The Bairmatic - Van Wert Project

Stoker Coal Boilers automatically feed the coal and have controls and pumps just like any conventions boiler. They are intended to be used as a primary heat and often have domestic hot water coils as an added bonus. They can be set up independently or in dual sytem with your existing oil/gas boiler. They can accommodate both hot water base board or steam plumbing.
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StokerDon
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Posts: 3256
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 9:48 am

Two weeks ago I had no idea what a BairMatic stoker boiler was. I was up at Scrapper's place last night and look what followed me home!
BairMaticPickUp 001.JPG
BairMaticPickUp 002.JPG
BairMaticPickUp 003.JPG
The BairMatic is a one piece, no base boiler. The base part, and I guess the boiler part, are made of heavy 1/4" plate steel. A very heavy duty unit.
BairMaticPickUp 004.JPG
Each side has a BairMatic stoker sized hole in it. You can mount the stoker on either side. This unit had an oil burner in it, so the is no BairMatic stoker with it. That's OK, I might have a Van Wert stoker or two lying around to stuff in there!
BairMaticPickUp 005.JPG
The BairMatic has another interesting feature, It can be fitted with two round domestic coils. It will accept A Keystoker coil. I don't plan on using a coil but it's nice to have the option.
BairMaticPickUp 006.JPG
One of the things I love about the BairMatic is the heat exchanger right above the fire. Look familiar?
BairMaticPickUp 007.JPG
When Yellow Flame updated there boiler to get a bit more heat out of the coal before sending it up the stack, they kind of borrowed this design. The plates in a newer Yellow Flame look exactly like these plates. You can't see it in the pictures but the top of all these plates are pointed. This allows the flyash to fall off rather than accumulate, making them self cleaning.
BairMaticPickUp 008.JPG
BairMaticPickUp 009.JPG
BairMatic used the "one piece boiler" idea to take the bottom of the boiler down further than they could if they used a conventional boiler/base arrangement.
BairMaticPickUp 010.JPG
THE PROJECT:

Many of you know that I have been struggling with higher than normal coal usage with three different boilers that I have installed in my garage. Some say the boiler needs better insulation. Some say the PEX loop is to small. Some say the garage is a heat hog. It may be all three and possibly factors that I know nothing about.

The idea here is to build a similar stoker boiler to what I now have in the garage and put it in the basement. I will first connect it to the PEX in the basement and run a heat exchanger/blower in the garage. We will run it this way for a few weeks to a month and see what happens.

Since the BairMatic is a nice square boiler, it should be easy to insulate. I plan on going overkill with the insulation. 3.5" Roxwool R-15 with 1" foamboard R-7.5 as an outer skin. The insulation will be part two of the project. Then we will see how that effects coal consumption. This will also allow enough boiler run time to fix any leaks that crop up.

I called Scrapper a few weeks ago to see if he had an EFM 350 he could sell cheap for this project. Naturally, anything that says EFM on it is not cheap. I told him what I wanted to do and he explained that the BairMatic would work just as well as the 350 without the EFM price tag. In comparing the heat exchange area of the two, I think the BairMatic could actually be a better boiler design than the EFM.

Here we go! Another coal stoker boiler project and, as always, I'm gonna drag you guys along with me!

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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windyhill4.2
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Posts: 5023
Joined: Fri. Nov. 22, 2013 2:17 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both
Location: Jonestown,Pa.17038

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 10:03 am

Where are the "after" pics,the ones that show the restoration work you've done. toothy Just kidding,but I will be watching with great interest. I love to see these "junk" units fixed up by using the good stuff from the one & joining it to the good stuff from another. :up:
David **** John14:6 Jesus saith unto him,"I am the way.the truth,and the life;no man cometh unto the father,but by me." Wise men sought for Jesus when he was born,wise men still seek Jesus today. Seek & you shall find.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3256
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 10:13 am

Don't worry W.H., you won't have to wait long! This one is on a "fast track plan". It doesn't need a trip to the welder. It's going to be cleaning, figure out how to mount the stoker, pressure test, more cleaning, then paint and install.

If work doesn't get in the way, I hope to have it in the basement over Thanksgiving weekend. I hope to have it plumbed in and running over Christmas weekend.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

Lu47Dan
Member
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed. Jan. 29, 2014 1:42 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Sears circulator air tight stove.
Other Heating: Crown 115,000 BTU oil fired boiler(house) Weil Mclain 150,000BTU oil fired boiler(Shop)
Location: N/W Pa. Meadville, Pa.

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 10:44 am

StokerDon wrote:Since the BairMatic is a nice square boiler, it should be easy to insulate. I plan on going overkill with the insulation. 3.5" Roxwool R-15 with 1" foamboard R-7.5 as an outer skin. The insulation will be part two of the project. Then we will see how that effects coal consumption. This will also allow enough boiler run time to fix any leaks that crop up. -Don
Don, If this was going into my basement, I would not install that much insulation on it. Being in the basement you will not be losing that much heat outside the house. As the heat should stay in the house unless the basement is very loose. 1" of fiberglass board insulation should be more than enough to prevent radiant losses from the boiler. The mistake made on most boiler insulation jobs is not sealing the seams with tape and mastic.In other words loose seams and gaps in coverage. A good job of fitting the fiberglass board insulation to the boiler shell and than sealing the seams will do more for you than piling on extra insulation.
The idea behind insulating boilers and piping is to help control heat loss by preventing radiation and convection losses, piling on extra insulation usually does not assist in those areas.
Fiberglass board is easy to work with and should be fitted before the piping is installed on the boiler. It will make a much better, tighter job of it if it is installed before piping.
Somewhere here on NEPA, I posted a source for fiberglass board and supplies.
Dan.

