To Slope or Not?

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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italia899
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Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearthglow
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 10:38 am

When loading your hand-fired stoves, do any of you try to make the front of the coal bed’s height even with the height of the back bed (assuming your stove design permits this)? In other words, do your coal beds slope down from back to front, or is there only a gradual dip from back to front?

I started off sloping and have now found myself making the bed more even from back to front. I don’t know if there are advantages to either technique, I just wanted to get the forum’s view/experience on this topic.

Thanks!

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Devil505
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 10:55 am

I have never tried to deliberately slope the coal bed. Having said that, I have sloped when trying to cram in more coal than would fit below the window grates. (more coal to the back to keep it off the glass) I don't see any benefit to deliberatly trying to make a slope.
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bigchunk
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Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: sf250 magnafire
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 11:06 am

after I shake my stove down the bed goes down I have a metal water pipe its 3ft long and 3 1/4 thick I use that to tap the bed of coals not hard just enough to pack the bed down. then I use that same pole to lift up the metal flap that comes down when you open the door. and while holding the flap open I use my ash shovel to scoop up coal from my coal bucket and I start from the back one scoop at a time across the back tapping and smoothing with the shovel to even the bed out. I continue doing this until im at the front. by the time I get to the front there is a slope. naturaly there would be one and what occurs when I do this is theres always parts of the coal bed that arent coverd with fresh coal so I get that "banking " effect I also have a led headlight so I can see into the stove and I can make sure I have a good even full bed of coal in the stove. heres some pics of the "tools I use" they work for me.

bigchunk
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 11:09 am

the things I use
Attachments
end of 07 107.jpg
my tools

bigchunk
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 11:23 am

if you look at the pic of my stove I just posted. look at the pic with the door open, click the pic to see the bigger pic, and see the coal that isnt covered. see how I filler up. this is what the sf 250 can do. its a fine coal stove indeed. been running since november.

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coalstoves
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman and Liberty
Stove/Furnace Model: Magnum and Victory 700
Location: Mt.Carmel Pa. Located on The Western Middle Anthracite Field

Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 12:04 pm

bigchunk wrote:i also have a led headlight so I can see into the stove and I can make sure I have a good even full bed of coal in the stove. heres some pics of the "tools I use" they work for me.
Wow :lol:

Image
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coalstoves
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman and Liberty
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 12:09 pm

Stoker Stove Setup
The tent is for that poison dust :D

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bigchunk
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Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: sf250 magnafire
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 12:17 pm

thats about it. imo, lol

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italia899
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 12:51 pm

Bigchunk,

Ironically, viewing the most recent post of the pic of your stove prompted me to post this quesion. My stove has a similar design as the Harman Magnafire Series stoves.

bigchunk
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 10:00 pm

well this works for me. and who knows it could work for you too. when I started this whole coal burning thing it was new to me and I read as much as I could prior to actually doing it and using my stove non stop and shaking it down and filling it up twice a day has made me try to figure out the most efficent way to do this. and I figured this out myself and like I mentioned earlier this works for me. it may not work for others but ive burned my arm on the stove a few times before I had a revelation about using the pipe to hold up the flap. and not being able to see in the stove was rediculous so I tried hanging on to a flashlight and the pipe at the same time was a pain, so the head lamp was the answer. now again this is the way that works for me. and I havent had one problemb with my stove yet thank God.

greg white
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Location: Michigan

Post Wed. Jan. 23, 2008 11:57 am

Talking about trying to see into stove,I have a Harman SF150,basicly the same as a SF250,.I installed 14"long extensions on the legs to get the stove up to comfortable height to work on/with.
GW
Harman hand fed SF 150 in the shop(my house)

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grizzly2
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.
Location: Whippleville, NY

Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 7:38 pm

bigchunk wrote:the things I use
That is some beautiful wooden flooring you have there :!:
The only redeeming value of winter is that I can have a fire in my stove.

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LsFarm
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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 Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 7:57 pm

Big Chunk, you are the only coal burner I know of who 'packs' the coal bed... I would think that this would reduce the airflow through the coal... apparently it works for you...

When I was hand feeding my 'Big Bertha' boiler, I just tossed the coal in the firebox,, if anything I would use a poker to loosen up the firebed, to try to keep the coal 'open' and the airways around the pieces of coal open... My fire tended to get too compact and not burn hot enough when the fire was mature...

It's interesting to read about the different techniques...

Greg L
firebrickwall.jpg
I took down the first two rows of bricks and filled the firebox, this load was about 140# of nut and stove coal
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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titleist1
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 8:09 pm

When I shovel it in it ends up higher in the back since the fire brick is higher than in the front. Also, this leaves some flames coming up in the front to ignite the gases so I don't get any surprise BOOM's. :blowup:
I drive a VW TDI, heat my home & workshop with two coal stokers and have two vintage JD diesel tractors....
The EPA just loves me!!

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Cyber36
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Marathon/Logwood
Location: Byron NY

Post Thu. Feb. 21, 2008 10:14 am

As long as the firebox is square, don't slope - filler up!! I tend to put a little more in the back when retiring for the evening or being away from the house for more than 10 hrs................

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