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Thread: canvas wall tent disaster

  1. #1

    Default canvas wall tent disaster

    I lit the stove in my canvas wall tent, it was 0 F outside. This black liquid started pouring out the top of the stove pipe onto the roof and down the side of the tent. I checked the internet and said this is called wood creosote. What caused this and does this stuff come off?

  2. #2
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Yes it comes off

    Quote Originally Posted by northtraveller View Post
    I lit the stove in my canvas wall tent, it was 0 F outside. This black liquid started pouring out the top of the stove pipe onto the roof and down the side of the tent. I checked the internet and said this is called wood creosote. What caused this and does this stuff come off?
    You will need to soak it in gasoline or some other petroleum based liquid to remove it, but your tent will never be white again unless you bleach it out too. Perhaps you could get it dry cleaned. Most older canvas wall tents have such stains, and they are better than mildew stains.

    I don't understand how creosote came from the TOP of your stove pipe. Generally it seeps out of the joints and runs down the pipe when the pipe is not properly nested. Creosote is supposed to run down inside your pipe and right back into the stove to be burned. Creosote is produced when smoke becomes liquid due to the stove being dampered down too much.

    PS: not a disaster. If you want a new home for this tent let me know. :-)

  3. #3
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    You will need to soak it in gasoline or some other petroleum based liquid to remove it, but your tent will never be white again unless you bleach it out too. Perhaps you could get it dry cleaned. Most older canvas wall tents have such stains, and they are better than mildew stains.

    I don't understand how creosote came from the TOP of your stove pipe. Generally it seeps out of the joints and runs down the pipe when the pipe is not properly nested. Creosote is supposed to run down inside your pipe and right back into the stove to be burned. Creosote is produced when smoke becomes liquid due to the stove being dampered down too much.

    PS: not a disaster. If you want a new home for this tent let me know. :-)
    And burning green wood.

  4. #4

    Talking Creosote

    Sorry to hear of your bad luck. I own a nice wall tent w/ airtight cylinder wood stove. I feel your pain pard....

    Creasote is formed from burning soft woods like pine spruce and desert mesquite in a hot fire. When hot the creosote is traveling in the smoke of the fire. As the fire smoke cools within the flue pipe it deposits onto the walls of the pipe and often will run as a liquid back down the pipe and will exit to the exterior of the flue pipe through seams and holes, particularly near the damper. Creosote is flammable and can be the fuel source for a dreaded chimney fire, thus it is potentially dangerous. Burning hard woods like oak and maple you'll never have a creasote problem, but often we camp in areas where only softwoods grow.

    As for removal from your canvas tent material, allow it to cool, get cold, then attempt to chip it off the canvas by bending the cloth material. Just seek to pull off the big pieces, you'll never get the stains out of the material. Washing the canvas with soap and water or solvents will do more harm to the material than the creosote stains are. Your tent now has character to remind you of a prior hunt. Be proud of the character in your tent. It comparable to that ding put in your gun stock as you laid it across a boulder to shoot that ram from 400 yards away. 20 years from now you still remember what put THAT ding into the stock and a smile ensues.

    You can also clean the flue pipe out by rolling the pipe hard into an oval shape when the creosote is cold. It'll fall out like grains of black sand.

    FYI, when using your woodstove in the wall tent, find the largest stone you can lift up and gently put it on top of your stove. As the stove burns throughout the night that rock will absorb and later return the heat back to you in the wee morning hours. Toasty in the morning.....

    Also I find that hot rock is great for heating a water soaked rag/wash cloth to scrape off the dingle berrys growing on my back side after a few days in the bush.
    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the shadow is mine and so is the valley. Thy Glock and thy M14 comfort me in days of civil unrest and terror

  5. #5
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    Default

    Perhaps the stove pipe joints are fitted upside down allowing creosote to seep out the joints....reverse the pipe.....female up & male down.....

