Hoppers With Nuts

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joeq
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Post Tue. Jan. 29, 2013 10:56 pm

Just re-affirmed a suspicion from the beginning. In theory, the bigger coals burn better due to more air being allowed through the crevices. I can understand this. However, if your stoves hopper has a certain mouth dimension, the size of the bits passing through it is relevant. Last yr it was recommended to me to try mixing pea and nut to get longer burns. Woke one morning to a clogged hopper after trying this method. never tried it again, until this season, (2 days ago), after hearing this practice being promoted once again.Thinking maybe my past experience was a "fluke", I'ld give it another shot. And once again, was rewarded with a clogged hopper yesterday. In conclusion, Surdiac Gotha 513s, do not respond well to "nut coal". :(

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eelhc
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Post Tue. Jan. 29, 2013 11:22 pm

This might be slightly off topic but I've been thinking for a while that a vibratory motor (the type used to make mobile phones vibrate) connected to the grates with a coupling (prevent it from melting) and left running would actually shake down the ashes continuously and move the coals down the hopper. While no substitute for a shake it may lengthen the period between shakes.

franco b
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Post Tue. Jan. 29, 2013 11:29 pm

eelhc wrote:This might be slightly off topic but I've been thinking for a while that a vibratory motor (the type used to make mobile phones vibrate) connected to the grates with a coupling (prevent it from melting) and left running would actually shake down the ashes continuously and move the coals down the hopper. While no substitute for a shake it may lengthen the period between shakes.
You just invented the stoker.

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SMITTY
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Post Tue. Jan. 29, 2013 11:31 pm

You read my mind eelhc - I had the same idea the other night while trying to shake the fire down without having the grates jam open for the 35th time this season. Plug it in and let it do it's thing until you see red in the pan.

I have zero motivation to do this, so go ahead an patent it. :D

This state will just take half of what I earn, so why bother?

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eelhc
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Post Tue. Jan. 29, 2013 11:34 pm

franco b wrote:
eelhc wrote:This might be slightly off topic but I've been thinking for a while that a vibratory motor (the type used to make mobile phones vibrate) connected to the grates with a coupling (prevent it from melting) and left running would actually shake down the ashes continuously and move the coals down the hopper. While no substitute for a shake it may lengthen the period between shakes.
You just invented the stoker.
The stoker is a combination of a feeding mechanism and forced air. The vibratory motor would be an add on to a hand fired stove. Gravity still feeds the coals and there's no forced air. Just a constant light vibration to get come of the ash to drop down through the grates.

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Lightning
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Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 9:46 am

Not a bad idea... Would need more than a phone vibrator though :lol: .... And noise would be a factor too.. My idea for something similar is to have a motorized shaking device that would shake at specific intervals, like every 4 hours or something. Just to keep the grates clear for combustion air flow.. Like the rotary to linear mechanism in a jig saw or a sawsall, but slower so it didn't harm the grates.. I think that would be peachy 8-)
Last edited by Lightning on Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 9:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Rob R.
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Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 9:48 am

eelhc wrote:This might be slightly off topic but I've been thinking for a while that a vibratory motor (the type used to make mobile phones vibrate) connected to the grates with a coupling (prevent it from melting) and left running would actually shake down the ashes continuously and move the coals down the hopper. While no substitute for a shake it may lengthen the period between shakes.
That is the basic design of a Losch inclined-bed stoker.

franco b
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Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 11:57 am

Lightning wrote:Not a bad idea... Would need more than a phone vibrator though :lol: .... And noise would be a factor too.. My idea for something similar is to have a motorized shaking device that would shake at specific intervals, like every 4 hours or something. Just to keep the grates clear for combustion air flow.. Like the rotary to linear mechanism in a jig saw or a sawsall, but slower so it didn't harm the grates.. I think that would be peachy 8-)
The rod going to the shaker would have to be spring loaded to avoid damage. One revolution every hour or so. How was the Crane stoker set up?

