In The Beginning......

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jonnoh
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Posts: 6
Joined: Thu. Oct. 26, 2017 7:10 pm

Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 4:53 pm

Hi. I'm Jon and a complete novice who hopes to be a successful burner of anthracite to heat my small 1250 sq/ft house in northern Maine. I've posted a long and dreary explanation of what I'm trying to do in the thread titled, "St. Nicholas Base Burner". mikeanthony suggested that I start a new thread here. I basically was wondering if I could replace my new in the 1960s oil furnace with a newer burner with the St. Nicholas base burner supposedly still for sale at Bryants. I've watched and rewatched, and watched again, and again, and yet again the wonderful youtube videos William posted on starting and tending his Glenwood base burner and it seemed like a thing I might like to do. So I don't bore you anymore with repeating details, you could look at my misplaced post to see where I'm coming from. I'd sure appreciate any advice of ideas any of you might have.

Jon

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joeq
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Posts: 4193
Joined: Sat. Feb. 11, 2012 11:53 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: G111, Southard Robertson
Stove/Furnace Make: Thermopride
Stove/Furnace Model: oil fired
Location: Northern CT

Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 7:26 pm

Hi Jon, and welcome aboard. You've come to the right place for advice on coal burning, because not only are a lot of these members gurus when it comes to this subject, but this is "the only" website dedicated to this fuel. You'll find that opinions in some areas vary widely among some members, but they all even out in the end. Lots of different preferences, and avenues to take when considering coal as a heat source, but one thing 99.9 percent of the members will agree, coal has a definite advantage over "brand X" solid fuels. Naturally there are other benefits for some, with other types, but you'll find out in other threads the pros and cons. It appears you've already experienced it for yourself.
As for your quest for the perfect stove, the world is your oyster. There are some great running modern stoves, and furnaces that would fit your needs, and of course there's the classic antiques, (which include cooktops, to complicate your decision even more, because of their double benefits). Surf all over this site, and see what else might tickle your fancy. (No blinders allowed...:))
My take on your St Nick baseburner goes like this. My house is similar in size and probably age as yours. My stove is a G111, (you can check out my threads below, if you'ld like) and appears to be "roughly" the same size and design. The 111 is good for temps ranging between 25° to 45+, and has the ability to sip coal, and keep "most" of the house comfy. But it's mounted on the main floor, which is exposed to a frigid and non insulated cellar. The floors can get pretty cold, which takes away some of the sweetness. I realize steps can be taken to off-set this, but of course, it's not on my priority list, and I will no doubt take it to my grave. The up-stairs end rooms suffer some too. But along with my oil furnace, the Glenwood is a great "secondary" heat source, and the styling fits our decor, and the stove is up-right and proud for all visitors to experience when entering my home. And lastly, coal burning allows me to mingle with great people in an entertaining, yet practical hobby.
I hope you find what you need here, and keep up the questions so we can get you situated correctly. Take it slow, and have fun.

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scalabro
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Posts: 3038
Joined: Wed. Oct. 03, 2012 9:53 am
Baseburners & Antiques: 2 Crawford 40's, PP Stewart No. 14, Abendroth Bros "Record 40"
Coal Size/Type: Stove / Anthracite.
Other Heating: Oil fired, forced hot air.
Location: Western Massachusetts

Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 8:06 pm

Excellent post Joe :yes:

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michaelanthony
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Posts: 4186
Joined: Sat. Nov. 22, 2008 10:42 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box stove, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Baseburners & Antiques: Home Sparkle 12
Coal Size/Type: Coal Contractor's stove, a little Kimmels 'nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace
Location: millinocket,me.
Contact:

Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 8:45 pm

Hi Jon, I'm glad you started a thread you can call your own and hopefully you can filter everyone's suggestions. Joe hit the nail on the head, this forum covers coal and so much more. The St. Nicholas stove is a great looking stove and should prove a worthy heater but not stuck in your basement to heat pipes. There are countless, less expensive candidates for that, so hurry home so we can all join the hunt. There are a couple antiques on Craigslist currently and one is the same as my "Home Sparkle 12" in very nice shape for about 1/3 the price of the St Nicholas for the same size stove. They were both made by the Portland Foundry 100 yrs ago.

Mike.