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you for all the responds:
    You will need to soak it in gasoline or some other petroleum based liquid to remove it
    Won't it catch on fire later?
    bleach it out too
    The tent is already coated with flame and mildew retard, heavy cleaning will remove it.
    Perhaps you could get it dry cleaned
    Will cost a fortune and they won't take it, too big.
    I don't understand how creosote came from the TOP of your stove pipe
    It was dark when I lit it, didn't notice till morning. I'm going to take the pipes/stove apart to check it.
    And burning green wood
    It was supposed to be dry hardwood that I bought.
    Creosote is flammable and can be the fuel source for a dreaded chimney fire
    It was smokey in the tent, everything smells like smoked meat.
    Perhaps the stove pipe joints are fitted upside down
    I'll check, but the bottom pipe fits into the stove so they can't be upsidedown.
    I'll have to load some pictures if I can figure out how.
    Be proud of the character in your tent. It comparable to that ding put in your gun stock
    it's like that first ding in your brand new pick up truck.

  7. #7
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Nope- gasoline will evaporate and leave...

    ... no residual effect. Hang it to dry. Re-treat the tent afterward with any good canvas treatment. IT WILL NOT RUIN THE CANVAS. Relax.

  8. #8
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Default

    There are more than a few stoves that require you to either fit your pipe upside down or use an adapter. Creasote should leak back into the pipe not out of it. Was it coming out of the seams or the cap? You could always seal the joints with furnace cement to keep it from happening again or use sheet metal screws to tighten up the gap (4 or 5 short sheet metal screws should close it up good).
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  9. #9
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Stove pipe

    When I used a wall tent I had a small airtight stove and several sections of nesting stove pipe which all fiit into each other. I could pack the stove pipe inside the airtight heater, plus a few extras elsewhere.

    The pipe should not fit tightly in your tent ring (wall jack), in fact there should be room for creosote to drip down the pipe itself rather than on the tent. Not that creosote SHOULD run down your stove pipe if properly assembled.

    Here is a link which may be of interest to you:http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/publications/VS/tents.html

  10. #10

    Default

    Was it coming out of the seams or the cap?
    Both.
    Here is a link which may be of interest to you:
    Thanks for the link. I still don't know about the gasoline part.

    I took the stove and pipes apart. All the insides were coated with beads of creosote. DW tried to clean the canvas with a brush and soap but it's soaked in the canvas. Guess I'll have to live with it. I lit this stove before and it was okay, wonder what happened this time?
    DW took some pictures:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/northtra...CanvasWallTent#

  11. #11

    Default Flue Pipe length

    North man, I just looked at your photos. I'm no expert but have used my tent/stove a fair bundle and God's given me a pretty fair dose of common sense.

    One major difference I see in your rig as compared to mine is that your Flue pipe is very tall. That extra section of pipe sticking up in to the cold weather, above the ridge line, is sure to cool the smoke down to the point where the creosote changes from a gaseous state to a liquid state. You want to try to create a situation where the smoke carries away that vaporized creosote, rather than distilling it back to the liquid state while still confined in the pipe. As I recall my flue doesn't extend above the roof hole more than a couple feet. This might have a lot to do with your robust "river of Creosote" problem. During the wet winter weather you also do not need the spark arrestor hot hat. I've had my spark arrestors clog up and reduce the pipe's ability to draw from the stove. I'd suggest you get rid of the top section of pipe and the top hat and give it another try. There's a tendency to want to protect the canvas roof from hot sparks but I've not experienced probles with the shorter pipe. Winds/light breeze usually does the trick to move sparks and ember away.

    Oh yeah, and as for the recommendation to use gas on that canvas, I'd suggest you reconsider that option. If your tent is treated from mildew and/or fire resistence the solvents will have a negative effect on the canvas fibers and the chemical treatment.
    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the shadow is mine and so is the valley. Thy Glock and thy M14 comfort me in days of civil unrest and terror

  12. #12
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Judging by photos 6 and 12...

