Who Makes a Quality Stove That Burns Both Wood and Coal?

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.
pineyguy
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Posts: 39
Joined: Sun. Feb. 13, 2011 10:45 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250, Mark 2
Location: Jim Thorpe, PA

Post Mon. Nov. 25, 2013 9:18 pm

I'm going to enter my vote for Harman too. I have an SF250 and burn wood in the shoulder months. It does a fine job. I modified the firebox so it was the same or close to, the dimensions of the ashpan (basically I just built a frame so I could use full brick instead of the small ones.) I can't fit as much wood in now, but it will still hold a fire overnight. I experimented with the air supply and use the under fire air rather than the upper door air. It seems to burn cleaner that way.

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lsayre
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Posts: 12205
Joined: Wed. Nov. 23, 2005 9:17 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Mon. Nov. 25, 2013 9:32 pm

I saw the DS Machine EnergyMax 110 this past Saturday, and I was very impressed with it. It has a lever (knob) that you move from left to right to switch it from providing 80% air over and 20% air under, to 80% air under and 20% air over (this per the store assistant who was explaining it to me). Well built and good looking. The greatest disappointment was no hopper.
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dcrane
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Posts: 3115
Joined: Sun. Apr. 22, 2012 9:28 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 6:45 am

someone wish to explain what this knuckle head is trying to prove, suggest, show with this vid?


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Lightning
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Posts: 8297
Joined: Wed. Nov. 16, 2011 9:51 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 6:55 am

So about the hopper on a hand fed. Is it really a huge benefit? I mean you still gotta shake the grates when you normally would right? What's the pros of having a hopper?

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Carbon12
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Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue. Oct. 11, 2011 6:53 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 6:55 am

Only thing I see is combustion takes 3 thing,......fuel, air and ignition source. :lol:
No matter where you go,......there you are.

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dcrane
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Posts: 3115
Joined: Sun. Apr. 22, 2012 9:28 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 6:57 am

lsayre wrote:I saw the DS Machine EnergyMax 110 this past Saturday, and I was very impressed with it. It has a lever (knob) that you move from left to right to switch it from providing 80% air over and 20% air under, to 80% air under and 20% air over (this per the store assistant who was explaining it to me). Well built and good looking. The greatest disappointment was no hopper.
a football field to pile up a mountain of coal onto and you still need your hoppers toothy I believe that knob is for the circulatory effect (no blower fan or elec. needed)... but they do offer a blower fan option. These things must hold a ton of coal! im not sure the control would be that good with coal layed out like that but I guess those time you need that much control you simply burn wood ?

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dcrane
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Posts: 3115
Joined: Sun. Apr. 22, 2012 9:28 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 7:01 am

Lightning wrote:So about the hopper on a hand fed. Is it really a huge benefit? I mean you still gotta shake the grates when you normally would right? What's the pros of having a hopper?
are you trying to entice me :mad2: :taz:

its still not going to keep an even burn through the whole cycle... it would be hard enough to maintain a good burn over the entire bed when its that large and square, a hopper in this thing is not going to disperse coal evenly to the entire coal bed... think of cylindrical deep coal bed with a magazine directly over the center of the coal bed (this is how coal can complete a decent burn cycle) which is why when you hear someone like William talking about how his ash is reduced to NOTHING but pure fines as opposed to clinker/clunkers/chunks/ etc. To allow this type of stove using coal to go 24 or worst.... 48 hours unattended with a hopper....you would end up not having an even burn cycle across the bed and left with DEAD coal/clinks/ash in the corners or half the coal bed (where the hopper exit is not) being dead... now we start playing the game of trying to gain back that even coal bed for and efficient and complete burn cycle (pushing, shoving, poking coals from hereto their, etc.).... this is game that coal does not like and the user does not like as fly ash invades your living room :lol: .... but alas.... it can take a 20" horizontal log!
Last edited by dcrane on Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lightning
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Posts: 8297
Joined: Wed. Nov. 16, 2011 9:51 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 7:10 am

NO really lol.. Whats the big deal about having a hopper? Yeah I guess the coal gets "pre heated" but what else? You don't handle coal as much? Why not just dump a bucket in on the coal bed at shake time? Please, enlighten me :D

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Lightning
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Posts: 8297
Joined: Wed. Nov. 16, 2011 9:51 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 7:13 am

dcrane wrote:someone wish to explain what this knuckle head is trying to prove, suggest, show with this vid?

That didn't prove anything about the stove.. Chimney works good :lol:
Yer right.. knuckle head

KingCoal
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Posts: 3165
Joined: Wed. Apr. 03, 2013 1:24 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 3-Locke Warm Morning #120, 1-Locke Warm Morning #524B
Baseburners & Antiques: 2014 DTS C17 Base Burner 1- Crawford #40 BB
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anth.
Other Heating: none
Location: Elkhart county, IN.

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 7:35 am

that EnergyMax stove is PRIMARILY a wood burner, and that diverter handle is to make the wood gas take another pass around the combustion chamber for more complete burn reducing creosote.

i looked at that stove when I was picking a circulator, based on my experience with the Riteway I KNEW the problems dcrane suggests would absolutely be true.

as to the hopper in a hand fired my experience with the DSM 1400 are different. I shake ash when I want to. if that's 12 hrs. cause i'm bored OK, if that's 24 hrs. it's still fine the fire didn't change at all, if it's 36 hrs. it only means that the whole hopper will have been exhausted ( there will still be a full bed of burning coal in the stove ) and will need another 27#'s of coal to fill back up.

the point is, if I want to shake and fill at 24 hrs. at 5:30 pm instead of 5:30 am I can.
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franco b
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Posts: 8434
Joined: Wed. Nov. 05, 2008 5:11 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea
Location: Kent CT

Post Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 12:34 pm

Lightning wrote:NO really lol.. Whats the big deal about having a hopper? Yeah I guess the coal gets "pre heated" but what else? You don't handle coal as much? Why not just dump a bucket in on the coal bed at shake time? Please, enlighten me :D
The coal gets pre heated which results in much quicker recovery time and since some of the hot coal has already had gas burned out of it there will be less gas generated in the fresh bed. The fire is just less shocked on shake down and heat output much steadier.

