WS Ideal Steel - Coal position for continuous burning

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New Member
Apr 26, 2021
Question for WS Ideal Steel owners anyone determine the best position for coals during continuous burning? It's -8 and looking to run non-stop. Was thinking with air wash pulling coals to the front might be the best option and stack new wood to the back. 1st season with this unit my old stove was a 1980s blaze King.

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Minister of Fire
I just got off the phone with my dear friend, the owner of WSSS. He says to tell you rake all the coals to the front as the primary air going across the glass will best break down coals.



Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2011
Black Forest, CO
We often burn our Mansfield more like a fireplace with continuous feed of wood rather than cycling as it's out in a huge space and we run the HVAC circulation blower to heat the house with it. This means dealing with the build-up of coals.

I have experimented with pulling coals forward then loading wood behind them, and also pushing coals backward then loading wood in front of them.

Either way works but both ways have their drawbacks and benefits. Coals raked to the front will reduce the coal pile a bit faster, however, wood piled behind it may not burn through efficiently or as cleanly, requiring more adjustments. Raking coals to the back, and placing the fuel in front, results in a cleaner burn of the wood gases from the fresh fuel, but slightly less aggressive coal reduction.

The important thing for continuous feed, is to stir the coals to shake off the ash and pile them up to maximize air penetration through them. You should experiment with where that pile goes and where the new fuel goes in your stove with your wood and see what you like! I don't know if there's a "best" answer to this.

[edit in]

I forgot to mention... one advantage to pushing coals to the back while feeding logs to the front, is that you are building up a huge reserve of coals that will burn down slowly after logs in front have burned down, these coals can later be raked out and re-excited by fast air from an open door, and used to light off future fires more easily/conveniently. There may be merit to pushing coals back on a load before bed, vs pulling them forward when you plan to load more fuel in the near future.
Last edited:
Jan 20, 2019
On my IS, I leave an even amount of coals in the bottom with a touch more toward the front, but I like some coals all the way to the back to startup the larger rounds I like to use. So 2/3 middle to front, 1/3 back I guess. Load rounds east west because I have long 20” rounds frequently.