What's the Best Way to Break up Large Pieces of Bit Coal?

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mslisaj
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Post By: mslisaj » Mon. Dec. 13, 2010 1:43 pm

I was lucky to get a free delivery of a ton of Bit coal but the pieces average 12" across. I have been taking a small sledge hammer to the bin to break it up into smaller pieces of about 6". But I'm hoping some professional coal user could offer me a better way.

Thanks so much for the help and idea's........

Lisa :)


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Post By: bksaun » Mon. Dec. 13, 2010 2:30 pm

Grandfather always used an axe. Sledgehammer busts it up in too small pieces to suit him.

Bk

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mslisaj
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Post By: mslisaj » Mon. Dec. 13, 2010 2:36 pm

So an Axe would work? Not ruin the Axe?

Same issue that your grandfather had, breaks into little pieces but looking for a better way.

Thanks for the response..........

Lisa

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Post By: bksaun » Mon. Dec. 13, 2010 2:41 pm

Just get a cheap axe, don't use a famly heirloom, hit the blocks along the seam and it will sort of split like wood. we used the same axe for years, I may even still have it.

Bk

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Post By: bverwolf » Mon. Dec. 13, 2010 3:08 pm

I use about a 2 foot long pice of 1/2" copper rod that is sharpened to a slender point. I find which way the seam runs, as bksaun said, and give it a few whacks with a hammer. I tried an axe, but didn't have real good luck. A friend of mine has an old homemade breaker thing that he uses. It basically looks like a giant sledge except it has a point sticking out of where the handle goes through the hammer head. I'm not sure if I explained this clear or not, but to use it, you just pick it up and use it like you would a spud bar. The heavy sledge like weight works wonders on the large pieces of coal. Maybe I can get a pic next time I'm at his house.
Ben

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mslisaj
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Post By: mslisaj » Mon. Dec. 13, 2010 3:34 pm

So the name of the game is a sharp object to slice or fracture the lump of coal. The sledge that I have been using is broad of course and it shatters the coal before it snaps it into pieces. Good idea's here and I so appreciate it. If push came to shove a chisel would be better then just the blows of the sledge right?

Thanks for the idea's and the instruction on how to get this done............

Lisa :D

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Post By: Berlin » Mon. Dec. 13, 2010 3:35 pm

take a sledge or a maul and crack the chunks along the cleavage plain of the coal; look for the bands in the coal chunks and see which way they run, if you find them, split along them like you would the grain of a log.

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mslisaj
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Post By: mslisaj » Mon. Dec. 13, 2010 4:03 pm

I've been looking for an excuse to buy a splitting maul. I don't use wood but maybe this would be the ideal tool to use to get this job done easily? At this point I'm actually getting anxious to try it.......................


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Post By: rockwood » Fri. Dec. 24, 2010 4:45 pm

Here's the chisel I've always used.
A 2# sledge (or so) to whack the chisel does a good job and doesn't make lots of fines (crumbs).
You'll need safety goggles/glasses too ;)
Attachments
100_2514.JPG

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Post By: cokehead » Fri. Dec. 24, 2010 5:03 pm


**Broken Link(s) Removed**
I use something like this just because I have it.

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Post By: mslisaj » Sat. Dec. 25, 2010 8:53 am

Thank you Gentlemen for the great idea's. I have both the long chisel and the garden mattock. So I actually have the tools. I was looking at my lumps of coal last night and can't quite see the "grain" but there are some lines in it and today I'm going out to give it a try and see if I can actually "split it like wood". But all these idea's certainly beat beating the chunks with a hammer and making lots of crumbs.

Merry Christmas Gentlemen.............

Lisa

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Post By: coaledsweat » Sat. Dec. 25, 2010 9:03 am

mslisaj wrote:I was looking at my lumps of coal last night and can't quite see the "grain" but there are some lines in it and today I'm going out to give it a try and see if I can actually "split it like wood".
The lines, follow them with your chisel. It will cleave easily along them. Once split thin, breaking them into chunks will be a lot easier. Call Mike Rowe before you start, you might be able to get him to bust it for you and get a TV gig out of it, it's going to be messy. :)

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Post By: mslisaj » Sun. Dec. 26, 2010 10:38 am

Mr. Coaledsweat,

You have me laughing out loud with calling Mike. I'm hoping breaking the coal isn't that dirty of a job. I like it better then wood and I don't worry about the creosote build up.

I appreciate the advice though...........

Lisa

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Post By: Captain Michael » Sun. Dec. 26, 2010 11:49 am

The best cure for hard labor is still money.

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Post By: coaledsweat » Sun. Dec. 26, 2010 11:50 am

I was trying to think of a way to clean up the process. If you have access to a press, arbor or something similar. Putting a bunch of big chunks in a bag and crush them might work. I think that is basically how a coal breaker works, squeezing it to shatter it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. With the bag, you can feel the size of the chunk through it and not worry about shrapnel and limit the big mess. Maybe a wood splitter can be used? You may have to modify or apply something to it. Just a thought.


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