2014. (Now I need to redo my timecards in work).
Burn time up date. Last nite went a full 8 hrs W/O any tending at all. But when I returned, the stove temp was down to 200*, and the coal bed was very weak. The draft was (as always) OK at about -.04.
After much scraping and cleaning, and fanning, was able to get her up and running in about 15-20 mins.
Got my stove pipe extension for the baro, and will have to build that in the future. Here's a shot of what I'm dealing with.
Now , B4 I get into it, let me just say, some-one will comment on how the baro is placed. I just set it on top of the stove pipe, for size purposes only, and will be mounting it at 3 oclock, and not the 12 oclock position.
Between the wall thimble and the 5-6" reducer, the stove pipe (where the MPD is), is only about 6" long. In order to fit the baro, the collar will necessitate another 3-4" to work. I still want to have the MPD in frt of the baro, but things will be a little cramped. I'll have to move the stove fwd on it's hearth a like amount. (I think it will still work, and maintain the required frt clearance to combustibles.)
Hopefully, mounting the baro will lower my draft from -.06, and allow a slower burn.
With all said and done at this point,I think what has attributed to my "slightly" improved burn time, is my technique for cleaning the ash. This is what I used to do, in the beginning. I would inspect the amount of glow through the grates, with the ash pan door open. (Which creates a stronger draft). Then I would...
1-slice grates "randomly" for about 1 minute.
2-Poke under "most" of the grating for approx. another min. or so.
3-Refill the hopper.
As I was doing this cleaning, ashes would be flaring all around the firebox. Through the advice of members on this site, I have learned a couple pertinent things. Don't clean with a strong draft, and do a better job of it. Also, don't clean them too often. At least with this stove, it's "imperative" to keep the system as ash free as possible. This is now how I clean this pig. !st, only do it after it's been running at least 4-5 hrs. (Be cautious with fly ash, if tending any sooner).
1-Open glass loading door. (To lessen draft, "AND", to poke at the coal bed). I now take my shovel, and riddling tool, poke, force, and break-up the dead and burning coals, to force more into the middle and away from the edges.
2-with glass door still slightly open,( and ash pan door still shut) begin riddling with an emphasis on "pulling" the ashes away from the rear of the grates, toward the middle section. The back skirting/liner, has breather holes down low, and in the past, I think I was jamming this with "crap". My scraping time isn't much longer, as someone above did mention, this tool is only "marginally" effective.
3-With my poking tool, I now spend more time, poking, grabbing, and shaking thru "all' the grates, till I'm satisfied as much ash I can retrieve has been dropped. (Then, close loading door)
4- I next M/T ash pan, which I believe the less in there, the better the breathing is. (Not proven yet)
5-Lastly, refill hopper, open MPD, and leave the ash pan door open, for 5-10 mins to get all the fresh coals hot, and the stove running again. After this, close the door, and the MPD.
If you think about it, when the stove a fresh and clean, and the burn times are at their max, why does it go away in time. Because the ash is restricting everywhere there wasn't any when new. I know this sounds basic to all you seasoned vets, but to me, it wasn't as clear till I lived it.
So there you have it. With a better breathing stove, through unrestricted grating, intake and exhaust settings adjusted correctly, maintain a proper draft, and a good quality coal, our stoves should perform to there maximum potential. I don't think I've derived it from mine yet, but much closer than last season. I apologize for this thread being drug out, but my intent is to give the novice (like me), some details into the specifics, so we can all gain some data into what will benefit us most into improved performance. To all that have already got there, congratulations. To the rest of us still plugging away, good luck.