Figured I'd pass along tips as they happen/occur to me:
Today in shaking down my TLC, I got at little to aggressive & shook to much. I must have packed the coal bed more tightly than I usually do, as my draw is weaker than usual & thus the stove temp is not rising, even with the ash door still wide open. (I have digital & a magnetic analog thermometers hooked up) I wanted to close the ash door as I usually do but noticed the temp, which started at 185* has been dropping...not rising. If I closed the ash door now (with temps dropping) I would undoubtedly kill my fire. I just looked & the temp is still dropping (now 181*) so I will keep the ash door open until the fire livens up & the temp starts to rise again with lots of air from the open ash door.
I keep setting my egg timer to make sujre I check the stove temps every 5-8 minutes or so. I'll go check right now....BRB.
OK...It's back up to 185* & climbing so I'll give it a few more minutes & then close the ash door.
Moral of the story: Don't close your ash door if your stove temp is falling!
Edit: I just closed the ash door at 190*
2nd Edit: It's now about 30 minutes later & the stove is humming along at 175* & the fire looks fine. (blue ladies still lightly dancing!) If your ash base gets packed too tightly during shake down you can usually just wait & it will fix itself, with plenty of air. (air will find it's way through the ash base & open up channels to the fire. If not, you can poke from underneath to force these channels)
Last edited by Devil505
on Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.