How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

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.
mike m54
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Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 55f

Post Wed. Oct. 29, 2008 7:44 pm

I just started using my Hitzer 55f and found spreading a bag of sams matchlite charcoal out, puting a little lighter fluid on so it lites easier, letting it turn white then puting 2" of coal on, waiting about 1/2 hour, then puting 2" more on top, 1/2 hour more then I fill it to the top.

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baldeagle
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Post Thu. Oct. 30, 2008 7:59 pm

Sirs: I follow the advice of "Coalstoves" only I just use charcoal/lighterfluid. Last year we started in Oct >>burned>> till April.
It is quite straightforward, once the charcoal is burning well just add layers of coal without totally covering the flames from the charcoal.
I leave the ash removal door ajar about an inch once we begin to add the anthracite for maximum air and draft. About 2 hours and we have a full load of coal >>top of firebrick. Best of Luck, baldeagle

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Razzler
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: rice
Location: Northampton Pa.

Post Mon. Nov. 10, 2008 4:08 pm

I took some pictures of the steps I take to start a fire. Maybe this will help someone. ;)
Attachments
IMG_3000.JPG
Step 1: I start with a pile of match light in the middle.
IMG_3001.JPG
Step 2: Then i cover the rest of the grates with coal around the charcoal and one shovel of coal on top of the match light. Light it and close the load door and leave the ash door open.
IMG_3005.JPG
Step 3: After 20 minutes load three or four shovels on the fire.
IMG_3006.JPG
Step 4: Close load door and the ash door is still open.
IMG_3008.JPG
Step 5: After 15 minutes load five or six more shovels on.

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Devil505
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
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Post Mon. Nov. 10, 2008 4:12 pm

Razzler wrote:I took some pictures of the steps I take to start a fire. Maybe this will help someone. ;)
Nice sequence! That should definitely help! :up:
War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
Winston Churchill
Shaking & Poking The TLC2000 Video

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Razzler
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Post Mon. Nov. 10, 2008 4:24 pm

Step 6: Repeat step 5 untill you have the fire box filled up to the top of the fire brick.
From start to finish it took me about an hour and a half to :dancing: :D
Attachments
IMG_3015.JPG
When i get to this point i close the ash door and set the damper for desired temperature.

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ray in ma
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Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak
Location: Oakham, MA (North of Worcester don't blink)

Post Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 10:14 pm

Just fired up my Kodiak for the first time ever, I grew up with wood heat so coal is a new experience for me which requires more patience.
Following the owners manual (I actually read it cover to cover except the Spanish part) I built a wood fire starting with newspaper kindling and some smaller chunks of wood. The thing roared to life a lot quicker than anticipated (the wood was super dry and a good draft in the chimney helped out here) then added about 10 lbs of pea coal (love that Santa Coal) that crackled and popped a little, left the grate over the ash pan and the shaker grate wide opened. The pea coal caught pretty quick so I added about another 10lbs which also crackled and popped. Being proud of myself I left it alone and went upstairs to put the kids to bed when the smoke alarms started going off in the cellar. Of course the wife freaked out and going back downstairs the cellar was filled with smoke from the paint burning off. so we opened some windows and got out the fans and about 20 minutes later has the house cleared out. Went back and added about 20lbs of nut coal, got out my lawn chair, shut off the lights and enjoyed a couple of beers watching the blue flame dance.
Last couple of morning's when I get up I shake it down, add about 10lbs of pea go make coffee about 20 min later add annother 10lbs of pea then do the morning stuff, by which time a good glow is going add about 20lbs of nut, feed the kids get them off on the bus and go shut it down before going to work. Today I left the vents cracked a little and I haven't been filling too much (book says to gradually build up the heat) so when I got home there was some glow but not as much as I thought so when I added the pea to the mix I put it out :oops: I's ok though since it is pretty mild tonight in Central MA
and I am going to install the manometer tomorrow.

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Devil505
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Post Sat. Nov. 15, 2008 7:34 am

ray in ma wrote:I left it alone and went upstairs to put the kids to bed when the smoke alarms started going off in the cellar. Of course the wife freaked out and going back downstairs the cellar was filled with smoke from the paint burning off. so we opened some windows and got out the fans and about 20 minutes later has the house cleared out.
You should never leave your stove unattended for more than like 5 minutes with the ash door open or you'll very likely over fire your stove! (I carry a little egg timer set for 5 minutes if I leave the stove like that. It's way to easy to get distracted!)
War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
Winston Churchill
Shaking & Poking The TLC2000 Video

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ray in ma
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Post Sat. Nov. 15, 2008 12:33 pm

Hi Devil
good advice on the egg timer
I guess I wasn't clear, I had the grated open on the ash door, not the door itself.
The door covering the ash pan has a slider grate for draft and a smaller slider so you don't have to open the door to shake it.
R

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JLF53
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Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono
Location: Hunterdon County New Jersey

Post Mon. Dec. 01, 2008 11:55 pm

Help!

I just finished installing my stove and hooking it up to the flue. My house is 1870 and the flue is high. The stove is on the first floor. The flue is about 30' long from where the stove enters the chimney thimble. I tried to start the coal fire in my Harman TLC 200 last night and it went out. Today I tried to start it with wood, but the smoke in the stove covered the glass with soot so I let it die out in order to retry. This evening at 6 PM I laid a bed of Kingsford Matchlight and have been fiddling with the stove for the past 5.5 hours, and have yet to get the firebox full to the top of the firebrick. I barely have a couple of weak blue flames. I have the bottom vent on number two. I really need to be able to heat with coal in order to afford heat. Please help! I have read all the other posts and cannot get a fire to stay like the pictures on this blog unless I add more Kingsford or slightly open the top load door. I have a baro damper on the stove pipe.

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JLF53
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Post Tue. Dec. 02, 2008 12:06 am

I forgot ot mention that my coal is Blazchek from PA loose delivered nut size. My stove temp is 275 and pipe temp is 200 degrees farenheit.

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rockwood
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)
Location: Utah

Post Tue. Dec. 02, 2008 12:16 am

Sounds like the fire is starved for air. Have you tried giving it more air?
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." -Goethe

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JLF53
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Post Tue. Dec. 02, 2008 12:41 am

If I open the bottom vent more the flame goes down. I just put aluminum foil over the baro damper and opened the top loader and there are more blue flames. If I open the ash door the flames die down. I really only see the Kingsford burning, not the coal. I tried to pick out the small pieces so that they would catch easier.

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rockwood
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Location: Utah

Post Tue. Dec. 02, 2008 12:53 am

Opening the ash door will cause the flames to die down at first but the fire should liven up given time.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." -Goethe

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JLF53
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Location: Hunterdon County New Jersey

Post Tue. Dec. 02, 2008 2:06 am

Okay I have both the front glass door and the ash door wide open. I still have a barely 3 or 4 faint flames. some are blue and some are yellow. tomorrow I am going to clean out the sotve and get another bag of Kingsford since it does not smoke. I am going to lay a 2" bed of kingsford and cover it with a thin layer of coal. then light and leave the ash door open until I get the stove pipe at 400 degrees F. When the coal ignites and burns red (who knows how many hours this will take,) I will put another 2 to 3 shovels thinly over the hopefully burning fire. I will repeat until it I loaded and burning. I have covered the baro damper until further notice. I may try to buy a bag of Blazechek pea from Agway to start the fire.

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Razzler
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Post Tue. Dec. 02, 2008 6:28 am

try opening a window in the room that the stove is in.

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