DS 1500 - A Couple Things I Learned About Shaking

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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MarkV
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Joined: Sat. Nov. 26, 2011 8:52 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine DS-1500WH
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak bulk nut
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA

Post Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 12:22 am

I've continued to use my "rberg poker" (made from the old paint roller handle) to loosen the ash buildup at rear of my DS 1500's firebox. Seemed to be helping--I'm getting more ashes in that area of the pan.

I've also been shaking the grates according to the manual and what posters on here have said: shake until hot embers are dropping in the ashpan and there's a healthy glow visible over the ashes. But I was getting more than embers--I was getting sizable hot coals falling into the ashpan here and there.

Finally dawned on me last night that I've been moving the shaker handle a bit too far to the front and back when shaking--opening up too much space between the grates and allowing larger hot coals to drop. Today I tried using a much shorter arc on the shaker handle, and a-ha...the desired effect: small hot embers instead of the larger coals, dropping here and there over most of the firebox, and the glow of the fire visible over most of the ashes. I'd estimate I"m moving the grate handle only about 1" to 1.5" total, where before I was moving it back and forth in a 3-4" range.

For the ash buildup in the back, I tried the opposite trick before I shook the ashes. Right before shaking, when there's a good layer of ash between the grates and the fire, I moved the shaker handle slowly about 4"-5" toward the back, just once, then back to center. Then I moved the handle slowly about 4" toward the front, again just once, and back to center. This slow pivoting of the grates up into the ash layer appeared to break it up somewhat. After this, I did the rapid, short-throw shake to drop the ashes.

After shaking and letting the fire heat up a few minutes with ash door open, there was good amount of hot coals and blues at the back of the firebox--maybe the best yet.
Last edited by MarkV on Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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oliver power
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Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II), D.S. 1600 Circulator
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Location: Near Dansville, NY

Post Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 2:54 am

Once you figure out how the STOVE wants to be tended, and not how YOU want to tend the stove, you'll have it made in the shade.

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ridgeracing
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine Stove
Stove/Furnace Make: D.S Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1600WH
Location: Elizabethtown, PA

Post Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 6:02 am

MarkV- I agree with you, I get the same thing with my DS, its harder to get red at front and back of grate. Comparing my new DS to my old coal stove, the grate (teeth) are much smaller.

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ONEDOLLAR
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Joined: Thu. Dec. 01, 2011 6:09 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite
Location: Sooner Country Oklahoma
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Post Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 6:48 am

oliver power wrote:Once you figure out how the STOVE wants to be tended, and not how YOU want to tend the stove, you'll have it made in the shade.
Oliver,
That is the best synopsis I have ever read about tending to a coal stove. :D :up:
It is the small things in life that push us over the edge........

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MarkV
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Posts: 149
Joined: Sat. Nov. 26, 2011 8:52 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine DS-1500WH
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak bulk nut
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA

Post Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 7:47 am

ONEDOLLAR wrote:
oliver power wrote:Once you figure out how the STOVE wants to be tended, and not how YOU want to tend the stove, you'll have it made in the shade.
Oliver,
That is the best synopsis I have ever read about tending to a coal stove. :D :up:
:yes: I second that!!! It'd be hard to say it better in one sentence.

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Lightning
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 8:05 am

I've tried smaller arcs on shaking too, but it seemed after a few days I would get ash build up in the coal bed to the point that the fire wasn't burning as good as it used to. I've decided that loosing a few hot coals to the ash pan - maybe a pound or two of smaller coals that are mostly burnt - is well worth the trade off for a good healthy shake down with a better clearance of ash. Mine is designed different than yours, maybe you will have different results. 8-)

I also use a slicing and poking tool to go up thru the bottom of the grates to insure good combustion air flow into the coal bed.

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I'm On Fire
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator
Location: Vernon, New Jersey

Post Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 8:38 am

I just tried to shake my 1600 down the way you described. It didn't like it. Grates were immediately jammed and I had to crush the clinkers before they'd move again. My front and rear grates are still out too. Well, I wouldn't say they are out they are just covered in ash. They still burn.

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ridgeracing
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Posts: 160
Joined: Mon. Mar. 05, 2012 8:59 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine Stove
Stove/Furnace Make: D.S Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1600WH
Location: Elizabethtown, PA

Post Wed. Feb. 06, 2013 8:21 pm

I'm On Fire wrote:I just tried to shake my 1600 down the way you described. It didn't like it. Grates were immediately jammed and I had to crush the clinkers before they'd move again. My front and rear grates are still out too. Well, I wouldn't say they are out they are just covered in ash. They still burn.
DITO on my DS1600 as well! Works best for me with fast - short strokes (lol) :P

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MarkV
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Posts: 149
Joined: Sat. Nov. 26, 2011 8:52 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine DS-1500WH
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak bulk nut
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA

Post Sun. Feb. 10, 2013 12:46 pm

Update...I've continued to shake with the method in the OP. I've also continued to poke the bed from underneath the grates.

I mentioned there was a pretty good ash buildup in the back of the firebox. Well, last night, I noticed that poking through the ash at the very back row of holes was much easier than before...not nearly as much resistance from packed ash as before. Looking in through the ash door, I could see a dull glow through the holes I'd poked...I haven't seen that before when poking at the back.

Not sure if it's the slow, full grate movement I described in OP, or the poking, or a combination of both...but it seems the ash buildup is being reduced.

FWIW... :D

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