How to Light a Godin

Posts: 109
Joined: Fri. Mar. 11, 2011 12:41 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Heat N Glo
Stove/Furnace Model: Townsend II
Location: Lackawanna County, Pa.

Post Sat. Feb. 02, 2013 1:29 pm

I've been lighting mine using charcoal briquettes and a propane torch :) I layer the entire grate with them, sometimes 2 layers. Heats up the chimney too. My concern with this is that once the stove is lit, there is fresh burning coal at grate level. Lot of heat coming thru the front of the door and that coal will last for hours. I don't want to warp any cast parts in the firebox. I think I had the lintel above the door glowing. As the lintels frequently warp on the petit, I'm starting to think that having hot coal down that far would be a major contributor. Once the stove is burning after 12 hours or so, the grate and burn pot are diluted with ashes, and the real burn is up higher where the bricks are. I may try to use wood as a cushion the next time I light.

Mixing wood and coal has not worked for me. The wood drafts too heavy and heats up the stove pipe too much, so then I throttle it down and end up starving the coal. I do use wood if I'm going to let the coal fire go out. I shake it down over several hours until the burning coal level is low. Then start adding wood and end up with a strong wood fire in the evening. It seems to help burn virtually all the coal instead of having a mess of ash/partly burned/unburned coal to sort through when emptying the stove out.

I don't think anyone is going to tell you how long you can safely leave your stove un-attended as there are too many variables. If you can set your stove on your days off and it runs well with no adjustments then you may have enough confidence in it to burn it while you are at work. Just my own experience. Take some time and get the hang of it and you might be comfortable doing that.


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Posts: 233
Joined: Mon. Mar. 28, 2011 1:55 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite
Location: Wadhams, NY

Post Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 8:24 pm

I fire-up with Cowboy Brand Chunk Charcoal. You can buy it in bags at Lowes..... I got the idea from a You-Tube video , entitled something like " The Best Coal Stove Ever"

It was made by William Sherrick.....

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Posts: 10
Joined: Sat. Aug. 25, 2012 11:48 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Godin
Stove/Furnace Model: Large Round
Location: Cortland, NY

Post Mon. Feb. 04, 2013 11:21 pm

Hi there, I have a Godin Round, larger size, mine lights very easily. I use nut coal, although I know that I've got some stove coal in the mix, my supplier must have added it to fill the weight up. Some of that stuff is nearly the size of baseballs. I sometimes use wood, sometimes charcoal, but either works fine. Get a coal bed about 3-4 inches deep, add about 2 inches of coal on top, and let that get going well. When that coal is going well (I usually just leave the door open all the way, it takes about five minutes to get going like this) I add another 6 or 8 inches and close it all up. I leave my vent open just a half turn, or shut it right off. I do have an excellent draft, so you will need to set yours according to the draft and stove response. I turn my manual damper to the closed position and the stove slowly stokes itself up to temp. My pipe runs about 200-250 in this position according to my magnetic thermometer. If it is super cold out, I open the vent another turn, maybe two. I never have more that an eighth inch of opening on that vent. I do have a smallish house, so a larger home may need more heat than that, but that stove will happily push out lots more heat than I need. Play with your stove, and work your way up to it. Leave a good airspace above the coal bed in the stove for secondary combustion, you will use less coal and get more heat. If you do not have a manual damper installed in the pipe, get one asap, otherwise you loose a lot of control of your fire and a lot of heat goes up the chimney.
I have thought I may want to try pea, since I think it will be easier to shake down than nut, but have not gone to get any yet. I thought I'd get a hundred pounds and see how it works out for me. It may just fall through the grate, but its worth 15 bucks to find out.
Good luck, and let us know what you find out, I come on here all the time and learn something new each time. Its a process and it is good to share what we learn.

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Posts: 233
Joined: Mon. Mar. 28, 2011 1:55 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite
Location: Wadhams, NY

Post Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 9:08 am

roostersgodin3730 wrote:
One more quick post. I'm glad I was afraid to go to bed until I was sure the stove was stable, because when I turned off the lights to go to bed, I noticed that the lid on the stove was glowing red. I quickly closed the air control down all the way, and the stove is slowly cooling down. I've had hot wood fires in it before, but coal obviously burns a LOT hotter! I've never seen the lid glow. Even the sides have a slight glow. SCARY!!!! Looks like I'll be up a while longer...not that I'd be able to sleep until I stop hearing the flue pipe making popping noises. I'm amazed that as hot as this little stove got that it didn't blow up! Lessons learned: Don't leave the air control open all the way when you know the coal's burning well. As someone else wrote, it takes a while (30 minutes) for the stove to reach the desired output after making an air control adjustment.

Another question - should I not fill the stove almost to the top of the fire bricks so the heat is so close to the lid, or was it more likely that it got too hot from too much air?
I load to 6" below the flue outlet. I have a very strong draft. Manual Pipe Closed, and Air-inlet , Check out any topics "Large Round Godin Fired Up!" and posts by KaptJaq, Chiefcamper, etc
for experiences and tips.....

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Posts: 99
Joined: Thu. Feb. 17, 2011 12:42 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin 3721 Le Grand Rond
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Nut
Location: Long Island, NY, USA

Post Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 10:14 am

Hi Rooster,

Welcome to the forums & the Godin club.

As mentioned above, play with your stove on days that you are home and can keep an eye on it. I would suggest getting an infrared thermometer and adjusting the air supply to keep the sides under 700° to start. If it is glowing it is way too hot.

Everybody has a slightly different way to start their coal fires. Mine is to crumple some newspaper at the bottom front by the ash grate. Lean some kindling, then some small splits of wood over the newspaper. Finally I dump about 20 lbs of coal over the wood. Light the paper with the front door open and keep an eye on it until the coal lights off. It usually takes about 15 minutes for the coal to be engaged enough to close the front door with the air supply open 2 or 3 turns. As the stove warms up I slowly close the air supply. With my draft I usually leave it open half to three quarters of a turn for a steady state burn. It takes about an hour for the stove to get up to temperature, then I add another 20 pounds of coal, close my pipe damper two-thirds of the way and leave her alone for about 12 hours. Once lit my stove burns 24/7 for weeks at a time. Each morning I add about 20 pounds of coal and at night I add another 20 pounds and remove some ash.

I don't like mixing fuels in the stove, they require different air settings and have the potential for an out of control burn (as you noticed with your glowing stove). Godins are not air-tight stoves. Closing the air supply will (should?) suffocate a coal fire. A wood or bio-brick fire will suck a lot of air through the seams. Too much fuel and it will take off.

Try to find a supplier for nut size coal and you will probably be very happy. There are a number of coal wholesale companies in Knoxville, maybe one of them can guide you to a retail dealer.
The Godins can burn wood or bio-bricks but they are a little hard to control, can only accommodate limited fuel quantities, and need frequent re-loads and ash clean-outs.

After you have looked through the related threads on this site you might want to start a new thread specific to you stove and your questions...


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Posts: 9
Joined: Sat. Mar. 24, 2012 5:41 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Chappee/ Godin
Stove/Furnace Model: 8033/ Petit Godin

Post Sun. Feb. 17, 2013 9:03 pm

I have used a Small Godin for about five years. Have always found it best to start with newspaper and kindling. I usually try and go through about three loads of kindling at least to build up a nice bed of hot coals. Add the coal when the last load of kindling has passed the initial hot flame up, but before it dies down too much. You need those good flaming embers to get the coal going. Add about a coffee can full at a time until everything is going well. Good luck

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