    ... your stove pipe is upside down. Stoves and stove pipe have a learning curve associated with them. If your pipe didn't fit into the collar of your stove you needed to take a needle nose plier or pipe crimper and reduce the size of the pipe to fit INSIDE the stove collar. Each additional section must then fit inside the one below it. Live and learn.
    Any number of petroleum distillates will work to take most of the creosote out of your canvas. Whatever is cheapest. Be careful and do it outside! Paint thinner might be a good, but more expensive, alternative to gasoline, but any of them will evaporate after a relatively short while if hung out on a line, and will leave no residual smell or flamability. Just re-treat your tent with mildew resistant (available in a paint department) and canvas treatment (available at a tent supply store such as Alaska Tent and Tarp). You could probably even mix the two.

  13. #13

    Default

    your stove pipe is upside down
    But it still came out the top.
    Flue pipe is very tall, do not need the spark arrestor
    Manufacturer said flue should extend above ridgeline or wind will blow smoke back in tent. They also recommended spark arrestor.

    I lit the new stove with pipe outside many hours to burn off oil smell. I lit it in tent before, no problem. Only difference now was very cold and used different wood.

    What if I left the damper closed, maybe, just in case, okay I think I did.

  14. #14
    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Ex1811 View Post
    FYI, when using your woodstove in the wall tent, find the largest stone you can lift up and gently put it on top of your stove. As the stove burns throughout the night that rock will absorb and later return the heat back to you in the wee morning hours. Toasty in the morning.....

    Also I find that hot rock is great for heating a water soaked rag/wash cloth to scrape off the dingle berrys growing on my back side after a few days in the bush.
    ............. I would pick a nice BIG rock from the bottom of a cold creek, get her good and hot and ... it will double as a alarm clock!
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

  15. #15

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by northtraveller View Post
    But it still came out the top.

    Manufacturer said flue should extend above ridgeline or wind will blow smoke back in tent. They also recommended spark arrestor.

    I lit the new stove with pipe outside many hours to burn off oil smell. I lit it in tent before, no problem. Only difference now was very cold and used different wood.

    What if I left the damper closed, maybe, just in case, okay I think I did.
    Yes, your stove pipe is upside down, although you had creosote at the top, a lot came out between the sections too, if you had the stove pipe correct that wouldn't happen.

    Also, the advice about the spark arrestor is correct, I don't use one and it will creosote up in winter.

    In addition, the advice about having the pipe that high up in the cold is also correct, that will cause the smoke to cool and condense into creosote.

    So, if it were me, I would take off the spark arrester, shorten the pipe and turn it end for end. I have spent many nights...probably more than year all added up in a wall tent. I think I'll retire in one....
    Wasilla Real Estate News
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  16. #16

    Default

    I would take off the spark arrester, shorten the pipe and turn it end for end.
    I'll try these next time i light it. I did take the damper out too. I'm experimenting in my backyard where I have easy access to the fire dept.

  17. #17
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex1811 View Post
    Burning hard woods like oak and maple you'll never have a creasote problem

    this is not correct info, all woods will give you creasote that are not seasoned, and hardwoods take LONGER to season. youll get it if your logs are not seasoned and sizzle out the ends of the cuts when you throw them on a fire, or if you dont run your wood stove hot enough, you need it over about 400 degrees to help cut down on creasote, also you will for them most creasote at the cap and outer portion of your chimeny where its exposed to the coldest enviroment, as cold cools flue exhaust and that creates condensation and creasote, one way of helping cut this down is to CLEAN your chimeny before each use with a chimeny brush.
    Semper Fi!

  18. #18

    Default

    CLEAN your chimeny before each use with a chimeny brush.
    I took the pipes apart and hit them on the ground



  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by northtraveller View Post
    I'll try these next time i light it. I did take the damper out too. I'm experimenting in my backyard where I have easy access to the fire dept.
    Good thinking...a fire extinguisher might be handy too :-)

    It's nice to have a damper, but it will also cool down your chimney. If it were me I would keep the damper and only use it occasionally. If the fire is burning nice and hot it shouldn't soot up. It when it smolders and you get a lot of smoke that cools and condenses in the chimney that you get the creosote.

    PS...good lookin dogs by the way
    Wasilla Real Estate News
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