Every day is a landscape of new discovery here at the homestead. Part of learning, in addition to doing things right, is doing things wrong and finding out what happens. For the last few days, I thought something was wrong with my woodstove.
For the last 2 days, the fire has burned out overnight and I've woken to a cold stove. There's not enough time to get it up to temperature in the morning, so when I come home from work, I've started a new fire. I was worried that I had broken the right side lever somehow and had begun to think about who to call.
What I realized this morning is that it was entirely operator error! When I emptied out the ashes a few days ago (you can see the ash tray partway open in this shot), I must not have completely closed the bin. So air was getting in there, making the fire burn hot, and negating the effect of closing the right lever. You can see that in this picture the fire is really burning. That's because of all the extra air I let in by opening the tray.
This is cool. Now I know what happens if I don't close the ash tray completely. Maybe the next time I make that mistake it won't be 2 days before I correct it. (To defend myself a bit - it's not as obvious as it looks in the picture. There's a locking lever that did appear to be locked! I did not check it though. I will next time!)
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