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joeq
Member
Posts: 4193
Joined: Sat. Feb. 11, 2012 11:53 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: G111, Southard Robertson
Stove/Furnace Make: Thermopride
Stove/Furnace Model: oil fired
Location: Northern CT

Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 9:12 pm

:oops: Thanks guys, I was just trying to state the facts. This place is a great hangout, even if you're "in-between" stoves. And Jon, things might appear a tad slow right now, but in a few weeks, (when the first frost hits) you'll have to stand in line. :D

jonnoh
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 6:48 pm

Firstly, thanks so much michaelanthony, joeq, and scalabro for taking the time to read my rank amateur questions.
Secondly, what WAS I thinking? The very idea of putting such a beautiful machine as that St. Nicholas base burner in the basement to only be seen by the frost heaves and leaking pipes is a sacrilege! I should be flogged and put in stocks. So maybe I should consider installing it in front of my way too massive for the room field stone fireplace and use my oil burner just to keep the pipes from freezing. Maybe fabricating some kind of arrangement to make the heating ducts blow only into the cellar? That way, I'd only have to move the thermostat to pick up the cold vibes from the cellar? Maybe my very poorly insulated oil fired water heater will waste enough heat to keep enough of the chill off? I guess trial and most likely error is the way to go. I'd love to share some pics but alas I'm at the moment 8947 miles away, and don't have any stored on my phone. Actually though, I had a thought to take a bit of a risk. I was reading the thread started by coalstovelady, who is having a problem with her cook stove's chimney draft. It warmed my heart to see so many here trying to help her solve her problem, even to the point of a member here offering to go to her home and sort it out. Not much of a risk I guess. So here goes. If any of you want to see my layout before I bought the house, you can google 521 Main St. Bridgewater, Maine. The agent's pics are still up on Estately and I think Zillo. If I were worried too much about risk I wouldn't be in Malaysia right about now. ;) Anyway thanks in advance for any ideas, and I hope when I get back to Maine, that stove, if it's right for me will still be there at Bryant's.

Jon

jonnoh
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Joined: Thu. Oct. 26, 2017 7:10 pm

Post Wed. Nov. 29, 2017 8:57 pm

Well folks, looks like I'm leaving Malaysia today bound for the Great State of Maine. It's a nightmare journey, and I won't be there till Friday, which is actually Saturday in Malaysia. Sheesh. Well about the coal stove project, I probably would be biting off more than I can chew at this moment, but this is what I'm looking at in the future. I think after reading so many threads here that maybe a good plan for me is to get a Hitzer 55 or 82 to put in the basement to replace my oil burner, or in conjunction with my oil burner if I can figure out how to plumb the thing in. Only one flue in the basement. Then I was also thinking of how to hook up a stove of any kind to my fireplace on the first floor. The only thing I can think of is to run the flue pipe off the back of the at this time imagined stove and up through the damper into the fireplace chimney, and blocking off the extra space with rock wool insulation or something like that. Other than that, the only other thing I can think of is to bore a hole above the fireplace directly into the flue. I've no idea how to do that or how costly it would be to have a mason do it. I really am a babe in the woods here. As it stands, when I arrive at my house I've probably got another issue to sort out immediately. I foolishly left 240 gallons of number 2 in my unheated basement over the winter and probably have all kinds of wax precipitate waiting to plug up my filter. Should have bought kerosene, and I really know better but wasn't thinking. Who knows what else is waiting for me. Any input would sure be appreciated. And btw, if you make any suggestions and don't hear from me, it's only because I also need to sort out an internet connection. Thanks, Jon

jonnoh
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Joined: Thu. Oct. 26, 2017 7:10 pm

Post Wed. Nov. 29, 2017 8:57 pm

Oh yeah..... Why do I have a star by my coal pail pic?

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Sunny Boy
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Posts: 13145
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace
Location: Central NY

Post Wed. Nov. 29, 2017 10:16 pm

You only have to get the fuel oil temp up above 22F for the wax to re liquefy. Point an electric heater toward the underside of the oil tank to warm it, the shutoff valve, and the oil line.

If it's still too cold,...

When I was using outside oil tanks for my shop oil-fired boiler, I never bought kerosene. For the outside portion of the oil line I used an electric heat tape of the type they wrap water pipes with. Got it at the local hardware store. It's wrapped around the tank shutoff and oil line nearest the tank. Then I wrapped over that with fiber glass pipe wrap. In below zero temps I never had filter clogged from a gelling problem.

Paul

jonnoh
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Posts: 6
Joined: Thu. Oct. 26, 2017 7:10 pm

Post Wed. Nov. 29, 2017 10:42 pm

Wow thanks Paul! Maybe I'm not as far into the deep end as I thought. It seems the temp at my house is a balmy 24.8f.

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Sunny Boy
Member
Posts: 13145
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace
Location: Central NY

Post Wed. Nov. 29, 2017 10:56 pm

That get it above 22F is a trick I learned from one of my customers that owned a large fuel oil company. ;)

Paul

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