Quantcast
Removing ashes from woodstove while its burning? - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Come enter the Lehman's Aladdin Lamp Giveaway - Last Day to Enter!

Go Back   Homesteading Today > General Homesteading Forums > Homesteading Questions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 12/15/07, 11:28 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,124
Removing ashes from woodstove while its burning?

This may be a dumb question. I looked through old posts and there are a TON on woodburning stove so figured someone could give me a quick answer.

Ive had a fireplace before. Id build a fire , it would burn for a few hours, and the next time I used it, I would clean out the ash and build a new one.

Well, with the woodstove, I am using it a lot more and keeping the fire going for three days straight since its so cold. Well, the ash just keeps building and building. I went to scoop some out but there are embers and glowing coals all mixed in with it. So,lol, Im not sure what is the right way to do this. If I leave all that ash in there, it seems to kind of smother the fire. So am I supposed to just scoop out the ash with the embers and put it in something I can pour water over? Whats the best way to do this? Excuse my ignorance. Thanks for the help.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12/15/07, 11:46 PM
no1cowboy's Avatar
Single male homesteader
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 746

What i do is shovel most of the bigger hot coals to one side scoop out the ash then move the coals to the other side and scoop out the other side, your going to get some hot coals and embers with the ash it cant be helped, I just dump it all outside like it is, there is lots of snow to put out any embers, if you have no snow the you can put water on it if you want.

__________________

beekeeping
winemaking
living off grid


Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12/15/07, 11:49 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,124

Alright, thanks for that. Just needed some reassurance that it was ok to scoop this stuff out with glowing embers in it.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12/15/07, 11:56 PM
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north central wv
Posts: 2,314

Just be sure to use a metal bucket for the ashes. Our heater has a top door for wood and a grate and a bottom door to take the ash out. When not raining we let them sit for a day or so before emptying. They also work great to melt snow on the driveway. Just not where you wals as they stick to you feet and come back in with you. Sam

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12/15/07, 11:57 PM
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north central wv
Posts: 2,314

Just be sure to use a metal bucket for the ashes. Our heater has a top door for wood and a grate and a bottom door to take the ash out. When not raining we let them sit for a day or so before emptying. They also work great to melt snow on the driveway. Just not where you walk as they stick to you feet and come back in with you. Sam

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12/16/07, 12:11 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MS
Posts: 689

In our old home we had a fireplace (gee I miss it) and I used an old metal popcorn tin to put the ashes in. Metal can and closed lid - worked great.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12/16/07, 12:15 AM
sisterpine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 5,137

We use a small metal trash can with a tight fitting lid. Put the ashes and hot coals in it and set it outside on the porch. Before we empty the stove next time we dump the ash into the compost pile. We also use a metal dust pan to take the ash out of the stove and it works better than a shovel type thing.

__________________
www.MontanaSticksAndStones.com
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12/16/07, 04:02 AM
HermitJohn's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,534
Quote:
Originally Posted by no1cowboy
What i do is shovel most of the bigger hot coals to one side.
I use an old garden rake cut down to size that fits easily through stove door. I do ok with short wood handle, but you could of course remove wood handle and weld on a metal one. Then just rake the coals to back of the stove and shovel out the ash. I sure wouldnt advise trying to remove ash while stove is at full burn, just wait until you are down to coals and its time to add more wood.

I got the idea when I bought my Sotz kit way back when, they sold a set of "tools" for their stove but I thought they were too expensive and just made my own. The rake is an excellent idea and dont know why it wasnt adopted by other stove and fireplace tool manufacturers.
__________________

"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" -Dorothy

"Well, then ignore what I have to say and go with what works for you." -Eliot Coleman

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12/16/07, 04:08 AM
susieM's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: France
Posts: 4,117

Just make sure it's a metal pot or can with a lid. I learned the hard way and nearly burned the house down.

__________________
http://thissmallfrenchtown.blogspot.com/

http://thefrenchneighbor.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12/16/07, 06:26 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844

"I use an old garden rake cut down to size that fits easily through stove door."

