts of dirty and clean gasket now. Can you slide a match book under the front corners of the stove above the legs? If so, you can probably move the entire front (with door) downward relative to the firebox to get better centering.
There is about 1/8" or so to work with, but what I meant was that the brackets allow side to side adjustment but I don't think it possible to raise/lower enough to make much difference. My top knife edge is centered but bottom is not, it is right at the lower edge.
 

Smolder

Member
Dec 25, 2019
120
Ashton, Ontario
There is about 1/8" or so to work with, but what I meant was that the brackets allow side to side adjustment but I don't think it possible to raise/lower enough to make much difference. My top knife edge is centered but bottom is not, it is right at the lower edge.

I definitely had about a quarter inch up and down play. I used cedar shims to adjust the spacing and not mark the enamel. The front is heavy :)