If the coal bed is near exhaustion the hot coal will also make recovery fast and easy. Needs no nursing.

Re filling the hopper from the top of the stove is easier and quicker to just pour in the coal rather than shovel and no concern with distribution since the hopper does that automatically.

Easier, faster, and less concern with puff backs.

pwmill
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun. Oct. 05, 2008 2:23 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Meyer .. Woodchuck 4000
Coal Size/Type: Cornwall - Nut in winter/Pea in spring & fall
Other Heating: None
Location: Fort Ann, New York

Post Mon. Dec. 09, 2013 12:05 am

I own a Woodchuck and have had no problem burning coal. Not keen on using wood, due to health issues, but wanted the option. Use nut during the coldest temps and pea when its cool. As far as having spare parts, the only thing that I have had to replace is a bolt on the shaker handle that recently broke, last week. The house was build in 1900 and was a tenant house used by mill workers, a few HUD improvements over the years, (holes drilled into the walls and insulation blown in) and not much else. Everything learned about burning coal I learned from this forum. The wife and myself are very happy with the results of the furnace. Work 12 - 16 hour days, two shake downs and reloads. Heat is always there. So now you have heard from an owner of a Woodchuck.

JohnB
Member
Posts: 434
Joined: Sat. Jul. 06, 2013 6:06 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Mostly nut, some pea
Location: Northeastern Ct.

Post Mon. Dec. 09, 2013 10:20 am

franco b wrote:When you burn wood it makes a huge difference how you burn it. Stuff the fire box full and turn down the air for a long burn, then consider cleaning the chimney every 30 days. Run shorter hot fires that are much cleaner then once a year is probably OK but you should still check for build up or better still burn coal.
If I'd had to clean the chimney every 30 days I would have switched to coal 25 years ago! Only reasons you'd have to clean the chimney more then once a season is that you are burning green wood or/and running the stove too cool. We never got more then a few hand fulls of creosote out of our 25' 6" liner after a full season burning 6+ cords.

As far as burning both fuels in a coal stove my only experience is with the 50-93 & I can tell you it's only passable as a wood stove. Fine for a few small fires in the warmer months with the hopper ring out but that's about it. I switched to coal much earlier then planned this Fall as I hated burning wood in the Hitzer. My Jotul F600 has spoiled me for that & it's now keeping my shop building toasty warm. While it took awhile to get the coal fire burning in mid October it was surprisingly easy to keep it going even on days when the temps crept up into the 60's before dropping back off at night.

I'll milk the coal fire as late as possible come Spring & then just do small wood fires to knock the chill off the house. We've got a lot of windows on the south side of the house so on a sunny 45*-50* day we don't even need a fire.

coalcracker
Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon. Jan. 24, 2011 6:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Standard sealed hot water boiler, hand fed
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark I Magnafire
Baseburners & Antiques: Lehigh Oak 18, Washington potbelly, Sears Roebuck parlor cabinet, PIttston 6 lid cook stove, vintage combo gas/coal cook stove 4 lid
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I Magnafire

Post Mon. Dec. 09, 2013 12:48 pm

Gary1 wrote:I'm aware of companies that make furnaces that burn both wood and coal, such as the Woodchuck unit made by the Meyer Mfg co, but can anyone tell me if there are any excellent stoves that burn both fuels efficiently?
the grates that burn coal efficiently, generally will burn wood way too quickly. By what I've seen the wood grates have less holes in them for air. I have a Harman I that burns wood superbly, but it would tend to be a bit hungry using the coal grates. It is listed for both fuels though by the mfr.

By far the best wood only stove I've fired, was a Franklin free standing stove from the 1970's. It has firebrick and that baby would heat 2500 square feet, with the stove in the basement. It ate 8+ cords of wood a year though, on average, and needed steady every 4 hours.
Coal stoves without fuel, are heavy, expensive decorations. Are there any coal mines in YOUR home state ? If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.

coalcracker
Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon. Jan. 24, 2011 6:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Standard sealed hot water boiler, hand fed
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark I Magnafire
Baseburners & Antiques: Lehigh Oak 18, Washington potbelly, Sears Roebuck parlor cabinet, PIttston 6 lid cook stove, vintage combo gas/coal cook stove 4 lid
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I Magnafire

Post Mon. Dec. 09, 2013 12:52 pm

pineyguy wrote:I'm going to enter my vote for Harman too. I have an SF250 and burn wood in the shoulder months. It does a fine job. I modified the firebox so it was the same or close to, the dimensions of the ashpan (basically I just built a frame so I could use full brick instead of the small ones.) I can't fit as much wood in now, but it will still hold a fire overnight. I experimented with the air supply and use the under fire air rather than the upper door air. It seems to burn cleaner that way.
interesting you say that, did you block the upper glass air slits then ? I tried that once with strips of aluminum tape on my Harman I. It really didn't improve coal burning, and didn't burn off the methane top gases like it used to before, so I removed the tape and returned it to stock configuration. I called Harman and talked to them about that, they said the stove should have air flow over the top of the fire.
Coal stoves without fuel, are heavy, expensive decorations. Are there any coal mines in YOUR home state ? If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.

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