Can Improper Shaking Cause Ash to "Bind"?

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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gambler
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Post Sat. Nov. 22, 2008 10:40 pm

HeartnCoal wrote:Insulating between the floor joists is on order also.
Are you sure you want to do that? With your stove in the basement you will be blocking the heat transfer through the floor to the living area.
Take Care and God Bless
Rick

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Devil505
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Post Sat. Nov. 22, 2008 10:51 pm

gambler wrote: Are you sure you want to do that? With your stove in the basement you will be blocking the heat transfer through the floor to the living area.
I was thinking the same thing Rick. I just had my son-in-law pull down all his floor insulation. (all that nice hot air trapped under the floor makes for radiant floor heat upstairs!)
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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LsFarm
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Post Sat. Nov. 22, 2008 11:23 pm

I believe he means between the floor joists at the sill plates and bond.

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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mrpete64
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Post Tue. Nov. 25, 2008 5:12 am

If you do not have your basement walls insulated, with at least two inches of foam, all your heat is being sucked out of your house. I would suggest the first thing you do is insulate your walls and cut foam insulation to fit into the spaces betweent he joyces and the plate. Make sure you double foam the plate area which is above ground level. All of this will pay itself back the first year or so in energy costs...and your basement will be at least ten degrees warmer!!
I did it...and what a difference it made.

Mr. Pete--->

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Devil505
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Post Tue. Nov. 25, 2008 7:01 am

Getting back to shaking, my daughter has a new TLC hand fired & couldn't get her stove to go above 200* with the ash door wide open for almost an hour. I went over & poked from underneath & loosened up the firebox & after a while it took off. Turns out she has been shaking it down to often & too much & packing the bed so tight she was cutting off the air. So...yes..you can shake down to much. ;)
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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Cyber36
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Post Tue. Nov. 25, 2008 1:43 pm

[quote="mrpete64"]If you do not have your basement walls insulated, with at least two inches of foam, all your heat is being sucked out of your house. I would suggest the first thing you do is insulate your walls and cut foam insulation to fit into the spaces betweent he joyces and the plate. Make sure you double foam the plate area which is above ground level. All of this will pay itself back the first year or so in energy costs...and your basement will be at least ten degrees warmer!!
I did it...and what a difference it made".

This is really a moot point if your set-up is a forced-air system................

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LsFarm
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Post Tue. Nov. 25, 2008 3:03 pm

Cyber36 Who has a forced air system?? everyone on this thread/topic has a freestanding stove,, heating a space, the uninsulated basement in the case of the topic originator..

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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Charlie Z
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Post Wed. Nov. 26, 2008 1:36 pm

HnC:

I have the same rig (Darby) and I'm burning Blaschak nut.

Ash chunks will 'bridge up' some with this coal. I've burned other stuff that ashes to dust and don't have this behavior. It normally happens, as Greg alludes, when you're burning it pretty hot. I use the hardware store magnetic thermometer about a foot out the back of the stove on the flue. In warm times, it will purr along at 200* or less closed down (OAT can be in the 50s). I like 300* as a norm. 350* is pretty hot. I'd definitely get 'bridging' when that hot with that coal.

Greg suggested 'flossing' the grate and that is the simple solution. A piece of wire with a 3" bend at the end works for me. I use the wire from a politician's lawn sign cut to suit (at least I have some use for him). There is enough room to work it over the pan and into the grate bars. Simply floss every couple bars until some orange comes through. Then shake the grate.

Other notes on the Darby. It's a very simple process to use this stove and they work very well - we simply adore it. It is not fussy about disturbing the bed at all and the coals don't mind a 'punch down' if you push or rake from the top, instead of flossing. Just open the ash door and it will come right back with it's jet engine sound and red hot coals.

We load and leave the door open until we see good flame and it sounds 'right' (which is generally 400-500* on the thermo), then close her up. Beware that it will race past that temp quickly and you need to be on your toes. You will tune into it.

Keep her full, from the brick line at the back to the top of the front fence. We shake and load every 12 hours (7 and 7), with the pan being dumped every other loading. A full load will go about 16 hours before there are too few coals to bring it back.

Shake vigorously. The goal isn't to count 6 cranks; it's to get some air channels in there and see some orange. My wife started out doing it by mechanically counting and it caused trouble. Drop some burning bits!

We burn wood above 45* OAT, simply because we have a lot of it around this year. But, it'll burn coal well into the 60s* at a very low rate (I've never found out how high). This might be a function of the chimney. We have a manometer on it and see .06", normally. Being able to 'tune' coal to the need/temperature is so much better than burning wood!

Regards,

- Charlie
"There's a time for thinking, and a time for action. And this, gentlemen, is no time for thinking!" - John Candy, "Canadian Bacon"

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Cyber36
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Post Wed. Nov. 26, 2008 2:04 pm

[quote="LsFarm"]Cyber36 Who has a forced air system?? everyone on this thread/topic has a freestanding stove,, heating a space, the uninsulated basement in the case of the topic originator..

Umm....I do. In an uninsulated basement. Any more questions??

HeartnCoal
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Post Thu. Nov. 27, 2008 12:03 pm

Charlie,
Same stove AND using the same coal. I think I know who my GO TO guy on the forum is now. I am seeing the ash become "chunky" and take on a denser form when it burns over 350* on the stack thermometer. It was warm last night and it burned "low" at about 250* during the night. This morning during the shake down, the ash fell through the grates like powder and I was happy. I had to laugh, I have a certain presidential candidates yard sign in the garage and I can't think of a better use for it. The wire will be turned into grate floss.The last time the ash became difficult, I tried poking (probably more like "stirring") the coals around "from above" in order to get the ash to fall through the grate but the coal went out within minutes and I was left standing there with jaw agape and poker in hand. Maybe from underneath and not upset the bed so much. I have been loading exactly the same way you are. Except, I would close it up when I saw the blue flames were shooting up between the fence and the windows. I'll watch the stack thermo instead next time and close it up at 400* - 500*. Do you have a barometric damper on yours? I will admit my ignorance...I don't know what a manometer is, what it's function is or how it works right now. But if your using one on your set up and like what it is doing then I need to learn about it right away. Being able to tune it sounds good. I love the stove otherwise, getting it right would be great. I have been heating with wood for many years with a woodstove. Coal, I'm finding out, is a different animal completely. Once I get the hang of it, I will be on the long list of ex-wood guys!Thanks for the reply! Happy Turkey day to all.
Jim
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
George Washington

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