Wood drops down, stops burning

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Mnebears

New Member
Nov 18, 2021
22
Maine
Thanks so much, everyone! This has helped greatly. Also - a picture is worth a thousand words, and I really appreciate the trouble you've gone to to post these. I'm making a series of "test" fires based on all the suggestions. It's clear I've been doing some things that just wouldn't work (like adding unsplit wood too soon). Yes, begreen, I'm using the start up control, also opening the door a crack sometimes. All the methods make a good fire initially because my wood is VERY dry and has been kept in a dry barn for 3+ years. It burns enthusiastically, I just need to discover how to keep it going.

I've been making much smaller fires than I see here, starting with about half the amount of wood I'm seeing on your pictures. I was afraid of putting a lot of wood in there initially - again, they scared me with the overburn thing and the instructions that came with the stove had plenty of warnings but nothing about what to do if you got too hot a fire. I assume call the fire department and leave the house! I'm especially cautious because, my husband having had several strokes, can't move around quickly and I don't ever want to get into a situation where that's an issue.

The original problem I complained of - wood dropping down onto the floor of the stove and then going out - happened with wood that was burning very vigorously , but that didn't seem to matter. A flaming piece of wood that dropped down onto the bottom of the stove would stop burning entirely within about a minute. I grew up with fireplaces that had a grate, so there was always space under the burning wood to insert a few bits of kindling if the fire showed signs of going out. I gotta say - miss that grate!
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,713
SE North Carolina
I have found stuffing the firebox Clear full to the top for a top down fire to be the best way to start. It’s only one layer of splits. Sleepers on the bottom to allow air under the splits. Then smaller branches then to the top with kindling. A good hot bed of coals is what helps keep the splits on the bottom burning. If you don’t have the heat to encourage combustion it’s just harder as the combustion air alone just isn’t enough.
 

agonyzhou

Member
Nov 29, 2019
105
Maryland
I gotta say - miss that grate!
Don't use a grate. If you cut your wood short, like 12'' or so, you can load N/S in this stove, and have the outside end of the wood resting on the metal edge of the firebox. this should give enough air circulation.

Regarding over fire, I onve load the baby full with dry pine. It was a hell of a fire with the glass reached 1000F with the blower on max. And everything worked fine. I am not encouraging you to do the same; this baby can take some abuse.
 

Mnebears

New Member
Nov 18, 2021
22
Maine
Thanks - that's good advice, especially about the overfiring. My wood is already cut and I don't have any way to cut it again, so I'm stuck with using what I have. It's all kind of big for the stove, which I think has contributed to my problem of having the fire go out. When I use a few of the very small pieces, I get a much better fire to build on.
 

agonyzhou

Member
Nov 29, 2019
105
Maryland
You can load any way you want; the front of the stove has a width of 22''+ so it can accommodate at least one very long split. The downside of the shape of the firebox is you cannot load very full; but given that the stove is basically uncontrollable, you may not want to load it very full anyway. If your draft is good and your wood is dry, it will burn however you load it.
 

FPX Dude

Feeling the Heat
Oct 4, 2007
402
Sacramento, CA
Don't use a grate. I put all splits in same alignment (not criss-cross) and with flat pieces I put them flat-side to flat-side and actually kinda remake the log. Based upon pic #4 after it's going, it should be able to control with air, and/or just based upon the amount of wood you put in. Sometimes on reload, I'll put in a sleeper or two to help get the air under it and help for cleaner burn, otherwise sometimes it'll just smolder and smoke.
 

agonyzhou

Member
Nov 29, 2019
105
Maryland
There is no grate to begin with, and if you put something in it will only get in your way. I even removed the andiron because it get in my way to load wood and clean out the ash.
Did you remove the grate??
 

Garlicman

New Member
Nov 25, 2021
6
PA
VBU,

Thank you for this! A visual reference is great for us new stove owners.

I am still figuring my stove, but in the meantime, I’ve really enjoyed reading this site. I’ve learned a ton.

I really appreciate it!
 

vbu

Member
Mar 3, 2019
53
MS
VBU,

Thank you for this! A visual reference is great for us new stove owners.

I am still figuring my stove, but in the meantime, I’ve really enjoyed reading this site. I’ve learned a ton.

I really appreciate it!
You're welcome! Here (click on here) I have some more pictures in the thread of my install, and from when I cleaned out the chimney, might be helpful for the future!