The Rolls Royce of Stoves-The Base Burner

Learn the ins and outs of designs that date back to the turn of the last century. Whether you are looking to restore an antique stove or have questions about modern reproductions you'll find the answers to your questions here.
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oliver power
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Post Mon. Apr. 20, 2009 8:25 pm

dlj wrote:These are really nice stoves. I'm going to have my old base burner up and running for this coming winter (the whole reason why I'm selling my nice little vermont castings coal stove).

A question I have about installing these older stove. In the past when I ran this stove, I only used a manual damper. But I'm reading on these forums about using a manometer. Would this also be recommended on one of these older stoves? Would you install them with both a manual and modern manometer?
Any thoughts on this?

dj
Back in the day; we never had a baro damper, or have I ever seen one on any wood or coal stove that I can remember. Everyone had manual dampers. Without the manual damper, the stove would not radiate much heat. I do remember seeing baro dampers on most every kerosene stove of the past. The manual dampers were more for holding the heat down in the stove, not preventing strong drafts from pulling heat out, (although it did that too). I believe the baro damper on kerosene stoves were mainly so the wind did not pull too much on the flame, putting the fire out (Although it also didn't pull the heat out of the stove either).
Last edited by oliver power on Mon. Apr. 20, 2009 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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mr1precision
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Post Mon. Apr. 20, 2009 8:43 pm

That thing is like a fine piece of art! I'd be afraid to get it dirty. :roll:
When its all said and done there will be more said than done.

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009to090
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Post Mon. Apr. 20, 2009 8:59 pm

mr1precision wrote:That thing is like a fine piece of art! I'd be afraid to get it dirty. :roll:
Yeah, really! She's a beaut.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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brckwlt
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Post Mon. Apr. 20, 2009 9:01 pm

I would love to have a stove like that in my house. I wish I lived when you had beautiful stoves like that in every room. what a better time that must of been.
burning pea coal from harmony mine, picked up in my 2002 Pontiac "Coalfire"

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dlj
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Location: Monroe, NY

Post Mon. Apr. 20, 2009 9:31 pm

mr1precision wrote:That thing is like a fine piece of art! I'd be afraid to get it dirty. :roll:
LOL, yes well that is exactly why I want my old stove back in my living room. They do better running than sitting around doing nothing. Plus my wife says she would be a lot happier feeding my old "fine piece of art" than a modern stove. If my wife is happier, I'm happier...

Yes, in my earlier post I mis-spoke, I was asking about a barometric damper - I don't know anything about them. Back when I was using my old stove, I used only a manual damper. I used to heat my whole house with that stove as I didn't have central heat. But I only burned wood, never coal. That old stove is really a coal burner although it works just fine with wood. I don't really know what to expect from it burning coal but it worked quite well running wood.

The one thing I like about being able to run both, is it lets me use wood in the spring and fall before I'd want to run it full time with coal. At least, that's my thoughts at this point....

I'll probably install it using a manual damper only unless it become clear that using both would be better. I can't imagine not putting in a manual damper, I don't think this kind of stove would run best with only a baro.... But I'd welcome all thoughts on that...

dj

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rockwood
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Post Mon. Apr. 20, 2009 10:49 pm

dlj wrote: I'll probably install it using a manual damper only unless it become clear that using both would be better. I can't imagine not putting in a manual damper, I don't think this kind of stove would run best with only a baro.... But I'd welcome all thoughts on that...

dj
If you only burn hard coal (anthracite) then a baro damper is a good idea and will automatically control the draft for you. Baro dampers keep a lot of heat from going up the chimney but I wouldn't recommend using a one when burning a significant amount of wood. Creosote accumulates in chimneys when burning wood and the cooler air entering the chimney through the baro damper could increase creosote buildup and be a chimney fire risk. You could install the baro when you "run it full time with coal" in the middle of winter and take it off and use a manual damper when using wood in spring/fall or,,,,just burn coal (with baro) all the time and save yourself the trouble. :)
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." -Goethe

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Poconoeagle
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Post Mon. Apr. 20, 2009 11:03 pm

On my 1880 stove I have a manual damper right at the stove,then the tee with the baro in it. Since it is not very air tight I use the manual mostly but do indeed adjust the baro as needed for the conditions and fuel. I guess too many years adjusting 6 or 12 weber IDA downdrafts feed my carburator affection.

the baro saved a few runaway conditions due to the non-airtightness input of the stove and by opening it the airflow thru the stove slowed enough to let the fire calm down. Usually burning these ole stoves mandates a watchful eye. 8-)
"Do it Right the First Time" dont leave it for the next guy, as YOU may be the Next guy!!

