Better’n Ben’s 801

 
Holdencoal
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Post by Holdencoal » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 11:00 am

Hello, I have been reading a lot and I picked up a Better N Bens Model 801 stove this weekend. It’s rated as a wood/coal but I am looking to use as a coal stove only.
I started to clean it out as it was kinda full of ash, including behind the baffle.
During the partial clean up I noticed a few cracked fire bricks which I will have to replace.
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The previous owner stated that they replaced the grates with new ones. Which they do look newer with some use on them.
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Last edited by Holdencoal on Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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freetown fred
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Post by freetown fred » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 11:04 am

Where is the ash shaker handle?? How do they work? The bricks look like standard TSC fire bricks

 
Holdencoal
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Post by Holdencoal » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 11:15 am

freetown fred wrote:
Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 11:04 am
Where is the ash shaker handle?? How do they work?
There was no shaker handle only where it should connect. My best guess is that the shaker connections to both 90 bends by a straight handle. Here is a picture of what I think should be there. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.


There are two support grates that are spilt and hold up the coal grates which are split dovetailed together. The coal grates are attached to a threaded rod and the 90 bend. (closest bend to the front of the stove). The grates move in left to right, right to left movement.

 
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Post by Holdencoal » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 2:23 pm

I would love to obtain this literature.

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Lightning
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Post by Lightning » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 2:41 pm

Hard sayin but I think you have wood grates in that unit. You'll need shaker grates to use Anthracite..

Oh sorry, I reread and saw that you said the grates reciprocate left to right..

 
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Post by franco b » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 2:55 pm

I doubt those grates ever have or will ever be effective with coal. If the stove were mine I would make two slots just over grate level, to insert a flat poker to clear the ash. slots need to be covered when not in use.

 
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Post by Sunny Boy » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 3:00 pm

I agree with Lightning and Franco. I think it's a wood stove that they sorta tried to make into a coal stove. The grates don't look like they have much movement to easily clear coal ash without use of a slicing bar as Franco suggested.

And those wide flat areas at each end of the grates are going to be ash collectors that will not be easy to clear. In which case they may collect some unburned bits of coal, jam the grates and prevent any movement until the bits are fished out.

An ash pan will make for less fly ash mess in the room and less time spent clearing ash out of the stove. Been through the shovel coal ashes daily mess before I got an ash pan. I'll never own a stove - wood or coal - again without one !!!!!

Paul

 
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Post by Holdencoal » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 6:27 pm

Lightning, Franco b, Sunny:

Yes, I have to agree the grate does look like a wood stove grate. Yes this stove might not be “ideal” for coal but I am going to give it a try as this is not going to be the main source of heat. I preferred a chubby but the better half didn’t like the round stove look with the house style we have. I keep saying it’s in the finish basement who’s going to see it. 🤷🏼‍♂️

The grates move about 1-1/4 to 1-3/4” left to right and almost cover the flat area of the grate if the grate is to one side. I did notice the bricks sit in a steel channel and the channel bottom lines up with the top of the grate acting like a blockade, but agree, ash could get in between and bind the grate.

It did come with an ash plan.
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freetown fred
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Post by freetown fred » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 6:36 pm

Good on you H!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hell, life ain't ideal!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL Yet we keep trying!! :)

 
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Post by Sunny Boy » Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 7:09 pm

Ok, it's looking more doable. The ash pan will make the job of daily ash removal faster and easier,..... not to mention make the wife happier that there's less mess from stove convection currents distributing hot fly ash around the room. ;)

If you don't have one, a right-angle tipped poker will help free up any ash clogs by poking up through the grates.

Paul

 
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Post by Holdencoal » Tue. Jan. 14, 2020 4:04 pm

I wonder if I mail a dollar in, :D :D do you think I would get the informational booklet?

 
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Post by Holdencoal » Thu. Jan. 16, 2020 7:19 pm

Well we lost power today and it got me really thinking about moving up the stove install on my list of things to finish. I looked up the chimney and couldn’t see where the clay liner starts. It was dark out so that didn’t help. I know I have two separate chimneys with liners. One for the oil boiler and one for the fireplace.

I also talked to the town inspector about my plans and explained how coal will destroy the stainless liner and he was ok with pipe installed 3ft or more into the clay liner.

The guy who built the neighborhood 40 years ago must have hired a mason who used what appears to be brick from an old factory as some of it is painted and some of it has odd markings on it.

Besides needing a good wash from the moss growth from hiding behind a 10 foot rhododendron it could use some repointing at the top. I wish my Papa was still here he was a 60 year master mason.

 
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Post by Holdencoal » Sat. Jan. 18, 2020 4:56 pm

Well since it’s snowing this weekend I decided to measure the appropriate length of pipe and estimate the fittings I will need to get into the clay liner. It appears to be about 7-10 feet with a 45 bend to make it vertical.

My question is based on what I read on this forum.

If I am burning coal I should be able to run single wall black stove pipe up through the damper through the smoke shelf/chamber and up into the clay liner? Then install a 24 ga block off plate at the damper, seal with high temp sealant, insulate with Rockwool to the lintel and install another 24ga sheet metal block off plate at the lintel? OR .... Do I need to run stainless flex bare or SS flex insulated to the clay liner? This run is not a straight run and would require two bends if hard piped. one at the damper and the other just at the smoke shelf / start of the clay liner.

Anyways, I started to clean the fireplace brick to at least clean up the mess left by the previous owner(s). I found the best product was LA Awesome grill cleaner from the dollar store and a stiff brush. Baking soda and soap did ok. I also tried oxxy clean and vinegar with the same fair results.
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Holdencoal
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Post by Holdencoal » Fri. Jan. 24, 2020 8:41 pm

I found a good deal on a 5-1/2” chimney liner and was wondering what issues I could run into?

 
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freetown fred
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Post by freetown fred » Fri. Jan. 24, 2020 8:49 pm

H, there are no good deals on liners--go with what your code guy agreed to--your chimney looks fine--remove damper & pack with insulation around the pipe--I'm guessin you'll want to go a tad above the smoke shelf with black pipe if doable or flex pipe. Come summer ya can cut out a blocker plate & cut a 6" hole in it.

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