How often are you removing ashes?

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Ohiowoodstove

Member
Dec 20, 2021
44
Ohio
Going on a week and a half of burning and my ashes are sitting just below the top of the lowest fire bricks. I try to stir them up and run it wide open before reloads. How often are you cleaning out your ashes? Ash box or shovel? Do you sift the chunks of coals? Hot or cold?
 
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BillBurns

Member
Nov 11, 2022
214
PA
I take mine out once a day usually. I take them out semi-hot/warm. I put them into a spare dutch oven that I have. I collect Cast Iron, so I have plenty. I dont trust my ash bucket with coals that hot, but the dutch oven can take it easy, and I have a lid. I use a shovel, and I take out everything but an inch or so of ashes.
 
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BillBurns

Member
Nov 11, 2022
214
PA
Covering the ashes/ coals is important. Due to wind. You dont want ashes a nd coals flying around your neighborhood. I try to let the fire die down a time or two a day, to clean it out, but Im worried about buildup in the flue from small fires?
 
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Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
928
Southern WI
It depends on how much I have been burning and what I have been burning. Also depends on the stove. For mine, when the ashes get up to the ledge for the door, its time to clean them out. If there is a warm day to let the fire die out, will clean then.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,483
Long Island NY
It varies. With maple every week (if burning fulltime). With pine maybe 3 weeks. Oak in between.

Shovel into a bucket, then dump outside in a large metal trash can with lid into which I mix the ubiquitous espresso grinds as well.
 

Ohiowoodstove

Member
Dec 20, 2021
44
Ohio
Thanks for the suggestions all. It’s unseasonably warm here in Ohio so I’m going to turn then as much as I can and let er burn out and remove the ashes today. With my old stove It was every other day and 6 hour burns. Burning 24/7 for a week and a half has just absolutely blown me away. My girlfriend is very very sick of me obsessing over this stove.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,483
Long Island NY
Just wait for 15 F weather and her coming in thru a snow storm. She'll be the opposite of sick
 
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Ohiowoodstove

Member
Dec 20, 2021
44
Ohio
Man I’m gonna be sad when my burn times cut down when I’m needing to crank it. Just gotta keep reminding myself still better than most stoves out there.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
20,236
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
With Doug fir, I only empty a couple of inches of depth once in the middle of the season. So every 2 cords or 4 months. Doug fir is fantastic for low ash. Hardwoods are much different.
 

Jotel me this

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2018
287
Pennsylvania
Going on a week and a half of burning and my ashes are sitting just below the top of the lowest fire bricks. I try to stir them up and run it wide open before reloads. How often are you cleaning out your ashes? Ash box or shovel? Do you sift the chunks of coals? Hot or cold?
Get a cat liter box sifter from amazon. Works wonders to sift coals from ash. I clean mine out once every two weeks. You need some ash in there for insulation.
 
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Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
753
NE
I think I added 2” in 2 days from shagbark hickory holy cow it’s heavy and it looks like a snow globe when you first open the door.
 

VintageGal

Member
Mar 25, 2022
215
NorCal
Wood ash is an insulator.

 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,483
Long Island NY
Everything is a (thermal) insulator - everything resists heat flow to some extent. There is not even a definition of a thermal insulator versus a thermal conductor (like there is one for electric conductors and insulators).
 

Bobbob

Member
Jan 13, 2022
95
Transfer PA
Once I'm burning everyday, I usually scoop a few small shovel full of ash every 2 or 3 days. I only take about one quarter out and leave the rest. My stove burns the best that way
 
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,968
Fairbanks, Alaska
I agree with @stoveliker that the fuel makes a difference.

I burnt birch exclusively this autumn to take advantage of the (relatively) long coaling stage while my BTU needs were low, but it seemed like I was getting a lot of ashes. Once the weather cooled off I switched back to my usual go to spruce and returned to my more familiar (much less) ash production.

I like to keep 1 to 1.5 inches of ash on the floor, use the drain plug and ash drawer, and just empty the ash drawer (factory feature) when it is full. Outdoors I keep a metal trashcan either on grade or on 6" of packed snow. A cheap thing you too can do is rig a short bungie cord through the handle on the lid and hook it on the can handles on each side. That gets me a metric butt ton of wind resistance for minimal fussiness. How often you take your metal trash can of ash to the dump depends on how bad your arthritis is, but metal cans with metal lids in the 25-35 gallon range are cheap as chips.
 
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