- 101 Posts. Joined 5/2014
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Some folks do vents directly under the fire grate (like me) and some do an additional one above the fire. I would always go bigger than the recommended, because you can always choke it back. Using that vent may be OK above the fire to assist in heat control, but I'm not sold on this theory because I feel intakes below the fire are enough for proper drafting so I'll let folks that have done this chime in.
I have 8 intakes in mine, the back ones are always open but can be choked with a sliding plate the ones on the side are on valves.
I also notice a lot of folks worry about making the firebox pretty tight, I don't worry about tight doors using FG Rope and stuff, half the time I crack the door a bit during the cook. It's nice because if I see smoke coming from the drafty door on the firebox, I know its not drafting properly in relation to the fire so I open a valve.
Keeping the smoke chamber tight is more important.
It can't hurt so give it a try.
The fire doesn't care where the oxygen is coming from. You get a clean burn from having enough oxygen, a non-air tight firebox isn't going to make your fire burn dirty. A firebox door is going to be opened quite often to feed it and is quite a different beast than a woodburning stove.
I agree with an airtight woodburning stove as I use a 4 Dog when winter camping and will choke it down at night for longer burns throughout the night, but for my pit, having a slightly drafty door makes no difference than a tightly sealed door.
My point was to be more concerned about a tight smoke chamber, where it counts, and don't sweat a slightly drafty fire box door if you notice it's not quite as tight as you would like it..