LsFarm wrote:I'll see if I can get Chris to reply to this thread.
Ouch, Greg - quit poking me!
Yes indeed, I have an older Keystoker stove similar to yours. Mine doesn't have the adjustment on the direct vent, so I rely on a rheostat to adjust my draft, but it works fine.
Indeed, as Greg states, I pulled TONS of ash out of this stove. It came to my house on it's side in the back of my VW Jetta wagon from Greg's place in MI, by way of Matthaus in PA. With all the handling, moving, tipping, banging, etc. during the cleaning and rebuild process, enormous amounts of ash came down out of the stove, not to mention what was packed under the grate. If you search this forum, you'll see some pics of before and after.
Anyway, if you stick your head (or a mirror) into the firebox and look up, you'll see two tubes, about 3" diameter, leading up into a heat exchanger area that is behind the grill on the front of the stove. This area is about 2-1/2" to 3" high, flat, wide, and deep. The fly ash is carried up into this big area, falls out of the flue gasses, and collects. And collects. And collects. Eventually this entire area probably packs solid, and renders it useless, eliminating 50% of the heat exchange area (maybe more) of the stove.
How hot is the air coming out? How hot is your flue? My flue temps barely get above 150F at max fire rate, while at the same time, the air coming out is so hot I can barely stand it on my skin up close.
My first suggestion would be to find 3 or 4 strong friends and half a dozen moving blankets. Lay them on the floor and yank out the stove and tip it sideways on the floor on both sides. You'll likely have to do it several times each way. Bang on it. Each time you'll get great clods of ash falling down the outside edge of the firebox into the ash pan area.
Second, go find some radiator brushes. http://www.mcmaster-carr.comhas some. You'll want something 30 to 36" long and maybe 1-1/2" in diameter. You can snake that up through those two tubes as well as up the sides of the firebox and into that heat exchanger area. You could also take an air compressor blowgun and attach some flexible tubing on the end of it and snake that up into the stove to blow out the junk, keeping a hefty shop vac handy to suck up the dust.
Either way you slice it, it won't be a fun job. The newer Keystokers have a totally different firebox design, not prone to clog up like the older ones. However, I don't feel they are as efficient in extracting the heat.
You also do need to have a look at the cam, it's $10 from Keystoker. I think it's 1-1/2" diameter when it's new. Also, check the 4 nylon bolts on the sides of the pusher block. If they are worn or missing, the block will just waggle from side to side and not give you a full push of coal. They are also available from McMaster-Carr - 10-24 is the thread, and I bought either cheese or fillister head, 3/4" long.
I plan to make the heat exchanger part of my yearly cleaning ritual, using both compressed air and brushes. The stove is fantastically efficient and built like a friggin' tank, but the flyash collection problem with no good way to clean it was overlooked, and probably why the design was changed.
Otherwise, mine has no problems pumping out enormous quantities of heat. I run the coal feed adjustment about 3 turns out, and 3 sets of 5 pins on my timer box. Combustion blower is 1/2 open, and draft is 0.02 to 0.03. That gives me a nice, slow idle and 2 to 3" of ash at full fire. It's a great stove, and on those really cold nasty days, I almost want to give it a big hug!