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My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pipes

Posted by loger (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 24, 13 at 17:57

My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pipes vs a full grate Correct?

1. After burning a few grates and going to 2 stainless pipes I'm in a bed of coal/ash not getting good air from below.

2. Burning 24/7 when needed, how do you handle this matter? Before retirement, I never thought of this matter (10 yrs, LOL!)

3. I feel I'll build a grate to lay on the pipes welded in and open for heat on what was a double face fireplace.

4. The grates "burned me out" after burning through a 1" in one season using Mesquite wood (which I reduced to one stick mixed).

5. I have some 1/4th' expanded metal scraps I'll use until the weather allows a grate. What material is suggested?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 24, 13 at 20:04

If you can lay fire bricks on the metal base, it will help to prevent burn-through.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

Burning through is not the problem as I have a 1/8” steel bottom on top of the original mortar bottom (due to cracks in the mortar in the metal firebox’s floor). Getting air under the fire since I’m not using a grate is my concern due to the build-up of unburned coals in ash.

I experimented today with some concrete wire mesh to sift “down” the ash and the coal appeared to glow from more air.

The Bottom Line! How do you continue to burn 24/7 if you do not have a clean-out trap to separate coals from ash? Is there a stainless mesh that will lay on top of my pipe that will separate ash from coal (since I feel cast will break)? Otherwise, do you feel 1/8” stainless plate drilled ¼” to a mesh/plate will work? Plus, I should have some gas oven broiler shelves that should do this task.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 5:31

On my boiler are two cast iron grates which are about the size of 2" pipe and fire brick is laid over top to keep the heat off the steel.

You could weld something up out of pipe and lay fire bricks over top with small openings between the bricks to allow air up from beneath. That will protect your pipes.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

I use a brick on edge and I lay the wood on it. Once there is a bed of coals you're fine.Keep feeding the fire . I have burnt a week straight with the Defiant. When it was new and very tight , I could fill it with oak and it would last 12 hours. I clean the ash out about every 2 weeks.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 26, 13 at 14:52

My Hearthstone stove's grate has some breaks. The replacement grate is outrageously expensive. When I worked for the boiler company, we got castings all the time and a grate might cost $30, but they want several hundred for it.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

1.The Temp Expended Metal Grate on top of the Stainless Pipe Worked Great sifting Ask From Coal.

2. Differences in Boilers, Wood Heaters, Etc make a world of difference in efficiency and work vs an Open Fireplace.

3. For our Mild North TX Needs and Exercise, the Fireplace is serving the purpose and a Challenge toward Efficiency.

4. Over a gallon of ash taken out daily (5 gals weekly) is a job vs removing ash about every 2 wks mentioned. A good friend reported he cleans a gal of ash twice a day in his smaller fireplace.

5. The once fun exercise is turning into work, LOL.

6. If I knew in the Mid 70s what I know now, A Wood Heater Would Be Sitting In The Middle Of Our House.

7. Attached is a Pic of the Temp Grate that will slip off one pipe or the other but the sifting works separating coal from ask.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 26, 13 at 19:20

Your grate will last a long time if you keep firebrick on top of it or at least 1" of ash.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

Thanks for the idea Baymee! The pipe is not my concern vs air under the fire and ash down from the coals. While I take my time looking for the stainless 1/8th plate, I’ll bend 1” on one edge of the of the exp metal to fit beside the pipe vs on since it comes off but still works “less”. I doubt the exp metal last the season but I’ll burn Oven Broiler Pans Etc to get the breathing/sifting.

The pipe is my “Old School Dog-Irons, And-Irons” on the floor of the fireplace, tapering from touching the floor up approx 2”. The two 2” stainless are open to the 6” steel Back-Log opened to the steel back that was the opposite side of the once See Through Fireplace. It’s now A Heater/Fireplace Combo with glass doors on both sides, which stay open on the steel sealed side.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

The Expanded Grate Is Working Great! It’s allowing the fire to breathe/burn better sifting ash from coals. I did add the 1” lift to one side to eliminate the grate shifting off one pipe to the floor. My body told me to bolt on 1” angle (with existing bolt) vs trying to bend 3 layers of heavy expanded metal.

With the improvement it burned a nice Live Oak 8" dia log All Night with coal above ash to start the next fire. The challenge is to see if it will burn the well seasoned 6-8” dia Red Oak over night (with support wood w/o needing extra).

Green Red Oak is waiting to be split and stacked, with Red Oak turned down while the issue is studied (as splitting down to 4X4” if needed). Plus, I add a stick of Pecan or Mesquite if needed, if the smell is not good. Challenging/Experimenting keeps the Brain/Body Functioning!


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

Why I ask, is there not a picture here of a double pipe smoking, fire breathing dragon here as the title implies? :)


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

I’m sorry for my text! I have 2 pipes elevating my wood off the floor w/o any breathing once that area is filled with ash/coals. The added expanded metal on the pipe has added breathing and separating of ash and coal.

I also have 1 yr old Red Oak I feel this breathing will allow to burn with this cold front coming into North TX tomorrow.

Wish Us Well On These Small Old Lots and large trees that are barely clean from the last front approx a week ago. The freezing moisture before leaves have fallen or thinning is a major issue. The wood is becoming plentiful but the hazards are the major issue. Our Live Oak needs more thinning since our 2010 Ice Storm.

The Silver Leaf Maple 2 door away is not worth burning but it had to come down for the neighbor’s safety. I did get some Pecan with more and Red Oak coming in a similar situation.


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RE: My Fire Is Not Breathing As Well with a bed of coals on 2 pip

There is no end to Fun Experimenting! The Expanded Metal Grate Was Working Great. So Great, it allowed all my Red Oak and support wood to burn w/o leaving coal vs all ash overnight. That is good for cleaning ash from under the grate but bad for starting the next fire w/o live coals.

The new grate/expanded metal was 5” above the floor, reducing overnight wood space. Today, I cut the expanded grate to fit between the floor’s pipes to allow wood 3” off the floor vs 5” for more overnight wood capacity.

Lazy Me! I refuse to add wood “Once” overnight since retirement to have coals the next morning. Enjoy The Earned Retirement And Some Fun Challenges!!


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