Harman Mkii Big Enought???

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.
Post Reply
User avatar
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun. Mar. 30, 2008 7:08 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Moe

Post Mon. Apr. 28, 2008 1:24 pm

I have been burning wood for ever and now the time has come to switch. I looked this am at a Harman MKII. Nothing fancy because I have everything in the basement. Im looking for input from anyone who has one of these, about how well they find that it operates. My home is 1700sqft cape with center chimney. Will this stove be large enought?? I burn four to six cord of wood a year and keep the house very comfortable. (t-shirt) Just looking for some input and sugestions. I can get the stove for $1490.00 out the door. good bad or indiferent???? Would really like to be able to recoupe the cost in the near future. I live in central Conn and have been checking out all of the options available to me. I realize that this is a form on coal but at the store that has the Harman stove the MKII is the only coal stove there and he has lots and lots of pellet units. I feel that coal is a better product to get into, or not??????? Any response would be greatly apreaciated. thank you Gordon

User avatar
Posts: 6603
Joined: Fri. Apr. 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Mon. Apr. 28, 2008 3:25 pm

I can't tell you about the Harmon. I'll chime in with my opinion and research on pellets vrs coal. I have just ordered a coal boiler. I gave pellets a hard look. I went with coal for a few reasons. One: I fear price and availability of pellets. Last yr some people had trouble getting them when they needed them. Two: If I burn a solid fuel I want my years worth of fuel on site by Halloween. Pellets take up twice the space as coal, and MUST be kept dry. Three: I understand a pellet stove gets a cleaning once a week to remain efficient. Coal, not so often. The boiler I ordered they say once or twice a year. Four: My wife needs something to crab about. I see to it that she has it. She fears coal will be dirty. I will prove to her that it's not, but for a while she can crab. ;) :) After she sees it can be done in a clean way, she can crab about how she's always wrong. It's a win win for me. LOL
Orrington, Maine

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

User avatar
Posts: 4678
Joined: Wed. May. 17, 2006 8:12 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal
Location: Forest Hill MD

Post Mon. Apr. 28, 2008 5:07 pm

The MkiII is rated to heat 1900 sq. ft. so the unit is capable of producing enogh heat for your home. The trick is getting it distributed. You mentioned your present stove was in the basement so you should already be familiar with the challanges of getting the heat where you want it without having too much heat where you don't want it. What type of heating system does your home have. A stove may not be the best option for you.
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. Winston Churchill

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." —General George S. Patton

Burning rice coal in a 1981 EFM DF520, nut coal in a hand fired Jotul 507.

User avatar
Posts: 1581
Joined: Fri. Dec. 02, 2005 10:36 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut and Stove
Other Heating: Heat Pumps
Location: Lehigh Twp, PA

Post Mon. Apr. 28, 2008 5:08 pm

A Mark II should very well be large enough. Do you have a basement? It's of my opinion, a coal stove should be in the basement with proper vents to release the warm air to the main floor and above. Heat from the foundation up. :)
Research the Harman site for specs. Size it large enough to heat basement if applicable.
Lehigh Twp.
Northampton Co., PA

Visit Hitzer Stoves

User avatar
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun. Mar. 30, 2008 7:08 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Moe

Post Mon. Apr. 28, 2008 5:12 pm

Thanks for the come back Freddy and also for the humor.
coalkirk as I have mentioned I have been heating my home for years with wood so I already know that a stove is the way to go for me but the house has a warm air system. Im mostly concerned on whether this peticular stove will put out the heat that I need. gordon

User avatar
Posts: 7110
Joined: Tue. Jul. 03, 2007 10:44 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post Mon. Apr. 28, 2008 6:34 pm

I'll chime in too since I have my Harman hand fired (TLC-2000) in the basement of a similarly sized split entry ranch. If you can leave you basement door open (to let the stove-warmed air upstairs & the cold air down ) & maybe install a few floor registers, you should be able to get the heat upstairs. Harman makes great stoves & you'll find plenty of expertise on this forum. (you aren't going to believe how much easier & more controllable coal heating will be than heating with wood!)The MkII should do it.
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

Posts: 179
Joined: Mon. Jan. 14, 2008 8:22 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: 1960 efm 520
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman Mark II

Post Mon. Apr. 28, 2008 8:19 pm

Hi Gordan, When I moved into my current house which is over 100 years old there was an old timberline woodstove in the family room with a large cathedral ceiling. This woodstove was big and it cranked. Quickly getting sick of wood I was drawn to coal because of low cost , high btu, and no creosote. I bought a barely used Mark II locally for 500. The Mark II put out even more heat than the Timberline. But there was a learning curve on running a handfired stove. By the time I was getting the hang of it at the end of the first season I found a used stoker and sold the Mark II to my brother who is still running it. I should have kept it. These are great stoves. You may be able to find a good used one for a decent price. If this is your first experience with coal be patient. Once you get the hang of burning coal you will not want to go back to wood. Good luck.

