Would You Be Burning Coal If Not for This Site?

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Would you be burning coal if not for this site?

I was already burning coal.
I knew of it and my research led me here.
Never knew about coal until I came across this site.
Total votes: 148

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Posts: 1638
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 Tue. Jul. 15, 2014 9:16 pm

The wife went looking for Pellet/alternate heating. She found NEPA...the rest is history.

Posts: 5013
Joined: Mon. Apr. 16, 2007 9:34 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators (fuel oil); propane
Location: Central Maine

Post Sun. Jul. 20, 2014 12:55 pm

I wanted to go with coal back in the early 1980s, but believe it or not the bulk dealers here were not competitive price-wise with fuel oil. So I burned wood for about twenty years off and on, then fuel oil for a few more years. By then bagged coal was available here but bulk had almost entirely disappeared. I checked with my wood stove dealer who (luckily) steered me to a quality Harman coal stove, and in trying to figure out how to use it I found this forum. Since then I have been led steadily in the right direction with coal, and in the wrong direction with politics. :D
Simple answers for simple minds.

User avatar
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue. Feb. 18, 2014 7:45 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood 6 base heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Too many
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Oil base board
Location: Southeastern mass

Post Sun. Jul. 20, 2014 7:48 pm

I attributed my interest in coal after I saw William Sherrick you tube videos about his coal stove. He mentioned the website in the video. Happily married ever after. :)

User avatar
Richard S.
Posts: 12711
Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Mon. Jul. 21, 2014 2:42 am

Rich W. wrote:... and wish I had switched decades ago!
I cannot tell you how many times when I asked new customer who previously burned wood what they thought and the reply was "wish I knew about this 20 years ago." :)
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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Posts: 3731
Joined: Wed. Jun. 18, 2008 6:04 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size
Location: High In The Poconos

Post Mon. Jul. 21, 2014 2:58 am

As most of you already know, I have been burning coal most of my life. I never burned Anthracite until I moved to PA some years ago. I found this website just at the time I bought the Stanley Argand. I never knew at the time that I would become so involved here, but; I'm glad I did. This forum is a beacon of warmth in a cold, desolate land.
I am also glad that you all have put up with me for the past 6 years or so.

Posts: 178
Joined: Sun. Jul. 01, 2007 1:04 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 105
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Lenox Oil HA, Heat Pump
Location: Axemann, PA

Post Sat. Aug. 02, 2014 12:24 am

I had friends that had a Chubby in New England MANY years ago, but if I had not found this wonderful forum, I certainly would not feel as comfortable with burning coal, as I do today. Anytime I had a problem or question in the beginning, someone on here was always willing to help me out. I try to do the same, when I can find the time. A new job has me working far north of here now and winter weather may keep me up there for a week or more at a time, so I approached the "bride" to see if she was wiling to keep the home fires burnin' so to speak and her answer was an emphatic YES! We both love the warmth that coal brings into our home. Thanks Richard for the gift of knowledge, friendship and camaraderie that this forum brings to all that enter here!


User avatar
Posts: 462
Joined: Tue. Mar. 12, 2013 9:46 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 130 KBtu Chappee, to be installed.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac 513
Other Heating: Oil Fired 1950"s American Standard Arcoliner 132K BTU
Location: Moosup Ct

Post Sat. Aug. 02, 2014 1:05 am

I found the NEPA forum while I was in the midst of moving out of Navy housing and into a rented house. I knew about coal in a sort of academic sense, being from SC lighting a fire in the fireplace was a luxury not a necessity. However, I had spent the past 5 years in New England courtesy of Uncle Sam and I knew that heating oil wasn't cheap. Looking around I first considered wood, it wasn't a terrible option, but I shuddered at the thought of a chimney fire. Furthermore, my options were limited by the fact that it wasn't my house... I settled that the only option was coal, and found my little waffle stove on craigslist. My Surdiac had been ridden hard and put up wet by his prior owners, they left the ash door open and darn near killed him, but I found a feller out in PA that loves those little stoves and got the parts to fix Calcifer (yes my wife named my stove...) up.

If it wasn't for the advice on this website I would have had a rough go of the first year, but all y'all helped make a coal burner out of this sailor.

An armed society is a polite society.- RAH

User avatar
Posts: 2379
Joined: Mon. Sep. 27, 2010 3:39 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.
Location: Girardville Pa.

Post Sat. Aug. 02, 2014 4:18 am

My wife and I grew up in the south in homes heated by natural gas or kerosene drip stoves. Jump to 2005 and we moved to NEPA and bought a large house that had a coal hot water heating boiler. It was a big house with balloon construction, leaked air like a sieve, but sitting in the basement was a Yellow Flame rice burning boiler that I knew absolutely nothing about and a coal yard 15 minutes away. A retired coal miner neighbor took pity on us and showed me how to operate the boiler and taught us about coal. That first winter we burned 8 1/2 tons. With his help I fined tuned that boiler and trimmed usage down to 7 tons which is about where it was going to stay without massive house renovations, the cost of which greatly exceeded what we could have saved in coal usage. Momma was warm and satisfied so life was good.

I decided we could trim our overall usage more by investing in a small stove for what I learned later were called the shoulder months. I got a small wood stove and for one winter we supplemented the boiler hot water heat with a wood stove. NEVER AGAIN!!! I sold the wood stove and gave away what wood I had left. I tried solar hot water heating in a self designed system. It was working OK but I had too many problems with the system controls and ended up powering it all down and letting it sit. Then I found this forum.

