--

OK so in the past couple months I have learned

That actually starting the wood burning is great and all, but the speed at which it burns is pretty important if you actually want HEAT from the damned stove and the stove we have does not allow enough airflow into the firebox to allow the fucking wood to burn quite fast enough, requiring frequent stoking and re-arranging of the fuel.

So add the fucking cast-iron stove to the list of expensive things to replace.

Oh and the water still hasn't been re-tested since the water system was serviced so for all I know it's not fucking potable.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 26th, 2006 11:04pm
You said the stove was working well before. What you're really saying is that the stove doesn't give out enough heat. Well of course if you get a stove that gives out more heat it will burn your supplies of wood faster, so there is clearly a balance to be found. Maybe some gas and some wood? Is the cost of a new wood stove really cheaper than the top-up gas to the furnace?
Permalink Send private email Ian Boys 
January 26th, 2006 11:09pm
The stove WAS working very well before, but not so much now.

Either the stove has gone south and there's nothing to be done for it, or there's some sort of maintenance I'm supposed to be doing but don't know about.

There's some sort of filter/grate thing in the top of the firebox before the flue.  I used a poker to scrape a ton of ash out of it this afternoon and the stove worked better for awhile and then back to this again.  There doesn't appear to be any way to remove the grate to allow better access for cleaning.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 26th, 2006 11:11pm
"Well of course if you get a stove that gives out more heat it will burn your supplies of wood faster,"

not necessarily.  the modern fireplaces tend to be a heck of a lot more efficient than the older ones.

Its perfectly possible that a new one would use less firewood *and* generate more heat into the correct area.
Permalink FullNameRequired 
January 26th, 2006 11:11pm
I would do a Google search along the lines of "maintenance of wood stoves" and follow up the links. Seems to be a fair bit if info about.
Permalink Send private email Ian Boys 
January 26th, 2006 11:15pm
This thing is some sort of cheap-assed, black metal box, piece of crap, discount wood stove or something.  I doubt if it even can be maintained.  The thing blows.  I hate it.

There's a cast iron stove downstairs and I'm tempted to swap them.  The one up here is not cast iron, I mispoke.  It's some sort of double-layered steel or something with insulated sides.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 26th, 2006 11:17pm
wow in the past couple of months i've learned that you're an idiot
Permalink afk 
January 26th, 2006 11:19pm
Jotul stoves are considered among the best.

I have a woodburner (insert). I found that there is definitely an art to starting and maintaining a fire.

One big issue is simply amount of "draft." The draft up the chimney needs to be sufficient to draw room air into the firebox in order to sustain the fire. Plus: the draft draws the smoke up the chimney so that the smoke doesn't back up into the room. So you need to start a fire that is hot and fast from the beginning, even if it is small.

Also: the smaller the firebox, within reason, the better, because it makes creation of a self-sustaining fire (one that creates enough draft to keep itself burning) much easier. I never could start a decent fire in a bare fireplace, even with those wax firelogs. I have had much better luck with the woodburner insert.

Those are my illustrious observations on woodburner-craft.

YMMV.
Permalink Send private email Bored Bystander 
January 26th, 2006 11:20pm
Yeah AA we need that moderation interface soon.  :)  AFK is about as useful as Joseph.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 26th, 2006 11:20pm
i'm just stating the obvious
Permalink afk 
January 26th, 2006 11:20pm
BB -

I use a lot of packed paper to get a quick hot fire in the beginning and get the draft going.  I also leave the door to the firebox open until the fire is good and self-sustaining.

But occasionally it smothers and I end up with coals that continue to burn but don't throw much heat.  I have to check on the thing every 30 minutes or so and that's just a pain in the ass.

Tonight, for some reason, it seems much better.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 26th, 2006 11:26pm
check the chimney isn't blocked.
Permalink trollop 
January 27th, 2006 12:02am
The chimney is swell.  First thing I thought of.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 27th, 2006 12:09am
i'm just stating the obvious :-)

Pinecones are good.

But I agree fires are tricky. My pyromaniac partner can just glare at my pitiful attempts and get some instant hot action and AFAIK it's all in placing two pieces of wood about 3" apart so air can be drawn into that space feeding the combustion on the opposing faces, the result warming the piece(s) placed across the top. Think of a capital letter A with the horizontal on top of the other two pieces. As the top piece cooks, burns and falls into the gap add another. Arrange so the gap faces the stove air inlet.

hth
Permalink trollop 
January 27th, 2006 1:14am
If you're unhappy with the speed at which wood is burning, the first suggestion is to burn a different kind of wood. ;)
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
January 27th, 2006 2:24am
We used to have a Vermont Castings iron stove that had an oxygen regulator.  More oxygen=faster burning; less oxygen=slower burning. 

Once the fire got going we'd turn it down and the coals would glow red for hours, giving off tons of heat.  We had a small house and the stove would heat the entire place, even upstairs, even though it was Vermont Casting's smallest model (the "Intrepid").

The one drawback to slow burning is that creosote may tend to build up in the chimney.  Have your chimney cleaned every year if you use the stove frequently.

The type of wood also makes a difference.  Hard woods burn more slowly than pine.
Permalink Send private email Dana 
January 27th, 2006 8:41am
I have beech right now as it's what I cut down in the yard.

The stove finally got going very well last night with bright red coals, but it took a lot of work.  I get that result in less than an hour with oak, but oak is hard to come by.

That is, I have a giant (300 ft) oak tree in the yard, but I'm not about to sacrifice it to the cause.  :)

We have an oxygen regulator (two levers that open and close vents in the base of the firebox) in the stove, too, but I'm not convinced that they work very well (or at all).

Even with the stove cranking last night, I couldn't get the house above 69. And the stove was HOT.  And it's in the living room.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 27th, 2006 8:44am
Three HUNDRED foot oak? As in 90 meters?
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
January 27th, 2006 8:50am
ok that may be hyperbole, but it's pretty damned big.  :)
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 27th, 2006 8:51am
assuming the house is two stories, plus a bit of exposed basement and the gabled roof.. I guess it's maybe 30 feet tall (the house), so that would make the oak nearly 60 feet tall.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
January 27th, 2006 8:52am
OK, that I believe. My family's summer house has two ginormous fir trees, one right next to the house, that could very well be 100 feet tall.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
January 27th, 2006 8:54am

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