Burning Wood in My Mark II

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chopper698
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Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 30-95
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Post Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 1:45 pm

How come wood doesnt burn well in this stove? I mean the wood burns but it is hard to control the burn, either it roars
or it creates to much smoke and goes out. The fire is very erratic like there is a draft blowing on top of it. I know air passes
across the glass thats probably doing it. Its to early for me to burn coal its not below 50 during the day but at night I throw wood in it
to take the chill out. I should have looked into the SF250 to burn both, anyone have any remidies?

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SemperFi
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Post Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 7:51 pm

Chopper698, nice stove. I have allways been fond of the Mark series, great batch coal stoves. I am sorry to say they make lousy wood burners because they have no upper draft control ( great coal burner ). It will burn wood just like mine when I remove the hopper as they are the same then. Mine will burn wood poorly at best. If I were you I would burn pea coal and throttle the stove back the best you can. With that stove you should be able to get it down to 300 deg or so. If you can disable the back grate till it gets cold that would lessen the size of the fire by allmost half the btu's. There should be some sort of conecting rod used from grate to grate held in by a pivot bolt. Ash will build up on the back grate and allow no fire above it. This is what the Keystoker manual instructs you do to lower the BTU output of there stoves. It may work on Harman stoves.

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LsFarm
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Post Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 7:59 pm

Like Semperfi said, the problem is the under fire air to the wood fire,, you may be able to leave a thick layer of ash on the grates, but keep a corner of the grate open and clean of ash, and let this supply the wood with air... a poker used to keep the grate open instead of shaking the whole grate may do the job..

If you have a barometric damper in the flue, you need to remove it and cap the opening when burning wood,, the creosote will coat the flapper door and ruin it's balance, and in the event of a chimney fire from burning creosote deposits would have unlimited oxygen and be very dangerous and uncontrolable.

Greg L.

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CoalHeat
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Post Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 8:51 pm

I've only burned wood in the Mark I to start a coal fire. The lack of an overfire draft control creates problems with wood. Also, as Greg said wood burning and the baro damper is a bad combination. Also, I had enough of the creosote in that chimney when the wood stove vented into it, I don't care to have another chimney fire right now.

I burn wood in the Fisher insert in the fireplace, SS liner all the way, and it's so inefficient that the buildup in the liner is all powdery and easily brushed out.

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Uglysquirrel
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Post Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 9:54 pm

Just my feeble mind thinking, what would happen if 2-3-4 firebricks were placed on the grates, could experiment with spaces between the grates or all bunched up together though some underside air would be needed, seems this would slow the burn since only some portions of the wood would be exposed to the underside air. Would not be able to use the shaker arm but maybe most of the old wood ashes could be prodded to the spaces to fall in the ash pan. For your consideration...

chopper698
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Post Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 11:57 pm

Thanks for all your replies. I was thinking of putting a steel plate on top of the grates and leaving
a gap on the left and right side of the plate to expose a bit of the grate to let some air through. I will
let you guys know how it works out. If it doesnt work Im firing up the coal for the season!!

sandman
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Post Tue. Oct. 21, 2008 1:17 am

my mark III loves wood. I burn quality dry wood and I like to split my wood big.

i run it at around 1/2 -1 turn on the air control.

i think the mark III burns wood a little better than the sf 150 or 250 (yes I have and use all these stoves and a few more)

btw:these see a lot more wood than they do coal

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SuperBeetle
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Post Wed. Oct. 22, 2008 5:52 pm

I have burned quite a bit of wood in my Mark II without too many problems. It burns wood rather quickly though. I can get around 5 hours with a full load of wood. I get over 12 with coal. The bottm line is that Mark II was built to burn coal extremely well but, it will burn wood too.
Having said that, I prefer to have the option of burning both but I really do recommend coal. The wife even recommends coal to anyone that asks about heating alternatives and she grew up with wood.

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4570FAN
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Post Wed. Oct. 22, 2008 7:20 pm

This is my first season with a Mark III, I am a recovering wood pellet burner. ;) The last few days I have played around with building a wood fire in it. Since I was around the whole time, and my chimney has never been exposed to a wood fire, I left my baro hooked up just to tinker with it. :D I have been burning spruce that has been seasoned for 3 years. I am very happy with it's performance. This weekend I plan to start a coal fire, and hopefully that will be the last time I light it this year. :) If I was using quality, seasoned hardwood, without the baro, do you guys think that my stove would create a lot of creosote? I have a two story masonry, tile lined chimney through the center of the house.

Captain Michael
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Post Wed. Oct. 22, 2008 11:24 pm

I've owned my Mark III for 22 years and up until I found this site I burned nothing but seasoned hard wood without any issues. I live in western Pa. and although I have worked for a coal company for 30+ years I did not know crap about anthracite. I started reading these forums and bought some bagged hard coal (Reading) there was no turning back. I only use wood to start the fire now, then it's all superior nut.

sandman
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Post Thu. Oct. 23, 2008 8:38 am

4570FAN wrote:This is my first season with a Mark III, I am a recovering wood pellet burner. ;) The last few days I have played around with building a wood fire in it. Since I was around the whole time, and my chimney has never been exposed to a wood fire, I left my baro hooked up just to tinker with it. :D I have been burning spruce that has been seasoned for 3 years. I am very happy with it's performance. This weekend I plan to start a coal fire, and hopefully that will be the last time I light it this year. :) If I was using quality, seasoned hardwood, without the baro, do you guys think that my stove would create a lot of creosote? I have a two story masonry, tile lined chimney through the center of the house.
i like to clean my chimney twice a season. once at the beginning and again in the middle of the winter.

on the mark III I usually have a light and very dry build up.

4570FAN
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Post Thu. Oct. 23, 2008 4:02 pm

Thanks sandman! I've found a "screamin' deal" on some seasoned hardwood. I think that I will pick up a cord to burn for the time being. The weather is still kind of screwy, and I would like to wait to start my first coal fire until I have an uninterrupted day off. So, I'll burn some wood in the Mk III for now. I will block of my baro though. :D

sandman
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Post Fri. Oct. 24, 2008 9:56 pm

i pull the baro out of the t and put a cap in.

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