Is Burning Coal A Hobby?

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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coal-cooker
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Post Sat. Apr. 12, 2008 11:50 am

I'm not sure. Wife claims it is a fettish. Something about spending more time in the basement sitting by the stove than upstairs. And what about all those spread sheets tracking coal usage, and local prices and availability and cost per day and average temperatures indoors and outdoors and constantly logging into the coal forum and ...and ...!!! Wow, maybe it is a fettish. All I know is the beer tastes better sitting by the stove watching the flames dance in the window.
Justin S.

Burning anthracite nut & pea coal in an old Crane Coal-Cooker since 1985.

There is nothing like a bin full of coal to give you that warm fuzzy feeling. OH, I forgot to mention the fridge full of beer.


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grizzly2
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.
Location: Whippleville, NY

Post Sat. Apr. 12, 2008 7:52 pm

I considered wood burning a hobby for 30 years, and will never be sorry for the time and effort I put into it. I will now be burning wood in the garage and coal in the house. I feel the same way about coal as I do wood. I don't have time or space to tend and store wood for two wood fires, so coal was the answer for me. I enjoy having all the new things to learn about coal. I am a low tech person so I don't have all the gismos many of you do. I love not being dependant on electricity for heat. :D
The only redeeming value of winter is that I can have a fire in my stove.

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gambler
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Post Sat. Apr. 12, 2008 8:28 pm

It is some what of a hobby for me plus it saves me a few bucks. A few years ago the wife did not accept me wanting a stove with open arms. Lets just say she was totally against it. But I went ahead and bought one anyway. Yesterday I had the stove turned off and I noticed my wife and my young son standing in front of it and complaining that it wasn't on. So I think that it is safe to say that the whole family enjoys my hobby.
Take Care and God Bless
Rick

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EasyRay
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Post Sun. Apr. 13, 2008 11:19 am

It used to be somewhat of a hobby in the years when Electric heat was reasonable. I would shut my stove down two or three times a season and also run it at a much lower temperature.
"Now I'm fanatical about saving money and staying warm at the same time". This is what my wife tells me. :)
Regards, Ray

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coaledsweat
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Post Sun. Apr. 13, 2008 7:12 pm

gambler wrote:A few years ago the wife did not accept me wanting a stove with open arms. Lets just say she was totally against it. But I went ahead and bought one anyway. Yesterday I had the stove turned off and I noticed my wife and my young son standing in front of it and complaining that it wasn't on.
Amazing, ain't it? :)
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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Charlie Z
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Post Mon. Apr. 14, 2008 7:41 am

It's not a hobby. It's a better way of doing things and I can delight in that.
"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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Devil505
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Post Fri. Jun. 06, 2008 9:12 am

Figured I'd revive this thread as it seems more & more people are switching over to coal heat to avoid the ridiculous home heating fuel costs of oil & gas. In addition to saving allot of money, heating with coal can really bring out your creative side as well! I am constantly looking for new ways to uniformly heat my house & do so more efficiently. It has become a hobby! :D
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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billw
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Post Fri. Jun. 06, 2008 11:11 am

For me it's not a hobby but a matter of survival. I can't afford oil at 4.50 - 5.50 a gallon. Paying for the refurbed coal boiler is a one time expense that should pay for itself quickly. Not that I wish the oil companies any ill will but next winter they can drink the 700 gallons of oil I used to buy from them for all I care. Thank God I live in Northeast Pa where anthracite is abundant and relatively inexpensive.


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UpStateMike
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Post Wed. Dec. 03, 2008 4:53 pm

I consider a hobby as something that occupies my time more than it really has to. For example, I am a cigar smoker and have been on several forums about them. You get into things like storing cigars, getting the best deals on great cigars, and learning the best way to cut and light the cigar. It's pretty much endless because you want to learn everything you can about what you enjoy.

With a coal stove for me, I had no experience using one at all so at first learning as much as I can is out of necessity. There are many aspects about burning coal which are interesting and make it into a hobby of sorts, but while cigars make me happy, coal keeps me and my family warm, so it has an added benifit.

Now, the logging on to the site a couple times daily, and scrounging around the area looking at old coal stoves, and browsing the internet for the "dream stove" starts to get into the hobby mode, and borders on the obsession/fetish, but I don't see myself "loving" my stove anytime soon. OUCH!
You can put your boots in the oven, but that don't make 'em Biscuits - Grandma

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cArNaGe
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Post Wed. Dec. 03, 2008 5:05 pm

billw wrote:For me it's not a hobby but a matter of survival. I can't afford oil at 4.50 - 5.50 a gallon. Paying for the refurbed coal boiler is a one time expense that should pay for itself quickly. Not that I wish the oil companies any ill will but next winter they can drink the 700 gallons of oil I used to buy from them for all I care. Thank God I live in Northeast Pa where anthracite is abundant and relatively inexpensive.
Funny thing is bill. Alot of guys on this board are buying it for double what we pay for it, or close to double. And its still a good deal.

billlindley
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Post Fri. Dec. 05, 2008 2:16 pm

I'm not sure I would have considered it a hobby to start, it was more of the same as many others - I didn't want to sepnd $4.25 a an oil contract this year. However after purchasing the stove and trying to get ideas I must says I have never spent hti smcuh time talking, reading, and discussing a heating source. I really enjoy this forum and while I am a novice I enjoy seeing what others are doing to see if I can't get some better performance out of my stove. I guess it may be a hobby now.
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty".
-Thomas Jefferson

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Devil505
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Post Fri. Dec. 05, 2008 2:27 pm

billlindley wrote:I guess it may be a hobby now.
I think it's a combination of satisfaction over self-sufficiency & a feeling like I'm "getting away with" something that most people cant........Winter warmth for a low price!! .........& knowing I have this winter's & next winter's heat is stacked up outside my back door.......& paid for!! (&...for us hand fired guys, knowing no matter how bad the winter storm or length of time without electricity......I'll be warm & comfortable! :P )
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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billw
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Post Fri. Dec. 05, 2008 4:00 pm

I went straight past survival when fuel oil was 4.50 - 5.00/gallon past hobby and into obsession. So far this system is running flawlessly. I spend a whopping 2-3 minutes a day tending the boiler. Take out the ashes, clean out the fines, finish my smoke and go back upstairs.

I'm already planning on modifying my plumbing to completely isolate the oil unit, add a DHW coil to the coal boiler, building a system monitor, adding plate exchangers to heat my pool and am trying to come up with a way to heat a hot tub with a plate exchanger instead of that electric coil they have mounted inline with the pump but I'm not obsessed or anything. :)

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Paperboy
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Post Sat. Dec. 06, 2008 12:14 am

Devil's list:

I have :energy saving bulbs
water saving shower head
humidifier
GPS
Lanterns and oil
lots of tools-my garage doubles as my workshop

Also have: water softener
outdoor clothesline umbrella
laptop with OBD II software to diagnose modern car problems.

warm now
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Post Sat. Dec. 06, 2008 6:04 am

Although I do consider burning coal a hobby (besides saving money), I have to be truthful and say I just like fires. I have always loved campfires, fireplaces, BBQ grills, etc. I'm not a pyromaniac, I just like tending fires. I think it's the "primative" in me. Of course it could be that I'm nuttier than a fruitbat, but hey, it's been working for 47 years, so why stop now?


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