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Thread: Best stove for burning spruce

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    Member anonymous1's Avatar
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    Default Best stove for burning spruce

    I just spent the morning helping my friend replace the door gaskets and tighting the hinges on his fancy and very expensive Joetel stove that heats his house. The only wood available here is spruce and even dry it will not stay burning with the draft control all the way open. He has to constantly adjust the ash door open and closed to keep it going which often causes over heating and warpage of the plates and it will not hold a fire.

    We were hoping that by tighting up the seals it would get better combustion draft draft and burn better. Not so.

    Now he is thinking of going to Spenard`s for a new Blaze King.Would apreciate any thoughts on other brands that anyone has had good results with spruce burning

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    There are just so many variables to this, The moisture content of the wood, the stack configuration, cleanliness..... My Drolet sometimes burnt well but when it did not, usually something needed cleaning. I just replaced it with a newer cast iron stove, name eludes me as I am not home, but it is burning very well. But I cleaned the entire stack system before putting it in too. I know the creosote used to fall down inside the stove on a top plate and it would build up in there and could only be vacuumed out with a small attachment. There may also be internal replacement parts that need replacement as in catalytic stoves or asbestos in my new one. Is the air intake clean too.

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    A.) Clean the chimney. I have to clean mine about three times a year. If he does clean the chimney regularly, He needs to remove the stovepipe section closets to the stovetop and remove the fallen creosote.

    B.) Even if standing dead spruce, it should still be split and dried for some period of time.

    Assuming the stove worked in the past.......the odds are 98.77773% the problem is in the chimney.

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    How tall is the stack? Minimum from the firebox to the top of the chimney for good draft is about 12-14' I prefer even taller.

    If this is not the issue, then I would guess that the stove is not being supplied any combustion air from outside, and thus it is trying to draw air from inside the house, and the house is probably sealed up too tightly for this.

    Spruce is easy to burn...


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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Prior posts have all the bases covered. Lack of proper draft is not the fault of the stove. First thing to do is inspect and clean the chimney.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous1 View Post
    The only wood available here is spruce and even dry it will not stay burning with the draft control all the way open.
    Normally, from personal experience, if the spruce is real dry it usually burns very hot and not a problem to keep burning. Is it a new stove? If he is having a problem keeping a spruce fire burning, then maybe he hasn't figured out how to adjust it properly, or as others have said, there is a problem. First things first.........make sure the stove pipe isn't clogged especially if there are any major turns or so. If it's a short, straight up vertical shot out the top of the roof, then unless he's had the stove burning very low then there shouldn't be that much of a chance of it getting too dirty. Mine hardly never did. I don't know about these Joetel stoves, but if it's a newer model stove and was really spendy, it's probably a good stove and he may just need to figure it out, as it may be so air tight that adjustment is critical. But if he really feels he needs another stove most people that have Blaze Kings (whatever model) including myself, are pretty happy with them for sure.

    Good luck.......Oh and for the life of me I can't figure out what the hell that is in your avatar...???!!!.......lol
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    Thanks guys
    The flue is tall and clean the wood is seasoned and fairly dry, the draft is great with the ash door open and it burns and draws great. The combustion air comes from inside the house and it just does`nt seem to get enough air when the doors are closed. Maybe the dampner lever is not working properly or the House has a negitive air pressure from a vent or something. I have been blaming the wood. We burn hard wood with coals where I come from. I think its time to see how the dampner works and if its plugged or not opening properly.

