What Should My Established Fire Look Like?

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.
BeerMonley
Member
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon. Aug. 11, 2008 8:39 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Lesiure Line
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Lesiure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono
Location: Lake Winola PA

Post Wed. Nov. 12, 2008 6:44 pm

should it look like the pic in the upper right of the forum? or is that a a fire thats "going good"?

Visit Hitzer Stoves

User avatar
Devil505
Member
Posts: 7110
Joined: Tue. Jul. 03, 2007 10:44 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post Wed. Nov. 12, 2008 6:49 pm

BeerMonley wrote:hould it look like the pic in the upper right of the forum? or is that a a fire thats "going good"?
That pic maybe what a stoker fire looks like but unless you have your hand fired REALLY cranking, it won't look like that.
Most of the time, this time of year, my fire doesn't even look like it's burning. :lol: The hotter you run it the more "lively" it will look.
Maybe someone with a good camera can take pics without a flash for you...I can't.
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

User avatar
WNY
Member
Posts: 5849
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
Contact:

Post Wed. Nov. 12, 2008 6:57 pm

Here a good thread where Richard (Admin) was looking for a good photo to use in the upper corner..

That should help you out of what some of our fires look like, both hand fed and stokers.

Coal Photo Competition
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

User avatar
LsFarm
Member
Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Wed. Nov. 12, 2008 7:00 pm

Well that depends... on when you are looking at your fire... that fire in the corner of the page is a stoker fed fire with a fan forcing air through the coal bed. You probably won't see a fire like that in your Mark III unless you leave the ash pan door open for quite awhile,, your stove will be really hot if you had a fire burning that hot.

A hand fired stove will have a lower level on the grates of ash, a middle layer of red-hot coals and an upper layer of darker coal that is not burning completely yet.. As the fire matures, and you shake it down, the top layer becomes the middle layer, and you add fresh coal to the top of the firebed..

You probably won't see an all red surface unless you are having very cold weather, and have your stove's air controls pretty open and your stove 'a-crankin' ..

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?

BIG BEAM
Member
Posts: 723
Joined: Fri. Jan. 25, 2008 9:34 am
Stove/Furnace Make: USS Hot blast
Stove/Furnace Model: 1557M
Location: upstate NY

Post Wed. Nov. 12, 2008 7:52 pm

Most of the time with my furnace I don't see flames.I always wondered why coal stoves(hand fired) have a glass in the door.In the middle of the winter I might have 1/2" high flames but that's about it.Not much to see but the blue color is pretty.
DON

User avatar
Razzler
Member
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed. Dec. 19, 2007 7:56 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: rice
Location: Northampton Pa.

Post Wed. Nov. 12, 2008 9:04 pm

They look different at various temperatures but are all established fires.

This is a new fire just established.
IMG_3017.JPG
This is a fire burning about 3/4 of a full burn.
IMG_1959.JPG
This is a fire just above an idle.
IMG_3019.JPG

User avatar
SemperFi
Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun. Aug. 17, 2008 8:36 am
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: H.F. hopper 90k btu
Location: Western N.Y.

Post Wed. Nov. 12, 2008 9:31 pm

The stove body is 525 deg.
Attachments
100_0761.jpg
If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you may have misjudged the situation.

johnstar
Member
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat. Oct. 25, 2008 5:37 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: U.S. Stoves
Stove/Furnace Model: Clayton 1600M
Location: Shavertown, Pa

Post Wed. Nov. 12, 2008 9:49 pm

I recently learned that the more draft you have the higher your flame will be, When I have my draft inducer running on my coal furnace the blue flames will be about 5 inches high, when I shut it off the flames drop down to about 1 inch off the top of the coal

Visit Hitzer Stoves

BeerMonley
Member
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon. Aug. 11, 2008 8:39 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Lesiure Line
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Lesiure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono
Location: Lake Winola PA

Post Thu. Nov. 13, 2008 6:15 pm

i think I may be running mine to hot now after seeing the pics, on mine almost all of the coal is red not to many flames. so the coal on the top shouldnt be burning to much?

User avatar
LsFarm
Member
Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Thu. Nov. 13, 2008 7:06 pm

There is nothing wrong with burning your stove hot, if that is what you need to heat your house.

Do you have a thermometer, either a magnetic type to measure the skin or surface temperature, or a probe-type that measures the internal temperatures of the stove and in the chimney flue?? If you have a fully red fire, you should have some very high stove-body temperatures.

If you don't have a barometric damper on your instalation, you could be burning the coal really hot, but pulling the heat out of the stove and up the chimney, not letting the fire heat the stove body as hot as it could.. often a lower fire, with a controlled draft will result in a hotter stove body .

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?

