Alternatives for Lighting Coal

This forum is for common products and questions such as chimney installations, CO detectors, coal bin designs and a variety of other general topics that do not fit into the other forums.
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SMITTY
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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 Sun. Jan. 14, 2007 7:50 am

I use Kingsford charcoal, soak it in lighter fluid, fire it up & close the doors & screw in the damper so the flames won't all go up the chimney. I let it burn like that until the coals are red, then open the ash door to let it roar. Throw on a layer of coal at a time until it's full.

Takes me about 30 minutes tops to have a full firebox burning.


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Campfire2u
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Posts: 7
Joined: Mon. Jul. 28, 2008 8:33 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III
Location: West Stockbridge, Ma.

Post Sun. Oct. 12, 2008 8:47 am

trb157 wrote:Anybody ever tired Trioxane bars? Military surplus stores have these by the truckload and they burn hot and long sort of like a sterno can, very cheap. Are they dangerous to try in a coal stoker stove? I always wondered.
How did you make out with the trioxane bars? I used to use them in my wood stove very successfully.

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SemperFi
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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 Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 10:25 pm

Mice are nice but ratts are more fun. A buddy and I put together what we like to call coal ratts. We take the powder out of two road flares, a couple crushed up charcoal brickets and some coal fines al mixed up in a lunch bag with a pest control fuse stuck in it. We roll the bag up and tape it shut. All said and done it is about the size of a beer can. Stick it under a couple inches of coal, light the fuse and you have a fire in about two beers. By the way your stove better be air tight at the doors and have a good draft as they smoke like mad.
If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you may have misjudged the situation.

wnyjim
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Posts: 108
Joined: Sun. Oct. 26, 2008 9:37 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Hot Blast Model 1500

Post Fri. Nov. 21, 2008 2:39 pm

I have a Hot Blast wood/coal furnace. I use the little bars Walmart sells for starting fireplace fires. They are made of the same thing as a fireplace log.
I break off 1/3 of a piece of the fire starter. (About a 3" piece) light it and let it get going a bit as I hold it in my fingers carefully. I then lay it on a flat piece of hard wood. Preferably a thin piece.
(My thought here is that any residual sticky leftovers from the fire starter will be consumed by the wood fire from the wood slab under the starter.)
I have never found any trace of the starter stick using this method. I am new to Coal furnace lighting but I have been doing this in my fireplace for years with good luck.
I then lay kindling and make a little tee pee and add larger pieces as the fire builds. I then add small amounts of my Anthricite nut size coal. Add as the coal ignites. In time I have my coal burning nice.
I take a beer down in the basement with me and while I wait for things to come together I sip my beer and cut kindling for the next fire. Sometimes I go upstairs and get another beer. :P

Anyone see a reason to be conserned with this? Its so easy and the fire starters are plentiful and cheap.

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coalkirk
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Posts: 4681
Joined: Wed. May. 17, 2006 8:12 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal
Location: Forest Hill MD

Post Fri. Nov. 21, 2008 3:56 pm

wnyjim wrote:I take a beer down in the basement with me and while I wait for things to come together I sip my beer and cut kindling for the next fire. Sometimes I go upstairs and get another beer.

Anyone see a reason to be conserned with this? Its so easy and the fire starters are plentiful and cheap.
YES, I'm very concerned man! You obviously need a beer fridge in the basement. All that running up and down the stairs will wear you out. 8-)
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. Winston Churchill

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." —General George S. Patton

Burning rice coal in a 1981 EFM DF520, nut coal in a hand fired Jotul 507.

wnyjim
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Posts: 108
Joined: Sun. Oct. 26, 2008 9:37 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Hot Blast Model 1500

Post Wed. Dec. 03, 2008 12:29 pm

Great idea! By next heating season I plan on having a beer fridge within reach of my furnace.
Safety frirst :lol:

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

Post Wed. Dec. 03, 2008 1:30 pm

If I don't light off of a wood fire, I do the following: (Keeps the glass window cleaner)

I put about 10 Matchlight briquettes in a coffee can (with both sides cut open & pack coal around the can. Then remove the can & light the briquettes. But I found it much faster to add a little wood (very little) on top of the briquettes & then, when the wood is burning well, carefully add a little coal on top of the wood fire. (making sure not to smother the fire)
The briquettes alone don't burn hot enough to get the coal burning quickly so adding a bit of wood kindling speeds things up allot!
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

Dann757
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Joined: Sat. Sep. 06, 2008 9:10 am

Post Wed. Dec. 03, 2008 1:43 pm

I lit a fresh fire last night with a plastic wrapped package of supermarket firestarter kindling. I was too lazy to gather some twigs and get a fire going that way; besides it rained a couple days ago and the ground is pretty wet still. It was $1.50 for this package of what looked like cedar shakes. Package said it was kiln dried alder. I put it in the firebox with a few 2x4 scraps and a squirt of mineral spirits. When it got going I started tossing in handfuls of my antique basement coal. Within an hour I had it going good and it's still going.