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windyhill4.2
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Posts: 5023
Joined: Fri. Nov. 22, 2013 2:17 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both
Location: Jonestown,Pa.17038

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 10:48 am

Sounds like I had better put my seat belt on,not blink too long or too often & be prepared to watch this project fly. Looking forward to it . :)
David **** John14:6 Jesus saith unto him,"I am the way.the truth,and the life;no man cometh unto the father,but by me." Wise men sought for Jesus when he was born,wise men still seek Jesus today. Seek & you shall find.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3256
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 10:55 am

Thanks for the advise Dan. I agree, gaps in the insulation lead to convection and therefore, heat loss. Unfortunately, I will be fitting the insulation after the plumbing is done on this project. I do plan on leaving plenty of room to work in the insulation though. I think I can get it sealed up very well with tape.

I will still be going with the roxwool and foamboard. The other reason for doing this is, I live a bit south of most people that burn coal, it gets HOT here in Summer. If this whole thing works out, I will run it 365 days per year. I need to try to keep my basement temps down as much as possible.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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windyhill4.2
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Posts: 5023
Joined: Fri. Nov. 22, 2013 2:17 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both
Location: Jonestown,Pa.17038

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 11:04 am

Good thinking on the insulation for yr round operation. Don't forget to plumb an extra valve into the supply & return so you can add a modine or strip of baseboard for heat if needed for the basement.
David **** John14:6 Jesus saith unto him,"I am the way.the truth,and the life;no man cometh unto the father,but by me." Wise men sought for Jesus when he was born,wise men still seek Jesus today. Seek & you shall find.

User avatar
StokerDon
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Posts: 3256
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 11:07 am

windyhill4.2 wrote:Good thinking on the insulation for yr round operation. Don't forget to plumb an extra valve into the supply & return so you can add a modine or strip of baseboard for heat if needed for the basement.
You got it W.H. Since I have open floor joists in the basement, I may even try a little radiant floor experiment.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 1:51 pm

What is the gas path on that beasty?.....i was trying to figure it out from the pic.....up through that heat exchanger then over a wet baffle, down and out the back?
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3256
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 2:24 pm

unhippy wrote:What is the gas path on that beasty?.....i was trying to figure it out from the pic.....up through that heat exchanger then over a wet baffle, down and out the back?
That's about it. I think it would be better if the smoke outlet was down in the base and the long back baffle plate extended down to the floor. But that's a whole other part of this project. Right now I will concentrate on getting it together.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3256
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 2:40 pm

I did a quick initial cleaning and got it off the truck.
BairMaticToVanWert 002.JPG
BairMaticToVanWert 004.JPG
This one is pretty nice. Not much of anything caked on anywhere.
BairMaticToVanWert 006.JPG
I got one of the Van Werts mocked up in there with some wood and C clamps.
BairMaticToVanWert 008.JPG
Looks like it needs to come down 3 inches or so. I want the ash ring to be just below the bottom of the fire door.
BairMaticToVanWert 011.JPG
BairMaticToVanWert 012.JPG
BairMaticToVanWert 014.JPG
BairMaticToVanWert 018.JPG
That pot is dead center on the money! I couldn't have planned that better!
BairMaticToVanWert 016.JPG
I will have to make a cover plate for the top, above the stoker.
BairMaticToVanWert 017.JPG
-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11366
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 3:37 pm

That boiler is in beautiful shape for the age. Nice find.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3256
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Nov. 15, 2015 3:47 pm

Rob R. wrote:That boiler is in beautiful shape for the age. Nice find.
Thanks Rob.

I haven't even thought about how old it is yet. I don't even know when BairMatic started, or went out of, business. It is in nice shape though.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

User avatar
StokerDon
Site Moderator
Posts: 3256
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Tue. Nov. 17, 2015 8:46 pm

A little progress.
BMtoVW 008.JPG
I cut down into the base 3.5" so that I could lower the air chamber (and the pot) to a more reasonable level.
BMtoVW 001.JPG
BMtoVW 002.JPG
Now the pot is 7.5" below the heat exchanger plates. This is about as low as I can go. If I put it any lower the bottom of the pot will interfere with the ashpan.
BMtoVW 005.JPG
Still dead center!
BMtoVW 006.JPG
I made a cover plate to go above the Van Wert plate. I still need to make a plate for the back and weld to the new plate. This will provide a place to drill the three top mounting holes for the Van Wert plate.
BMtoVW 007.JPG
Ashing may be a little bit of a problem with this conversion. There is a little under 2" of clearance in front and back of the pot. I will find out if that causes any problems after I fire it up.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

Olllotj
Member
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu. Sep. 04, 2014 10:01 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KB-8
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat
Other Heating: Utica Propane Hot Water Baseboard
Location: Western NY

Post Tue. Nov. 17, 2015 9:27 pm

looks like a real great candidate to restore. looking forward to watching and learning as always.

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