Golly, you just gave me an idea to compliment the pokers I sell on eBay. Thank you.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12/16/07, 08:23 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 488

Watch where you dump your ashes after you put them in a metal can. Depending on size, embers can stay hot for days. Spread them out when you dump them and cover them with some snow or dirt. DAMHIKT

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12/16/07, 08:31 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Middle of NC
Posts: 1,394

I have a wheelbarrow I put them in for a week or so, then roll them out to where I want to spread them. I never spread them the same day I remove them, I dump them before cleaning out the next batch. I also watch them for awhile after dumping them. As said above, they can smolder for a day or two.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12/16/07, 08:42 AM
The Paw's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 1,110

I used to run a wood-electric furnace, and the best time to shovel out ash was first thing in the morning, just before you fire it up for the day. There would be a few glowing embers, and the rest of the ash would be warm. I put it in an old metal wash/tub boiler, which could hold about a weeks worth of ashes. After they had cooled out for a couple of days, I would dump them in a pile in the snow. Then every spring, I would integrate them into compost.

If you are in texas and don't have regular snow cover, I would suggest a shallow earthen pit, or maybe something with a rim of broken brick. As others have noted, the embers can glow for quite a while, and you would hate to start a fire by accident.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12/16/07, 10:00 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844

One day I saw a garbage truck dumping its load in an area just off the road. Read in paper next day someone had put out still hot ashes and the load caught on fire. Noted a fire department had to come put out the smoldering mass, it had to be reloaded and the area completely cleaned up. Apparently cost the garbabe collection company a good bit of money.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12/16/07, 10:21 AM
Lynne's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,775

In the mornings I’ll use a small flat shovel that no longer has the handle and take ashes from the sides of the stove. The main coals seem to be concentrated in the middle; ashes go into a metal buckets that are kept outside. Once cooled they are put in the manure pile or use in icy spots.
My friend’s husband cleaned their woodstove out and put an old tee-shirt over the bucket so the ashes wouldn’t drift while he walked the bucket to the attached garage. He sat the covered bucket of ashes down in the garage and forgot about them - not for long though Was a year and a half before they moved back into the house.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12/16/07, 10:48 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 500
http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/prod...word=Fireplace

Just another idea......

Try one of these. I use a similar homemade item to move usable embers to one side and then scoop out the ash.
__________________

Last edited by mdharris68; 12/16/07 at 10:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12/16/07, 01:25 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Scharabok
One day I saw a garbage truck dumping its load in an area just off the road. Read in paper next day someone had put out still hot ashes and the load caught on fire. Noted a fire department had to come put out the smoldering mass, it had to be reloaded and the area completely cleaned up. Apparently cost the garbabe collection company a good bit of money.
It probably would have cost a good bit of money to keep the load on the truck, too.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12/16/07, 01:36 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 136

Regarding storage of hot ashes: we rotate 2 metal trash cans with lids. We set an empty one on cement blocks and chain it to the garden fence so the dogs can't tip it over. Every day we empty the ash pan into this can. When it is full, we set out beside the back gate and start filling the second can. It takes about 2 weeks to fill. When it is full, we dump the first can and it becomes the new empty. This rotation ensures the ashes have time to cool out. By the way, we also bungy cord the lids on to prevent accidental dumping due to wind.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12/16/07, 02:04 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western North Carolina
Posts: 3,089

We use a metal shovel, one of those small ones made for fireplaces, then we scoop them into metal bucket and take immediately out to fire pit outside. We just leave them in the metal bucket, set on the ground inside the fire pit ring, and let them cool off there. The next morning, we dump the bucket out but still inside the fire pit ring, and use the bucket again. If the kids have not carted it off somewhere, we keep two or three metal buckets inside the fire pit ring for the purpose of ash dumping.

Remember to be careful and move SLOW when you take the ash outside since sometimes they can fire up when air moves over the hot ash.

In late winter or spring, we put some of the ash into the gardens and orchards.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12/16/07, 02:20 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,682

Make sure to run the stove with the dampers full open for a bit before you start. If the dampers have been shut, and the fire a bit oxygen starved, then when you open the door and start stirring around in there it can go up with quite a blast.

