Maybe your signature line needs to be changedI've had a few small fires going over the last couple of weeks. I didn't get my stove until mid-March this year, and it's my first wood stove, so I'm really looking forward to the heart of winter this year to see what she can do.
Many of you helped me diagnose my over firing issue late last season (about 6 months ago). Recently, I've managed to keep the stove top cool enough by engaging the oven as a regular practice, but the fact that the manual recommends against this has been eating at me. This year's fires have been small so far, so I've been able to keep the oven side disengaged while regulating stove top heat with great success.
Just today, for the first time I tried raking the coals from my tinder fire to the front of the box and loading 5 medium-ish splits in North-South orientation. Every fire I've built before today has been in a tic-tac-toe type pattern, where one layer goes N-S, and the next E-W, repeating the pattern until I've got enough wood, or the box is full. Obviously this gives the wood a lot of breathing room, and everything tends to ignite at once. I could never keep the stove top cool with this loading method before, unless I engaged the oven, allowing the air to circulate through the entire stove.
So anyway, today I had a load of such size that it definitely would have over fired the stove had it been arranged in the NS/EW pattern I normally use, but the stove was easily regulated (without engaging the oven) when the coals were raked to the front, and all logs were tightly oriented NS.
It's going to be mid-30s tomorrow night, and I'm very excited to try this new strategy with a large load of wood to see how it goes.
Mid to late October is about right for us too, same location. We've had 2 fires so far. First one shouldn't count that was just curing the new paint. We had one the other day for fun, we're years ahead on wood so why not, everyone enjoyed it. I'm typically riding my heat pump/solar until it gets below 40...but...if the wife wants fire there will be fire .Hoping it will be in a few weeks. Still haven't cleaned the liner. Will do this week. Just moved wood into the hoop in the garage. Have a trash can full of kindling in the garage from last year. Will do 2 or 3 more. Will do some this week.
My first fire here metrowest Boston averages October 25. Earliest September 30. Latest November 24.