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dlj
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Location: Monroe, NY

Post Tue. Apr. 21, 2009 9:56 pm

[/quote]
If you only burn hard coal (anthracite) then a baro damper is a good idea and will automatically control the draft for you. Baro dampers keep a lot of heat from going up the chimney but I wouldn't recommend using a one when burning a significant amount of wood. Creosote accumulates in chimneys when burning wood and the cooler air entering the chimney through the baro damper could increase creosote buildup and be a chimney fire risk. You could install the baro when you "run it full time with coal" in the middle of winter and take it off and use a manual damper when using wood in spring/fall or,,,,just burn coal (with baro) all the time and save yourself the trouble. :)[/quote]

This is a very interesting explanation. Now, in the spring and fall when temperatures aren't so low, but low enough to want some heat, do you run your coal stove low enough for these conditions? I know how to control wood well enough, but sure don't about coal. Can it run at low heat output and not go out? It seems to me to take longer to both heat up and cool down compared with wood. With wood I can make it change significantly within a few minutes (don't really know how many maybe 15 to 20 minutes)

Another question on these old stoves: What size coal do they burn? Pea? Chestnut? Other?

Thank you all very much for a lot of great info!

dj


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wsherrick
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Location: High In The Poconos

Post Tue. Apr. 21, 2009 10:40 pm

dlj wrote:
If you only burn hard coal (anthracite) then a baro damper is a good idea and will automatically control the draft for you. Baro dampers keep a lot of heat from going up the chimney but I wouldn't recommend using a one when burning a significant amount of wood. Creosote accumulates in chimneys when burning wood and the cooler air entering the chimney through the baro damper could increase creosote buildup and be a chimney fire risk. You could install the baro when you "run it full time with coal" in the middle of winter and take it off and use a manual damper when using wood in spring/fall or,,,,just burn coal (with baro) all the time and save yourself the trouble. :)[/quote]

This is a very interesting explanation. Now, in the spring and fall when temperatures aren't so low, but low enough to want some heat, do you run your coal stove low enough for these conditions? I know how to control wood well enough, but sure don't about coal. Can it run at low heat output and not go out? It seems to me to take longer to both heat up and cool down compared with wood. With wood I can make it change significantly within a few minutes (don't really know how many maybe 15 to 20 minutes)

Another question on these old stoves: What size coal do they burn? Pea? Chestnut? Other?

Thank you all very much for a lot of great info!

dj[/quote]

First of all; let's see some pictures of your Base Burner!! I burn nut in my Stanley Argand. Your stove will probably burn both Nut or Pea. It depends on how wide the gaps are in the grates. Some models of Glenwood Base burners are rated as the most efficient ever produced, that includes the modern box stoves. They can really crank out the heat on a minimum of coal if you operate them correctly. The thing about Base Burners is that they were designed to burn Anthracite Coal. You can burn wood in them, but; only if you have them set in the direct, updraft mode. If you set them on the circulating mode burning wood, the stove saps out so much heat from the exhaust you will cause creosote to build up in side the passages and the chimney, and that's not a good thing. Base Burners also need a healthy draft to pull the exhaust through the heat exchanging passages so maybe a Barometric Damper will work or not, there are others here who know a whole lot more about those than I do. I am going to try one on my stove next Winter to see how it works. I would most definitely put a manual pipe damper in it, if your draft is strong enough you can put two of them in a few feet apart from each other. I've seen that done many times. I know ONE thing for sure though; a good Glenwood Base Burner will blow the Resolute away when it comes to performance and ease of maintenance.
What works very good for me on warmer days is to allow a good layer of ash to remain on the grates and thus the fire just pokes along for hour after hour on simmer. It will take some experimentation and observation on your part to learn your stove, but; once you do you won't trade it. Again let's see some pictures.

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dlj
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Location: Monroe, NY

Post Fri. Apr. 24, 2009 11:11 pm

wsherrick wrote: First of all; let's see some pictures of your Base Burner!! I burn nut in my Stanley Argand. Your stove will probably burn both Nut or Pea. It depends on how wide the gaps are in the grates. Some models of Glenwood Base burners are rated as the most efficient ever produced, that includes the modern box stoves. They can really crank out the heat on a minimum of coal if you operate them correctly. The thing about Base Burners is that they were designed to burn Anthracite Coal. You can burn wood in them, but; only if you have them set in the direct, updraft mode. If you set them on the circulating mode burning wood, the stove saps out so much heat from the exhaust you will cause creosote to build up in side the passages and the chimney, and that's not a good thing. Base Burners also need a healthy draft to pull the exhaust through the heat exchanging passages so maybe a Barometric Damper will work or not, there are others here who know a whole lot more about those than I do. I am going to try one on my stove next Winter to see how it works. I would most definitely put a manual pipe damper in it, if your draft is strong enough you can put two of them in a few feet apart from each other. I've seen that done many times. I know ONE thing for sure though; a good Glenwood Base Burner will blow the Resolute away when it comes to performance and ease of maintenance.
What works very good for me on warmer days is to allow a good layer of ash to remain on the grates and thus the fire just pokes along for hour after hour on simmer. It will take some experimentation and observation on your part to learn your stove, but; once you do you won't trade it. Again let's see some pictures.
Well, I'd love to post some pictures, but the stove is about a 4 hour drive from me at this point. My wife and I are planning a trip up to pick it up and drive it to Rhode Island to bring it to a guy out there to get it fully restored. I should take pictures of it both before and after and post them.