__________________

"If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law." -- Winston Churchill

Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12/16/07, 07:20 PM
Ozarka's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Ozark Mountains, Madison County Ark.
Posts: 274

I have used a 55 gallon drum in a covered carport. Just dump your ashes into the drum and put the lid on. Then in the Spring you can scatter the ashes on your garden. The available potash in the ashes leaches away quickly as it is water soluble, so to sprinkle them on the garden through the winter costs you the potash, 'cause when the plants need it, it has already washed away. I have often wished for a grate of some sort to separate the charcoal from the ash, so I could use the charcoal for certain smithing operations such as re-tinning copper saucepans. To get the hot ashes from the house to the shed I used a coal scuttle for years, filling it and setting it outside the door in the yard until I was going to the carport... just don't clean out a hot stove and leave the bucket sit outside in the leaves with a bit of wind blowing...something told me to go outside and when I did, I discovered a newly kindled blaze.

__________________
you have to be smart to feel stupid
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12/16/07, 07:43 PM
sisterpine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 5,137

Ken- is the poker you make the one with the wrought iron look that is twisted and has a same metal handle? sis

__________________
www.MontanaSticksAndStones.com
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12/16/07, 07:53 PM
Brisket's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 711

if you live in washington on the pacific coast, you dont have to worry about ashes and fires, you just wait a day or two and it starts pouring out side and you take the ashes out and they just go away. We get an average of three inches a week and got about ninty inches last year. the ashes work great for the folage on the hill and the rain is good for the grass, the cows gain two pounds plus a day and we only feed about three and a half months a year. there are good answers to your question here though. the metal can is every thing.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12/16/07, 07:54 PM
DaleK's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: East-Central Ontario
Posts: 3,466
Reply

One of our neighbours put his on the porch to cool in a cardboard box. The fire department weren't impressed with his reasoning ability. They DID manage to save the foundation though.

__________________

The internet - fueling paranoia and misinformation since 1873.

Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12/16/07, 09:04 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 500

One time I took out a log that I had tried to fit in the stove, and it wouldn't go, so I placed it outside in the ash can. I think it was one of those big metal wash tubs. Anyway the log was hollow, and the wind was blowing. Next thing I know, there is this flame shooting right out of the end of this hollow log. Looked like a candle on steroids. Thank goodness it caught my eye and I was able to put it out before it caught something else on fire.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 12/16/07, 10:00 PM
silentcrow's Avatar
Furry Without A Clue
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NW Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdharris68
http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/prod...word=Fireplace

Just another idea......

Try one of these. I use a similar homemade item to move usable embers to one side and then scoop out the ash.
Homemade might be better. I bought one of those and it was more of a pain than it was worth.
__________________

Nevermore

Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 12/17/07, 12:27 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844

"Ken- is the poker you make the one with the wrought iron look that is twisted and has a same metal handle? sis"

Yes. I make indoor and outdoor pokers in assorted size material (3/8" - 1/2" round and square) and lengths (up to 48" - although someone recently requested one to the 60"). I also make one for outdoor wood burning furnaces and do some custom work. In square stock I usually put a twist in the middle.

For a look go to eBay and do a seller search on scharabo. Once in listings do a keyword search on poker.

My best seller is the 48" length in 1/2" square stock used for outdoor firepits.

The ash hoe I'm considering would be three teeth on one side about 3/8" x 1 1/2" and then a piece of 1/4" x 1" x 5" on the other side. Length 30". Concept is the teeth would be used to push embers to the side and then the flat stock (hoe) used to pull ashes out. Your evaluation of concept would be welcome.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 12/17/07, 04:56 AM
sheepish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,714
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisterpine
We use a small metal trash can with a tight fitting lid. Put the ashes and hot coals in it and set it outside on the porch.
Please don't set it on the porch. A friend of my daughter burned their house down that way. She set the hot ash container in the snow on the deck and took the kids for a walk. They came home to a house engulfed in flames. She never could figure out how it could happen, but it did.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 12/17/07, 06:40 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844

"Please don't set it on the porch. A friend of my daughter burned their house down that way. She set the hot ash container in the snow on the deck and took the kids for a walk. They came home to a house engulfed in flames. She never could figure out how it could happen, but it did."

Seems to me the can might have burned a hole through the deck but was unlikely to spread as the melting snow would put it out. What did the Fire Investigator give as the source?

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 AM.