I'm in a new place with a wood stove that looks pretty normal, but it isn't.
It has a small draft that I'm pretty sure is rooted to the outside. Getting the draft from outside is excellent.
The roof of the firebox has four pipes with little holes in it. When the door is closed, and there is good flame, it looks like air is coming into the firebox from the little holes. And the smoke is drawn up near the front of the firebox.
With the draft wide open and the door closed, it seems to not get enough air. But if I leave it for a while, it eventually does seem to get enough air.
I'm guessing that there is some engineering going on in this thing that I'm not savvy to. Anybody know what is going on?
I think it's one of the laws of physics. My little mobile-home-approved wood stove does the same thing. Once the fire is going decently, the heat from it rises and pulls fresh air in, and the air-in, heat-out starts working well.
Usually, the draft tends to be low inside the stove. Mine is just a slot just inside the door (I can't see it, as it aims inward). If I think it's blocked (be sure to scrape the ashes away frequently), I have a self-made 'unblocker' made from an unfolded 'jumbo' (almost 2" long) paperclip. The slot is just large enough to scrape the wire back and forth in it and knock out any ash clogs that have formed.
It's pretty much the method that's now used to burn off the smoke in a secondary burn by getting oxygen to the flue gases so they will ignite and burn off. Catylitic converters were the old technology for doing so, and now the pipes with the holes achieve the same thing.
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Do you still need to move the sticks inside the mini rocket stove?
I kinda wonder about some sort of quickie gravity feed thing that could be set up in front of your fireplace. Something where you could put longer sticks in it if you wanted to. Something that would have more of a radiator component - a broad, flat surface.