How to bank a fire? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I need directions, in plain English please, on how to bank a fire for the night. I am not having any luck. Can anyone help? This is in a wood stove.

-- Cheryl (, November 20, 2000


get alot of good hardwood coal,,, put them inn a pile,, cover well with ashes,, and cut the air off to the fire, It also depends on the size of your wood burner,, no matter what, I cabt keep a fire all night unless I stoke it at around 3 am.

-- STAN (, November 20, 2000.

Have a good bed of coals. Stack as much thickly split hardwood as you can wedge in, but not so tightly as to keep it from falling into the coals as the bottom layers burn down. Shut the doors and dampers down as far as they will go, unless it will be a REALLY cold night. For that you leave them half open, and drink a BIG ole' glass of water, so you KNOW you will get up to check it and feed it!

-- Leann Banta (, November 20, 2000.

I guess I agree w/all the above suggestions of having a nice bed of hot coals and then filling w/the largest pieces of wood you have. The thing I don't agree with is shutting down completely. Actually, each night is a little different. Draft/draw depends on alot of things like the conditions outside: windy, direction of the wind, high or low pressure systems, etc. I think each situation and wood burner is unique and different. Start out trying to shut 'er down all the way; if it goes out during the night and you end up with unburned wood in the morning, then you'll have to open the drafts a bit. Keep playing with it until you find a setting that works. Not too many burners will burn all night...but like I said, what will work one night, may not work the next night because of different conditions outside. Truthfully, it is almost impossible for anyone to give you exact direction: there are some common techniques, but mostly,'ll learn like everyone else from trial and error. You may never get your particular stove to burn all night.

-- JimR (, November 21, 2000.

I agree with everyone about filling it right before you go to bed. We let ours die down to coals till about 11 when we go to bed then fill it with big logs and close down the draft almost all the way. When my husband gets up at 5:30 there is always a good fire still burning and the house is nice and warm. I think the stove has a lot to do with it, size and whether it is air-tight.

-- bwilliams (, November 21, 2000.

Can someone please tell me if you shut the door and dampers down if it will cause an excessive amount of ash in the flue pipe? We have a bakers's choice, that has been in about six weeks. It started smoking inside the house,we let it burn down. We found out the screen at the top of the flue pipe was clogged with ashes. It had been cleaned out when we put the new stove in. Could it have anything to to with the stove being airtight? Our other stove, a mealmaster, had been in three years and we never had this problem. Any ideas will be much appreciated.

-- Lena(NC) (, November 21, 2000.

Don't close the dampers down completely. You still need some air to get to the fire otherwise it will just sit and smolder and build up creosote in the chimney.

-- bwilliams (bjconthefarm@yahoo.dom), November 21, 2000.

I'm going with the big glass of water right before bed time. Although that's not exactly what I elbows are much sharper than my husband's, and unlike him, I show no mercy when I'm cold.

If you're trying to heat with this stove, you don't want to bank it anyway. If this is a stove that heats another room and you just don't want to keep lighting it every morning, feed the fire as late as possible at night, and poke around for some embers to start it again with kindling as early in the morning as possible.

I have read of people making an ember pile and then covering it with slick newspaper ads. Then in the morning they've still got a good ember bed to restart the fire with. But you'll still need the kindling/small pieces of wood to get the fire going again. And any time you throttle back a wood stove, you're going to have trouble with your chimney gunking up. Gerbil (new address)

-- Gerbil (, November 21, 2000.

LOL!!! But, Gerbil, what good would it do for *me* to drink a big glass of water, and my *husband* to get up in the middle of the night!! (If he could go to the bathroom for me, you bet I'd be using my elbows on him!!) Though in our case it doesn't matter, as we are both usually up at least once in the night anyway -- a good thing, since our little stove won't hold a fire all night. Can you imagine living like our ancestors used to in an uninsulated house with only fireplaces for heat and no matches to start the fires every morning?!? We'd all be in pretty sorry shape! (And find out real fast why those good folks didn't bathe all winter! LOL!!)

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, November 21, 2000.

You know you're getting old when the wee hours of the night have changed into the wee-wee hours. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, November 21, 2000.

Good one Gerbil!!

-- bwilliams (, November 21, 2000.

I think yuo should fill the stove with gas before you go to bed. It will ensure a good fire all night.

-- brad wojick (, April 27, 2001.

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