rberq wrote:I find when shaking down that, almost always, the glowing embers start dropping first on one side, while on the other side it's kind of plugged up with ashes and nothing much is dropping. So I poke from the bottom to loosen up the bad side and get the ashes to drop. Otherwise, if I just keep shaking I will be dumping lots of good burning coal on the one side before I get to the embers on the other side. I have yet to figure out why it burns unevenly from side to side, and it's not always the same side that is the problem. But since adopting this procedure on every shaking, I have mostly done away with the half-dead fire that MountainPreacher describes. Corners and edges seem especially prone to going dead.
I find the same thing most of the time....one side burning better than the other & embers dropping only from that side when I shake it down. I guess I am alot lazier than you so I dont poke from underneath the fire....This is my procedure:
1. Shake down the stove while watching for the first hint of red embers
dropping down....Then stop shaking
2. Since the embers will almost always be coming from only one side of the fire bed, I will poke down lightly
into the top of the bad side only.....This will always cause to fire bed to settle a bit & many times I poke into an empty air pocket & the firebed will collapse like a fallen cake!
3. Once the bad side has compacted (I will make sure I still have a good strong draw on the good side & often add some fresh coal to the good side)I will then give the stove a few gentle shakes, at which time I will notice some embers fall from the bad side as well....Then stop shaking! (you dont want to shake down so much that you compact the bed & cut off the air draw through the fire)
4. At this point I will just cram as much coal in as possible, wait for the temp to start to rise again & close the ash door. Done!