Shaker Design

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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tcalo
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
Baseburners & Antiques: Our Glenwood 109
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite
Location: Long Island, New York

Post Thu. Dec. 19, 2013 7:05 pm

I have a Coal Chubby and find the shaking process to be exhausting. I have the upgraded firepot which is a world of difference compared to the original firepot design, but I still get worn out shaking a full load of coal. I did have a warped grate which started to rub on the support tabs. I placed washers on the middle pin helping to raise the grate off the tabs. This is the only stove I have ever owned and was wondering how the shaker system compares to those that have long grates that rock individually? I'm sure many are familiar with the system...the Chubby has a solid round grate that pivots in the middle. The shaker handle is attached to the grate and rides in and out of a nipple on the side of the stove. It seems that a shaker system like those found on a Glenwood stove would be more forgiving. Am I wrong in my assumption?

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franco b
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
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Location: Kent CT

Post Thu. Dec. 19, 2013 7:19 pm

You are right in your assumption.
The Modern Glenwood Oak I have has the cleanest fastest system I have used. On this particular stove the coal partially bridges while the ash drops so very little shaking clears the grate quickly followed by a poke to settle the bed.

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tcalo
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
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Post Thu. Dec. 19, 2013 11:21 pm

Chubby owners...where are you? :alone:

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ONEDOLLAR
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Post Fri. Dec. 20, 2013 5:50 am

I do not normally have to pull the shaker more than 6-7 times. Quick and jerky motions. A lot depends on the coal type and running temps. There have been a few post on NEPA of late about coal this year having lots of ash. More than normal. I did notice that with the bitter cold we had last week I was giving the proto chubby a couple of more pulls. But I was also running her hotter as well at times. 550f vs 450-475f.

Are you running your poker through the slits in the grate or just poking? Try running the poker back and forth through the slits if you haven't. This action really helps clear any possible blockages and get the ash flowing. This is my second Chubby. The Jr did take a few more pulls but it wasn't anything I considered out of the norm.

I have 3 bulged discs and back pain is something I deal with every day. But I don't find shaking down my Chubby to be that big of a deal. The whole process including dumping the ash takes 3 mins, 4 if I have to play "What's in the ash pan?" with the dog.
It is the small things in life that push us over the edge........

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oliver power
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Post Fri. Dec. 20, 2013 6:13 am

I've read that the flat finger style grates are the best for burning. Personally, they are also the best I've shaken. Just so happens, HITZER has flat finger grates. I believe I read this before buying my first HITZER. I remember being happy to see flat finger grates.

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wsherrick
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
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Post Fri. Dec. 20, 2013 6:48 pm

I have yet to use the dual ranson style grates that are found on many base burners so I can't speak on those. Out all the other types of grates I have used. I like the prismatic grates in the Glenwood No 6 the best. They are effective and clean. No poking, raking, jabbing from underneath required. A simple shake is all that is required and all of the dust stays inclosed inside the stove.
Can't beat them.

dustyashpan
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Atlanta Homesteader, Harman
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Post Sat. Dec. 21, 2013 11:53 am

tcalo wrote:I have a Coal Chubby and find the shaking process to be exhausting. I have the upgraded firepot which is a world of difference compared to the original firepot design, but I still get worn out shaking a full load of coal. I did have a warped grate which started to rub on the support tabs. I placed washers on the middle pin helping to raise the grate off the tabs. This is the only stove I have ever owned and was wondering how the shaker system compares to those that have long grates that rock individually? I'm sure many are familiar with the system...the Chubby has a solid round grate that pivots in the middle. The shaker handle is attached to the grate and rides in and out of a nipple on the side of the stove. It seems that a shaker system like those found on a Glenwood stove would be more forgiving. Am I wrong in my assumption?
shaker grates make or break stove design. grates are everything. rather have a cracked leaky stove, over poorly designed grates that don't rake right, or burn off. cracks & leaks can be fixed. bad grate design, your stuck with. if ya hear certain stove make has weak grates, run.

