Night Time Coal Burning

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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Alaska Livin
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 11:24 am

I am new to the fourm but had a question on using coal in an older wood buring stove. I have a old stove (no name or model available) that has fire bricks. I want to use coal only at night to keep heat going all night. Is thier anything I can buy or fabricate to beef up the fire box so I do not burn through the stove?

Thanks
Scott

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Cyber36
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 11:32 am

Is there a shaker grate in the bottom of the firebox?? If not, you can't use coal.....................

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Devil505
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 11:47 am

Cyber36 wrote:Is there a shaker grate in the bottom of the firebox?? If not, you can't use coal.....................
Exactly right! Coal only burns with air from underneath a deep pile of coal. Your stove would have to allow air in from below the coal bed. You can burn wood in any coal stove but you cant burn coal in a wood stove. (in other words, if you just throw coal on top of a wood fire (in a wood stove) it will go out pretty soon for lack of primary (bottom) air.
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Alaska Livin
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 12:14 pm

Thanks for the feedback. No their is no shaker grate. Could I fabricate a elevated grate out of some beefy steel? It sounds like I need to have good airflow around the whole area were the coal is.

I would like to get a coal burner but the budget won't cut it right now. Any suggestions on a good dual fuel stove when I do get the bucks to buy one?

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Devil505
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 12:29 pm

Alaska Livin wrote:Could I fabricate a elevated grate out of some beefy steel? It sounds like I need to have good airflow around the whole area were the coal is.
I suppose anything is possible if you are very handy...but.....a coal fire has to get all its air from below the coal bed so it wouldn't be that easy. If you just put in an elevated grate, there would not be enough primary air going through the coal bed to keep it going for long & it wouldn't provide much heat. :(

As far as a good coal stove, read some threads here...There are many good coal stoves out there but you should plan on at least $1500.00 for a good, new one. If you can still find a used coal stove...grab 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.
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Cap
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 2:13 pm

Could I fabricate a elevated grate out of some beefy steel? It sounds like I need to have good airflow around the whole area were the coal is.
You are not correctly thinking in terms of a coal fire. You would need an elevated grate which tightly covers 100% of your firebox and then you would need the coal spread out in layers over 100% of this grate. And lastly the air would have to swoosh in from under the grate, not over top as in a wood fire.

We haven't even discussed how you would get the coal to light. Better off purchasing a true coal stove. Does this explain it any better?
Cap
Lehigh Twp.
Northampton Co., PA

Alaska Livin
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 2:22 pm

Sounds like coal burning is a lot more involved than I thought. I have never tried burning coalso this is new too me. Do most coal stoves have fan inducers for the intake? I am going to research some more and see if I can find some pictures on how the coal stoves work. I am more of a visual guy so pictures are good.

I live on 5 acers so I do not have anyone living right next to me but I was wondering how much of a smell problem I would have since the coal in Alaska has a pretty high sulfure content.I have plenty of wood on my lot but it sure is a pain to get a years supply put up and try to enjoy our short summers (no summer this year).

Thanks

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Devil505
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 3:04 pm

Alaska Livin wrote:I live on 5 acers so I do not have anyone living right next to me but I was wondering how much of a smell problem I would have since the coal in Alaska has a pretty high sulfure content.
Do you have access to Anthracite coal there? If so, there is no smell & no smoke really. You neighbors wont even know you are burning coal.
Not familiar with Bituminous coal's burning characteristics.
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LsFarm
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Post Tue. Aug. 12, 2008 4:56 pm

If you are buring Bituminous coal, you MIGHT be able to burn some limited amounts on top of a wood fire,, it depends a lot on the coal's characteristics.. Bituminous coal varies widely.. you could try it,, it won't hurt, at the worst, some of the coal won't burn completely..

But even Bituminous really need ONLY under-fire air to burn correctly.

Greg L
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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ScubaSteve
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont castings Vigilant II model 2310
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Post Mon. Oct. 13, 2008 6:50 pm

Just save yourself a major headache, and get a good used coal stove. It would be an absolute pain in the rear to try to modify and burn coal in a wood stove. I assure you that once you do get a coal stove and burn coal, you will never go back to wood.

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captcaper
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Post Fri. Oct. 17, 2008 7:26 am

In Mass. theres Chubby Coal Stove company (Pembroke) he has totally rebuilt ones for $700. I was there Wed. I used one for 14yrs. I might still get another one if this Harman doesn't work out.

They have a cast iron pot so heat gets to the outside and not go up the chimmey. Firebrick insulates. IT's round so there is no dead corners.

Goggle it and see them.
Current Stove Harman Super Magnum
Owned before
Harman Mark III Wood Parlor stove Scandia Wood Stove 2 Chubby Coal Stoves Small Pot Belly Cast Iron

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