Monster Clinkers

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Beave

New Member
Jan 3, 2010
51
Pacific Northwest
Being our first year of burning, my wife and I have been using pressed log products (Home Fire Logs, Tacoma Fire Logs) in our stove while next years wood is seasoning.

Our stove performs great with whatever we throw at it, but everytime the stove cools down to room temp and I am cleaning ashes, I have monster clinkers stuck to the brick on the bottom of the firebox. I have to gently chip them away with my rake, and this last time a piece of my firebrick chipped off as well. At certain times during the burn, I can see this molten slag bubbling and developing on the firebox floor.

Anybody else have this problem? And if so, any tips for preventing it or making it easier to get out? I have thought about cleaning it while hot, but our stove is either raging full when we are home or dead cold when I get home from work.

On a side note, this has been a great first year experience with our new home and new wood stove! I'm not ready to hang it up for the summer! Thanks for all the tips and advice. This forum and its contributors are invaluable to wood burners everywhere.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,960
Massachusetts
i don't know about the logs your using. maybe it's a ball of wax that you see bubbling. some of those logs are made with wax not sure about yours. if you said cord wood i would have said that your wood is not dry enough. that happens to me is i get a piece of firewood that is not dry enough it leaves coals and those spots that i have to peel off the ashes. most times there is a thick bed of ashes so it doesn't get down to the stove floor.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,762
Central Mass
I know that happens with certain pellets in pellet stoves, stands to reason since your basically burning a large pellet that you would get a large clinker. I forget why they form, someone explained it to me once when I had my pellet stove but its because its burning hot, which is a good thing I guess.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,515
South Puget Sound, WA
There's no wax in the HomeFires. I haven't heard of the Tacoma Logs before this post. Are they being made by Manke?

Most likely the clinkers are being formed by minerals sucked up into the trees. My understanding it that this is mostly silica which fuses into a slag in the stove. FWIW, I also get this burning local fir/alder/maple.
 

ControlFreak

Feeling the Heat
Jan 15, 2008
492
Holden, MA
"My understanding it that this is mostly silica which fuses into a slag in the stove. FWIW, I also get this burning local fir/alder/maple. "

Yea, that makes sense to me. I notice that when there's a thick layer of ash, it will often cook red hot down in the pile. When that happens and the pile is undisturbed while it cools, the clinker-like formations will show up in the middle of that.
 

jfsharron

Member
Nov 19, 2005
18
Oregon
www.wowpellets.com
Clinkers are formed by non-wood “contaminants” (dirt, grit, sand, etc.) being present in the fuel (pellets, compressed logs, and even cord word). As the fuel burns, these contaminants are left and fuse together due to the high heat. They pose the biggest issues in pellet stoves where the clinker will block off airflow through the burn pot.
 

Beave

New Member
Jan 3, 2010
51
Pacific Northwest
Thanks for the ideas everyone. We are just about out of our purchased fuel supply and we'll see how it goes next winter with cord wood. @ Be Green, yes, I am pretty sure the Tacoma Logs are made by Manke Lumber.

Thanks again
 

Yes Virginia

Member
Dec 5, 2006
13
The easy way to solve the clinker problem is to burn on a !"-!-!/2" bed of ash- then the clinker does not stick and is easily removed and thrown away . We have done this for years. I would much rather clean out a clinker every month than clean out ashes on a daily basis!
 

NWfuel

Minister of Fire
Beave said:
Thanks for the ideas everyone. We are just about out of our purchased fuel supply and we'll see how it goes next winter with cord wood. @ Be Green, yes, I am pretty sure the Tacoma Logs are made by Manke Lumber.

Thanks again
I have not heard of any logs being manufactured in Tacoma. If so I doubt it would be Manke, they do manufacture pellets(Clean Burn) and also have softwood cords that are processed by the Chomper. Please update me on your findings.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,515
South Puget Sound, WA
I looked, didn't come up with anything.
 

Beave

New Member
Jan 3, 2010
51
Pacific Northwest
I cannot confirm that Manke produces these logs. This is the only online listing I could find for the product, which is also the same place we bought them.

http://www.lowpricedcedar.com/product_detail.php?prodid=43

@ Virginia, Thanks, I'll give that idea a shot. I usually do clean out too much of my ashes, so I'll try leaving more in there next time and see if that stops my clinkers from sticking.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,515
South Puget Sound, WA
Hey, Beave. Thanks for the link. They are more like a bio-brick than a log. I'll try to get down there to see if I can get a small sample. I'd love to try them out.
 

Beave

New Member
Jan 3, 2010
51
Pacific Northwest
Your welcome. Although not as long lasting as the Home Fire Logs, these bricks do burn well and are consistent performers. And at $225 a pallet they are the cheapest I have seen for manufactured fuel logs.

I can creatively pack 11 of them in my stove for a cold start that will heat our house from 4pm to 10pm. Then it's reload time. They expand like bread loafs, but only gradually when starting from a cold stove. When reloading on top of hot coals, they expand much faster and bigger as well. I found this out one night when they began lifting my top firebricks and ceramic insulation off the secondary burn tubes! Woops! So for a reload, I only load a single layer of 5 bricks.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,515
South Puget Sound, WA
Generally I found lower compressed logs tended to expand a lot and burn out faster with more ash. HomeFire's and Idaho Logs are very highly compressed. They don't expand much and burn for a longer period of time with little ash created. BioBricks expand a little, maybe about a 20% increase in size. The low compressed logs I tested easily doubled in size when they got hot.

https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/BioBricks/
 
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