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tcalo
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
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Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite
Location: Long Island, New York

Post Mon. Dec. 23, 2013 4:31 pm

dustyashpan wrote:shaker grates make or break stove design.
I am starting to realize this 4 years into burning coal! As mentioned, this is the only stove I have ever owned so I really have no comparison other than user feedback. I think the Chubby Coal Stove truly is a magnificent work of art. However, I feel the grate and shaker system could've been better designed. It's not terrible, but could be improved. When I shut down for the season I will tinker with it... :idea: . I've experienced 2 warped grates already. Foundry work, poor material? I've run the stove well within the recommended temperature range with plenty of room in the ash pan for the grates to breath. I do burn wood in the Spring and Fall. Could this have an effect on the grates warping, possibly? Trial and error I guess. Wishing my coal family a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!

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tcalo
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
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Location: Long Island, New York

Post Sun. Mar. 02, 2014 8:29 am

It seems that it takes me forever to shake down my fire so I decided to actually count the amount of strokes on the shaker handle. It took me nearly 250 full shakes (500 in and out strokes) to finally get a little glow from beneath the grates. This is why I'm so tired after tending the stove! I know this sounds like a lot, thoughts? I've read that it only takes some a few shakes. I would love to hear from other Chubby owners. I have been getting an extremely high amount of ash this season, could be the reason.

Sunny Boy
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Post Sun. Mar. 02, 2014 8:54 am

Wow, 250 ? No wonder your exhausted ! :shock: I would think by then the firebox would be empty of coal, much less all the ash ????

It could be the type of ash your getting, not just the volume. Maybe it's clinkering too easily and the grates are not breaking it up ???? As suggested, can you try slashing the ash to break up clumps, not just poking at it ?

Can you post pictures of what the ash looks like ?

Paul
So many stoves - so few chimneys. I must be coal-stone crazy.

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tcalo
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
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Location: Long Island, New York

Post Sun. Mar. 02, 2014 9:17 am

I haven't gotten many clinkers this season. I usually still need to run my poker under the grates after shaking to let the fire breath a bit more. The ash is powdery gray for the most part, except for the last few bits that I dig out with the poker.
Attachments
image.jpg
Ash

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tcalo
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
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Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite
Location: Long Island, New York

Post Sun. Mar. 02, 2014 9:18 am

Sorry, pic keeps loading upside down??? Maybe I should try running the poker through the grats before shaking to help break any ash up.

buck24
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Post Sun. Mar. 02, 2014 9:53 am

250 is crazy...... I would get a poker and poke her real good from the top before shaking. The ash may be sticking to the sides or bridging a bit. That's way too many strokes. Give it a try and let us know what happens.

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tcalo
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
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Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite
Location: Long Island, New York

Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 12:26 pm

So I found an easier way to shake my stove down, it only took me 2 years :shock: ! I rake the poker through the bottom of the grates to get most of the ash out, then it only takes a few shakes of the handle to clear the remaining ash. Now I have more energy to chase the wife around the house!

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D-frost
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon Eagle I (multi-fuel oil, wood/coal)
Baseburners & Antiques: Herald 'fireside oak'
Coal Size/Type: nut/Reading anthracite, stove/Blaschak
Other Heating: Jotul #118 wood burner
Location: Southern New Hampshire

Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 1:06 pm

This is my first winter with the Chubby. I find that poking is the best method to get the ash to the pan.
First, I look at height of the coals in the burn pot. Next, shake 3or 4 seconds. Next, look at pan. If by some miracle, it is full, and bottom of grate glows red, I'm done. I believe this has happened once, but I can't remember when. Usually, I poke from under the grate until I see a red glow, and shake again for 5 seconds. Lastly, I look to see if the coals have dropped in the burn pot. If not, I poke around the edge of coals from the top, until they drop.(bridging) Add one scoop of coal, open ash door, and let it rip for 5 minutes before filling the pot. I've never had any clinkers, but the ash build-up on the grate is the only downfall I see with this method. I run the Chubby at 300-350*, using Reading anthracite nut.

Sorry about being long-winded on this. Short verse: Find what works for your set-up, and keep warm!

Cheers

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