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StanT
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Posts: 162
Joined: Fri. Aug. 29, 2008 5:10 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisureline
Stove/Furnace Model: econo1
Location: Ne Pa

Post Wed. Dec. 10, 2008 8:04 pm

Tried it with just wood pellets and shredded paper in a bag, Started great!!!!!

I got a bag of cowboy charcoal at lowes, 7 $, Got a bag of wood pellets, 6$ at home depotty, took paper from my shredder, Crushed the charcoal, put a handful and 1/2 of each in a small bag, stuffed some paper in it, Works Great. Can probably make a couple 100 for less than $20, When I make some I am going to seal them in space bags so no moisture gets in.

Happy Holidays, Stan

danzig
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Posts: 125
Joined: Tue. Apr. 08, 2008 12:41 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: logwood ycob36 boiler
Stove/Furnace Model: simplex multi therm

Post Thu. Dec. 11, 2008 9:50 am

Hi guys try to get some black locust (or locust of some type) this wood is very hot and makes lighting anthracite eaiser. Try it and tell me what you think. I use locust splits (kindeling) with some ash sticks and small 1-2" tree limb sticks. When these catch it gets hot real fast.

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stovepipemike
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Joined: Sun. Jun. 15, 2008 11:53 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KAA-2
Location: Morgantown ,Penna

Post Mon. Feb. 02, 2009 8:24 am

danzig ~ I have got to agree with you on the locust.Locust is one of the best woods I have ever come across for making hot, red ,glowing ,long lasting coals,can't be beaten. Mike

CapeCoaler
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Posts: 4429
Joined: Sun. Feb. 10, 2008 3:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove
Location: Cape Cod, MA

Post Mon. Feb. 02, 2009 11:16 am

Gel fire starter and chunk charcoal.
Fired off the Russo after a refurbishment with one match.
I am not an engineer, train or otherwise!
I stay at a Holiday Inn at least once a year!
Most of all I do have common sense and a practical application of logic.
Oh, add humor, on the dry side, along with a wee bit 'o sarcasm.

mwood
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu. Jan. 15, 2009 9:29 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Salco Machinery

Post Mon. Feb. 02, 2009 1:12 pm

I just got my hand fired stove installed over the weekend (uses nut). I used Duraflame Quick Start Firestarter Wedges: four pieces of rolled news paper, two wedges, 6 crisscrossed hard wood kindling sticks 3/4inch thick, sprinkle a few handfuls of coal about the edges and then a few on top. Hit it with a match. Wait a few minutes with ash door open, till there's some good red hot coals. Then gently cover it with a thin layer of coal, let it get going again, and then pour a bucket of coal over it till the firebox is full.

This lights it every time, but it takes a couple hours to get the stove to temperature. I've been looking at the chimney installation, draft etc. But I don't see anyone using these wedges. Is there something wrong with them? Could it be that these quick start wedges are the cause of my heat problem?

Thanks

mwood
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu. Jan. 15, 2009 9:29 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Salco Machinery

Post Fri. Feb. 06, 2009 9:53 am

Just a quick follow up, I resolved my issues with the stove, has nothing to do with the way it's lit, the Quick Start Firestarter Wedges work great. I remembered using then with an old hand fired insert to light stove size coal as well.

Thanks

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009to090
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Posts: 5104
Joined: Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 10:02 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice
Location: Warrenton, NC

Post Fri. Feb. 06, 2009 10:47 am

stovepipemike wrote:danzig ~ I have got to agree with you on the locust.Locust is one of the best woods I have ever come across for making hot, red ,glowing ,long lasting coals,can't be beaten. Mike
I cut and burn Locust for my FireplaceExtrordinaire. Its all over our property. Yep, H-O-T fire.
For lighting the DVC-500, I've been using a cup of wood pellets surrounded by the rice. I put this gelled alcohol on the pellets. Starts every time, within 10-15 minutes.
I am going to try putting this gelled alcolhol on the rice, directly. The instructions says it can start coal.
We shall see.....

Chris F.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!


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