WS Progress can burn a load of pure bark with no overfire

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fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,655
North Eastern MA
I wonder how many non-cat stoves could burn a load of just bark and not overfire their stove?

Just for the fun of it, I loaded pure Oak bark in the Progress last night and it burned pretty much like a normal load - lots of lazy secondaries for a couple hours and then a slow burn to ashy coals. The load burned down faster than plain cord wood but I was amazed how well controlled it was. I actually got a 7 hour burn out of this load with a 250 stovetop at the end.

I loaded the stove only partially with bark other times to get a feel for how it burned before I fully loaded it. This stove can burn small splits of Cottonwood and still not overfire.

This is one reason I really like cat stoves, they can be dialed down so low.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,161
central pa
I wonder how many non-cat stoves could burn a load of just bark and not overfire their stove?

Just for the fun of it, I loaded pure Oak bark in the Progress last night and it burned pretty much like a normal load - lots of lazy secondaries for a couple hours and then a slow burn to ashy coals. The load burned down faster than plain cord wood but I was amazed how well controlled it was. I actually got a 7 hour burn out of this load with a 250 stovetop at the end.

I loaded the stove only partially with bark other times to get a feel for how it burned before I fully loaded it. This stove can burn small splits of Cottonwood and still not overfire.

This is one reason I really like cat stoves, they can be dialed down so low.
If the noncat is set up properly it shouldn't be an issue at all.
 

fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,655
North Eastern MA
I thought the modern non-cats had a wider minimum air setting than cat stoves to meet emissions requirements .
My old 1985 VC Resolute smoke dragon could be choked down but the stench outside would choke a cow.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,161
central pa
I thought the modern non-cats had a wider minimum air setting than cat stoves to meet emissions requirements .
My old 1985 VC Resolute smoke dragon could be choked down but the stench outside would choke a cow.
Yes higher minimum air but if set up properly they will be controllable.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,795
South Puget Sound, WA
If the noncat is set up properly it shouldn't be an issue at all.
I've burned more than one load of thick doug fir and locust bark with no problem. It takes some hot coals to get them going and tends to make clinkers in the ash.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
I've done loads of maple bark in my old DutchWest. Did create more soot than proper wood.

I'm a little surprised that folks who advise to go bigger splits (less off gassing) and warn about run away fires, now say that "all is fine with bark". It seems to me that these two statements have some tension.

To me, yes, it's possible to do bark loads. However, the risk of less controllable fires is larger, especially when loading on coals. I do think that should be said here for folks who read this and don't (yet) have a good feel for how their stove behaves in different circumstances.
 
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fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,655
North Eastern MA
To me, yes, it's possible to do bark loads. However, the risk of less controllable fires is larger, especially when loading on coals. I do think that should be said here for folks who read this and don't (yet) have a good feel for how their stove behaves in different circumstances.
I agree. I have read of a few stoves overfiring after loading small splits on very hot coals.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,161
central pa
I've done loads of maple bark in my old DutchWest. Did create more soot than proper wood.

I'm a little surprised that folks who advise to go bigger splits (less off gassing) and warn about run away fires, now say that "all is fine with bark". It seems to me that these two statements have some tension.

To me, yes, it's possible to do bark loads. However, the risk of less controllable fires is larger, especially when loading on coals. I do think that should be said here for folks who read this and don't (yet) have a good feel for how their stove behaves in different circumstances.
I didn't say it's fine under any conditions. I said it's fine if the stove is set up properly. Mainly meaning proper draft. If you have excessive draft it's a bad idea
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,679
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I enjoy the flip flopping on safe loads in a noncat but I’m a good sport!

In my experience I can pack the noncat to the roof with dry Doug fir bark and burn it safely. It’s Smokey at first but then burns clean, short burn times, nice heat but all is fine. I hate to waste the bark because it does burn but I always get slivers.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I always found too much ash from a bark load vs a wood load.
 
Oct 13, 2020
167
Quebec, Canada
Personally I do not see it as a problem, many years ago was given a free load of 12'' slabs and cut off's and it was not a problem in my PE. More ash than normal cordwood, however no cat to plug up either because of it if burning strictly that.