The Problem With Hand Fired Units

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.
Mahanoy Boy
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Location: Harrisburg Pa

Post Mon. Mar. 24, 2014 5:28 pm

That must have been a real pain.

I don't think it's possible to dump the fire into the pan by opening the grates of my Keystoker, not with pea coal anyway. I can leave the grates in any position and nothing falls out unless I'm shaking it.

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DennisH
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon-Eagle Klondike IV
Other Heating: Propane
Location: Escanaba, MI

Post Wed. Mar. 26, 2014 8:02 am

Keeping my Yukon-Eagle Klondike going is pretty easy. Even after many days of burning coal, it seems to drop the ash pretty well upon shakedown. I open my ash pan all the way before shaking, as I learned NEVER to shake a "cool" fire. After about 5 days of burning coal I'll shake it really, really well and throw some wood in for a few hours. Helps burn up any of the unburned coal and upon next shakedown, all of the coal ash is gone. Load it up with coal and we're off and running for another 5 days or so. I also shake down twice a day, every 12 hours. :D :D

Koko
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Morso
Other Heating: Oil

Post Wed. Mar. 26, 2014 8:18 am

Mahanoy Boy
You prefer burning pea coal with the Keystoker insert ? BTW can you tell me the "actual" size of your insert, Keystoker brochure states that a 21" wide X 23 1/2" high X 13" deep fireplace box is required for this insert. I had received another measurement from a Keystoker insert user who said the actual width was 23" which included the shaker handle & blower motor ? What is your exact width measurement ? Thanks.

Mahanoy Boy
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Post Wed. Mar. 26, 2014 11:49 pm

Hi Koko,

I tried some nut coal that someone gave me once and it burned OK but pea coal is pretty much all I use. I get the hard, white ash from Blaschak (near Mahanoy City of course) and it works just fine. The white ash is a little more expensive than the red ash but it performs better. If I measure the front of the stove, outside the fireplace, from the shaker handle to the right side of the stove it's 25 inches. I guess that's not that important since it's the outside measurement but I got home a little late tonight. I'll remove the hearth plate (or whatever it's called) tomorrow and get back to you. That will give me the inside width with the blower motor.

Goodnight

Mahanoy Boy

Koko
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Morso
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Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 6:40 am

Mahanoy Boy,
I have had the same results with pea coal, seems to work better in my small stove. Appreciate your help with this measurement thing, why the Keystoker brochure states 21" inside the fireplace doesn't seem to be the exact sizing. Thanks.

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Carbon12
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 9:06 am

@Koko:
Where are you located? Can you go to the factory or a dealer and take your own measurements?
No matter where you go,......there you are.

Koko
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Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 11:16 am

Carbon 12,
That may be my last ditch effort. The factory is about 2 1/2 drive, as mentioned previously another forum member had sent me several photos of his Keystoker insert along with measurements - he came up with 23" inside the fireplace including the motor & shaker handle. I have a 24" wide fireplace, was actually for burning coal in a fire basket type grate(still have it, old house 1889). I am also concerned about enough area on each side of the insert for air circulation by the blower fan. If the total insert is actually 21" as stated in the Keystoker brochure, then I have 4" for air circulation on search side and 4" behind the insert. However, if it measures 23" that would only leave me 1" away from the fireplace - firebrick - little to close for comfort. Let's see what Mahanoy Boy comes up with for a inside measurement. Thanks for your input. Kevin

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Carbon12
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
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Location: Harrisburg, PA

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 12:03 pm

The widest part of the insert MUST sit outside of the actual fireplace space. The unit does not go entirely into the fireplace. The front sits on the hearth.
No matter where you go,......there you are.

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michaelanthony
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box stove, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Baseburners & Antiques: Home Sparkle 12
Coal Size/Type: Coal Contractor's stove, a little Kimmels 'nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace
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Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Hi Koko, I believe the air you speak of comes from the living area, in from the lower sides of the insert and out the top, hopefully some folks with inserts can hop in!
never yell through a screen...you'll strain your voice.

Koko
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Morso
Other Heating: Oil

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 3:24 pm

Carbon 12,
That's correct, the front section protrudes out 7" on the Keystoker HF 70 insert and the width is approximately 26" which is not problems. But the inside dimension is critical. Keystoker states it is 21" and I've received different sizes from users of this insert - so I'll have to see exact which measurement is correct. Kevin.

Koko
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Morso
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Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 3:31 pm

michaelanthony,
Actually this insert has two in take vent openings on the back plate front at floor level with the blower fan located on the left side of the stove where the shaker handle is located as well. So on the left side there would be approximately 2 1/2 inches to the fireplace brick which is fine. However if I have to place the insert against the right side fire brick no air will get between the stove and fireplace brick which may create a warping problem for the insert on the right side. Once I get the exact measurement of the stove inside the fireplace I can make a better decision. This forum has really help me with that, this may not be the best option for me. Thanks again.

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Carbon12
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
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Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 3:56 pm

@koko: have you looked at Hitzer inserts? I used to have the 983, worked great!

http://www.hitzer.com/products/stove/Model-503-E_ ... ce-Insert/
No matter where you go,......there you are.

Koko
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Morso
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Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 6:46 pm

Carbon 12,
Too wide, will not fit my fireplace :(

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Carbon12
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 6:49 pm

The 503 won't fit???
No matter where you go,......there you are.

Koko
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Joined: Sun. Feb. 23, 2014 3:21 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Morso
Other Heating: Oil

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2014 10:11 pm

Carbon 12,
You know I think I may have misread the Hitzer chart for the fireplace inserts. When I looked back tonight it may be an alternative for me. It seems like the motor/fan are on the outside of the fireplace box, same goes for the shaker handle. I will take a second look at the 503 insert - thanks for you help (and persistence :) ) really appreciate your input. Kevin.

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