Out With the Old VC and in With a Mark II

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.
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Resolute0058
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 9:23 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II
Location: Central CT

Post Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 11:01 am

My VC Resolute developed a nasty problem during this cold spell and was not flowing well at all. I traced the issue back to the intake side behind the main plate in back of the stove. I tried cleaning out and poking and some pressurized air at one point, but cannot get the stove to fire as hot as it used to and the fire takes way more maintenance than it should to produce half of the heat it used to while burning just as much coal.

I have been looking for a more purpose built solution for burning coal instead of a wood stove with a small coal insert. The 12-16 hour burn times were nice, but on cold days, the temps would really fall off towards the end of the burn and I can't get home sooner than 12-14 hours on a week day. I started looking for a beefier hand fed stove that has a solid history and is built like a tank.

Found an ad for a Harman Mark II out on the cape and went for it. Got out of there for $300 with a complete set of fire tools and a fully refurbished stove (only 3-4 years old max anyway). Only issues were that the glass broke when they took it from their home, and the lower pin on the ash door bound and sheered off. New glass arrived this week and I made a new pin and drilled and pounded the old one out. New gaskets for the top and bottom and she is going in today. I know i'll have to adjust my loading and shaking procedures (short chops from what I read) on this new one, but I am excited about the extended heat output this one offers.

Once I tear down my old VC and fix the air intake issue, I'll be putting it up for sale. Complete 0058 coal insert with grates in good shape will be available if anyone knows someone looking. Either way, I know my wife will be looking forward to a nice, warm February after today.

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freetown fred
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Posts: 21421
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 11:05 am

Nice, enjoy it :) Remember--scrap prices are pretty high right now ;)
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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LsFarm
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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 12:56 pm

I'll make a suggestion: while the firebox is empty, open the door, and watch the grates while you move the shaker handle back and forth.

Using an average size piece of Nut coal, see how far you can move the grates before the piece of coal could enter the gap between the
grates and jam them open..

THEN use a piece of chalk, or masking tape, or something to mark on the side of the stove the max limits for moving the shaker handle.
This way you can 'see' how far you are moving the grates without seeing the grates. :D

Once you have the shaking with the short strokes figured out,, you can wipe off the chalk or remove the tape if it hasn't melted off already.

Just a thought..

Greg L
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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Freddy
Member
Posts: 6605
Joined: Fri. Apr. 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 1:21 pm

Congrats on the upgrade!
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Resolute0058
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 9:23 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II
Location: Central CT

Post Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 1:53 pm

thanks all. Good idea with the chalk, I was reading about a few people who did that. Luckily, with the location and home design I don't need to run the blower to heat both floors. I am a huge fan of complete silence with the coal stoves (when not shaking of course).

I just hope my buddy is up to the task of helping me get it into position. I stripped it last night, but it still has to come up from the basement to get into place. Too tight for a hand cart, so we'll be hoofin it the last 30 feet up and down some steps. At least the old one is easy enough to move, being a good hundred pounds lighter.

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lowfog01
Member
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 Fri. Feb. 01, 2013 6:19 pm

Hi,

You may want to check this thread - How Did You Get Your Coal Stove Into Your House??? You may pick ups some ideas for that last 30 feet and down the stairs. Good luck,
“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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Resolute0058
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 9:23 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II
Location: Central CT

Post Sat. Feb. 02, 2013 3:56 pm

got it in without issues luckily and hooked it up last night. old stove fought harder during removal surprisingly. I cannot believe the consistent amount of heat this thing puts off. house was 53 degrees when I pulled it since I let the VC go out that morning and the wife wasn't coming home right after work. Within 2 hours I was flying up on 80 degrees and throttling the stove back. It burned so clean and completely overnight, I can't believe I didn't do this sooner.

ran nearly 60lbs through it sine yesterday and I barely have a 1/3 of the ash pan filled. I know there are better stoves out there, but this thing is so night and day better over my old VC that I am irritated that I didn't move to a proper coal stove years ago. Oh well, learned a lot from people here and I can see why so many loved their Mark II's.

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freetown fred
Member
Posts: 21421
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Sat. Feb. 02, 2013 5:51 pm

Sounds like she's workin real well for you. OUTSTANDING :)
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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