How Did You Get Started Burning Coal

How Did You Get Started Burning Coal?

I grew up burning coal.
15
27%
I was given a coal stove.
4
7%
I researched ways to save money heating my home.
23
42%
A friend suggested I burn coal.
6
11%
A dealer suggested burn coal.
0
No votes
I just always loved the coal mining industry.
0
No votes
I wanted to heat my home with all-American fuel.
7
13%
 
Total votes: 55

rberq
Member
Posts: 5084
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 Mon. Oct. 09, 2017 6:47 pm

I read about all the advantages of coal, compared to wood heat, back in the early 1980s, but I don't remember where I read it. Must have been a book by back-to-the-land hippies because the Internet was still in the future. But when I priced it out (in Maine) believe it or not coal was more expensive than fuel oil. There's a good stove dealer here who sold me a solid Russo stove and I burned wood for years but eventually got sick of the effort and the mess. By then (2006?) bagged coal was available here and considerably cheaper than oil. Same stove dealer then recommended a Harman Mark 1 to me -- good stove but really too small for my house. My wife loved the cleanliness compared to wood, I loved not getting up at 3 AM to put in more logs. My biggest fear with coal was that my wife would have conniptions at the idea of leaving the house with an active fire -- always worried about that with wood -- but she never once said a word so neither did I. :yes: Eventually replaced the Harman with DS Machine based on forum recommendations, and it is big enough for the house and easier to manage than the Harman. Alas, my trusted stove dealer has grown fat and wealthy now selling high-end wood and pellet stoves, and will discuss coal only if a customer pushes him. I suspect there are a lot more profitable service calls on those hi-tech pellet stoves ....


LehighanthraciteMatt
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu. Sep. 29, 2016 1:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck, and Nut

Post Tue. Oct. 10, 2017 6:30 am

michaelanthony wrote:
Fri. Sep. 15, 2017 5:12 am
davidmcbeth3 wrote:When heating oil went to $5/gal ... that was it.

2007 or 2008.

No regrets....as Spock said
...same here. the strange part is in my 50 something yrs of burning oil I never accumulated oil burners! :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol:

unhippy
Member
Posts: 462
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Fri. Oct. 13, 2017 5:37 am

I got to burning coal by way of buying a house with a coalrange and an open coal fire....however before i really started burning coal i built 2 waste oil fired boilers to heat a rental that i lived in for a few years.....then about the time i bought my house my supply of free waste oil was purloined by the diesel mechanic i was getting it from because he saw how my well my boilers had worked and went and got himself a proper certified waste oil burner for his own home.

The first winter in my house we used the open coal fire and the coalrange for heat....heated the house ok but used a lot of coal....then i found out about these great things called automatic coal stoker stoves.....but i live on the other side of the world where there are no stoker stoves for sale, :annoyed: so i put on my chinamans hat, ripped off a number of design features that i liked, and built me a stoker stove....that worked so well that after 3 winters i decided to go the whole hog and build a full boiler system, mainly to move the dust and ash out of the living room but also to more evenly heat the house....which it did brilliantly and at a ridiculously low cost compared to the alternatives.

Winter didn't really happen in my house this year :D

coalnewbie
Member
Posts: 6280
Joined: Sat. May. 24, 2008 4:26 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Invader 2
Baseburners & Antiques: Wings Best, Glenwood #8(x2) Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice,
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22
Location: Chester, NY

Post Fri. Oct. 13, 2017 7:31 am

A classic example of white privilege. hahahahhahaha :D

User avatar
davidmcbeth3
Member
Posts: 5570
Joined: Sun. Jun. 14, 2009 2:31 pm
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Post Sat. Oct. 14, 2017 5:39 pm

I found a match and thought:
..............what can I do with this?

Bam! Heated house for entire winter.

