What’s your ideal way to load your stove?

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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,705
07462
I def have majority larger splits for this season then previous, I think I might store my wood splitting block and tire in the garage this season to trim a split or two to get optimal stove loading, larger splits do work better for me for longer burn times at higher outputs, but a full to the gills firebox is primo to.
 

lefties

Member
Feb 1, 2011
39
one 7 inch round gets me thru the night with coals left over and house warm. No need to fill it up and waste wood then I have to open door. During day 3-decent splits are all I need when temps are 10-20 to heat my 1650 sq ft
 
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lefties

Member
Feb 1, 2011
39
After a dinner or standing rib roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, along with a dark beer, then a soak in a hot tub, and then my wife massaging my back, afterward I put wood in the stove.
That is my ideal way of loading a stove. Maybe someday.
we all wish!!!!
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,705
07462
Once the cold hits and sticks around my routine when loading is to first push all the junk as far back into the firebox as possible with a garden rake and welding glove, then I gently rake the large coals forward, I then take my splits and load N / S in the firebox, trying to make them as tightly packed as possible, works well for myself and many others, never get coal build up due to raking them front and center. I will clean my fire box as weather permits or every 2 weeks, which ever comes first. If the weather is warm like this coming Saturday, then I'll keep the air open to the max, rake all coals forward and burn them to dust, load them in my safe container, make a new fire and let the ash cool for a few days before dumping. If I'm cleaning in the depths of winter, I'll rake large coals to one side of the box, scoop out the ask, then rake to the other side of the box, scoop some more ash, usually I only get about 2/3 of the firebox clean, but that makes plenty of room for more wood. I also find that my stove works a bit better when there is a layer on ash on the bottom brick.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,337
Massachusetts
Once the cold hits and sticks around my routine when loading is to first push all the junk as far back into the firebox as possible with a garden rake and welding glove, then I gently rake the large coals forward, I then take my splits and load N / S in the firebox, trying to make them as tightly packed as possible, works well for myself and many others, never get coal build up due to raking them front and center. I will clean my fire box as weather permits or every 2 weeks, which ever comes first. If the weather is warm like this coming Saturday, then I'll keep the air open to the max, rake all coals forward and burn them to dust, load them in my safe container, make a new fire and let the ash cool for a few days before dumping. If I'm cleaning in the depths of winter, I'll rake large coals to one side of the box, scoop out the ask, then rake to the other side of the box, scoop some more ash, usually I only get about 2/3 of the firebox clean, but that makes plenty of room for more wood. I also find that my stove works a bit better when there is a layer on ash on the bottom brick.
This is exactly how I manage my firebox top. I'm also a big fan of splitting Square and rectangular pieces whenever possible. It's easier to load and has less air gaps. Red oak and maple are very easy to split square but cherry, and ash are more challenging.
 

St. Coemgen

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2016
341
Hungary
www.stcoemgen.com
one 7 inch round gets me thru the night with coals left over and house warm. No need to fill it up and waste wood then I have to open door. During day 3-decent splits are all I need when temps are 10-20 to heat my 1650 sq ft

Pretty much the same here. Also have a small house.

Smaller houses of course need less heating. But also, I have a stone house, acts like an earth ship, so all heating simply charges the walls. Which is quite different from many US timber framed houses, made with 2x4 (actually only a 3.5 wide). One can not insert much insulation in such walls. The typical composite US timber framed house has a wall R-Value of about 15. Much less than minimum recommended today for most of North America (20+).

I do not even need to burn overnight. Day time heating alone gives me the best overnight sleeping and morning temps between 17 to 20 °C. (63 to 68 °F). Even then, I often do not need to start heating when I get up, till afternoon, even when outside temps one side or another of freezing. Even in the day, I am content with the 17 to 20° C range.