    The avatar is a bear stairs up a ridge in Deadman Bay(centuries of bear feet steping in the tracks)

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    There might be an outside air opening on the bottom of the stove so it can be connected to outside air. If the house is too tight, then you might not be able to create a draft as the air has to come form somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous1 View Post
    The avatar is a bear stairs up a ridge in Deadman Bay(centuries of bear feet steping in the tracks)
    Maybe you could post it here and bump the thread up again...??? http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...atar+full+size
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous1 View Post
    Thanks guys
    The flue is tall and clean the wood is seasoned and fairly dry, the draft is great with the ash door open and it burns and draws great. The combustion air comes from inside the house and it just does`nt seem to get enough air when the doors are closed. Maybe the dampner lever is not working properly or the House has a negitive air pressure from a vent or something. I have been blaming the wood. We burn hard wood with coals where I come from. I think its time to see how the dampner works and if its plugged or not opening properly.
    Check and confirm the moisture content of the wood with a meter (should be well below 20%; preferably closer to 12%).
    Next:
    While burning properly dry wood, and with the house closed up tight; is the stove smokey; i.e. does smoke roll out and escape into the room while the stove door is open?
    If no, your draft and make-up air are probably fine.
    If yes, you have either insufficient draft, or insufficient make-up air supply.
    Next:
    While burning properly dry wood, and with an outside door or window cracked open; is the stove smokey; i.e. does smoke roll out and escape into the room while the stove door is open?
    If yes, then you have insufficient draft (pipe dirty/blocked, improper diameter and/or length).
    If no, then your draft is ok, but you have insufficient make-up air supply.
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Now THAT'S fancy...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member anonymous1's Avatar
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    Thanks again guys

    Here is where we are at now:
    We tore into the stove this morning. traced out the air flow and the manifolds were loose and out place and not letting the air circulate properly. Lined everything up and retightened after cleaning all the passages. Layed out a fire and touched it off just as his wife was starting breakfast and turned on a big exhaust fan in the kitchen. The smoke rooled out of the front of the stove and into the living. oops. Turned off the fan and cracked a window near the stove and it seems to be burning very good now. So looks like they need the outside air kit installed.
    Oh yeah it was also all the symtoms were in the MANUAL if he had only bothered to read it.
    4MER I will post a better pic of the bear stairs when I get to my other puter. Thanks again all but I still do not know what stove burns spruce the best (grin)

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    I did think to mention a good read of the manual, but sometimes giving that sort of obvious advice can be dicey around here.

    An additional thought, it's quite common to crack the ashpan drawer to get a fire going. I basically always do this if my fire has totally died out. It's not that I have to, but it gets the draft going much more rapidly, then i close it to a crack, and just have to remember to close it entirely within five minutes or so. It's all part of the art of burning wood, and knowing your particular setup. Usually when the stove starts sucking like a jet engine and threatening to lift off the ground, I remember to close it if I haven't...

    If the stove is near an exterior door, your friend might be able to lower the door threshold to provide some outside air, rather than the window.

    I have a 3" piece of abs pipe that comes through the outside wall that my stove backs up against, an upturned elbow, and then a thin a piece of flexible aluminum drier duct that makes a loop up and then back down that hooks up to the air intake on my stove. The up and then back down in theory keeps the cold air from continuing to enter once the fire is no longer drawing air...




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    I am not familiar with the stove you described but when purchasing a new stove make sure the stove pipe comes out the top you don't want any elbows on your stove pipe at all it will not draw air very well.

    Also you might want to add a section or two of stove pipe so you get a better draw of air you want to be above the roof peak if you can.

    And locations below a hill or mountain can effect how good your stove will draw air as well as give you a down draft and smoke you out on certain windy days.

    opening the ash door like mentioned above if it sucks air to your stove you want to use that advantage for lighting up, some of these newer style stoves are hard to control and some need to keep the door open a crack to get burning I would look for older type without all the pollution junk they add on now days perhaps a Earth stove or Blaze King like mentioned already.

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    A little trick for lighting off a cold wood stove to improve the start is to get everything ready to light and then wad up some news paper and light it and hold it up close to the flue and it will send some heat up the pipe and help with starting the draw.

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    I have a Vermont Casting Resolute Acclaim that i've used for 13+ years. I have no complaints about it. I'm totally sold on top loader stoves, especially this one. I always use plenty of newspaper and plenty of kindling, then use progressively larger pieces of wood.

    I've heard that ceiling fans can affect your draft especially with a cool chimney.

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