Can't Get a Fire!

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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oliver power
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Joined: Sun. Apr. 16, 2006 9:28 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II), D.S. 1600 Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Location: Near Dansville, NY

Post Mon. Oct. 13, 2008 5:19 am

Sounds like you're going through what we all know as the learning curve. Most people who burn wood go through this when first trying to burning coal. People here will give you good advise. Wait till you finally get a coal fire going , and you can't keep it going around the clock. Once you get the hang of it , you'll think , How Simple.

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Devil505
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post Mon. Oct. 13, 2008 6:37 am

How are you making out Brin?
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

brin
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Posts: 16
Joined: Sun. Oct. 12, 2008 9:09 am
Stove/Furnace Make: estate caboose stove

Post Thu. Oct. 16, 2008 8:39 am

Well, I keep trying.......have used all my kindling wood; have to scout up some more. No luck with coal yet. This caboose stove has a very small grate area, it seems to me. Very easy to block off the airflow from underneath, when I build a wood starter fire. Seeing that coal needs air from the bottom, I don't know how to allow that and still get a substantial bed of hot coals for the coal to be placed on.
I will keep checking back to this blog and see if I missed something........

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Razzler
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Joined: Wed. Dec. 19, 2007 7:56 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: rice
Location: Northampton Pa.

Post Thu. Oct. 16, 2008 5:28 pm

Brin, Get your self a bag of matchlight cover the hole bottom of the stove with a good layer of it then put about three or four shovels of coal on top of it. Light the charcoal close the load door and leave the ash door open let it go for 15 minutes or so till you see some of the coal burning (Don't shake the grates poke or prod the fire) just put another three shovels on top close the load door and let it go for another 15 minutes or so. repeat till you have a fully loaded stove. If that dosen't work for you there maybe other problems with your stove. ;)
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Cap
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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
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Post Thu. Oct. 16, 2008 6:57 pm

Use a solid hardwood such as oak or ash for your starter fire. Good hot oak fire works every time.
Cap
Lehigh Twp.
Northampton Co., PA

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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. Oct. 16, 2008 7:30 pm

This way will save some Matchlight for you:

I put about 10 Matchlight briquettes in a coffee can (with both sides cut open & pack coal around the can. Then remove the can & light the briquettes. But I found it much faster to add a little wood (very little) on top of the briquettes & then, when the wood is burning well, carefully add a little coal on top of the wood fire. (making sure not to smother the fire)
The briquettes alone don't burn hot enough to get the coal burning quickly so adding a bit of wood kindling speeds things up allot!
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

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coalmeister
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Joined: Fri. May. 23, 2008 3:13 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska 140 Furnace -sold
Stove/Furnace Model: Harmon VF3000 -sold
Location: Between Rochester & Buffalo NY

Post Thu. Oct. 16, 2008 10:18 pm

Get yourself a coal mouse or better yet half a dozen, pile the coal around and over one, light it, close the door, you're good to go. It's that simple. The best $.05-1.00 you will ever spend

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rockwood
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Joined: Sun. Sep. 21, 2008 7:37 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)
Location: Utah

Post Thu. Oct. 16, 2008 10:28 pm

Brin,

I agree with Dallas and Ed.A. For this type of stove I would use a pipe damper to keep more heat in the stove once the fire's burning well.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." -Goethe

brin
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Posts: 16
Joined: Sun. Oct. 12, 2008 9:09 am
Stove/Furnace Make: estate caboose stove

Post Fri. Oct. 17, 2008 8:52 pm

Got a fire, finally. used 6 old bricquetts, with 2 ounces of kerosene, which the charcoal soaked up. lit that and layered with coal...........that did it.
oh, what are those mouse things?

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Ed.A
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Joined: Thu. Aug. 30, 2007 7:27 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Location: Canterbury Ct.

Post Sun. Oct. 19, 2008 6:55 pm

Got a fire, finally. used 6 old bricquetts, with 2 ounces of kerosene, which the charcoal soaked up. lit that and layered with coal...........that did it.
oh, what are those mouse things?
:clap: Glad to hear it, feels good don't it? I remember my first failures, and the people here came to my rescue...great bunch. The "Mice" are basically 2 x 1" little bricks of magnesium, burn like the dickens. I still (as in today ) use Charcoal, fired her right up.

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