Need Info on Dad's Old Coal Stoker

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Post Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 3:35 am

There is a coal stove in our garage that my dad would use every winter to keep our garage heated, as we have water pipes in the garage and an apartment on top of it. It's been there longer than I've been alive (Im 25). My dad got sick around 2006-2007-2008, and no longer had the energy to get the thing going every winter, so he just bought a kerosene heater to run near the pipes when it got super cold out. It stays above freezing in there until it's about 20*, then we need the heater. As he got weaker, he schooled me in the use of the kerosene heater, but I never got a lot of info on the coal heater, since he stopped using it when I was too young to care. (If only I knew back then what I know now).

Well, my dad passed away in 2011, and I never got any education on the coal stove. It's been sitting unused since, we'll say, 2006 for discussion's sake. I remember very little about what he did every year to start it up besides a lot of cursing! :lol: He would usually start the coal burning with magnesium I think. It has two fans... one is an air feed, and one is exhaust. Im pretty sure it's an automatic feed on the coal, because either him or he would have my brother or I go out now and then to dump a 5 gallon bucket filled with coal into the hopper, and then it was good... just had to empty the ash bin.

Im getting really sick of this kerosene heater, though. Going out every 3 days or so to fill up the 5 gallon can for 20 bucks, having to mess with it before work and before bed. Screwing with the wick, it gets smelly sometimes, worrying about CO, all for mediocre amounts of heat. I want to see if I can get this coal burner up and running again. Once it was running, as long as the power didnt go out, it ran all winter without issues, and kept the garage toasty.

My main concerns are having it leak carbon monoxide. My brother and his dog live in the apartment upstairs. I know there are gaskets and seams that need to be sealed. The other main concern is one I vaguely remember my dad mentioning when I asked him why he didnt use it. He said a piece fell from the inside, and he was concerned that the fire might spread backwards into the hopper... Im pretty sure that's what he said.

Im fairly handy, I do a lot of car work, and he taught me a lot of skills, but I have no idea about any part of this stove. It's not something I want to play the trial and error game with. Who would I talk to or have come look at it? I also need help identifying the make and model, what features it may have... and if anyone could point out concerns to check out, that would be great too, thanks.





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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
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Post Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 5:04 am

I love the Lawn mower, kero tanks, paint spray cans, etc. surrounding it toothy ... that will create some surprising extra heat someday :fear:

edit: welcome to the forum, sorry for my sarcasm its great to have another coal burner with us... im sure your well aware already to clean up around that stove before you fire her up ;)
Last edited by dcrane on Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Location: Canterbury Ct.

Post Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 5:44 am

That's my Stove . Alaska Stoker II, rock solid appliance. Appears you have everything in place to run it, easy to operate and maintain. You should be able to find an online manual.
Basically, just plug it in and adjust you feed rate ( I'll get to that in a bit) and your blower / combustion air. What you have there is what's called a Tri-Burner and many other models and makes run that system, pretty much just consolidates air for your burn , blower speed for moving the heated air off the top of the stove.
Look in back of the unit ( after you clean all the stuff out of the way), you will find a sheetmetal plate with a cap-nut on it. Look behind and under that plate you will see a little Tab (usually painted red) that is your adjustment nut, back towards the wall for more heat in towards the stove for less. Start roughly at about 3/4 of an inch away from the end (meaning towards the wall) once you have a fire going turn forwards or back (1) One turn and wait 15mins to see results...once you get a feel for it it'll become second nature.
Pay no attention to the reostat in my pic, I have a Power Vent and you have a what appears to be a chimney that obviously worked fine for your Dad.

Speaking of which, my condolences to you. Judging by his choice of Stoker he was a wicked Smart man.
Alaska Stoker II

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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 Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 5:53 am

I should Add, The search feature on this site in the best resource on here for perusing for answers to many questions. I would recommend looking for terms such as

"tri-Burner" and Stoker II you will find many discussions on these topics and you'll be up and running in no time.

Oh, and welcome to the forum.

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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 Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 6:04 am

Again Welcome to the Forum. The biggest collection of eclectic coal burners anywhere!!

First off move everything away from the stove and remove all combustibles liquids from the garage. You don't want any fumes getting to the stove and it booming the house away on you.

Remove and replace the flue pipe from the stove to the chimney. If it's been sitting for a long time unused chances are good it wasn't cleaned well before it was shut down. Make sure that the chimney is open and not blocked up with ash or critters that moved in for a warm place to hide.

Clean the inside of the stove and the grate ensuring that all the holes in the grate are open and clear. You may also need to replace the gaskets on the upper and lower doors.

Plug it in and let it run with nothing in it to make sure everything is working as planned. Nothing worse than to add 100 pounds of coal and then find out you have a hopper or feeder issue and have to dig it all out again.

Enjoy the burn.

Rev Larry
New Beginning Church
Ashland Pa.

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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 7:12 am

Welcome to the forum!!! Your dad was a smart guy and it looks like some of that trickled down! :D There is a lot of experience & help to be had on this board.

Where are you located? Another member may be nearby and could take a look at it with you. The motors / fans should be oiled up & fan blades cleaned off as part of your prep work. As suggested I'd power each item before loading with coal to make sure all the parts are operable.

What kind of chimney do you have? New black flue pipe and you want to get a CO monitor for the garage as well as the upstairs. If it is an attached garage then also in the house. I recommend one with a digital readout so you can see the numbers. I am also going to recommend a manometer which is a gauge to measure the draft. It is very useful in the setup of your stove and to help diagnose any issues.

You may need to do some metal work on the hopper if it had coal in it all these years. Grates will also need to be cleaned up and the holes reamed out for good airflow. Can you post some pics of the inside of the stove?

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Rick 386
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Joined: Mon. Jan. 28, 2008 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work
Location: Royersford, Pa

Post Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 8:06 am

As Ed ad Titleist have said, fill out your profile giving an approximate location for yourself.
As FF here says,"no one is gonna come steal ya !" And it is possible that one of us may live nearby and be able to give you some lessons.

I too have the same stove. Have had it for many years. Very reliable and can put out some heat. You could even fabricate a heat jacket and push some heat upstairs to your brother.

Since you said it is in a garage, be very careful if you also store gas cans and other flammables in there.


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Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty
Location: Lehigh Valley Pa.

Post Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 8:37 am

You mentioned a piece falling off and your father thinking it may cause a fire in the bin. I would suspect that he was talking about the strong back gasket at the rear of the grate. There are two gaskets under the grate. One that goes on the three sides that make contact with the housing the grate sits on and one in the back of the grate which is the strong back gasket since it is self supporting. I would replace all the gaskets, grate, doors and coal bin . This should be done every 3-4 years anyway.

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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal
Location: Buffalo/Adirondacks, NY

Post Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 9:06 am

start by removing that bottom elbow, putting a T in there and checking periodically for flyash buildup.

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