User avatar
joeq
Member
Posts: 4195
Joined: Sat. Feb. 11, 2012 11:53 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: G111, Southard Robertson
Stove/Furnace Make: Thermopride
Stove/Furnace Model: oil fired
Location: Northern CT

Post Sun. Nov. 19, 2017 10:27 am

davidmcbeth3 wrote:
Wed. Sep. 13, 2017 1:33 pm
When heating oil went to $5/gal ... that was it.
2007 or 2008.
No regrets....as Spock said
Basically, this was my beginning too.
(with all our members, I can't believe this thread isn't more popular. I've read all these stories, and enjoy hearing about the variety of experiences.)
Me personally, wanted a decorative stove for my new sunroom,(mid 90s) and was informed of a stove available from a friend of a friend. He owned a Surdiac 513, purchased in the 80s to heat his raised ranch. It was also mid 90s when i purchased it from him, because he was moving to the south. The original intent for me was to burn wood, mainly for aesthetics, but when I learned of the cost of double wall chimney pipe required for the installation, the stove went on hold...(for over ten years). I had found a 15' section of Metalbestous SS double wall pipe (used) after only 2-3 years of the Surdiac purchase, but other project priorities put the stove on hold. Then, not long after the O'bama election, our fuel oil went higher than ever. After paying exuberant prices for heating oil for a few winters, the wife mentioned to me, (Looking at the Surdiac), "You should put that in the house, so we can heat with that". That was all the incentive I needed. The stove never burned wood, with the exception of getting the pea coal going. At that time, we were learning the benefits of the internet, and I found this site. Since then, it not only provided us with heat, but an enjoyable hobby. Thanks to NEPA.

User avatar
windyhill4.2
Member
Posts: 5280
Joined: Fri. Nov. 22, 2013 2:17 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both
Location: Jonestown,Pa.17038

Post Sun. Nov. 19, 2017 1:43 pm

Up until i was 10 yrs old,my parents had a coal range in the kitchen & a coal fired hot air furnace in the basement that shed it's heat up thru a huge grate in the floor over top of the furnace. My inlaws heated their farmhouse with wood thru the 80's & 90's & when my father-in-law died in 1997,i became the wood slave even more for my mother-in-law. We moved into the farmhouse in 1999 & made the commitment to burn American fuel,in this case,wood.In 2001we moved to current property & again burned wood in a Schrader wood stove in our living room. In 2004,i started my lawn & garden equipment repair business in the 30 x 40 garage on my property. Heating it was a problem as there was no heating system in it. We tried a kerosene torpedo heater & got stunk out.I installed a wood stove up on a 2' high pedastal for 1 winter & was always scared of the gas fumes & fire joining forces.In Sept 2006, against my 24 yr old son's advice,i installed an Outdoor Wood Burner to heat 2 houses & my shop. We started with lots of free wood,but that gradually dried up & then we bought 3 tri-axle boom equipped log truck loads of logs each yr. We spent LOTS of time,cutting,splitting & stacking wood. In 2013 neither of our boys were tending the OWB any longer... so the task fell to my wife & I to do everything ourselves.We had tried several times to burn coal in that big OWB,but it just did not work very good at all.We decided to revisit my son's idea he was pushing for in 2005-2006.... burn coal. I wish he had pushed harder for coal back then,but he pointed me to nepacrossroads where i did lots of reading.The summer of 2014 started our search & purchase of a used stoker boiler. I decided to install the boiler in a 53' trailer box set on crushed stones. I fired the EFM 520 stoker boiler in mid-Oct 2014 & it has done a tremendous job since then heating hot water for 2 houses ,along with heating both houses & my repair shop.My wife & I were so happy to spend less time at slave labor work when we switched from wood to coal. When my wife died in Feb 2016,i became even more thankful for the ease of burning coal for heat,as doing all that wood work all alone wouldn't have been possible. It is a good feeling to buy a whole yrs worth of fuel (coal) & also know that i no longer need to spend countless hrs preparing fuel & tending the fuel burner & to know that i am burning an American fuel.I also love burning coal in my stove in my living room,love the WARM room it makes.

lincolnmania
Member
Posts: 893
Joined: Fri. Jan. 26, 2007 9:55 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: reading allegheny stoker
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: alaska kodiak stoker 1986. 1987 triburner, 1987 crane diamond
Location: Birdsboro PA.
Contact:

Post Sun. Nov. 19, 2017 2:56 pm

moved to a friends huge garage back in winter 05-06. it was heated by a very large coal stove that would have had the sheet metal and the 12 inch gravity ducts above it.
i was a bit intimidated i must say, a friend of a friend came by twice a day to check the stove (my buddy that owned the place was working out of town 3 weeks a month). i'm not lying, i burned 18 tons of coal that first winter, we had that huge stove nicknaled the dirtmaker, a mt penn stove company pot belly stove, and a 1940's kenmore coal stove.

fall of 2006 i was given an efm af150 in pieces, i just had to cut down some trees around this shed and take the metal shed and the efm. that is when i found this forum, thanks so much guys! winter 06 i picked up an alaska kodiak stoker made in 1986. that heated my apartment i built up there.