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titleist1
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Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 12:07 pm

franco b wrote:n shakes.
You just invented the stoker.[/quote]

That made me laugh!
Here ya go....super sized! I can get pricing if you are interested. American company in MA, too!

http://www.thayerscale.com/p-material-flow-aids-single.shtml

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Lightning
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Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 12:41 pm

franco b wrote:
Lightning wrote:Not a bad idea... Would need more than a phone vibrator though :lol: .... And noise would be a factor too.. My idea for something similar is to have a motorized shaking device that would shake at specific intervals, like every 4 hours or something. Just to keep the grates clear for combustion air flow.. Like the rotary to linear mechanism in a jig saw or a sawsall, but slower so it didn't harm the grates.. I think that would be peachy 8-)
The rod going to the shaker would have to be spring loaded to avoid damage. One revolution every hour or so. How was the Crane stoker set up?
Springs, yes very good :D I was implying a devise that mimics our movement somewhat, and would do so at say 4 hour intervals for a period of a full minute or less 8-)

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Lightning
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Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 12:44 pm

joeq wrote:However, if your stoves hopper has a certain mouth dimension, the size of the bits passing through it is relevant.
Can you alter the size of the mouth dimension?
Or wouldn't it be worth the fuss?

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joeq
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Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 4:31 pm

I wish I could Lightning, but the hopper is thick cast iron, and expensive, not to mention out of production. As for the automatic shaker down theory, I guess lots of us coal burners have dreamed about it. I know we can buy a 110V timer, like used for lamps when vacationing. But I haven't really been able to figure on an electric mechanism to accomplish the vibrations. I've seen some of your responses above, and need to read them all in detail.

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agcowvet
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Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 6:09 pm

Guts of a concrete vibrator, maybe? Might be more than a little "exuberant" tho.

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MarkV
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Post Sat. Feb. 02, 2013 12:58 am

Around 1978, my Dad bought a Franco-Belge hopper feed stove, probably an early 10-175, and installed it in his basement. He eventually met several other F-B burners through the dealer. One such guy took my Dad to see his stove. He was a retired engineer of some sort, probably mechanical. He'd rigged up an electric motor with a timer to shake his F-B stove.

For those of you not familiar, the F-B stoves have two circular cast iron shaker grates, side by side, under a rectangular firebasket. Each grate has a cast iron tab that sticks out through a slot in the front of the stove. To shake the ashes, you use tool with a short handle and a soft of eye hook at the one end, insert it through a hole in the shaker grate tab, and shake it back and forth horizontally. This moves the grates in a back-and-forth circular motion and the ashes fall through the grates.

Well, this guy had used some angle metal to mount a small, vertical shaft motor at side of the stove. The shaft had a horizontal tab attached, which circulated in about a 4" circle parallel to the floor. He bolted this tab to a long articulated metal arm that reached across the front of the stove and was supported by a small metal bracket at the other side. He welded short, round metal "fingers" to the bar just above the shaker grate holes, so the fingers engaged the tabs.

When the motor ran, the result was the bar moved back and forth slowly in about a two-inch range, moving the grates and shaking the stove. The owner then connected an electrical timer to the motor that started it and ran it for three or four revs every hour. And there you have it--no manual shaking and a nice, evenly burning fire. Sure beats the 3-4 times the F-Bs usually needed shook daily.

Somehow, this rig was also hinged to flip and out of the way so the ash door could be opened. A lot of Yankee ingenuity there!

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dcrane
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Post Sat. Feb. 02, 2013 4:14 am

electric shaker options have been made many times by many manufactures over the years for manual coal stoves (its not a bad thought). My dads model 404 had this option BUT the main problem was damage to the motor or damage to the stove or ineffective use. electric draft regulators were also common trials back in the day as well. neither fared well although I still see some electronic draft openers still used on manual stoves (foolish gimmicks LOL).

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