Overnight burn premise

James02

Feeling the Heat
Aug 18, 2011
413
N.Y.S.
Hi....What is the goal when loading for an overnighter...Now I have a small firebox, so the chances ofa 8 hrs is lucky at best. I'm surely not doing it this year with newbie wood, but I've long had my stash for next year drying. When I had decient wood (wood that is dryer than I've got now) I put 3 not very big splits in and it hit 650 quick...my question is loadig styles, is the idea to have little air circling or packing it with minimal flame and good wood?? I've searched for this...and have seen all the packing styles, but how does the stove not overfire?
 

Martin Strand III

New Member
Nov 20, 2005
763
NW MI near nowhere
I'd say the premise is:
Overnight burns are a risk/reward venture.

Those who attempt it unwisely
risk their home and lives vs
facing the wee morning hours
without the need for their slippers.

Aye,
Marty
 

Fsappo

Minister of Fire
Apr 9, 2008
4,331
Central NY
For me the goal is to load a stove at bed time, wake up to a warm stove and and a good bed of coals to add splits to maybe 7-8 hours later. But I'd do it in a stove that can handle that all year without creating a lot of creosote.

There is something very satisfying about waking up to a warm house knowing it was heated with something that could be harvested right in your backyard.
 

James02

Feeling the Heat
Aug 18, 2011
413
N.Y.S.
How do you keep the fire from taking off though? Really dont want to damage the stove in the second year....
 

Dakotas Dad

Minister of Fire
Mar 19, 2009
1,498
Central Kentucky
At my house, as long as it isn't single digits, "overnight" goes like this:

About 10:30pm load stove full. If I did it right, on a nice bed of coals..

About 11:00pm air is down to 5% or less, stove top around 450 and climbing. I can close primary air all the way and not get black glass.

About 7:30am get up to full load of coals, house in the 70's, rake coals, walk dogs, load stove.

No single digits since new stove.. but I am planning to load an hour or so later and see how that goes.
 

Fsappo

Minister of Fire
Apr 9, 2008
4,331
Central NY
James02 said:
How do you keep the fire from taking off though? Really dont want to damage the stove in the second year....
Turn the air down about 80-90% a good stove, good wood, good installation and the stove wont overheat
 

James02

Feeling the Heat
Aug 18, 2011
413
N.Y.S.
Franks said:
James02 said:
How do you keep the fire from taking off though? Really dont want to damage the stove in the second year....
Turn the air down about 80-90% a good stove, good wood, good installation and the stove wont overheat

Does it have to packed tight....For very little air circulation and minimal flame?...Does Dry wood smolder (sp)...Lately I've had real bad fires, but I KNOW the promise land is later this year (dry wood).
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,901
Unity/Bangor, Maine
How do you pack it in and avoid over firing the stove?

Answer: Timing, air control and split size . . . at least for me. I try to time my reload so I'm doing it on smaller size coals so the temps start out more on the lower side than higher side . . . I turn down the air relatively quickly once I hit the magic numbers where I can get a sustained secondary . . . and I have found that for me medium to larger size splits helps out alot so that there is not as much surface area burning at any one time.
 

Wood Duck

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2009
4,790
Central PA
I think about this a lot - every night - and I have decided that I 'd rather burn clean than burn long, but there are some tricks I can use to extend the time when enough coals are available for a restart. I pull the coals to the front of the stove and if there aren't too many coals I pull them to the front left corner of the stove where the door opens. I save big splits of dense wood like oak or locust and load at least two, pr preferably three or more. The splits can't be too large or I can only load one and it won't burn well, but rather just smoulder. I place one of the splits in the back of the stove on the firebrick or on ash, not on coals. I might get another big split on top of the one in the back, and a third and maybe fourth in front. Then I pack the stove the rest of the way until it is just about full. I leave the door slightly ajar for a few minutes until I get a lively flame from the wood and secondaries on top. I then adjust the air down as the fire builds up so that I have good secondaries but not a whole lot of flame from the wood. Experience tells me that as long as the air is about halfway closed I can then go to sleep and the fire won't overheat and also won't smoulder. The split in the back will last longest and there may be red coals or 8 hours later although the real heat from the load is gone long before 6 or 8 hours have passed. If I turned the air farther down the fire would smoulder and last longer, but it would be smoky and hot give off as much heat. I'd rather have a hotter, cleaner fire than a long lasting fire. I guess I'd actually prefer both, but I don't have that choice with my small stove.

If it wasn't nighttime I would not pull all the coals to one side and I wouldn't place a big, dense split as far in the lower back of the stove. If I leave a little air space behind the large split it burns more rapidly (so I get a hotter stove) and the coals burn up faster which is good during the day when I want to reload sooner than I do at night.
 

Stump_Branch

Minister of Fire
Nov 12, 2010
878
MD
Its really a timing thing. Loading on the right amount of coals, not taking up space but enough to lite off the wood quickly.

I tend to pack it as best i can for the overnighters, not so much that air/flame cant flow around but im not waking up a few hours later either.

Good bed of coals, you should be able to close the door soon after loading, i like to see at least some active flame before i start backing it down. Closing the air in stages over time, ill get secondary light off, and will close it down far as i can to sustain it. I have overdone it a few times both ways. But once set, theres not much to do except stir coals and add wood in the morning.

I do this about 3 times a day.
 

KodiakII

Minister of Fire
Jan 17, 2011
522
Eastern Ontario
Overnight burn is one of the reasons I spent the money and bought my T6. Going to check the chimney on Monday to see how it looks...it will be around a month of 24/7 burning at that time.
 

James02

Feeling the Heat
Aug 18, 2011
413
N.Y.S.
Thanks to all!! In terms of turning down the air, I have a single slide air control on the bottom of my insert that I cut as soon as I can. I fugured if I left it open it would speed and heat up my burn...Am I incorrect?
 

Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
625
connecticut
I find if I leave my air control open the stove sends all the heat up the flue and stove dont burn as hot.
 
O

oldspark

Guest
The key for me to have a low flue temp is dry wood and being able to turn the primary air down, if I leave the primary air open both the flue temp and the stove top temp go through the roof.
 

northwinds

Minister of Fire
Jul 9, 2006
1,452
south central WI
Dry wood is the biggest key to burning cleanly in a modern stove. After that, it helps to have a big firebox. In the middle
of the winter, I don't burn overnight any differently than the rest of the day. My firebox is big enough to operate on three
loads per day, pretty much consistently with the same size of wood load. On reload, I let the temp go up to 550 and then
start cutting the air until it levels off at 600-650. It stays there for several hours until it starts gradually falling off. By the
time temps fall to 200-300, there is nothing left but hot coals which burn cleanly and without smoking. Because I use
hardwood, there's always enough coals to relight whether it's 8 hours or even 12 hours later. There might be fewer coals
left for reloading, but still much more than what I would use for fire starter in a cold stove.