After reading thread after thread I bought a used hand fed Surdiac and we both fell in love with coal stoves. As a bi-vocational minister I would leave the house and not get back for 10-12 hours. The Surdiac cranked out the heat but it didn't have a long burn time and I would get frustrated trying to coax it back and end up letting it go out and start over. I sold it and rescued a Leisure Line Econo 1 stove from a trip to the scrap yard for the whopping price of $50. I rebuilt it and put it in and as long as I have access to coal I will never use anything else again. We sold the barn of a house and moved to a 1895 vintage 985 sq foot house which begged to be heated by coal again. I moved the stoker in and for two years we heated the house with rice coal and only burned 1 1/2 tons this last winter.

I continued to read this forum and would LOVE to have a baseburner but it would be too much stove size wise for our little house. Then I found a never fired VC2310 for sale with a ton of bagged pea coal. I researched it on this forum and found it was as close to a BB that I was going to get. I have it and it will be installed and cranking for this winter.

Thanks to everyone who helped, put their trials and tribulations as well as their successes on this forum for everyone to learn from.

Rev. Larry
New Beginning Church
Ashland Pa.
Rev. Larry
Ashland Pa.

1 John 1:9... If we sin and we confess that sin He is faithful and just and will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

User avatar
Posts: 730
Joined: Tue. Mar. 05, 2013 3:17 pm
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Oak 40, Stanley Argand No. 30, Glenwood Modern Oak 114, Stanley Argand No. 20 missing parts.
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite. Stove and nut size.
Other Heating: Oil hot water.
Location: Hampton, NH

Post Sun. Aug. 03, 2014 3:22 pm

Talking with a friend/co-worker about my heating oil bill and he said have you looked into coal? It's what I use. No I said. Thought about wood. I use to enjoy my uncle's wood stove. He replied, "should really look into coal, here's a coal forum". At first I laughed, but was curious. Went home visited NEPA and the rest was history. It's been a fun journey so far. A hobby that actually saves me money and keeps me occupied in the winter. My wife is even into it now. Rather log in here than watch the crap on tv. Matt

User avatar
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed. Jun. 11, 2008 12:07 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6
Location: Phillipsburg NJ

Post Sun. Aug. 03, 2014 7:58 pm

I was burning coal before I found this.

User avatar
Posts: 11915
Joined: Sun. Dec. 11, 2005 12:43 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler
Location: West-Central Mass

Post Mon. Aug. 04, 2014 11:01 am

I got turned on to coal by a buddy of mine. Saw his stove in action, and when he said 12+ hour burns, I went and bought a Harman Mark I without even reading one page about it. Sad part is, that same buddy tried GIVING me a beautiful base burner!!! My ignorance made me pass on that deal ... :bang: If I had only found NEPACrossroads earlier ...

My ol' man saw my Mark I, and he bought the same stove too. He still has his, I've since upgraded to the Mark III, and now to a stoker boiler.

Found the site while searching for coal dealers - wanted to see what my options were. That was 9 years ago! Boy did that fly by! :o

Wish I had found the site first, because not only would I have had a baseburner to get me by, but I probably would've just banked my cash for a bit and bought a stoker boiler. Didn't think coal burning could get any better than the Mark stoves. Best upgrade EVER. 8-)

Met alot of GREAT people because of this site! Even met a cousin I hadn't seen in 30+ years! Met Jim Dorsey (jim d.) at my cousin's shop, and we instantly became friends. His generosity resulted in that aforementioned stoker boiler being in my basement. Funds were tight, and an upgrade was an impossible dream at the time, but Jim made it happen. Sadly we lost him back in the beginning of '13. God rest his soul - what a great man he was! Here's to ya, brother Jimmy! :cheers:
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ...Such laws make things worse
for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to
encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with
greater confidence than an armed man."

- Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in "On
Crimes and Punishment."

User avatar
Short Bus
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun. Jan. 10, 2010 12:22 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only
Location: Cantwell Alaska

Post Tue. Aug. 05, 2014 3:49 am


Dad found a hand fired boiler, in 1980, and at the time we were mining in the summer, 80 miles from the grid. We picked up a load of coal, the mine gave it to us, we were still skeptical, by the time we burned those two tons we were hooked. People came from up to five miles away to take long hot showers.
If it was as easy as burning oil, everybody would be burning coal.
Forum reality, If you ask wheres a good steak house? You will be informed that what you really want is pork chops.
Enjoy it for what it is worth.

User avatar
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon. Feb. 21, 2011 8:35 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon-Eagle Klondike IV
Other Heating: Propane
Location: Escanaba, MI

Post Sat. Oct. 18, 2014 7:21 pm

This site has given me SO MUCH information over the past four years, it's hard to imagine that I could have learned to burn coal so well without it!!

Posts: 878
Joined: Thu. Dec. 01, 2011 6:26 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Morso
Stove/Furnace Model: 1410 Squirrel
Location: N. Vermont

Post Sat. Oct. 18, 2014 7:32 pm

I was burning coal before I found NEPA...I just learned how to really burn it by asking around here when I was having trouble in the beginning keeping a fire going.

User avatar
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu. Nov. 16, 2006 8:44 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Coal Size/Type: Pea,Nut or Stove
Location: Central Connecticut

Post Sat. Oct. 18, 2014 7:38 pm

Started out with a Temp Coal II back in the 70's. :lol:
Regards, Ray

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