Need LOTS of Help and Advice on Getting Started

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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iowaboy.17
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Post Thu. May. 01, 2008 10:01 pm

Living in Vermont it is cold and expensive to heat my single story 1000 square foot home. I have a natural gas forced hot air furnace and I keep that thermostat set at 55 degrees. Most of my heating is done with a small Garrison #1 woodstove and I have access to a fair amount of dry hardwood as fuel. I have a chance to get about 4 tons of anthracite for free if I can move it, which I can. It is 1/2" to 1-1/4" size so I guess that is "chestnut" coal. It has been sitting in a basement bin for several years but I don't think that affects the calorific value of it. Now, before I go to the work of moving this coal, I need some advice on how to burn the darn stuff. I am thinking of some sort of stove placed in my living room that can handle both wood and coal. I would hope to use the same exhaust stack which is a vertical run of three feet, a 90 degree elbow, a horizontal run of five feet and another 90 degree elbow, and then a 18 foot vertical run with a cap on top to keep out squirrels. All pipe is 6" and all except the first eight feet is Metalbestos. I know very little about burning coal; I do pretty well with wood but wood in that little stove won't hold the fire for more than two or three hours, so I am thinking coal will hold out a bit longer. I know you have to burn coal on a grate with air introduced from underneath, so I guess that means some sort of forced air inlet, right? Any advice I can get about a combination stove will be helpful!!! Thanks in advance. tom

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Scottscoaled
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Joined: Tue. Jan. 08, 2008 9:51 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520, 700, Van Wert 800 GJ 61,53
Baseburners & Antiques: Magic Stewart 16, times 2!
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck
Other Heating: Slant Fin electric boiler backup
Location: Malta N.Y.

Post Thu. May. 01, 2008 10:09 pm

Tom, welcome to the forum. you came to the right place. If you move quick there is a Harman mark 3 for sale on craigslist in the Cap Cod area. It's a little bit of a haul for you but it will solve all your problems. Bigger, better stove for a nice price. Everything else you can read about here on the forum. Good luck! :) Scott
I think a man does what he can, untill his destiny is revealed. Right now that is trying to sell my EFM plate boilers in 520 and 700 sizes.

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Devil505
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Joined: Tue. Jul. 03, 2007 10:44 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post Thu. May. 01, 2008 10:10 pm

Buy yourself a good coal stove & burn coal for a few days. You'll never go back to burning wood! Read a few threads on this forum & then just jump in with any questions.
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
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Richard S.
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Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Thu. May. 01, 2008 10:32 pm

The best advice I can give you about a combination stove is get a coal stove that will burn wood. ;) Most coal stoves will burn wood but you can't burn coal in a wood only stove. A lot of the coal stoves will not be marked as being able to burn wood but that's because of EPA regulations. Besides once you start burning coal you'll not want to burn wood.
iowaboy.17 wrote:It has been sitting in a basement bin for several years but I don't think that affects the calorific value of it
It will burn, there was one post on here the guy had coal he estimated to be sitting there about 30 years if I remember correctly. It amy lose some over time but overall its negligible
iowaboy.17 wrote:that little stove won't hold the fire for more than two or three hours, so I am thinking coal will hold out a bit longer
.

You'll get a burn time a minimum of 12 hours on a moderate setting with most stoves. Most get a schedule of filling it in the morning and at night.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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coaledsweat
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Posts: 9826
Joined: Fri. Oct. 27, 2006 2:05 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Fri. May. 02, 2008 8:55 am

Richard S. wrote:
iowaboy.17 wrote:It has been sitting in a basement bin for several years but I don't think that affects the calorific value of it
It will burn, there was one post on here the guy had coal he estimated to be sitting there about 30 years if I remember correctly. It amy lose some over time but overall its negligible.
I just picked up a pile of coal that was sitting about 15 years, it is with out a doubt, the best coal I have ever used. :)
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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grizzly2
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Posts: 842
Joined: Tue. Feb. 12, 2008 7:18 pm
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 Tue. May. 06, 2008 8:49 pm

iowaboy.17 wrote:, I am thinking of some sort of stove placed in my living room that can handle both wood and coal. . tom


I started out just like you. I bought a Hitzer 30-95 so I could burn wood again if I wished. The only wood I plan to burn now is to light my coal and to heat the garage with the woodstove that was in the house. Burning coal is so easy and so clean for the chimney and the house. No ceosote and much less dust and wood debris in the house. My stove has a gravity fed hopper system and I have gotten a burn time of 37 hours. However if you are getting free wood and want to take advantage of that, consider the Harman TLC 2000. It had draft locations for wood or coal. The Hitzer 254 (I think) without the hopper would also be a pracitcal wood and coal burner, though not EPA approved for wood.

I read all I could get time to read on this forum for about a month before I made my Hizer puchase. I saved hundreds of dollars by skipping trial and error and sped up the learning curve from years to months. I asked dozens of questions and got terrific answers from people with a lot of knowledge and experince.

I doubt you would ever be sorry if you buy a good coal stove and apply what you learn here. Good luck. :up:
The only redeeming value of winter is that I can have a fire in my stove.

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CapeCoaler
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Posts: 4428
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. May. 06, 2008 9:16 pm

There were a couple of Hitzer 30-95 for sale in upper NY state asking 700 if they are still not sold might go for 500.
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.

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coalkirk
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Posts: 4679
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 Thu. May. 08, 2008 7:59 am

coaledsweat wrote:
Richard S. wrote: It will burn, there was one post on here the guy had coal he estimated to be sitting there about 30 years if I remember correctly. It amy lose some over time but overall its negligible.
I just picked up a pile of coal that was sitting about 15 years, it is with out a doubt, the best coal I have ever used. :)
It sat in the ground for several million years. I don't think a few years on the surface are going to hurt it. :)
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. Winston Churchill

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

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