Dead Coal in Front Portion?

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
Woodcock
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Posts: 1
Joined: Tue. Feb. 17, 2009 1:58 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 10:16 am

I have been burning coal this year for the first time with great success. Recently I have been waking up to find hot coals only in the rear half of the stove. The coals in the front have died. I don't know what is happening. The only thing that I tinkered with was the barometric dampener. The BD never moved when I first started using the stove. Even on windy days. I took the barometric dampner apart one day and cleaned it. I set it to where the flap would open slightly when the wind blew hard. I though that I was possibly loosing too much heat up the chimney when it wasn't flapping. I also made sure to poke the grates before and after shaking down. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have a Harman Mark II.

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dutch
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Posts: 202
Joined: Mon. Dec. 11, 2006 4:38 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III
Location: UPstate NY

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 10:45 am

After almost 4 years of using a Mark III, I am starting to realize that the
fire needs a little help once in a while and when I start to see some
areas towards the front of the firebox that aren't hot and bright like
the rest, I take a metal angled rod, and sweep down along the top
of that front shaker grate, back and forth. I usually pull up a couple
chunks of old burnt coal that don't drop thru the grates. This will also
drop a bunch of ash thru that front grate and then I'll pull a few bits
of good hot burning coal towards that low spot, fill the firebox as normal,
and it's all set for another few days. I don't have to do it every day,
but maybe every 5 or 6 days.
If you are getting a lot of the firebox that isn't really hot and red, you may
need to try shaking more vigorously to really open up the airways up into
the coal from underneath. I doubt anything with your baro is causing any
issues,, if the coal can't breath, it can't burn efficiently.

when is this winter going to end! brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

:D
currently running a Channing III in our basement,
feeding into cold air return and circulated with
forced air furnace.
love the even warm heat!
upstate NY, near Syracuse.

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lowfog01
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Posts: 3895
Joined: Sat. Dec. 20, 2008 8:33 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea
Location: Springfield, VA

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 12:09 pm

I have a Mark II, this is my third year burning coal but the first where I actually know what I'm doing - sort of. I've notice dark areas along the front edge of coal, too, and when I had my fire out a couple of weekends ago I found some really good sized clinkers in the front. I suspect that's what's going on with your stove. I thought I was shaking the stove well but I wasn't. You'll need to fish any clinkers out that may be there already. You will be surprised. I was. Then I started using Devil505's poke and lift process for clearing that area. If you don't have a poker small enough to fit between the grids on your shaker, if would benefit you to get one. The guy at the hardware store made me one out of a 1/4 rod with a screw on handle. I use it every time I shake the stove. First, I gently poke around the front edge until I break through to below the coalbed. Then I use the poker to sort of lift the coals as I pull the poker out. Then I shake. After shaking you should be able to see a red glow spread evenly over the ash pan. If there are any dark, shadowy areas in the glow I poke and lift in that area a little more. Then I shake again. You will be surprised how much additional ash comes out. I haven't had a problem with the front edge dying out since I started doing this. I hope this helps. Lisa
“The media class is the wall that we have to climb over for our voices to be heard. Once our voices are heard, then democracy will happen.” Andrew Breitbart.

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Westy
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Posts: 35
Joined: Tue. Sep. 30, 2008 5:47 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Mark 2
Location: Ontario,Canada

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 1:46 pm

This is my first year with coal, and my Mark 2. I found early in the heating season that there was too much over fire air, so I blocked the air flow around the glass with some folded aluminum foil. I get longer burn times, and it almost eliminated the dead spot at the front of the fire. I still have to clean the corners and in front of the glass of ash, but it's much better than it was before the modification.

If the temperatures are just below freezing, I can get a 46 to 48 hr burn out of a 50lb bag of Kimmel nut. -10 to -20 C I can get 32 to 36 hrs/bag. This in a 1500 sq ft house with the stove centrally located.

I'm going to get enough window gasket material to seal the whole window for next heating season. I only have to clean the glass once a week, a quick scrub with 0000 steel wool.
Last edited by Westy on Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dutch
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Posts: 202
Joined: Mon. Dec. 11, 2006 4:38 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III
Location: UPstate NY

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 4:19 pm

I posted a couple years ago where I did the same thing,
just tucked some gasket material around the glass,
I still have some small areas at the corners where some
air can get in by the glass, but very little.
I think it can lead to the dreaded poof if not careful more,
but it's worth it for the increase in control and draft.
currently running a Channing III in our basement,
feeding into cold air return and circulated with
forced air furnace.
love the even warm heat!
upstate NY, near Syracuse.

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titleist1
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Posts: 4404
Joined: Wed. Nov. 14, 2007 4:06 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 7:46 pm

Just as the others have mentioned,the coal burns up faster in the front of the Mark series and the grates don't shake out the ash as well there. Every three days or so, I'll drag a poker across the front of the firebox and that'll help the ash drop through. I like the idea of the extra window gasket material, although I may only put it across the bottom and not the top. Maybe that will keep enough air in there to avoid the little boom's.
I drive a VW TDI, heat my home & workshop with two coal stokers and have two vintage JD diesel tractors....
The EPA just loves me!!