fast forward to this fall, my mothers oil furnace thermostat was screwed, what mom and dad thought was 68 degrees was actually about 73 lol. i put in a digital thermostat that you can program and i have it set for 68 during the day, she says she is cold all the time.
i miss my coal burning hobby alot since i moved. when i found the brand new stove that was never used and very affordable i jumped on it....came home with the stove and some carbon monoxide detectors. (mom had bad experience with dads defective coal furnace when i was a baby) warmth and no smell will change her tune!


cabinover
Member
Posts: 1634
Joined: Wed. Feb. 04, 2009 7:13 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
Baseburners & Antiques: Sparkle #12
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Buckwheat, Nut
Other Heating: LP Hot air. WA TX for coal use.
Location: Fair Haven, VT

Post Sun. Nov. 19, 2017 3:30 pm

I have to say it was my father in law that got me into this heating method. I was lucky enough to find all of you crazy folks to aid and abet. Since then I've made some great friends, cooked lots of rocks, and kept my house and garage at whatever temperature keeps my wife happy. What more could anyone ask for? :clap:

User avatar
philthy
Member
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat. Nov. 09, 2013 9:15 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoke Koker Lite, Alaska Kast Konsole
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6, Glenwood #116 x 2
Location: Newville PA

Post Sun. Nov. 19, 2017 7:45 pm

Got tired of slaving in a wood pile. Started out with a USSC stove and struggled. Thats when I stumbled across this site and the rest is history

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11636
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sun. Nov. 19, 2017 7:52 pm

We had pretty much the same thread a few years back. Here is a link to my reply from that one.

Burning Coal: How Did It Begin for You?

LehighanthraciteMatt
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu. Sep. 29, 2016 1:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck, and Nut

Post Tue. Nov. 21, 2017 12:41 pm

joeq wrote:
Sun. Nov. 19, 2017 10:27 am
Basically, this was my beginning too.
(with all our members, I can't believe this thread isn't more popular. I've read all these stories, and enjoy hearing about the variety of experiences.)
Me personally, wanted a decorative stove for my new sunroom,(mid 90s) and was informed of a stove available from a friend of a friend. He owned a Surdiac 513, purchased in the 80s to heat his raised ranch. It was also mid 90s when i purchased it from him, because he was moving to the south. The original intent for me was to burn wood, mainly for aesthetics, but when I learned of the cost of double wall chimney pipe required for the installation, the stove went on hold...(for over ten years). I had found a 15' section of Metalbestous SS double wall pipe (used) after only 2-3 years of the Surdiac purchase, but other project priorities put the stove on hold. Then, not long after the O'bama election, our fuel oil went higher than ever. After paying exuberant prices for heating oil for a few winters, the wife mentioned to me, (Looking at the Surdiac), "You should put that in the house, so we can heat with that". That was all the incentive I needed. The stove never burned wood, with the exception of getting the pea coal going. At that time, we were learning the benefits of the internet, and I found this site. Since then, it not only provided us with heat, but an enjoyable hobby. Thanks to NEPA.
And many many cyber friendships!

User avatar
freetown fred
Member
Posts: 21826
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Tue. Nov. 21, 2017 3:19 pm

Got sick of messin with wood after 45 yrs! Surprised that's not an option. :?

LehighanthraciteMatt
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu. Sep. 29, 2016 1:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck, and Nut

Post Mon. Nov. 27, 2017 10:32 am

freetown fred wrote:
Tue. Nov. 21, 2017 3:19 pm
Got sick of messin with wood after 45 yrs! Surprised that's not an option. :?
Agreed Fred seems many started for that reason..

k-2
Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu. Sep. 28, 2017 10:57 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: K2- Keystoker
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker Stove
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Location: Coal Township Pa

Post Mon. Nov. 27, 2017 10:46 am

davidmcbeth3 wrote:
Wed. Sep. 13, 2017 1:33 pm
When heating oil went to $5/gal ... that was it.
2007 or 2008.
No regrets....as Spock said
Same here ,oil went to $4.50 Gallon in 2002 .That was the straw that broke the camels back. Rice coal was $80 a ton in 2002. $200 now but still a better deal ,and a local fuel. Buy american. ID rather give my heating dollars to my own neighbors here in central Pa. Than to people that hate us (middle east countries)and whose life mission is to murder us after first bankrupting us.


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