Long-unused chimney

 
45DegreesNorth
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Post by 45DegreesNorth » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 4:58 pm

I'm getting my coal burning fireplace ready, which, as far as I know, hasn't been used in at least 20 years. I think I have everything I need for my first fire, but would appreciate some experienced input. The chimney has been swept and looks ok to me, and the flue controls work. There is a pit below the floor that has a clean out in the basement. Should I use a tray, or just drop everything through the floor? The 'hole' at the back of the firebox is less drastic than the picture shows. It looks like it was patched in 1964. Can I use refractory cement to fill it? Is there anything else I need that appears to be missing? May I post questions about the actual fireplace in this section? Thanks

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Post by waytomany?s » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 6:51 pm

Where are you located?

 
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Post by freetown fred » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 6:53 pm

Long as you get your pipe past the smoke shelf it'll be OK--I personally would use the ash pan that's the way they're built--no need to try & reinvent the wheel!!! :)

 
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Post by waytomany?s » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:11 pm

I'm not positive Fred, but he might be a limey. That setup looks like it might be from across the pond. CN where are you!?

 
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Post by 45DegreesNorth » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:22 pm

I'm in Michigan, US.

 
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Post by waytomany?s » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:25 pm

45DegreesNorth wrote:
Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:22 pm
I'm in Michigan, US.
:oops: so much for that! I think you have and old and by old, I mean ancient, setup. What do the chains in the back hook to? A damper of sorts?

 
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Post by waytomany?s » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:28 pm

I wonder if it is.a.Wood or bit coal setup? Is there a door or screen that covers the opening?


 
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Post by 45DegreesNorth » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:29 pm

Yes, damper controls

 
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Post by 45DegreesNorth » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:32 pm

Here is the fireplace with the screen I made

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Post by waytomany?s » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:33 pm

Finish filling out your profile, it helps if someone is local, they can tell you where they buy coal, parts, etc. You said 20 years ago it was used, did you just buy the place, or what exactly?

 
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Post by waytomany?s » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:34 pm

Wow! That's impressive!

 
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Post by waytomany?s » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:38 pm

Well, it's not airtight so no anthracite. Has to be for wood or bit. What were you planning to use? Are you trying to actually heat with it or just an evening fire for ambiance?

 
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Post by carlherrnstein » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:41 pm

I would poke at anything that looks like a crack in the refractory lining if it's loose get it out, as far as patching use "furnace cement" Rutland makes a good one but there are others that work, follow the instructions to the letter and you will have no problems. I will suggest you start a small wood fire first to make sure the refractory doesn't spall or fall apart. 20 years is a long time to go unused and moisture can damage refractory more than regular masonry.

Those look to be briquettes of some sort. You will want to burn bituminous coal, sub bit, lignite, or possibly turf/peat I don't think anthracite will work well in that. Also you might want a screen of some sort coal can pop and crackle putting sparks in the room.

 
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Post by 45DegreesNorth » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:52 pm

No, not for heating; just an enjoyable winter fire a couple times+ a week. I discovered a vein of coal (lol) in a part of the house that was probably where the chute ended. I have steam heat, and the original boiler was obviously coal-fired. I probably have quite a bit (pun intended) under my crawl space, which is difficult to access. Can you tell the type of coal from these pictures? (slightly larger than a golfball)

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Post by carlherrnstein » Sat. Oct. 22, 2022 8:56 pm

Hit a piece with a torch, if it burn with a yellow smokey flame it's bituminous, being in Michigan it's probably bituminous but anthracite was shipped allover.


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