BeerMonley
Member
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon. Aug. 11, 2008 8:39 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Lesiure Line
Coal Size/Type: rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Lesiure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono
Location: Lake Winola PA

Post Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 8:08 am

i have no damper, but I think if I ran it lower I would use less coal and it wouldnt be so hot in the house. im goin to try to run the vent in the ash door closed more. it sucks now cause its in the 50's here right now

User avatar
LsFarm
Member
Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 9:06 am

BeerMonley,, invest in a barometric damper,, read some of the many topics/threads on the subject.... burning anthracite coal really requires a barometric damper to burn it efficiently.

With your hand fed stove, set the barometric damper at about .04-.06" and then you can set the air intake lower and not pull all the heat out of the stove body.

It works.. your stove manufacturer recommends a barometric damper too..

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?

User avatar
VigIIPeaBurner
Site Moderator
Posts: 2293
Joined: Fri. Jan. 11, 2008 10:49 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 9:21 am

LsFarm wrote:Well that depends... on when you are looking at your fire... that fire in the corner of the page is a stoker fed fire with a fan forcing air through the coal bed. You probably won't see a fire like that in your Mark III unless you leave the ash pan door open for quite awhile,, your stove will be really hot if you had a fire burning that hot.

A hand fired stove will have a lower level on the grates of ash, a middle layer of red-hot coals and an upper layer of darker coal that is not burning completely yet.. As the fire matures, and you shake it down, the top layer becomes the middle layer, and you add fresh coal to the top of the firebed..

You probably won't see an all red surface unless you are having very cold weather, and have your stove's air controls pretty open and your stove 'a-crankin' ..

Greg L

.
Thought I'd share these pictures from a top loader hoping it shows a cross section of a mature fire. It's a different perspective than the Harman's fire but the front grate holds the pile more uniformly vertical, you can see the layers Greg was talking about. Pictures are of a fire that hasn't been shaken down for 18 hours and had 15-20 Lbs of pea added 11 hours earlier. Stove temperatures are in the middle of the stove's operating range and it was in the high 50s outside.
Attachments
LookingAtFront_DoorsOpen.JPG
18 hr. old fire in top loader looking at the front of the fire, no flash.
LookingDown.JPG
Same... looking down onto the top of the fire.
FlashLookingAtFront_DoorsOpen.JPG
Front (side) view with flash shoing ash layer.
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

User avatar
Devil505
Member
Posts: 7110
Joined: Tue. Jul. 03, 2007 10:44 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 9:37 am

VigIIPeaBurner wrote:Thought I'd share these pictures from a top loader hoping it shows a cross section of a mature fire.
Glad you posted those pics Vigil:

That last pic looks like a very fragile, end of burn cycle pic that requires some care not to smother the fire when shaking down.
If that was the state of my fire, for shaking down & reloading I would:
1. Open the ash door & let the fire liven up....Don't shake down or disturb fire at all!
2. Sprinkle a shovel full of coal (or 2) across the top but not touch it!
3.Wait for the first sprinkle to catch & then add another few shovels of coal across the whole fire
4. Wait until the new coal is burning well & the whole fire is very lively
5. THEN I would shake down
6. Poke for bridging & air pockets
7. Refill, wait for it to catch & then close ash door.
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

User avatar
VigIIPeaBurner
Site Moderator
Posts: 2293
Joined: Fri. Jan. 11, 2008 10:49 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 11:33 am

Devil505 wrote:
VigIIPeaBurner wrote:Thought I'd share these pictures from a top loader hoping it shows a cross section of a mature fire.
Glad you posted those pics Vigil:

That last pic looks like a very fragile, end of burn cycle pic that requires some care not to smother the fire when shaking down.
If that was the state of my fire, for shaking down & reloading I would:
1. Open the ash door & let the fire liven up....Don't shake down or disturb fire at all!
2. Sprinkle a shovel full of coal (or 2) across the top but not touch it!
3.Wait for the first sprinkle to catch & then add another few shovels of coal across the whole fire
4. Wait until the new coal is burning well & the whole fire is very lively
5. THEN I would shake down
6. Poke for bridging & air pockets
7. Refill, wait for it to catch & then close ash door.
Exact-a-mentally! :lol: That's the procedure I follow too - thanks for listing all the steps. The fire was not as weak as the flash (bottom) picture shows - flash washes out the glow but better shows the ash layer. It was taken at the same time as the top picture but it did need tending. There was about a third of a fire box burning... about 3-4 inches thick. I've got great draft if I open everything up and am lucky I can often rescue the fire even if there's only a patch in the center or side left burning. There's only been a few times when I had to add kindling on top of the fire patch. I didn't need much of a fire that day, it was nearly 60 outside but it was a nice clear evening for the kids on Halloween night.

If you compare the top picture against the bottom picture, you get some perspective on what's still burning after 18 hours.
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Post Reply

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