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dutch
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Posts: 202
Joined: Mon. Dec. 11, 2006 4:38 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III
Location: UPstate NY

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 8:21 pm

I left approx 1" on the top right, and left sides of the gasket material I had,
same with the bottom...
the side glass gaskets wrap around the corner a bit,

with a reload into a hot fire, when you close the doors you can
see the flames feeding on that little bit of fresh air coming thru
those small gaps
currently running a Channing III in our basement,
feeding into cold air return and circulated with
forced air furnace.
love the even warm heat!
upstate NY, near Syracuse.

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lowfog01
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Posts: 3895
Joined: Sat. Dec. 20, 2008 8:33 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea
Location: Springfield, VA

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 8:35 pm

Westy wrote:
I'm going to get enough window gasket material to seal the whole window for next heating season. I only have to clean the glass once a week, a quick scrub with 0000 steel wool.


What kind of window gasket material? Is this specially made for a stove? Can anyone go into more detail about this material? Lisa
“The media class is the wall that we have to climb over for our voices to be heard. Once our voices are heard, then democracy will happen.” Andrew Breitbart.

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CapeCoaler
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Posts: 4423
Joined: Sun. Feb. 10, 2008 3:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove
Location: Cape Cod, MA

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 8:54 pm

Agree that the front of the Mark II burns out quicker...
Closer to the air knob, shortest path.
I get a good ash dump when I do a slow pull to full stop front and back.
Big chunks of ash pass unimpeded so the clinkers should fall with them...
Most do but sometimes a poke from the bottom helps.
I do occasionally get a clinker stuck that will not grind up so I push it back with the poking rod.
I am not an engineer, train or otherwise!
I stay at a Holiday Inn at least once a year!
Most of all I do have common sense and a practical application of logic.
Oh, add humor, on the dry side, along with a wee bit 'o sarcasm.

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dutch
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Posts: 202
Joined: Mon. Dec. 11, 2006 4:38 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III
Location: UPstate NY

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 9:58 pm

when I had to replace the window a couple years ago
(errant lacrosse ball in the basement, offseason thank god)
it came with this gasket material for the sides. it's flat,
unlike door seal that is round. the manual tells you to
just cut it long enough to do the sides of the glass and an inch or
less wrapp around the corners.
i just stuffed it in the top and bottom of the glass, hardly can
notice anything out of the ordinary looking at it.
currently running a Channing III in our basement,
feeding into cold air return and circulated with
forced air furnace.
love the even warm heat!
upstate NY, near Syracuse.

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Westy
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Posts: 35
Joined: Tue. Sep. 30, 2008 5:47 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Mark 2
Location: Ontario,Canada

Post Wed. Mar. 04, 2009 11:37 pm

lowfog01 wrote:
Westy wrote:
I'm going to get enough window gasket material to seal the whole window for next heating season. I only have to clean the glass once a week, a quick scrub with 0000 steel wool.


What kind of window gasket material? Is this specially made for a stove? Can anyone go into more detail about this material? Lisa


Here's a listing for gasket material

http://www.woodmanspartsplus.com/29291/258990/Stove-Gaskets-and-Glue/Stove-Glass-Gasket-Black-93.html

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captcaper
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Posts: 574
Joined: Thu. May. 29, 2008 11:55 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker
Location: Northern N.H.

Post Thu. Mar. 05, 2009 7:22 am

I wouldn't seal the window as it ad's air to burn the gas coming out of the coal (Natural Gas). I just made a poker out of long (so you don't burn your arm) from 3/8's rod from HD. 3in. of bent end. I just work it back and forth along the front as well. I usually dig the corners out and sides too. This drops the ash down. I found also if I pile the coal up real well to the front and shake it some it helps the ash to drop and burn the piled front coal.

I like the Harman over all being my first season with a Harmon. It's been good. The only thing I can complain about it the ash pan area should have been made to catch most of the ash. I now have to us a metal dust pan with a broom handle on it to scoop out the spiled over ash. This can make dust fly. I was using a vac but that was more work amoung other things.
Current Stove Harman Super Magnum
Owned before
Harman Mark III Wood Parlor stove Scandia Wood Stove 2 Chubby Coal Stoves Small Pot Belly Cast Iron

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grizzly2
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Posts: 842
Joined: Tue. Feb. 12, 2008 7:18 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.
Location: Whippleville, NY

Post Thu. Mar. 05, 2009 4:58 pm

lowfog01 wrote:
Westy wrote:What kind of window gasket material? Is this specially made for a stove? Can anyone go into more detail about this material? Lisa


Lisa, The rope material is a loosely woven firbergalss strand. Adhesives are available in liquid called Water Glass and in a black paste, from Rutland. I prefer the Water Glass simply because I have never had it let go.
The only redeeming value of winter is that I can have a fire in my stove.

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lowfog01
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Posts: 3895
Joined: Sat. Dec. 20, 2008 8:33 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea
Location: Springfield, VA

Post Thu. Mar. 05, 2009 6:06 pm

Thanks everyone,

I actually looked at my window and there is a big gap. I'll definitely get some gasket material on there before the next heating season. Lisa
“The media class is the wall that we have to climb over for our voices to be heard. Once our voices are heard, then democracy will happen.” Andrew Breitbart.

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Razzler
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Posts: 434
Joined: Wed. Dec. 19, 2007 7:56 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: rice
Location: Northampton Pa.

Post Thu. Mar. 05, 2009 9:18 pm

lowfog01 wrote:there is a big gap.


Thats for what Harman calls the "air wash" to keep the window cooler and cleaner ??? :notsure:

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