User avatar
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat. Mar. 24, 2007 8:14 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S260 Boiler
Location: Kensington, New Hampshire

Post Mon. Apr. 28, 2008 8:43 pm

Hate to sound too biased; but, if you have FHA ducting, why not use it? Several different stoker stoves/mini-furnaces would simplify heating your home. My father has a MKII and it's a nice hand fired stove; but, my father is retired and basically has nothing better to do all winter than baby sit his stove. If you are still working for a living (like me) a stoker is pure joy! Typically a stoker only needs attention once a day to load the hopper and dump the ashes.

Here's a link to Leasure Line's diagram of a really slick way to distribute heat using your existing FHA duct work with very little modifications required. Basically this setup could be implemented with materials from Home Depot/Lowe's by any competent DIY'er.


Guess you could implement this solution with a MKII too...
AHS S260 "BEAST" Burning Lehigh Pea Anthracite
Kensington, NH

Visit Hitzer Stoves

User avatar
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun. Mar. 30, 2008 7:08 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Moe

Post Tue. Apr. 29, 2008 10:59 am

Hey everyone thanks for the information. As usual this site is the place to be for really sound advice and new ideas. Now I have to get mother to see my way of thinking. After thirty years of cutting and splitting wood I'm ready to take it easy.
thank you all again gordon

User avatar
Site Moderator
Posts: 9825
Joined: Fri. Oct. 27, 2006 2:05 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Tue. Apr. 29, 2008 4:23 pm

Gordon, check out a stoker boiler. Harman makes a nice one and a few of the guys here run FHA with them and are lovin' it. :)
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

User avatar
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat. Feb. 23, 2008 12:18 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II
Location: Coopers Mills, ME

Post Tue. Apr. 29, 2008 6:24 pm


I have been heating with coal for 22+ years and just bought a used Mark II. I have not hooked it up yet, but I am heating 3000 sq ft and feel it will be big enough since the stove I have been using is considerably smaller. The Mark II has a blower set up and you could adapt a plenum to direct that heat right into you existing duct work. I have vents from the basement up into every room in the house and use the stair case to return the cold air. You should have no problem heating your house with a Mark II.
Justin S.

Burning anthracite nut & pea coal in an old Crane Coal-Cooker since 1985.

There is nothing like a bin full of coal to give you that warm fuzzy feeling. OH, I forgot to mention the fridge full of beer.

Posts: 4427
Joined: Sun. Feb. 10, 2008 3:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove
Location: Cape Cod, MA

Post Tue. Apr. 29, 2008 10:16 pm

I heat my drafty no insulation in the walls but R36 in the ceilings, 1000 sq ft, down by the windy Nantucket Sound, Cape with a Mark II and keep it 68-72. If your house is up to snuff with insulation and is reasonably tight you should have no problem. However a Mark III might be a consideration. It would hold more coal for longer burn times and you would not have to run it hard to keep it at that ‘very comfortable’ temperature. As a bonus when you do get a cold snap and the temps drop way below normal you will still be ‘very comfortable’.
I am not an engineer, train or otherwise!
I stay at a Holiday Inn at least once a year!
Most of all I do have common sense and a practical application of logic.
Oh, add humor, on the dry side, along with a wee bit 'o sarcasm.

User avatar
Charlie Z
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat. Dec. 23, 2006 9:39 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby
Location: North Fork, NY

Post Wed. Apr. 30, 2008 7:26 am

How tight and insulated is your house? 'Distribution' is really the question - can you get the heat it produces to where you need it?

You can't go wrong with a mkII is a great stove - what we'd get if needing another. That is the 'new' price here, too.
"There's a time for thinking, and a time for action. And this, gentlemen, is no time for thinking!" - John Candy, "Canadian Bacon"

Post Reply

Return to “Hand Fired Coal Stoves & Furnaces Using Anthracite”