Small Load Placement

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Jul 23, 2008
I installed my new Drolet stove this past Saturday and have a couple questions. It hasn't been really cold here yet so I've been burning smaller loads. I have to run east/west because all of my wood was cut for a wider stove. If I'm only filling part of the bottom with wood, is it better to place the load in the front, in the middle, in the back or does it really matter.

I've read that all the ashes should be pulled to the front of the stove before reloading. Does this include the coals too? Is this for a purpose other than making it easier to clean the ashes out of the stove when it's needed?

I've been pulling my ashes to the front with a long fireplace shovel but think something shaped like a hoe would work better. I'd cut a hoe handle off but don't think that it would very wise to use a wooden handle inside a stove with red hot coals. Any suggestions here?
Just the coals, not the ash. Rake the hot coals to the front and then place the wood right behind them.
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I put coals in the front and fire in the middle or back. Cutting off a hoe would work I think. Just dont mess around and get the coals quick.
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This is the tool you want:

Give the coals/ash a stir before your reload and get ash much as down into the pan as you can before pulling the coals forward. That rod iron hoe that Caw pictured is the one i picked up as well. Works perfectly.
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