I am really looking forward to burning coal in it, especially after what you've said. I sure liked coming home to a nice toasty living room where the Resolute was burning... Now if the Glenwood works even better, that would be awesome!

I should tell you a little about the history of this wood stove. I was helping a farmer clean out an old barn when I was about 12 years old. We kept finding metal parts in one of the loose hay bins we were cleaning. I put the parts outside the barn and when we were done, it looked like it was a complete wood stove. I asked the farmer if I could have it and he said sure. So I brought it home and sure enough, it was a complete stove.

We put it in our family workshop on our farm and it ran there until I left to my own place and then I brought it with me. I lived there a number of years where it ws my sole source of heat, living on a mountain that had serious winter...

Then I decided to go to college and the stove went back to the family workshop. I met a woman in college and we decided we should get married and so when I finished up college I was heading out to live in Europe, where she was from. I was torn with what to do with my wood stove. So I decided to sell it since bringing it to Europe was not realistic. A friend of mine said she knew someone that was interested. So we met up and they wanted to buy it. I kept looking at it and was really hating the idea of parting with it. So I told them they could buy it outright paying me what it was worth or they could give me $20 and if I ever came back from Europe, I could take it back. They opted for the second option.

Well, 10 years later I returned to the US and wanted to get my stove. Only problem was I couldn't remember who the heck it was I'd made that deal with. Several years later, I found the friend that had hooked us up in the first place. I asked her if she remembered who it was and sure enough, she did. It had been her sister. So I called up her sister and they did in fact still have the stove and I could come get it. Well, I was living in an apartment in New York City and there was no place for a stove like that. So she hung onto it for several more years. Finally, I was up visiting and was told I needed to pick up my stove if I wanted it so I found a place to store it and went to pick it up. My wife was thinking I was completely nuts - going to pick up a rusty old wood stove - until she saw it. Now she's telling me I'm nuts not to restore it and put it back in use. Good thing at least one person here has good sense...

If all goes well, this coming winter will be the first time I'll be using my old stove again since 1978.... I am very much looking forward to it...

dj

bhorenstein
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Post Sat. Apr. 25, 2009 5:27 am

I'd love one of those but who could afford it?

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wsherrick
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
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Location: High In The Poconos

Post Sat. Apr. 25, 2009 3:14 pm

bhorenstein wrote:I'd love one of those but who could afford it?
There are lots of different types of Base Burners out there from small to super large. The Art Andes in the video is the top of the heap or very near it. They are not very common and therefore demand a big price. Take a look at the various stores on the web that sell antique stoves, you are sure to find one you like at a reasonable price. A good example is to go to antique stove hospital.com and they have Glenwood No. 109's and No. 111's for around $1,800-$2,000 bucks. These are the super efficient models that kick cold weather butt for a minimum of coal consumption and you still have your nice windows to see the fire burn.

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EarthWindandFire
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Post Thu. Feb. 03, 2011 12:26 pm

After reading what Freddy wrote about the stove @ Bryants I decided to email them and ask for a picture of their stove. Donna at Bryants graciously emailed a picture back to me but I can't open it.

I have the picture in my email and if anyone is interested and would like to see it, let me know. Also, if anyone could open the picture for me I would appreciate it. Donna said the stove was made by Favorite and it's the stove in the back of the photo on the left side.

Thanks!
Mark

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nortcan
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Post Thu. Feb. 03, 2011 6:57 pm

Never read this subject and very happy I saw it. I like nice "cars".
nortcan

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the snowman
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Post Thu. Feb. 03, 2011 9:41 pm

I did a quick search and found the following website that has the favorite coal stoves for sale. High prices are attached to these stoves ($12,500.00). Below is the web address.

http://www.goodtimestove.com/base_burner_stove_fa ... e_907.html

I grew up feeding a very large round coal stove. It was a couple feet in diameter and very tall. Asked my father one day what had happened to the stove and I believe my grandfather traded it for an oil fired stove. What a shame. Would love to have that stove. I have been looking through old photo's trying to find a picture of the beast. No luck so far. I have an aunt that is still alive that might have a pic of it.

The snowman.


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